Isla Cozumel & Playa del Carmen
Coming from the hip party hostel in Tulum, the Amigos hostel on Cozumel was the direct opposite, very calm, people going to bad at 21 and so forth, but a nice place nonetheless. This was also the place were I met the most annoying person ever – a 50 year old extremely high pitched Canadian woman who was hitting on all the young boys in a totally creepy way, I managed to fend her off.
Back to the hostel, Amigos hostel is run by an American woman who have been living in Mexico for the last 30 years. It is meticulously kept and at arrival you get a shitload of information. The place had a nice garden with a big pool and an outdoor kitchen, pool tables and dart.
Cozumel is well known for its perfect diving conditions with great reefs, shipwrecks and underwater life. My host helped me arrange a scuba diving license course at the local company Deep Blue. The nemt Day i was greeted by a Japanese woman, Chiacki, who was my instructor. We gathered all the equipment and went for the water. I swallowed a lot of water because my mask was constantly flooded, maybe thanks to my moustache, and because of this I was really uncomfortable under the water breathing. I did all the exercises of the first dive, but I decided to stop my diving career for now – since it was a lot of money for the certificate $420 USD, and since I didn’t really enjoy it. But I will for sure try it again – but on a choice between moustache or diving, moustache wins.
The day after I decided to rent a scooter and take it for a spin around the island. The island of cozumel is only about 17 km wide, and around 40 km long, but 95% of the island is jungle. I found a surf shop “Cozumel Surfing with Nacho” and booked a private lesson. The waves was good but the beach was covered with plastic and I was told that it was cleared only 3 days before, a really sad sight indeed. We started out with some basic practice on the beach and then went into the waves, and on the second try I was up – a natural talent 😉
After surfing for 1,5 hours I was starving, and my hopes of getting a break from all the tourists on the other side of the island was in vain. The bars along the coast was filled with middle aged people, sunburned with sombreros and Cuban cigars drinking margaritas, a terrible sight. Back in the city of San Miguel (the only city on Cozumel) I went to the area where the locals go and got tacos for $12 MX a piece (~ 4 kr).
On my last day I went on a snorkelling trip on a boat to see three of the best reefs around Cozumel “Palancar”, “Colombia” and “El Cielo”. A beautiful trip and the weather was clear skies and sunny. We didn’t see a lot, but saw a pack of barracudas, some stingrays and a lot of starfish along with the clearest blue water – a great way to end my days on Cozumel.
My initial plan was to leave for Guatemala after Cozumel, but I changed my mind and decided to meet up with a friend in Playa del Carmen which is located just at the mainland across from Cozumel. Unfortunately he got sick, but I was already on my way with the ferry.
Playa del Carmen is a horrible place with a lot of party people and way too many tourists and drugs. The hostel seemed nice, and I was in a room with 7 other people. Being the ladies man that I am I went out eating with three other girls and after that we had som drinks and a game of beer pong on the roof terrace of our hostel. We went out with a bunch of Mexican guys to a night club, the streets were filled with people. On the scale of drugs this place now offered ecstasy, speed, cocaine and weed, a step up or down from Tulum I don’t know, anyway I stayed with coronas, mezcal and margaritas.
I woke up at 6 in the morning still a bit drunk and felt something on my stomach.. bedbugs. The hostel staff was of course very sorry, but as they were full they couldn’t offer me another bed. I slept for a couple of hours on the couch in the lobby threw all my clothes in the dryer at high temp. So this has been my nightmare when staying at hostels for the last 10 years, since encountering them in a very lousy hostel in San Francisco. It is hard when you are traveling and only has the stuff in your bags, and all of it might have been infested by these creeps. I spent most of the day taking care of my stuff and waiting for a bus out of this place – next stop Holbox.