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Isla Mujeres September 1-14 - Un-planned vacation- musings..

Apex, North Carolina
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Isla Mujeres September 1-14 - Un-planned vacation- musings..

Solo female traveler. Saw a great airfare on Saturday, Aug. 31st and was on the island at 5:30 PM Sunday, September 1st. Flew Raleigh to Charlotte to Cancun. Took the ADO from airport to bus terminal, then took a combi across from McDonald's to the ferry. Am really getting the hang of traveling to Isla like a "local". Walked from ferry to Maria Leticia, stayed here Christmas 2012/New Year 2013, so am familiar with the apartment. Loved the fact that it is about a 10-minute walk to the Playa Norte. This is off season, so did not have a problem with getting a room. Very comfortable, simple, clean, with fridge, aircondition, TV, two beds, what more do I need! And the price was very good, and of course, Sr Nbardo was very accommodating. Weather was hot, humid, very warm ocean water, fabulous! Just relaxed, and all I did was go to the beach every day!

Food - I know this is a popular topic for all who are familiar with the island, but being an accomplished baker (and cook), I love to cook and truth be told, miss my own cooking!!

I do love the fruits, i.e. papaya, mangoes, avocado, and the cinnamon bun at Barlito's. I also liked that yogurt with cereal at the super-express! I like eating at Bally Hoo for their fish tacos, but mostly I like seeing the young lady who cooked my food, with her pride and gleam in her eyes when I complimented her on her fish tacos!!

More fish at Abuelita's, cooked simply and well (that cute little hole-in-the wall on the way to Playa Norte, behind Tarzan's), Leon or Modelo Negro or Pacifico bought at that store across from the loncherias. tried all the 4 locherias, eating things I usually don't cook at home, i.e. chilaquillas. Also cochinita pibil from the market, pretty yummy, as is the orange juice. I had some tamales, paleteria Michoacana (many), Pita Amore chicken pita, but the flan was best. Not to say that Isla does not have some pretty good cooks, but I think Oaxacan food and the food from Puebla are some of the best food in all of Mexcio, and when I'm on vacation, my focus is really on that beautiful ocean! There was one rainy day the entire time, and no way to go to the beach, so had a lovely chat with that very nice and knowledgeable jeweler, Ricardo, at the Fire Opal on Juarez. I have to return to the store and get that beautiful fire opal ring. On two occasions, I was able to catch the bus for 5 pesos and walked laGloria. Had an early flight from Cancun back to Charlotte, so decided to spend the night in Cancun!! Found the youth hostel (yes, youth hostel!), about 2 blocks from ADO, very clean accommodation, there is shower in the room, for 180 pesos/night. They also have private accommodation, not shared. Those that are shared are all same sex, they even have a rooftop palapa with hot tub, free internet, I believe breakfast is included. Again, saw the R-1 bus, and took it all the way to Westin Regina, and now I have an idea of the Zona Hotelera. Bus cost 8.5 peso!! The first bus to the airport is at 4:30 AM, then 7:30, 8:30 and then half hour after that. Oh, you can also leave luggage at the bus station, depending on the size of your luggage, it ranges from 6 peso to 14 peso per hour. Pretty handy when you want to check the hotels near the ADO without lugging your luggage checking on accommodations. All I needed was a clean bed and bathroom, walking distance from the ADO, so I can take that bus at 4:30 AM! The area is unremarkable, although looked safe, and near the Parque delas Palmas.

My sister and her hubby are booked at Maria Leticia for Christmas, and I don't know if I can be on the island, but if for some reason, I find another reasonable air fare during Christmas, I will be goiing back, I also realized that pensione on Hidalgo has reopened, so have a place to stay if ever I make it during the holidays. Xul-ha does not have website, but I got Bertha's personal email. Her and her sister made my trip very memorable on my first visit, as is Sue and Miguel, which I missed visiting this time. I surely will catch up with them when I go back. I have a very relaxing time, which is the purpose of a vacation, and with every trip to Isla, I am getting to know more about the ways of the island, and meeting more locals and ex-pats!!

