Hangin' with Higton

Isla Mujeres Travel Blog

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The frog mystery is solved...

Written prior to the trip...

I knew I wanted to do a fun trip this spring - something different - but I didn't know what it would be.  Now that I'm so involved in Couchsurfing, it opens up a lot of doors and allows you to do a more adventurous short trip much more easily than I did prior!  But when?  And to where? 

A great answer to this presented itself to me when it became clear I could do a couple of things at once - have a little adventure and also continue my goal for the year of meeting up with more of my Travbuddy friends!!  Higton has spent the last 8 months about in Costa Rica, and is now traveling his way up through Central America - his trip will end in Cancun, where he will catch his plane back home to the UK - and thus, the idea for Cancun was born!  An email to Higton suggesting it, an email back from him in the affirmative, and the plan was on!

So this is the day where we meet up on Isla Mujeres, a small island off the coast of Cancun.

And the really big one on top.
  I have another friend that lives on the island - another Couchsurfer named Ryan - and he has recommended a meeting place.  There is a cool spot there called Comono - it's a combination Israeli/Hookah/Tapas place (how is THAT for a funny combo??) 

But nothing is more amusing than the directions to GET to the bar - in Ryan's words... "from the ferry, go between the 7-11 and the giant frog, and walk two blocks to Ave Hidalgo... take a left, and Comono is half a block on your right....  orange and white."

THE GIANT FROG???

I have decided I don't WANT to know what this is ahead of time - is it a name of a business, or really a large statue of a giant frog?  I want to wait and see - so for those of you reading this that have been to the island and know, please DO NOT spoil my surprise - I really look forward to finding out all in good time!!

I'm up for a few new experiences, and recently I've been curious to try a hookah pipe - another Travbuddy, David (beedeeb) has been talking to me about it and I'm getting kind of curious!  He's currently in Nicaragua, but when he gets back to Phoenix we had plans to go to a Hookah bar if I hadn't had a chance to try this yet.

Comono closed... just a very slight bump in the road though. :-)
.. so I'm thinking this place on Isla Mujeres is a good place to give it a whirl maybe?

*************************

On the actual day...

Manolo and Erik left today for Manolo's hometown to celebrate his birthday with his family; they would be gone for two days.  I, in turn, got ready and headed to the Ferry to go to Isla.  It was easy getting the taxi and the Ferry over was breathtaking.  Up until now, the most beautiful water I'd seen was in Malaysia; but this beat it by a landslide!  The colors were unbelievable, and I couldn't believe how they changed, just from pocket of water to pocket of water - sometimes light blue, sometimes green, sometimes dark blue... amazing.   I just couldn't wrap my brain around the fact that it was real.

My new friend Vicente, who helped me pass the time in the very best of ways.

We landed on Isla, and immediately I saw the giant frog - no, it's not the name of a business or a statue, but rather three large signs; two hanging, and the largest on the top of the building.  You really can't miss them.  Mystery solved!!

I still had my suitcase, and was unsure how far it was to my hotel; I was yet to learn JUST how small the island was, and my sandals I had bought, while not as bad as they were going to get, were already letting me down as not being nearly as comfortable as they had looked when I had purchased them specifically to do the walking I had planned to do.  I overheard a couple tell a taxi they were going to the same hotel I was staying at, and asked if they would like to share it, and they said yes.  They were a very cool couple from Kansas City, that in 13 years of marriage had NEVER TAKEN A VACATION!!  Then, she had read an article about Isla Mujeres, and how it was one ranked as one of the best islands in the world, and decided they had to go - they would be staying for 8 days.

My sweetie Ryan. How awesome is he??? And is it me, or do you see a slight resemblance in this pic between him and the giant frog? :-)
  Good for them!  Hopefully this will lead to more vacations?

We arrived at the hotel, I checked in and dropped my bag, and then headed over to Comono where I was to meet John (Higton).  I was quite early, but figured it was as good a place as any to sit, relax, and enjoy the island.  When I arrived, however, I was in for a real shock - it was completely closed!!

I figured this wasn't such a big deal - I mean, he'd still have to pass by it not knowing it would be closed, just as I did, and we'd meet up that way and just go somewhere else; also, I'd seen some places more on the water - and being from a desert, that is NEVER a bad thing - so a change in locales suited me just fine.

Across from the closed Comono was a small shop selling various island souvenirs, and the man that ran it was there and had a couple of old white plastic chairs.

