Ha! No more rental car. I have to admit my stress levels were kinda high while we explored the Yucatán Peninsula in a rental car. Even though Brad is a really excellent and safe driver, I thought the roads were challenging and also I felt pretty uncomfortable with the police stops that are around many city entrances or exits. It can be intimidating especially when Spanish isn’t our strong suit.
I also thought the really narrow roads with no shoulder and massive potholes in some areas challenging as well. Overall the roads are fine, especially the new toll roads which are wider and normally divided highways versus two way traffic on a narrow road with no shoulder which we also found to be quite common. In general the Mexicans are really careful and good drivers so that helped a lot too but still…I prefer public transport, long haul busses or whatever.
Playa del Carmen is super touristy and really hot. Every time we left our AirBnB air conditioned apartment I was immediately drenched in sweat. It’s best I have found to find shade and stay there.
Brad and I went to Mamitas Beach Club and relaxed all day on lounge chairs with a nice big umbrella to keep us shaded. Coupled with cold beers and a dip in the ocean it was really nice. We arrived at about 10:00 AM and by 11:00 AM all the lounge chairs were taken so that was good timing for us.
The process for getting a lounge chair is ridiculous. Basically stand in line for a really long time then pay $200.00 pesos plus a $100.00 pesos deposit. To handle the several hundred people seeking sun and shade they had one cash register and two customer representatives. They could easily make this work by having the servers sell the wrist bands directly. It was just dumb! They also had at least twenty food runners, bartenders, bussers and others just standing around. I was in line so long Brad came looking for me. Terrible. If I went to this beach area again I would just arrive and hangout in the sand and skip the chairs and food service. Beaches are free in Playa del Carmen but of course the services must be paid for. There was no shade on the beach except where the beach clubs put up umbrellas so that would mean a short visit for someone like me who burns easily.
I did see a guy with a portable lounge chair that had a big umbrella attached to it that seemed to work really well. It was windy so I don’t know if the umbrella would blow over once he got up but it is a thought if you are planning a longer visit. We just came in at the end of our long road trip for a few nights so we didn’t need any elaborate set up.
The best food we had in Playa del Carmen was a really nice salad with grilled veggies and “grilled goat cheese” which was actually like a medallion of cheese that had been treated like a creme brûlée in that it had a crispy sugar topping. It was was delicious and made me think of exciting ways to incorporate brûlée cheese in a salad when we get home at the end of next week.
I have zero photos of Playa del Carmen because I am on a photo break while here. Just taking time to soak it in and be alive without recording it. I think that is okay for now.