Cancun Archives

July 7, 2009

In Cancun

Here I am, in Cancun, at the hotel Gran Laguna Real or something like that, which I'll review later. I'm sitting in the small bar/restaurant area under a palapa, feet away from the lagoon. The hotel is on the zona hotelera, where all the major hotels are, but on the lagoon side, home of condos, time-shares and lower-quality accommodations. Being on the beach in Cancun might have been fun, but this is quite nice here as well. There is a little breeze which makes the heat (and it's quite hot at 9 AM) bearable, birds that chirp from time to time, and even iguanas and little lizards make their appearance.

Mike and the girls are in the pool, playing. It's a rather small pool, significantly smaller than the one at my mom's town-house complex in LA, but just the perfect size for the girls. Alas, it's very deep for them - 4 1/2 ft at its shallowest - but Mika is swimming quite well. "Swimming" in the broad sense of the word, as in being able to get from side to side of the pool - not as in being able to actually keep a stroke or breathe as she swims. We need to figure out where we can put her in serious swimming classes. I got lifejackets for both of them before leaving, so Camila can hang out all over the pool quite safely (though they, of course, still need adult supervision). I hope their screams and laughter are not bothering other people.

They've loved it here so far. We didn't arrive at the hotel until 8 PM, but they went to the pool immediately. We saw huge bats flying around, one with such a perfect bat shape that it really surprised me. They also saw several geckos and one iguana. They were fascinated. Even the single barracuda-like fish in the lagoon fascinated them. It's amazing, really, how little kids need to have fun.

As for the trip, it's gone both well and bad. The good part was the flight. We got to the airport ridiculously early (miscalculating how long it'd take to get there leaving at 6 AM), but after a trouble-free, line-full check-in we came upon a prize-wheel for United. You spinned (sp?) the wheel and got one of the prizes (18 & over only). Mika spun it for us, wishing to get a bottle of water, and got me day-access to the Red Carpet Club (United's airport lounge) and Mike and upgrade to economy-plus, space depending. Well, as we had kids, they let all of us go into the lounge, and we spent an hour there having a simple breakfast (all they had was bread/toast and dried cereals), reading and coloring. As comfortable as the club would be sans-kids (and they have a relaxation room full of candles, for those who really need relaxing), it does become a bit stressful to make sure they are not too loud and walk rather than skip/run. So after an hour or so we left, in search of our yet-to-be-assigned tickets.

And here came our second surprise: We were all upgraded to economy-plus! The seats were just as narrow, but when you fly with kids there is a lot of extra space on the seats - and there was plenty of legroom. The kids spent the flight sleeping, watching movies in our new, small laptop (from where I'm blogging), coloring and hanging out. I met a very nice woman, Maria, and spent much of the flight talking to her. She's a born again Christian and was interested in my trip from Christianity to atheism, but she was one of those Christians who actually focus in the New Testament. I liked her a lot and the time went away very quickly.

Once we arrived, trouble started as we were scammed time and again by car rental companies. I'll blog about this separately and later, as I'm fuming just thinking about it (because, as the one doing everything, it was totally my fault to fall for the scam). Indeed, our credit card has been put on hold by fraud prevention, so I wonder if they tried to scam us even more than I thought.

I also want to write a separate review of the hotel, which I'll do later as well.

As for now, we need to exchange money, call VISA and get on our way to our next destination.

Remember, you can always e-mail us at

July 10, 2009

Days 3 - From Isla Holbox to Cancun

Our third day in the Yucatan ended uneventfully. Mike and Mika returned from their whale shark watching trip while Camila and I were playing in the beach. Mike came all sun-burnt and excited about what he'd done and seen, Mika was instantly in a bad mood when told that, no, we could not stay there another night. Instant attitude, instant questioning as to why we bother bringing them in this trip.

The ride back to Cancun, where we decided to stay the night so we could exchange our rental car for one that had a working air conditioning, also started on a bad note. We had left the rental car in Chiquila at Don Patricio's, a parking close to the beach. Don Patricio and I had agreed on a price of MN$40 a day, or MN$80 for 2 days. Once we get there, I tell him that as I get the money out of my wallet, and he says to me that I owe him MN$150! He says that I owe him for 3 days, at MN$50 a day! I remind him that we had agreed on MN$40 - I had said MN$35 and he'd replied with MN$40, and I had said OK. He argues he'd never given me a price. Then he capitulates, or remembers, but still insists that I owe him for 3 days. "How?", I ask, starting to yell. "Yesterday," I count with my fingers, "Today" . Two fingers, two days. He, of course, has no answer. Just insists that it should be 3. I give him the MN$100 pesos saying I'd call the police to settle this. He agrees. I suddenly realize he's not giving me any change, so I go back to get the money from his hand. He fights me off - he's stronger than I and is clutching the money. I call Mike. I think he realizes that he's going to lose and let's go. I return to the car fuming. Mike and the girls are getting the luggage ready. Mike tells me he has MN$70, I know I have MN$10 somewhere so I go back. "You are a thief and you don't deserve any of this, but I said I was going to pay you and I will". He's lying on his hammock, where he's been since pretty much the start of our conversation. He repeats "120", I, "you are a thief and I shouldn't pay you anything", "Don't pay me anything", "You don't want me to pay you anything? Fine". I start to go away. He says "I'll call the police". I turn around "call them, call the police, let's go, call the police". He's too lazy to get off his hammock. Plus, I suspect he's had non-positive encounters with the police. So I go, not paying anything, but mad and bitter at someone trying to scam me *yet again*.

The drive to Cancun itself is uneventful. It rains and the tires, which are the cheapest, least sticky model you can find, slide. Mike is a good driver so we don't, but he's not happy. The girls play and fight and ultimately sleep. As it often happens, the ride back seems quicker than the ride there.

We stay at the same hotel than before, it's under US$40 and a deal like that can't be beat. Plus we like the hotel. For dinner we drive a few blocks away to the really happening part of Cancun. There are restaurants and gift shops and bars. Hooters and Rainforest cafes (where the kids want to go, and everything is outrageously expensive. Prices at restaurants are comparable to those in America, I know it's Cancun but I'm shocked! We end up eating at a place where they have tiny tacos from US$1-$2.50. Given the paltry amount of meat they're still overpriced, but we're not too hungry. Then it's time to go back to the hotel, showers, lots of lotions over sunburned skin.

Mike will have to write about his whale shark watching trip. He had an awesome time. I'm one day behind in my blogging. And now it's time to go and pack so we can get going, have some breakfast, hit the prison & then Chichen Itza.

About Cancun

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Marga & Mike's Yucatan Adventure Blog in the Cancun category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Cenotes is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Powered by
Movable Type 3.34