Isla Mujeres, Spanish for Island Of The Women, is a little island off the coast of Cancun. AsI stated in my last post, we went over there primarily to swim with dolphins, but in the afternoon we got the chance to explore the rest of the island.
First up – lunch! Included in our day was a full buffet of American and Mexican fare, so we greedily piled our plates high. Mine seemed to be mostly cheesy chips, Ian’s was a lot of hot sauce. Still – we were both pretty happy!
We stretched out like cats in the sun to let our food go down. There was a really nice bar (complete with swings!)
We picked up frozen margaritas and sipped them in the sun.
This doesn’t happen to me very often, but lying there on the lounger with my drink and a good book, staring out over the crystal sea watching dolphins leaping about, I felt like life was perfect. I wanted to freeze time – just stay there, with the sun and the sea and the light breeze drying the salt water in my hair, the sharp sweet drink and the dolphins and my book, full from a great lunch, feeling contented and happy and spoilt and lucky all at the same time. I don’t know why. It was just one of those moments.
In the afternoon a boat arrived to take any exploring types over to the other side of the island, where the shops, bars and restaurants are. We got our free bracelets (in a very pointlessly British way, you have to get a wrist band to get on the boat – even though it’s free) and jumped on board! It was much quieter than on the way to the island and it was really nice sitting in the afternoon sun.
When we arrived, what I discovered was much more like the traditional Mexico I had expected to find – winding, shady streets dotted with little bars and tavernas serving tacos and beers, people enjoying their drinks lazily in the afternoon sun, shops selling woven bracelets and wooden carvings.
We shopped a little (I negotiated terribly for some sunglasses – bargaining is NOT a strength of mine) and then settled down in one of the bars .
Amusing story time: there were two American men at the table next to us, and two European men at the table behind. One of the American men asked the European how he’d got the (quite alarming) cut on his leg, and they had a little chat about their holidays, at which point one of the American men commented that they’d just got married. A little suprising, maybe, but hey – I’m a 20th century girl, so I didn’t raise an eyebrow – until the European man smiled and responded ‘Cool, so did we!’ Ian and I stared at each other in surprise, wondering what the chances were that two sets of men would have both been married – until I looked around and it dawned on me that we were, quite patently obviously, sitting in a gay bar.
Looking at it now, I’m really not sure how we didn’t figure that out earlier!
Laughing, we finished our drinks happily in the sunshine with the happy couples, before going for a quick walk along the coast.
We realised it was getting a bit late and we needed to head back, so got the boat back over to the dolphin part of the island as the sun started to lower in the sky.
Once there, we hung out with the wildlife for a bit longer - not just dolphins but herons and sealions!
Before, exhausted but happy, it was time to head home. We met some hilarious Australian girls on the boat back and shared yet more beers.
We were so tired by the end of the day that we spent the evening in the hotel room, eating chorizo sandwiches and watching a film! I promise we'll have a bigger night out tomorrow. I absolutely loved Isla Mujeres and I think if (WHEN) we return to Mexico next year I would consider staying on the island - it's beautiful. Oh, to be back there now!