180212-Just Another Day in Paradise

I ended up with an extra sheet when we checked in last night. The extra sheet made the night of sleeping under the (light) A/C perfect.

Marnie ended up in a different room that I last night, so we met up this morning at 9:00 am for the light hostel breakfast.  Then we grabbed a cab to go visit Tortugranga, a sea turtle park where they study and rescue loggerhead turtles. The beaches on Isla Mujeres are one of their breeding grounds. The park digs up some of the eggs to protect them across the incubation period.

From there we went searching for Hacienda Mundaca, a historic site of an old estate. Except for a few iguanas, the estate was unspectacular. The swarms of mosquitoes I discovered were not.

I’d read about the Garrafon Natural Reef Park, which sounded interesting. We walked there, a lot farther away than we expected in the afternoon heat. It’s also not a park in the context I expected. More a zip line, kayaking, and scuba resort. We stopped there in the shade at the entry to rest, but didn’t go in. All of their prices are in USD, which is always a bad sign.

Isla Mujeres functions well on USD tho. I’ve watched multiple people pay for things in USD. The exchange rate varies from 1:10 to 1:17, so caveat emptor. If I was going to try it, I’d carry a lot of small bills. Similarly, if presented with the option to choose between USD and pesos when paying by credit card, select pesos. The exchange rate then is your bank’s, not theirs – typically much better.

After recuperating a bit, we walked to Punta Sur, the southernmost part of the island. Not much for beach; it’s more cliffs with huge waves crashing off of them, reminding me of Finesterra in Spain. Finisterre was once thought to be the most western part of Europe. Punta Sur is the easternmost point of Mexico. We hiked around Punta Sur for a while, as a path runs mid-way down the cliffs with waves crashing against them (and you!).

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Both of us now hot and tired, we walked back and ate at The Joint nearby. From there an easy taxi ride (price negotiated in advance) brought us back to the north end of the island and the hostel for a siesta. My siestas being shorter than Marnie’s, I walked over to Playa Norta for a swim in the Caribbean Sea.

The rest of the evening took  us out to dinner, detouring on the way back to pick up Marnie’s laundry we’d dropped off this morning.

After Marnie went to sleep, I headed back out to enjoy the local music and dance festival before finally turning in when the festival devolved to a strange semi-burlesque show.

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