A little boy playing where we were having our beers... I just thought he was really cute.
  I greeted him and asked if I could sit with him, he said of course.

His name was Vicente and he was an utter delight.  We talked and laughed for about an hour.  He was alternately horrified and amused that I had been going to meet someone at Comono when it was now closed for now reason; he kept shaking his head apologetically, saying "aye.... Mexico time, I don't know!!!"  He was great. 

As we spoke, a guy walked by at a brisk pace.  He had large sunglasses on and as he walked by the closed Comono, he took a strong look and seemed very agitated, but kept walking.  It really struck me - it seemed that he, too, had a vested interest in the fact that the place SHOULD be open - but I knew it wasn't John, it looked nothing like him - and by that time he was gone, so there was nothing I could do but wonder.

I'm not wild about this picture, but John says bad pictures are to keep...so... here you go John. :-)

About 10 or 15 minutes later, the same guy came walking quickly back the same way, again looking at the closed establishment; and this time, instead of passing, he walked over to the wall across from it, to have much the same vantage point that I had, lit a cigarette and just started watching. 

At this point, I just felt sure that we were somehow tied in someway; so I stood up and walked over, and simply asked for a light, hoping that would begin a conversation.  As soon as I did he immediately said,

"AMANDA???"

It was Ryan!!  The other CS'er I'd been hoping to catch up with while on the island, and the one that had directed us to this particular restaurant.  He'd been heading to the store when he noticed it was closed unexpectedly, and began to worry since he knew the plan was for John and I to meet there at 3:00, so, bless his heart, he decided to stand guard for us!

We only chatted a few minutes before up walked John.

Awesome seafood place for dinner - if you go past the end of the tent, you can eat right on the edge of the Caribbean Sea - I mean RIGHT ON...
  I introduced him to Ryan, and then we all walked over towards the beach again and we found a bar by the ocean where we could sit and get some beers.  Ryan explained he had some things he needed to get done, but we hoped to hook up with him later.

John and I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening just chatting and catching up - after all of his "Later" blog entries it was nice to hear how more of the trip through Central America had gone, and just fabulous all around to finally meet him in person.  Later we had a dinner consisting of some of the freshest seafood I've ever had - SERIOUSLY, you all, if you want good seafood, go to Isla Mujeres.  Yum Yum.

Finally, time for bed.  I don't think I've ever fallen asleep so quickly, but all the overnight flights, late nights and now beer (when I don't usually have it often) were really catching up with me.  I went back to my room, opened the window, and fell asleep to the sound of the waves right outside.

Amanda says:
Yes... and I'm ripping the P*** out of you.

Feel as honored as you'd like.
Posted on: May 07, 2007
dougal says:
Ah - now you is this a case of the esteemed Yorkshire sense of humour. You rip the p*** out of the people you like and ignore the people you don't. It's a hard school but one that has created the true master race - that of Yorkshire folks. (Higton doesn't count as he's from Nottinghamshire!)
Posted on: May 07, 2007
Amanda says:
You know... you came up over beers, that night, Dougal. The comments were purely based on how excellent your entries here were, and what a clever a guy you are... and yet? I find you making cheap potshots in the hope of a transitory laugh at a friend’s expense? For shame, Dougal, for shame... I want you to go sit down by the river where the barrels of fate can be found, with a salad-less goat cheese salad and think long and hard about what kind of friend you want to be in the future to people that are clearly more loyal to you than you choose to be to them...you are now excused.
Posted on: May 07, 2007
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The frog mystery is solved...
The frog mystery is solved...
And the really big one on top.
And the really big one on top.
Comono closed... just a very sligh…
Comono closed... just a very slig…
My new friend Vicente, who helped …
My new friend Vicente, who helped…
My sweetie Ryan.  How awesome is h…
My sweetie Ryan. How awesome is …
A little boy playing where we were…
A little boy playing where we wer…
Im not wild about this picture, b…
I'm not wild about this picture, …
Awesome seafood place for dinner -…
Awesome seafood place for dinner …
Isla Mujeres General Tips & Advice review
When headed to Isla Mujeres from Cancun, you will find yourself with the choice of two different ferries to take, from two different ferry terminals, … read entire review
Isla Mujeres Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
This lovely and casual outdoor restaurant is where Higton and I ate dinner the first night on Isla. It's right on the stretch of beach next to the fe… read entire review
Isla Mujeres
photo by: Shunya