Call it anticipation or call it excitement but whatever you call it I was already out of bed and standing on the balcony by 4:48 in the morning. The sky was dark save a beautiful, bright white full moon. By the time we made our way to the lounge for breakfast the sun a beautiful bright, white orb in the sky.
And why am I so excited? Today we arrive in one of our very favorite ports, Cozumel, Mexico. We have been here many times and always have a great time whether we are participating in an excursion, hanging out at the port or finding a new restaurant to try.
Over time we have visited the Mayan ruins at San Gervasio, visited Chankanaab Park, and enjoyed delicious meals at some of the many restaurants along the waterfront. We have also had a wonderful time participating in culinary experiences. We learned how to make a variety of salsas on a tour called Salsa and Salsa, learned all about tequila on a tour called Tequila Experience and learned how to make Mexican chocolate on a tour called Tastes of Mexico. All these experiences were wonderful.
Today, we decided that we would just get off the ship and walk around; and, what a beautiful day to take a stroll. The air was clear, the sky a beautiful light blue and a lovely gentle breeze was blowing through the palm trees. As soon as we got off the ship I remembered that we were at the International Pier which is a bit of a distance from the town.
Over the years, the port has grown adding more and more venues and outside the port a new shopping center had been built as well as a Hard Rock Café and other restaurants. We walked outside the port and walked around this new shopping area but it was very early and the area was slow to come to life.
Two things that I found interesting while we were walking around the shopping area was an interesting display of large stones standing in a pool with ancient markings and a beautiful pool of clear water.
Curious, I walked over to see what the significance of the stones was. I discovered that these sand-colored stones were inscribed with the symbols and names of the months in the Mayan calendar. The last stone explained the display. It read: “The Maya Calendar Haab. The calendar Haab is based on the yearly path of the earth around the sun in 365 days. The Maya divided the year in 18 “months” of 20 days each, the “Winal” plus 5 more days called “Wayeb”. The names of the months were Pop, Uo, Zip, Zotz, Tzec, Xul, Yaxkin, Mol, Chen, Yax, Zac, Ceh, Mac, Kankin, Muan, Pax, Kayab and Cumku.
I found it interesting that there would be a natural pool in the middle of a shopping center so I decided to take a closer look. The pool of clear water is called a cenote. A cenote is a natural pit, or sinkhole, resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath. These cenotes are especially associated with the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. These cenotes were sometimes used by the ancient Maya for sacrificial offerings. I thought it was quite lovely.
There was also one very whimsical sight at the shopping area with, what I thought was, a very funny sign. We stood in front of a very large blue whale statue with a sign that read “Free Photo”. What was really funny was you could walk behind the whale and go inside so it appeared that you were being eaten by the whale. Well, of course, we had to take our ‘free photos’. Very funny!
We made our way back out to the street and stood for a few moments trying to decide what to do next. Randy was feeling a little better today so I asked him if he would mind walking to town. The International Pier is about 3 ½ miles or a ten minute taxi ride from the downtown.
I was anxious to stretch my legs a bit so we started to walk. We stayed on the side of the street that offered a little shade. It was already in the mid-eighties with the promise of getting warmer as the day wore on.
The view of the azure water was just wonderful. I loved watching the many small sailing vessels that were slowly making their way this way and that way as we walked along the road.
Every so often I would ask Randy if he was okay and reminded him that at any given time we could catch a taxi. But, we were not in any hurry so we walked slowly. The first place I wanted to stop was the Starbucks at the pier closer to town. We always stop here to get something to drink and use the free Wi-Fi that is available to all patrons.
Back home we have to drive defensively, here you have to walk defensively. The sidewalk is uneven, broken, periodically there is a tree or some other obstruction in your path and for quite a distance there is a barbed-wire fence along the sidewalk. We could have walked on the other side of the street along the water but there was no shade.
When we finally arrived at Starbucks all I wanted was a large, cold bottle of water. Of course, Randy went off to find a dollar beer. He is just too funny.
The downtown is only a few minutes from the Starbucks. After we rested for a little bit and felt refreshed we started our walk along the waterfront.
We have taken this walk many times stopping here and there at some of the jewelry and souvenir shops and searching out a restaurant that looks inviting to stop in and enjoy a local dish. Today we stopped at a restaurant called the Viva Mexico Snackbar.
The Viva Mexico Snackbar is an open-air restaurant one flight of stairs above the street. We took a table and had a great view of the waterfront. Even though it had become warmer as the day wore on there was also a nice breeze keeping us cool as we enjoyed our lunch.
We asked the waiter to make a recommendation and ordered salsa and guacamole and chips to start, an order of chicken nachos for our main dish and cold beer to wash it all down. Everything was delicious. Viva Mexico Snackbar; nice atmosphere, wonderful service, delicious food and great view. Yet another great place to stop the next time we come to town.
We loved our walk into town but did not want to walk back so we caught a taxi for the trip back to the port. We went to our cabin for a little rest before preparing for the evening.
We had a very nice time at the dinner table sharing our day’s experiences with Sal and Anna. They had opted to stay on the ship and take it easy.
After our long walk and delicious lunch on shore I was not very hungry. I decided I was hungry for comfort food. One of my favorite comfort foods is pasta so I chose the Linguini with Pomodoro Sauce. It was light and just perfect. I skipped dessert deciding instead to enjoy an after dinner drink at the Pub with Sal and Anna.
There was a comedy show this evening but Randy wanted to return to the cabin and take it easy and so, we did. Randy spent a little time catching up to his email while I caught up on the news.
Tomorrow we will be at sea as we start our journey home.