The 'Riviera Maya'

Weeks 23 - 24 in Playa del Carmen with Lisa.

As I said to Lisa today, our run of 'dates' in sunny places from April 2017 to January 2018 has felt like a wonderful, unending summer. I'm still reflecting on our sixth, including the fact we're not sure when or where we'll see each other next. For now this is just a quick summary - lest I forget - of what we got up to.

Playa del Carmen exceeded my expectations. While the blocks close to the beach are depressingly touristy and completely un-Mexican, the rest of the city definitely has a life of its own. Staying well away from the beach meant we could eat real Mexican food at real Mexican prices. I had perhaps the best pozole I've eaten, albeit for 70 pesos (£3) as opposed to the 50 pesos (£2) you pay for it in Oaxaca.

We stayed in a cleverly purpose-built 'cabin' on the roof of our host's house, which afforded us lots of fresh air and privacy. A highlight was crying laughing for about an hour at something a tired Lisa had said. I also enjoyed trying to make vegan pozole again, though the result was only slightly better than my attempt in Mexico City.

PdC also made a good base for some trips out, including:

  • A memorable adventure trying to get to a beach to meet some friends of Lisa's via private land, which included having to cross a swamp.
  • A trip by public bus down to Tulum to see the ruins and enjoy a few hours at the white-powder-sand beach.
  • A two-day road-trip via hire-car back to Ek Balam ruins and Cenote X-Canche, where we stayed overnight in a cabin in the silent jungle and went skinny-dipping in the cenote by moonlight.
  • Snorkelling in the lagoon at Akumal.