Friday, November 12, 2021

Wheels Up, Wheels Down

Wheels up from Toronto is 9:30 AM on November 16th. Wheels down in Cancun Mexico at 1:40 PM. This will be the 4th time that I have gone to Cancun and although the downtown is fun, yes the downtown and not the beach strip, this is just a one night stop over. 

There is a direct bus from the Cancun airport that costs about $5, to the downtown ADO station. From there it is about a 15 minute walk to the Hotel Jardin. I will toss my rucksack after check in and then go murder as many street tacos as I can find. Then it's off to Hunters Bar near the bus station and embrace the fact that I have returned to the top country on my travel list. FYI, my top 5 are Mexico, Vietnam, Ecuador, Thailand, Nicaragua and Cambodia...OK Top 6. I will catch a bus the next morning for Valladolid, where I am going to take 4 days there to shake off my COVID past and feel the warm embrace Mexico. There is quite a bit to explore and experience in and around Valladolid, including plenty of Centoes.

After 4 days I am off to Merida. I have no timeline but its looking like at least 2 months here, maybe until mid January. I have a room booked for 9 days at the Casa Lol Beh. The reviews are good so lets see how that goes. An extended stay means searching for an apartment, which the Merida Expats FB has shown it is easy enough. I do have a few old friends that winter there now. A few who stayed at the same place I did in Leon Nicaragua and then a former colleague with whom I worked as a bartending in Collingwood a lifetime ago, plus and her husband will be there, but a friendly face on the road is still a friendly face. They are in Progresso on the beach, about a 30 minute bus ride away from Merida. 

Once the bloom is off the rose in the Yucatan,  I am going to fly to Medellin Colombia and tour around country #51. (for the kids # means number). There is some great hiking in and around the Sierra Madres and diving on the Colombian Caribbean coast. I also have another former colleague , this time from working in Tehuacan Mexico. Both Mexico and Colombia have open boarders with zero COVID restrictions. Depending on that for Honduras I want go from Colombia to Utila Honduras to get my diving on. Then back to Merida to wind down before the big return to springtime in Canada around April.

What is my biggest challenge? Looking at a map while I plan my trip. There is a great budget hotel in downtown Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic and exploring there has lots of possibilities. Damn, the flight from Punta Cana to San Juan Puerto Rico is 45 minutes (and cheap) or there is a 12 hour boat ride which would be fun. The history of Puerto Rico is epic. There is a 5 day boat tour from Cartagena Colombia to Panama that passes through the San Blas Islands. Carnival in Brazil runs Feb 25th to March 5th. The borders are open and I would have to pull out the American Express for this little journey, but its Rio during Carnival! There in lies the challenges of my scatterbrained travel mind. I could easily find myself in South Africa if I am not careful...which would not be a terrible thing. That is September or October of 2022, but we will get to that later. 

So you see, my challenge is real. I am absolutely going to be focused on the Yucatan, Colombia and diving in Utila Honduras. There are epic moments to be had, so lets get to it shall we.

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