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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Playa Del Carmen- Day 3 of Mexico- Tuesday

Upon wakening on Tuesday morning, I decided I needed to share one of my favorite Mexico cities with my daughter, Tammi..Playa Del Carmen.

This town of 100,00 people does not seem near as big as it is. The city has attempted to keep it looking like a small fishing village by passing an ordinance limiting buildings to four stories. A few five story buildings were built despite the ordinance, however. Tourist activity in Playa del Carmen centers on Quinta Avenida, or Fifth Avenue, stretching from Calle 1 norte until Calle 34, a pedestrian walkway located just one or two blocks inland from the beach, which is lined with boutique hotels (Deseo, Basico or Casa Ticul) , or with a special mMxican touch (Barrio Latino, or La Tortuga) shops, bars, and restaurants. Over the years a European influence has come to Playa and can be seen by the interantioanl flavor of the restaurants and shops.

So, after a late morning at the Caribbean Marketplace, we took off for the city. A round trip cab fare cost $60.00. I assured my daughter the cost was well worth it as it is a very charming city. A word to those who have not traveled much, it is best to establish the price of the cab before you get in. Afterwards it is pretty hard to bargain. I had hoped to get to the city before afternoon as it can get quite hot there. Since I paid $30.00 to have my hair braided on the beach the day before, (makes getting ready to g places easy as well keeps me cool), I was anxious to get there early and find my favorite hat shop where I could buy a Panama hat and keep my head from burning. The drive to Playa took about 40 minutes. Getting there took longer as there is massive construction going on. The city is getting a couple of over passes. This is both a good thing and a bad one. Good because it will help with traffic congestion but for me, it means the possibility of my favorite fishing town becoming more like its neighboring city, Cancun.

I am amazed as we drive into the city as to how much it has grown since I was here in 2006. I am again amazed at how little the shop keepers will bargain. Is this because of a richer tourism crowd coming in or a result of the swine flu and bad media press of Mexico? I find my hat and pay $20.00 more for it than I did in 2003. Then its off to find a pair of flip flops that I have only been able to find in this area of Mexico. I can't even find this Caray brand on the Internet! They too have gone up in price. Tammi and I then find souvenirs for various people. We also find an all natural food restaurant to eat in. An excellent plate of Mexican food is brought along with the best strawberry margarita I have had on the trip! I always ask for sugar on the rim of my glass when I get a strawberry marg. which gives me a funny look every time. Salt and strawberries just don't work for me.

We then wander down into my favorite area...the wharf where the ferry comes in takes people to Cozumel Island. Why do I like this area? Because it is where the locals hang out. I love mixing with the people. I go into the Burger King to get a ice cream cone to cool off my over heated body and when I don't understand that the person who is on the other side of the room makes the cones there, the locals al jump to my rescue. I want to stay and hang out here and experience some night life but my daughter is anxious to go meet up with her new girlfriends...uggg!

So, about 6 pm we return to our resort. Over the next three hours till our 9 PM dinner time at L'Hermitage, the French restaurant at the resort, I take another long walk on the beach. I will have to give this up tomorrow as that as when we return to Colorado. I am sadden as there is something about the ocean that makes me feel alive. As I walk it, rains some. Its as though the sky is as though the sky is crying for me as well. At 9 PM , my daughter go into the restaurant. She orders the CONFIT OF DUCK. I order the POACHED DORADO FILLET,glaze vegetables and sauce chives. The service is slow here. I wonder if is because it is French. The French see eating as an experience, not just a meal. My daughter is impatient. Her duck is very good. I am a little disappointed in my choice. The wine, however, save its. Around 10:30 we venture over to the main lounge. My daughter takes off with her friends and I meet up with the Spanish newly weds. They are tired tonight. We chat a while. Tonight the disco tec is open. My friends are tired and decide to skip it. I am getting tired of the 20 something crowd so I go back to the room to pack up for our trip home the next day. After I finish packing, I decide, since I have never used the room service to order some food. I get a glass of milk and a piece of really tasty cream cheese pie...something to be said for room service!

Sandy Tanner
Family Travel Consultant/Affiliated with All Inclusive Vacations
"All the World is a book, those who do not travel read only a page." St. Augustine

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