Monday, May 14, 2012

A Day On the Isla Mujeres

Time seems to pass by ever so slowly on The Island of Women, but the day didn't seem to last as long as I'd have wanted it to. Located across the Bahia de Mujeres (Bay of Women) from Cancun, the island was originally a fishing village, but has now been overrun by tourists, yet it still retains its charm and tranquil atmosphere.

The New Yorker and I went to the Puerto Juárez early in the morning to catch the express ferry service that would bring us to the Isla. Surrounded by Brazilians, Americans, and Puerto Ricans, it was one helluva party boat with everyone getting slightly tipsy at 10 o'clock in the morning!

Docking at Dolphin Discovery, we were informed that our turn with the dolphins would be in the afternoon, so we shared a cab to Garrafón Reef Park, the Isla Mujeres Reef Park. True to its name, it was on the rocky part of the reef, where you could pass the time with zip lines, snorkeling, kayaking, exploring natural caves,  sleeping the day away, or gorging on the international buffet spread in the main restaurant.

We spent the first part of our morning in Garaffon Reef Park snorkeling and exploring the coral reefs. The marine life was teeming with all sorts of fish, fuzzy looking anemone, and tons of legs and flippers flapping around! There was a mean-eyed barracuda that was lurking about, but he didn't really bother anyone. I wish I had brought a couple of doggie treats to coax the schools of fish closer!

After we got a bit sea sick, it was back to making the most of that Mexican sun and working on a tan. I loved the infinity pool, and lounged on the ledge where the water would spill over on the side and actually fell asleep with the hot sun beaming over us and the water cooling us off. I think the only couple of times we'd actually wake up was to roll over to even out the tan.

We woke up to get lunch at the main restaurant, a mix of international and Mexican fare, and relaxed on the hammocks to pass the time before we had to go back for our dolphin adventure. The New Yorker had wanted to try the zip line, but we were enjoying the hammocks so much she forgot.

Sharing another cab ride back to Dolphin Discovery where we got to pet and play with two very well-behaved dolphins. After a 15-minute brief on basic hand signals and what not to do with the dolphins, we got into the pool with them, and had great time petting them, kissing them, hugging them, and letting them turn us into human  boogie boards.

We couldn't take any pictures of the dolphin experience ourselves, and had to buy the pictures off the "professional photographer" that was there, which cost an arm and a leg, and reminded us why Cancún was such a tourist trap. The memories were too precious to commit to memory though, so we ended up buying all of them. Drat.

We really weren't ready to leave yet, but the ferry was pulling out of the dock, so we might as well be on board. We were back on dry land after the 20-minute boat ride to Cancún, and slept with the images of an island filled with women and dolphins swimming in our heads. Not bad for a day of mucking around Mexico.