Scuba Diving and Shopping

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North America » Mexico » Quintana Roo » Playa del Carmen
February 5th 2012
Published: February 5th 2012
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The fellow who says he'll meet you halfway usually thinks he's standing on the dividing line.

Other than the rude awakening yesterday morning by that loud family in another condo, we had a nice day. I'm starting to think maybe this family is here because all their neighbors got together and pooled their money to get rid of them! (our neighbors would never do that...right? Deb, Jacques...anyone???

With Al off diving, off we gals went shopping. We went way off 5th and got some great bargains. I don't like to "bargain" too much with the locals; they need every last Peso. However, we knew their starting point was much higher than what the item was worth. I bought a really nice pair of sunglasses. They are "Oakley's" (yeah right) but regardless, they are the best sunglasses I've ever had. The starting point was 780 Pesos, and I got them for 300 Pesos ($24 CDN). Mom & Marth got sunglasses too. Marth bought a few earrings and a silver necklace & as you know silver abounds here. And I couldn't go home without buying Olivia, my new grand-niece a little dress; it's so cute and it will be cuter when that little doll is wearing it.

We had fun bargaining with the guys when we were shopping. I heard them whispering to each other, and I have a feeling they were (as they say in street language) talking sh*t about us. Probably saying, "stupid gringos trying to get a deal". OR maybe they were saying how cute and funny I was? Nah, probably stupid gringos! We actually spent most of our Pesos & when they kept trying to sell us items, I said we had no more money. I don't think they believed me. One of the wheeler dealers said "buy your housekeeper something" and I replied, "I am the housekeeper buddy". I guess I better start working on the Spanish so if they start talking crap about us, I can come back with some snappy Spanish one-liner. Wouldn't that just surprise the heck right out of them? Our buddy "Cheapo Felipo" made us some really good deals and I promised to go back and buy from him when I'm here.

The day started nice but before long it started to storm. I gotta tell you, my legs were so sore from dancing the night before. How pathetic is that? Clearly going to my fitness club has not paid off if dancing pulled every muscle in my legs. I feel like I got my butt handed to me by a stair climber. I was moving so slow trying to get out of the rain, and my poor margarita got watered down on the slow crab crawl up to condo (yes I know no one feels to sorry for me). The lightening is magical on the ocean. It rained most of the night so we stayed in & watched Mrs. Doubtfire with Robin Williams and Sally Field. We were killing ourselves laughing but some of the parts were a bit inappropriate for the kids, making us cringe somewhat.

We ate in with mixed fahitas (shrimp, beef and chicken) from the little restaurant next door that Ray & Marth graciously picked up for us. Included was rice, guacamole, fresh baguette and dessert which overall was a big hit. They raved over the beef. Not bad for 95 Pesos (each order), which included a free beer while they waited for the food.

Al thoroughly enjoyed his diving & for the most part he adjusted well to it, a little shaky breathing-wise descending the first time into the ocean. He felt like he couldn't breathe properly but the instructor told him to practice away from the rope which helped. They went out to the reef, and it was about 40 feet deep. He saw a barracuda, lobster and angel fish, trumpet fish and a small eel along with countless tropical fish. He saw what looked like a big coral arch and brain coral; pretty amazing. They took them to an area to dive with sharks, but alas no sharks to be found. There was a big yacht in the area which probably kept the sharks away; they don't like the big boats. Overall he was very conscientious of the fact he was breathing underwater, and that every breath he took was reliant on this little tank on his back. He also felt the current swaying him from side-to-side, back and forth. His dad went with him to shoot some pictures; wish we had ones of him out in the ocean!

I have heard scuba diving is close to a spiritual experience - going to depths we're not intended to go without major help, and witnessing the mysteries of the ocean, marine life and flora and fauna. Peaceful, silent, spiritual, yet challenging all wrapped up in one experience.

Al hopes I will join him in the diving experience. I enjoy spending time with Al, but I think I'll avoid the tank, the sharks, decompressing and the bobbing on a boat in the ocean, especially after my embarrassing upchuck on the ferry. My idea of spending time with Al, is sipping a drink, hand in hand with the sun on our faces and my feet in the sand. (Speaking of dipping my feet in the sand; my sand flea bites are driving me bananas. I don't have a lot of bites, but the ones I do have are itchy, sore and blistering. Sand fleas or also called no-see-ums are actually not fleas but tiny crustaceans and they sure pack a mean little bite. Actually they don't bite, they sting. But you don't feel them stinging, and only later do you notice the attack. I pity my poor family listening to me moan and groan, curse, scratch, and hop around over these bleepinng bites. One night they were so bad I actually poured some of my margarita on them. This is one desperate woman. So for now, there'll be no digging my feet in the sand. (Yesterday I gave you a history lesson on Frida, today a lesson on sand fleas; I am a wealth of useless information.)

Our time is counting down way too quick now. 15 days doesn't seem long enough 😊 We'll just have to go home and save our Pesos, oops pennies and think about coming back here in the summer. Yep, girls out of school, and it's low season so pretty cheap. Last summer we rented a cottage near home for 2 weeks; hydro was out for darn near 3 days, the lake had leeches in it, it was a goat's path up and down to the lake, the deer flies were big enough to carry Ava away and the weather was iffy. (although we did have a good time with family & friends 😉

So Playa in the summer is a good bet. Ocean, sun, hot, no cooking, and so much to do even if sand flies are part of the equation.

Off to bed, it's past midnight Sat night here and me and my bites need some rest. (I hear thunder out there, my window's open to hear the rain...).

Buenos Nochos (goodnight)

Sand-flea Sal

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