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Published: January 13th 2010
As soon as we got back from the jungle caves, we had about one week before our planned departure to Mexico and then hopefully Cuba. It was originally planned that Tyler, Angela, and I would be going - but the plan changed every hour so that at the time of departure there were six of us! The Secret Garden mobile picked us all up at 4am so that we could get to Belize City in time for the express bus to Chetemal, Mexico.
Oh! Side note! Yes, as we were talking about heading up to Playa, we found out that Cassie and her entire families were planning on being there the same weekend for a reunion with their dad! Perfect! This is how we got Jodie and Erin to join us for the Mexico part of the adventure. We got to the bus station on time, but ended up boarding the local bus instead of the express, so we added a few hundred random stops to the route! When we got to the Belize border and Angela and I were both stopped for having expired visitors’ visas. Angela’s was about a day overdue and mine was well over 10 days! I
had returned from the States on the 28th and assumed I had the usual 30 day visa, when in fact the immigration officer had granted me 14 days. Oh no. It’s Saturday; the immigration office is closed and they want us to wait until Monday to pay our $50 to extend the visa. But that’s two days away, and the bus is honking, and we have people to meet … so I explain my love of Belize to the officer and my honest mistake and we beg and plead and Jodie is calling out “the bus wants to leave!!” so the officer finally took pity and took us to a back room. We filled out some paperwork and paid the visa charge and RANNNN to the bus! They waited for us! PHEW!
We got into Chetumal at the international bus stop and had to take a 20 peso taxi to the other bus station, ADO. There are delicious and cheap taco stands out front of that bus station featuring some of the hottest salsas I’ve ever eaten. YES! But of course be careful of anything super spicy and Mexican before a long bus ride. Good thing the bus was A/C
and comfortable and the ride went quite fast. The last hour (after traveling 14) was the most difficult, but Angela and I had a rousing dance party in our seats to get ourselves ready to hit the town!
As we pulled into the city limits, I was in awe of the nice roads and superstores! The shops and malls were huge and bright: Chedraui, WalMart, Sears, and MEGA grocery. The road we were on was a divided highway with lots of lights and we traveled through it for quite a while. It was incredible to come from our tiny village to this megalith of consumerism in just one day! We were bleary eyed and thirsty and it took forever to get a cab from the bus station. We later figured out we were about 7 blocks from the hotel all along, but now we’ll know!! We got dropped off at the pedestrian walkway of 5th avenida and right away I spotted a guy wearing a Barefoot Beach Bar shirt. Then realized hey that’s Cassie sitting next to him! So we found the gang and our really cool hotel right away. Posada Freud is located right on the pedestrian walkway with
great staff and a cute courtyard and very nice rooms! The avenue was more than I ever imagined would be in Mexico, but of course I haven’t been in many years. They had all the name brand boutiques and fast foods from the States interspersed with double stories of loud music, free shots of tequila, and buckets of beer!
After cleaning ourselves up a bit, we ran back down to the bar to see Cassie, and then Brice and Jason and Christine, and all our friends from Placencia were coming out of the woodwork! It was so awesome! We danced, we laughed, and we soon moved the party down to the Blue Parrot where we could dance with the sand between our toes. Before we could even sit down, The Tequila Shot Girl was blowing whistles and waving a blue bottle in my face. This was an all too familiar scene from my many summers in Mexico….and like all those other summers I just couldn’t say no! It’s the whistle! On the other side of Blue Parrot there was another sand dance floor with a DJ spinning all the latest techno dance hits - oh yeah! Angela and I stayed
there until the wee hours of the morning wearing balloon hats and dancing our faces off!
The next morning, which was actually afternoon, we stumbled over to Subway, completely brain dead from tequila and late night dancing. The sun was so bright and hot, thank goodness for the air conditioned sub shop and cold orange soda. It saved my life that morning! We rallied with the troops and found everyone to be in a state of tequila coma, although a few of the boys were hitting the bottle again on the beach already. Ugh! The beach is absolutely gorgeous, with perfect soft white sand for miles and the turquoise blue clear waters of tropical postcards. I saw lots of brochures for diving trips in both Playa and Cozumel, but never woke up before noon to take advantage…that would be for my next trip! This time I was just SO EXCITED for great restaurants, my old mistress tequila, and booming electro music coming from most of the bars!
Our second night in town we ventured a little off the beaten path to a cave bar called Alux. (Pronounced Aloosh) Its entrance looks normal from the road, but when you go down
the staircase you find yourself in a small maze of a cave with perfect lighting and a full bar! There is a dining area, and then two different dance floors and multiple lounge areas scattered throughout the stalagmites….what a great concept! It’s in the middle of the city, and the owner bought the land without knowing the treasures that lie beneath. That must have been some discovery when digging in the backyard one day! As unique and stylish as the cave was, there were absolutely no people inside, so we returned to the main strip as the night started to kick off. We found a street side table at a hip club and spent the night meeting everyone who walked by our table and, again, dancing the night away! This is the formula for this beach town: Eat + Dance + Sleep (on the Beach.) Repeat.
So, as you can imagine, we spent most of our nights dancing and our days sleeping on the beach. Playa was so much more than we were expecting, and I look forward to returning there often to get my fix of dirty bass on the dance floor!
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