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Published: September 24th 2007
My latest Mexican tour started today. The taxi driver said the hotel was bad and after the hotel GAP stuck us in, my expectations were low. But the hotel ended up being really nice. So I'm thinking the rest of the hotels will be of a decent quality too. This tour is a more expensive than the other tours I've been on so hopefully that will translate into better hotels.
At welcome meeting we got to meet the other tour members. There are 24 on the tour and the majority of us are Australians, mostly couples or groups, but there's another single female traveller like myself who has just finished South America. The rest are from the UK and four are from other European countries. The majority of the tour members are finishing up in Cuncun in two weeks and eight of us are finishing up in Guatemala in a month. Our tour leader, Lisa, is a Canadian who moved to Isla Mujeres ten years ago. She's done this tour tons of times before so we're in experienced hands.
My room mate didn't arrive until 11pm. Her name is Helen and she's from Dublin. Thankfully she's a non-smoker so there's no dramas there.
Tomorrow is Mexican Independence Day. The streets are chaotic at the best of times, but right now it's total mayhem. Street stalls are selling Mexican themed paraphanalia like face paint, flags, noisy gadgets, bracelets. After dinner I went to the Zocalo with Tom and Mark, who are from the UK. The streets were packed with thousands of people. Police were everywhere and you had to walk through metal detectors to get to the main square. The buildings surrounding the Zocalo, including the Palacio Nacional, were covered in huge light displays depicting national heros and the Mexican flag. There was a stage with bands on one size of the square and a public speaker on the other. Between the two of them speaking over each other, I couldn't understand a word. Viva Mexico!
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