Thursday, May 07, 2009

Chilling on the Isla

Cold, grey, rainy New York looms outside my window. The beginning of May and we are a water logged city. Can I click my heels, snap my fingers, blink my eyes, anything to be back on Isla Mujeres?
SNAP! BLINK! CLICK! Aaah Isla Mujeres where the only worry seems to be whether you want to swim or snorkel. 20 minutes ferry ride from resort hell and there you are on this little island where the Mexicans go to relax and the foreigners who like the local pace come for some R&R from their hectic other lives.
Brooks and I got a room at the Posada Del Mar hotel right across the street from the beach for a few days of relaxation. The hotel is more quaint on the website but they’re making it bigger so there was construction going on all around us. Old pictures can be foolish. Still, the hotel was full of people from all over who make an annual pilgrimage to the Isla who were happy to be there despite the mess and banging of builders.
A lot can happen in 3 days in sleepy little place like Isla Mujeres. Lots to do: snorkeling, scuba diving, boating, driving around on a golf cart, paragliding, the list goes on. But I was happy just making my way across the street to the beach and laying under an umbrella all day reading a book. So that’s what I did. Now and then I’d jump in the water to cool off in the turquoise blue sea.
During the day, the Isla is crowded with obnoxious tourists coming over from their resort hells on big katamarans or party boats. They swim, do lunch, drink, shop and (fortunately) go back from whence they came by the end of the day. The rest of us take naps, sip drinks at sunset on the beach and then run into each other on Hidalgo, the long pedestrian street with all the restaurants, bars and shops. Despite the small size of the island, one could still remain anonymous if they wanted. Being inconspicuous and anonymous has always been hard for me so by day 2 we knew half the town. Daniel from Denver, Mindy from Minnesota, Rob and Jennifer from Buffalo, a hot black mama from Atlanta (I called her Boney M), Jill from Ft. Laud, a couple from San Francisco. We were all escaping our regular routines, getting off our merry-go-rounds and doing something totally different for a week or so.
A bright, colorful little place full of friendly people, Isla Mujeres has been able to stave off the resort hell-itis that plagues Cancun across the sea. Though some of that ugliness has popped up here and there around the island, it still remains a haven of peace and tranquility. One day an ugly family from Long Island caused quite a ruckus on the beach and were sent packing back to Cancun. Bad energy is not welcomed here!
My three days here helped suffice a long held dream of going away to Tahiti, laying on a beach reading a book under a palm tree and not having to know anyone or do anything. Tahiti is still a dream but seems so far away compared to a 4 hr flight to Cancun. Will Isla Mujeres be my new Tahiti? Could be.

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