Don’t forget to bring your ear plugs

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December 9th 2018
Published: December 9th 2018
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Puente Esmerelda

This morning we have planned to return to Puente Esmerelda, the little cenote/lagoon along the beach from our accommodation. It is Sunday, so bound to be busy hence we have skipped breakfast and are ready to set off at 8.30am.

The sky is overcast and it has been raining so it’s a pleasant temperature for walking. The beach near our accommodation is fairly deserted. There’s a group of youngsters who have obviously had a night of it. They sway past us exchanging a slurred ‘good morning’! There are also a few people casting fishing nets, though we don’t see much sign of a catch. Finally, we have the ‘beach rakers’. These are the men with the unenviable task of raking up seaweed to enable us holiday makers to enjoy a pristine beach. It’s a thankless and impossible task.

Just up ahead we see a small group of people dressed in traditional Mayan clothing. They are burning incense and chucking flowers into the sea. This is followed by a group photograph. We have absolutely no idea what it is...maybe a funky wedding?

Across the sea lies the island of Cozumel. We debated whether to take the ferry across today but neither of us was particularly fussed. There might have been some better snorkelling over there, but then we could easily just go back to another cenote. Ian says he can’t be bothered especially on a Sunday when it’s bound to be heaving.

Talking about heaving...we have reached Esmeralda. If we thought we could beat the crowds by leaving early then we are mistaken. It seems like an entirely different place today. The palm tree island has been taken over and an area of sand between the sea and the lagoon has also been unofficially fenced off. On the far side of the cenote, a young couple have decided to bring music. They are intertwined on the sand and their sound system is blaring loudly. We decide to walk on to the point.

Having reached the point, there is not much to see here other than yet more seaweed and sand. I decide that I will try the sea for a swim. We’re on a rocky outcrop here, so maybe there will be less weed in the water? I make my way carefully across the submerged rocky slabs and into the water. It is fairly clear here - but still infested in prickly seaweed. There is also a bit of an undertow. It’s really not very pleasant so I’m out quite soon and we decide to take our chances back at the lagoon.

There are not many people in the lagoon water today and we decide to sit at the opposite end...given that we don’t need shade and the palm tree area is occupied. It’s actually the better end for swimming anyway as the water here is waist deep.

For some strange reason, one of the locals has taken it upon themselves to bring a spade and has dug a huge trench from the lagoon to the sea. Result, the water is draining out of the lagoon quicker than it is filling so there is much less lagoon here today than there was two days ago!

I enjoy half an hour of swimming, mainly on my own. There was a family swimming but they retire after about five minutes. It would be rather nice but there is nothing anyone can do to drown out the awful racket of the irritating Mexican music. It’s seriously loud!

The huge black clouds that were obscuring Cozumel an hour ago have blown our way and we are getting big rain drops. We are wet anyway so it doesn’t really matter but we’ve both had enough so we make our way back down the beach. It’s unfortunate that we got up so early as it’s still only 10am!

Back at our room, we wash off our stuff and take a shower. Ian nips across to Oxxo and comes back with warm croissants and yoghurt for breakfast. We break out the cards for a few games. Maybe we will go for a walk of take a dip in the pool later?

We are now at dinner. After two nights of watching Ian tuck into hamburger with home made chips, I cave in and order it myself. Ian has opted for pasta. Our meals turn up. Guess what? Tonight they have served up frozen chips! I cannot believe it, I was so looking forward to the unhealthy home made kind. I can only assume that, because it is Sunday, it is chef‘s day off!

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