September 11th, 2004 – by: Jollyjetsetter
Delightful beach on Isla De Mujeres island - taken during a cycling tour of the island
Hi folks! The magic really does commence here it seems, and although these scanned-in photos may not represent the peak of modern-day photo technology, I hope they give you a sufficiently rounded impression of this 2-week long stay in Cancun
, on the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico. Since the hype surrounding holidays in Cancun had wormed its way into the darkest recesses of my mind, I somehow felt that Mexico merited a full-blown travel experience, and as the longest holiday in the context of the entire year, expectations were riding high. The choice of hotel was a somewhat miscalculated one, since the Blue Bay Club was located out on a limb, and required dependance on a local bus service to reach either downtown Cancun or the more synthetic strip area, where many of the area's hotels are located.
World-famous pyramid at Chichen Itza, part of Mayan ruins complex
I was infinitely more inspired by the range of shopping options in the downtown area, not to mention the more quintessentially Mexican bars, but on the whole, I realized that Cancun caters to US spring-breakers in their masses, hence the emphatically dressed up tourist layer, which provided scope for nightlife and souvenir shopping in abundance. In terms of nightclub experience, barely anything experienced before or after it seemed to be able to topple a night out at Coco Bongo's, a place I would best describe as Rio carneval crammed into one manageable Mexican discotheque. The atmosphere never flagged in the slightest throughout my night out there, and as I exited the club at 4AM feeling spellbound by the entertainment factor of it all, I felt like I was ready to take on the rest of the world's attempts at equally enthralling nightclub experiences.
Colourful shop on Isla De Mujeres
Activites covered on the trip included quad biking along a hazardous beachside course, reaching a snorkelling spot by speedboat, and swimming around gawping at fish, and the inevitable days spent lazing around by the hotel's pool, chatting to guests, and feeling my sociable spirits being lifted by the whole run of events. A full day out at the Mayan ruins complex at Chichen Itza
entailed me showing 3 Japanese tourists from Yokohama around the complex, whilst putting my slightly-fresh-in-my-mind Japanese skills to the test, and as we climbed the site's main pyramid for views from on high, it felt like the Mayan spirit had seeped into us all, and the history behind it all seemed so palpably real.
Monuments in downtown Cancun
For my money though, the trip's salient point, at least, in excursion terms, came in the shape of a couple of visits to the truly beautiful island across the bay, Isla De Mujeres, which roughly translates as Women's Isle. One night spent at a cheap hotel led to a glorious early morning beach swimming session followed by an impromptu breakfast of fruit from a local supermarket, and I was determined to come back to the island and see the entirity of it by renting a push bike, which was precisely my follow-up plan which I put into action a couple of days later, to a satisfying effect. Cancun and surrounding area is best described as a hotch-potch of ancient civilizations, synthetic tourist features, terrific beach culture, and throbbing nightlife, and as I boarded a plane back to the UK, the prospect of spending a whole 2 weeks every year in some far-flung place felt so irresistible that it comes as no surprise how I chose to map out my life plan from that point onwards!