I did not take pictures, as I was very busy swimming, maybe next time...

Illinois
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1. Re: Isla Mujeres September 1-14 - Un-planned vacation- musings..

Thanks for posting. I love playa Norte too. Only 10 sleeps for me. I really like abuelitas and their location is perfect for getting something quick to eat when you're under the palms or swimming.

Oakville, Canada
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2. Re: Isla Mujeres September 1-14 - Un-planned vacation- musings..

What a great last minute trip. Hope you get your ring from Mr. Opal. I love the one I bought there. So nice to get to know so much about what you are purchasing.

Des Moines, Iowa
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3. Re: Isla Mujeres September 1-14 - Un-planned vacation- musings..

I love these kind of trips! Thanks for sharing :)

Chicago, Illinois
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4. Re: Isla Mujeres September 1-14 - Un-planned vacation- musings..

Great report on a wonderful whim of a trip. I wish I had the flexibility to do that!

"Not to say that Isla does not have some pretty good cooks, but I think Oaxacan food and the food from Puebla are some of the best food in all of Mexcio." I'm sure there are many people who would agree, especially lovers of mole and other regional foods. First time visitors (not you) need to realize that the food on Isla and throughout the Yucatan is different than what you'd find elsewhere in Mexico, just as the food in New England is different than it is in Texas. On Isla there are many Mayan dishes and a heavy influence from Cuba and the rest of the Caribbean. Fresh seafood is abundant. When we tell people after a trip that we dined largely on fish, shrimp and lobster, they say, "What, no Mexican food?" not realizing that here, that is Mexican food.

new york
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5. Re: Isla Mujeres September 1-14 - Un-planned vacation- musings..

Great trip report. Thank you! Really enjoyed reading it.

long island
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6. Re: Isla Mujeres September 1-14 - Un-planned vacation- musings..

Downtown Cancun has plenty to offer, especially around the park, Its all after 8pm...

Apex, North Carolina
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7. Re: Isla Mujeres September 1-14 - Un-planned vacation- musings..

DMartin - thank you for the comments. Actually, I was headed towards Myrtle Beach, SC, as my brother allowed me the use of his condo, but at last minute, did not have use of my car, so when checking for car rental prices they were ridiculous! I was just checking for airfares to Isla, and found an incredible fare from USAir, and the travel times were perfect! I tacked in an extra 3 days to my already planned vacation (I called it "emergency"). I always think that as long as I have a valid passport, an emergency card for "soul replenishment", I would not fall into the category of "mass of men leading lives of quiet desperation".

Regarding the food comment, I had the opportunity to travel extensively at one point in time to different states of Mexico, and was fortunate to live in Oaxaca for 6 month, and so tend to compare regional foods to that of Oaxaca. I know not fair, but...I think that Isla is very fortunate to have so many dining choices for such a small island, and no fast food in sight, that is pretty remarkable. I do enjoy the abundance of seafood, Yucatecan dishes (I was in Merida for a month one time), and the many fresh fruits that seem to taste different on the island!

I envy the ex-pats and semi-ex-pats, hopefully someday I can stay in the island for a longer period, so for now every time I get the opportunity to leave my "real" world, I take the opportunity to go to Isla, and make it look like a whim. It is a privilege and I do not take it very lightly indeed.

Lafayette, Indiana
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8. Re: Isla Mujeres September 1-14 - Un-planned vacation- musings..

Awesome read! Really enjoyed it! And just added abuelitas to my "do next time" list. :)

Houston, Texas
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9. Re: Isla Mujeres September 1-14 - Un-planned vacation- musings..

Appreciate the report, thanks for taking the time. More and more people are beginning to give positive reports about Abuelita's, so may have to check it out this time. Of course Bally Hoo - goes without saying - but I will - Awesome!

10. Re: Isla Mujeres September 1-14 - Un-planned vacation- musings..

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