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North America » Mexico » Quintana Roo » Isla Holbox
January 12th 2013
Published: January 12th 2013EDIT THIS ENTRY

So here we go.... I think this is day six so some of you might have wondered if we fell off the edge of the earth. Just a warning this will start with a rant.... so procede with caution and feel free to skip the first part.Also note that we dont have bad grammar its just that you cant do apostrophes on spanish key boards. Just in case you ever use a Spanish keyboard also note that @ is CTRL, ALT and Q. That should save you 30 minutes trying to figure it out.

To get here we needed 4 flights which we meant to take around 32 hours with stopovers. We have never flown Air NZ internationally and we did through to SYD - which was amazing. But thats where the amazing stops. The rest of the way we were on United Airlines. So trying to leave SYD we had to disembark the plane on account of a mechanical fault causing a 3.5 hour delay. Incedentally we had seen the plane through the window and this was not a nice new plane. We commented that it looked like a beat up old Corrola. Only it wasnt as the Corrola would not have broken down. The flight itself..... does anyone remember the old school in flight entertainment where there were the drop down screens in the centre of the isles and you were forced to watch the same bad movie as everyone else. We seriously thought these got left in the 90s. Whats with the no personal entertainment on a 13 hour flight.... only Jetstar does this and at least you know to expect it. This is what we call a customer experience gap when the airline proclaims to be ´a world class airline´and delivers something completely different. The delay caused us to miss both of our connections and lets not get started on the experience dealing with UA at the airport. We spent the night in a hotel which wasnt a bad thing as I dont think either of us realised how tired we actually were not only from the flights but from the previous week. All that is forgivable and might have been forgotten... except..... Janes bag is lost. Whats worse is that we realised this in LA and talked to people in every airport all who claimed the bag would be at the final destination - they even acted urprised when the bag wasnt there..... day 6 no bag. Not only do they not know where it is (clearly) but they dont know where it was last....... Rubbish airline.

So.... we arrived in Cancun. The plan was never to stay as it was commercialised tourist central. We spent one night, delayed our departure in the hope that the airline might actually sort their crap out and left for Isla Holbox which is an island off the coast of Yucatan, the next state over. The drive was around 2 hours and the ferry 30 minutes. The Island is circa 2000km square and has a permanent population of around 2500 people. There are no high rise hotels here only single level locally built resorts - and few of them.

It was dark when we arrived so we couldnt really take stock of the place. Our room is on the beachfront and is amazing. From our bed we can hear the water lapping up on the sand. The beach faces north and as such receives all day sun. The temperature is mid to late 20s and whilst were not sure if this is permanent at least at this time of the year there is a constant breeze which is just enough to make the temperature and humidity very comfortable. The beach itself is white sand and there is a huge amount of seaweed. The island is on the edge of the Carribean and the Gulf of Mexico so the crystal blue water of the Carribean meets the murky water of the Gulf leaving us with something in-between. The water is not warm but has no chill so is nice to jump into and cool off.

The streets of the island are all sand. There are are no cars and very few scooters. Instead the locals get around on bikes or golf carts albeit modified. They have off-road tires and aftermarket suspension. The Island is not stunning visually but its beauty is more in the atmosphere and culture. nothing here moves faster than a slow amble or at best a medium amble. There is literally not much to do - at all so we have been filling our days walking, riding bikes and becoming aquainted with mexican coctails.

The people here are amazing. In contrast to our previous travels especially India we are not pursued or acosted by locals for business. In many cases quite the opposite where we are ignored until we ask for something. We are told that it does get a little worse in some parts but we will wait for that.

So far we are loving the mexican cuisine although we are keen to get away from the limited selection on the island and find some more ´local´meals. One of our rules is to eat where we see a crowd or where we see locals. I took this approach and tried this thing that was a cross between a waffle and a crepe filled with Nutella and melted cheese. I know what you thinking.... ´doesnt sound like it would taste nice´. I would go as far as to say it tasted worse that it sounded.

Albeit we are in a place frequented by tourists the majority of locals speak very little if any english. Whilst some of the menus have english translations some do not which has lead to some food adventures. I ordered what I thought was a beer which someone later translated for us as being made up of around three or four salty sauces with a beer over the top. Before we came we took some Spanich classes and we have a great phrase book with us. From memory now I can make basic requests to order, ask directions or buy something. The only problem with making a request in Spanish is when they dont understand and reply in Spanish. Then we resort to hand symbols.

At this point weve given up on seeing Janes bag.... we are heading back to Cancun tomorrow for a couple of nights as this is aparently the best place we will have a chance of replacing the items that Jane will need for the trip. From Cancun we take a 13 hour bus to Palenque..... next blog 4ish days time.



Russell and Jane.


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