Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Cancun and Cozumel - 2016



Waking up in our room at the Omni at sunrise has its benefits. The hotel grounds are quiet with only the din of the surf to entertain the senses. A cup of coffee and the morning's paper is all that's needed. 

Of all the times we've been here, this was a more relaxing trip with no special outings. We made one trip to downtown Cancun where we purchased school supplies to donate to a Mayan school. We ended our escapade at a lovely restaurant serving a tasty Mexican buffet. 


The following day we took the bag of supplies to the Sandos Hotel, a Spanish company, that helps to distribute the contributions. The staff was very appreciative and extremely welcoming.

For the remainder of the week we read, put in some pool time and beach time, had jacuzzi dips and, for me, some lap swimming.

On check out day, we took the bus to the downtown bus depot and boarded an express bus to Playa del Carmen. After a little over an hour, we were dragging our suitcases through the streets of PdC finding our way to the Cozumel ferry.

                                    Diane at the Playa del Carmen ferry building.

The ferry took thirty minutes to get to Isla Cozumel. It was a catamaran hull type with two decks and comfortable seating.

After getting to Cozumel, we checked into our hotel and took a walk along the waterfront. We found the waterfront to be nicely maintained. It had a lot of white washed walls and some fun sculptures.



You see a lot of families on their motor bikes, particularly on Sunday. I spotted as many as a family of five on one bike.

They seem to have quite a penchant for Isla's name here in Cozumel - it was everywhere you looked.

We rented scooters a couple of times. This was on the day we visited the windward side of the island, a sparsely inhabited side with a rugged and windy shoreline.

The attractive central town square is a bustling place, with hawkers, stores, restaurants and bars. 

We signed up with a dive outfit, Grand Cozumel, for me to go diving and Diane to snorkel. They had a good sized boat that was comfortable. The crew was friendly and professional and they served a big lunch. My two dives were very good - one dive at Palancar Gardens and the other near the marina. Lots of beautiful coral formations, soft coral and lots of fish. Unfortunately for Diane, the snorkeling was a bust because of the wind and current. 


                                 Ready to take the splash into that 80 degree water.

              We spotted a small Ray (Note: this one and the following two photos I didn't take.

                               Although it looked like a snake, this is a spotted eel.

                                     We saw several colorful Moray eels like this one

                                                            Big lunch.

View from our hotel room. Each day one or two cruise ships docked.

When the cruise ships were in town, thousands of tourists came ashore. There is another town a few miles south, that is just for cruise ship passengers. We saw as many as four ships anchored on the same day - that's in addition to the two ships that were near us. Needless to say, it can get too crowded ashore.

The Mexican version of a cargo bike is ubiquitous on the island. Used in deliveries, as a self-contained mini-food bar, used by ice cream vendors and in lots of other inventive ways.

           We had a light lunch in the northern part of the island. This was Playa Azul. 

                        These kids were having a fabulous time jumping in and out of the water.


 We spent some time here enjoying the views. This was the Casa Mexicana Hotel, a sister hotel of where we were staying and had reciprocal privileges.