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North America » Mexico » Quintana Roo » Cancun
December 12th 2018
Published: December 13th 2018
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MUSA


I’m very excited because today we are going scuba diving at MUSA. It’s an artificial reef which has been created between Cancun and Isla de Mujeres. Over 500 permanent life size statues from prominent artists have been sunk into the water at quite shallow depths.

The idea is that an artificial reef has been created and novice divers can go there. This will help to conserve the natural reefs - ie the novices can kick the statues to bits instead of the coral. In fact, it’s of interest to all levels though, especially divers with an artistic bent, as it’s such a phenomenon. Begun in 2009, more statues are yet to be added...in total there will be 1,200 once the project is finished. The website states that it’s a non profit making venture - it’s a shame they didn’t tell the dive operators this?

Our ropes off is scheduled for 2pm but we need to arrive at the dive centre by 1.30pm to complete paperwork. We decide to leave in good time for our bus. The transport to the ‘hotel zone’ is pretty frequent so we don’t worry when one bus sails past. But now another has arrived so we dash to get onboard. Unfortunately it’s very full. In hindsight we should have waited for the next as Ian ends up standing. A lady moves over to offer me the one remaining seat so I am lucky.

The bus rattles off at alarming speed cutting up other traffic on the roundabout in its haste. I am keeping an eye on the sat nav so that we know when to alight. I stand up as soon as the driver leaves the penultimate bus stop. I am standing right next to him and ask him to stop, but he completely ignores me just rattling past the next two stops. Finally his brakes squeal as I am begging him to stop. It was seriously the worst ride ever and now we are some distance from the dive centre instead of right outside!

In his hurry to vacate the bus, Ian misses his step and ends up rolling in the gutter. The bus driver is revving his engine but Ian is not moving, just rolling around on his back and wailing. I am terrified that he will be run over...he is right next to the bus wheels. Two concerned passengers run off the bus to help, telling the driver not to move. The driver is clearly not happy but they manage to drag Ian to the kerb and the bus screeches off. Ian thinks that he heard his bone crack as he hit the ground so we sit on the bus shelter bench wondering if we can make it back to the dive centre for some ice.

Our two kind helpers have departed on the bus but another guy comes over to help. He says he has the bus drivers number if we want to make an official complaint. At this point we just want to get to the dive centre for some ice to put on the swelling.

Fifteen minutes have passed and Ian thinks he can put weight on his ankle. We limp back up the road to the dive centre. Shockingly, the dive centre have nothing in the the way of first aid or any ice. They are very kind, however, and don’t ask us to cough up for the dive that we booked and cannot do. They say they will get us a taxi so that we can get back to our hotel and/or hospital.

The taxi eventually turns up. We can’t think why it took so long as there are taxis at every single hotel along this stretch. Seeing that Ian is incapacitated, the price has now gone up to about ten times the normal rate! We are incredulous. Ian states he is not been ripped off to the tune of £15 for a 5-10 minutes taxi ride! The taxi driver slams the door and drives off in a huff. It was pretty stupid to ask such a price really as the bus stop is right next to the dive centre, but I guess he had us over a barrel and thought it would pay dividends! We do have to cross the dual carriageway for the bus back to town though...which is a bit of a challenge.

The bus has arrived and thankfully it’s not the same driver doing the return journey. The bus is empty so we can take the front seats. Ditto, back in town, we are dropped at the bus stop opposite the hotel. Here they have crossings where the traffic always stops to allow pedestrians to cross so this is slightly easier.

Back at the hotel, the lift is out of order. Unbelievable! Ian limps up two flights of stairs to our room. We survey the damage. There is no evidence of bones protruding and Ian can put a little weight on his foot, albeit painfully. Ian thinks now that it is most likely a sprain and not a break. There is swelling but no bruising apparent (yet). I soak a towel in cold water and wrap it around the ankle. Ian lies with his foot up and takes some pain killers. The question now is whether to go to hospital or not. Ian decides he is going to give it till morning to decide as we are due to fly home the day after tomorrow.

Sadly it looks like Mexican diving, for us, is not be!

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