Paco and I have become fast friends. Paco is our ever-present waiter at Caribeno. Caribeno is one of four dining options here at El Presidente. There is a Mediterranean option, an Italian option, a creperie and Caribeno. I can’t even begin to tell you what the other places are like because I love Mexican food. And as the man once said “when in Rome”, you know the rest.
Life is a beach, and here on the Island of Cozumel you can’t stray far from one. If you despise white sand and turquoise water you better get your travel agent to look elsewhere as this place has it in spades. Only on one other occasion have I travelled to Mexico and that was sadly in my youth. My hazed recollections of that trip are PC and not for anything like this little blog. The upshot of that long ago adventure was that I swore to myself, I would never again travel across two borders to the south.
As it turns out tequila has lasting and negative side effects that can deter you from travelling to what has turned out to be paradise. This resort is to me an excellent example of purposeful serenity. Now I know if you are a friend of the Aga Khan, you can travel to a private Xanadu somewhere in the Caribbean where unichs wave palms overhead and you can inject yourself (photo-bomb in Trudeau speak) into everyone’s family photos because you think you are cool. But I’m neither cool nor a former on-call drama teacher, so that’s not gonna happen.
You know sometimes when you see places in a glossy travel magazine, you think to yourself that cannot be real. So this story unfolds. This place is exactly how it appears in print and on the net. It is unreal. This is not an all exclusive and the prices for food and beverage are similar to at home so there is no savings in that regard. One can always opt to stay at an all-inclusive when in the Caribbean but upon reflection and with no personal experience to make the following statement. “With inclusivity comes a different vibe”. The vibe that I can barely recollect from my youth when cerveza flowed like water and senseless waste was everywhere. Along with that vibe comes drunken buffoonery. Pearly white men in jean cut offs (to the knee) walking proudly about with a smoke perched over each ear and a different camo ball cap for every day of their stay. And before you ask that was never then or now me!!!!
On this trip I didn’t need that. I didn’t need anything to raise my blood pressure. Day one was already close to dropping the elephant right in his tracks given my “little” oversight. So here I am. Nobody has raised my eyebrows as yet. No one has been insulting or negative or even neutral in their demeanour. Everyone we have had the pleasure to meet has been so gracious and welcoming and proud. If you leave your chez lounge for a second someone sprints over to change your towel or refill your water. I greet everyone with a strong positive Ola! In return I get one back with Señor or better yet amigo tacked on to the end.
Yesterday afternoon we wandered into town by Taxi to visit the Mega Store. The Mega is where the locals shop here on the island. It reminded me of a Coop store you would find in the UK or Switzerland. Whatever you can think of the Mega has it. Just to back up a bit we asked the bell captain to order us a local cab. We are several miles out of the centre of town but it took just a couple of minutes for Juan to arrive. Once again we were greeted by a man in his late 50’s who wore the biggest smile and the most humble of personalities. Juan drove us into town in his white Chevy compact cab. For such a small car on the outside the interior was fit for three of me. Leg room o’plenty and with the windows down and 90 miles an hour who needs air con? It’s probably time to qualify the abundance of leg room comment just made. Perhaps if Juan was over five feet tall I may have struggled.
A few minutes later and we were into the store and Juan stood by for our return. We loaded up with a cooler, 24 bottles of 2 litre water, 18 Corona, Queso, Jamon, Bread, flip flops (cause three days ago I was going to Japan), and several other items. Some of those items may have been corn chips and salsa verde.
Twenty minutes later we emerged and loaded our purchases into Juan’s cab. Done and done and we headed back towards El Presidente’. On the way we passed countless locals riding two up on their scooters. No need for rider protection wear in this country. En route back we did have a moment of shock which turned out to be hilarity just as we passed the cruise ship port for the island. Clearly there is no sobriety test required to rent a jeep on this island as the following happened right in front of our eyes.
Two millennial females passed by us like we were standing still. One drove as the other thought it was appropriate to be taking numerous standing selfie videos on her Iphone. They both clearly thought a lot of themselves by their actions & demeanour . The pursed lips and the posing was a dead giveaway. It was just as big a surprise for us as it was to the standing millennial when her driver and former BFF smashed the brake peddle throwing her former and recently standing friend’s face into the windshield. Let’s just say her selfie career is going to have to be put on hold for a couple of years unless she can get back to Miami and see her plastic surgeon ASAP. Juan uttered a single word “stupido”. I like Juan!
Today, breakfast brought huevos rancheros with a healthy amount of pico de gallo, I asked for seconds! You now know where today’s blog title fell from. Today brings more sun and tropical breezes. Deanna is lying under a palm umbrella . Allistair is breaking in his snorkelling gear and I sit in the shade telling stories. Bueno!