This winter I wanted to travel with friends. It all started off during my last e-mail blast to people on my travel email list. A Russian friend, Tania, and I met while traveling. We first met in Varadero, Cuba and then traveled to Havana together for a couple of days. When I sent out my last e-mail thread, she responded by saying that she and her friend Julia were going to be in Cancun over Christmas. I also happened to have had Cancun booked on the same dates they were going to be there. It was nice to catch up again. They were staying at a five star resort that I went into a couple of times. I got in without the hotel wrist band, and the food sure was good.
Anyways the first hotel I stayed at was the Imperial Laguna, also on in the hotel zone; I found it on Hostelworld.com. I got it for $40.00 per night, just for two nights because then they doubled the prices for the holidays, so I moved to the city of Cancun for $50.00 per night afterwards. I also stayed one night in my favorite place down there, the Playa Del Carmen. Yes, sometimes I do that. I have two rooms the same night, because it is too far to go back and forth (having a good time) and they are so cheap. Every one of them this time all had pools and air conditioning. Man, I went all out this time! No hostels this time.
I was down for two days with the Montezuma's revenge (food poising) and yes, it was the second time I had caught it. Man, it is so hard on the body – the aches and pains. I slept for two days before I could walk five minutes down to the hospital to see a doctor. They charged me $60.00 USD plus $50.00 USD for the pills (not bad.) No worries! I have good benefits and will get reimbursed. I will never eat off the street wagons ever again!
Wow! I think I saw a shark! I like walking the beach and while I was resting looking out onto the sea, I saw this big fish jump out of the water. Wow! I thought it was a dolphin, and then I noticed another guy who saw it too. He was an American from Pennsylvania. I walked up to him and said "Did you see that fish?" he said "It was a shark, because a dolphin jumps and dives. This fish jumps then spins in the air." I was thinking he was right; he told me that just before the shark jumped, he saw a school of fish around the area. Then I remembered back when I was on the Gold coast in Australia; the beaches were closed due to sharks coming in to feed. It was fun to watch the – all these small fish jumping all over the place while the sharks go on the attack.
I had to leave to meet up with a friend for dinner but stopped by to see the lifeguard on the way out. I went up to the lifeguard and said, "I think I just saw a shark." He looked over at me and, laughing, replied "There are no sharks in these waters!" Then I told him about my Australia experience. "When you spot a dark spot in the water that is moving, it's usually is a school of fish getting away from big fish (sharks).” About two minutes after I told him my story, I saw him blow his whistle. When I asked him why he did that, and he said with a grin, "I have to bring a guy in because there is a shark out there."
I got this sent to me after I posted the shark story; they do have warnings in Bondi Beach Australia.
Mexico has to keep things hush hush because it is a great tourist destination and they can't afford to lose that. For example, I saw the devastation just days after hurricane Wilma in Cancun a few years ago (just check out my pictures below on TravelCheapWithPete.com from this blog). I saw right through hotels, no more walls separating the rooms; I even saw pools on the beach uplifted, and so much more. It’s surprising there hasn’t been any big media coverage at all. It was really in the Gulf of Mexico States too, at the same time. For the sharks... to be honest I think the sharks are always there and I don't think it is a big deal. They don't like tourists anyways, we're lucky!
With full respect for the Mexican people and without feelings of superiority, I find Mexico very safe. Just don’t do anything against the law; some cops are corrupted and will threaten to take you to jail unless you pay them now. It happened to my Australian friend Sam (when he was going pee behind a house) – I forgot to tell him to have two places for his money one to give to whomever. I also saw it happen to someone else I met from Germany a couple of years before. Also, do not buy black market including drugs. You have heard of the cartel; don’t give them a reason to know you. For the people that walk around drunk, you are more vulnerable for something to happen to you.
Time to travel with friends this winter.
I was thinking of getting a group of friends together again this winter to go to Cuba. I see good deals again for the beginning of February. It will be worth it! In the meantime, anyone in Calgary that can get away on short notice and who doesn't mind sharing a room with me somewhere warm, let me know and let's just go! It will be fun! When it is minus 25° here, we will be somewhere warm at a resort. It costs too much for a room on my own.
Your friend Pete from www.TravelCheapWithPete.com