Oh, how I’ve missed sharing a bed with Chan. Him hogging the covers, my snores waking him in the middle of the night. Just like old times.
Today, we decided to take a ferry out to the island of Cozumel. It’s only about an hour’s ride from the coast of Playa del Carmen and looked to have nice beaches. What could go wrong?
But first, we had to eat breakfast. We stopped at a place called Nativo because it had a lot of good reviews.
If you’re wondering what the hell is on my plate, the waitress recommended me a dish so I decided to just go with it. She definitely just told me the most expensive dish on the menu, as most servers are told to do, but whatever. I like to try new things. It’s called La Nativita and consisted of tamal, tlacoyo, cactus, and steak. It was surprisingly good, if a bit heavy for breakfast. And no, I don’t know which one is the tamal and which one is the tlacoyo.
Also, the portion sizes made me understand how Mexico overtook the United States as the obesity capital of the world.
Full and satisfied, we got on the ferry to Cozumel.
The ferry itself was decent. It rocked a good amount, but not enough to cause seasickness. However, they started off the ride by playing the theme song from the Titanic, which was a rather ominous choice of music. It made me irrationally worry about icebergs off the coast of Mexico.
They soon switched to a live band, which was much better than the song that is essentially a symbol for sunken ships.
Once we made landfall in Cozumel, we had to decide on what method of transportation we would take to travel around the island. There is only one road that goes around the coast of nearly the entire island and we could choose to traverse it either by car, moped, or bicycle.
A car seemed too easy and boring. David was all for mopeds, since we could just get two and it would require less effort than cycling. But the rest of us shot the idea of mopeds down, thinking that we could ride bikes at a leisurely pace and it would be easier to stop wherever we wanted.
It was only around 40 miles around the island.
40 miles. Only.
Clearly, none of us had any idea what kind of distance that was. So, like idiots, we rented bikes from a little shop inside a sketchy alleyway and started pedaling.
We rode for about an hour or so before we decided to rest for a little while. We found a path that led to a small area of beach and we quickly dove into the cool water. It was only a short respite however, since we had to return the bikes by 6pm and we still had a ways to go. The shirts stayed off.
So we biked and biked and biked. Sweat dripped down our faces and our legs started to strain with the effort, but we kept on, confident in our belief that we would be at a large stretch of beach soon.
However, that confidence soon turned to uneasiness as we realized that the entire length of beach that we would’ve gone frolicking in was closed off. Apparently a bunch of resorts and hotels and restaurants had established themselves there and made their little patch of land exclusive. It was ridiculous.
And so we decided to ignore all of it. Not because we couldn’t afford a drink or something at a restaurant, but because of the principle of the thing.
So we pressed on.
We wanted to reach the beach on the south side of the island, the part that was free. But it was slowly dawning on us that maybe getting bikes had been the wrong move. Especially when a few people completely decked out in professional cycling gear passed us from the opposite direction. And when dozens of mopeds zoomed by us, the drivers calling out in encouragement.
But it was too late. We were already committed.
After roughly 3 hours of riding, we finally arrived at the beach. We went to a part in front of a bar and ordered food. So much for principles.
We weren’t able to stay long, however. We had a deadline to meet so we got our aching butts back on our bikes and kept going, albeit with a nicer view.
There was the option of turning back, of course. But that’s hardly an option at all. Besides the fact that we were already halfway through, we were also MEN. We manly, masculine men weren’t going to allow little things like burning muscles and slow progress to stop us from completing our task.
Towards the end, we pretty much stopped talking except to complain how badly our legs and asses hurt. The sun was setting, both literally and figuratively.
At long last, we made it. We successfully biked around the island, the entire 40 miles in just over 7 hours. Fuck yes. We were all pretty happy to see civilization again.
Sore legs and stupid jokes aside, I still enjoyed my time in Cozumel. The scenery is beautiful and the water is great. Going around the whole island, hopping from beach to beach, can be fun and give you a sense of accomplishment. Although, I was disappointed at how so much of the coast was exclusive. If you can get over that, I recommend giving Cozumel a visit.
But be sure to rent a moped.