June 27th, 2007

Central America -> Mexico -> Cancun: Day One

And so began our journey on this crazy trip of adventures. I went to my friend’s house last night to sleep over so that we could make it to LAX early in the morning. After a night of not so much sleep, we did exactly that. No major complications at the airport, though I did have a death grip on my passport as usual… my mom and my friend’s parents went over and over again on safety precautions, blah blah blah, watch your purse, trust no one, uh huh, so yeah. I am equipped with a money belt that hides under my shirt, locks for my suitcases and have hidden money in different places so that in case one thing gets stolen, I’ll still be okay. Paranoia man! It is necessary…

On the plane we met up with another recent ucla grad who happened to sit in the same row as us. My friend and I made some small talk and we found out that it was her first time in cancun also, so we exchanged contact info and perhaps we’ll see her later this week. The plane ride itself was pretty uneventful for me, I can’t say the same for my friend, who prayed every single time the plane hit a patch of “rough air” (I don’t think they’re allowed to call it turbulence anymore) but I’m used to it now, I even sort of look forward to rough air! Makes things interesting… on this flight we had to buy our own snacks if you so wanted, which is total bullcrap… luckily my friend and I bought some snacks beforehand which I ate pretty quickly… after that, I just slept.

On the descent to cancun there isn’t really much to see except trees and ocean. I really would have expected to see more buildings and stuff, but nope, everything is right on the coast. After we got out of the plane, we went through customs, got our baggage, exchanged some money and got a taxi – fairly straightforward. The airport is really nice and clean, probably one of the nicest airports I’ve ever been in. The taxi driver was crazy, as to be expected. He drove quickly and cut many people off, which was fun for us because we were the last people to be dropped off, haha. On the way from the airport you first pass by the gigantic resorts which are freakin SPRAWLING… it’s just amazing the excess of luxury that you find here. The ocean, from the few glimpses that I’ve seen so far looks fantastic, but where we’re staying is kinda far from it. We’re gonna have to take a bus tomorrow to get to the beach.

We’re staying at the hotel kin mayab which is in the centro del cancun, and not part of the fancy sprawl. The room is simple, and freakin humid (though there is AC!) on the way up the stairs, we noticed some guys swimming in the pool who made me really nervous… ahh, the staring. Also, to be expected… aaanyway, by this time it was already around 7. We went downstairs and discovered a single computer in the lobby where we sent emails back to parents and such… technology! So scarce! In this area anyway!

We didn’t really spend too much time outside because it was getting dark, but outside the birds are really loud! I don’t know if it’s like that all the time but it was crazy. We walked for a bit down Avenida Tulum, but quickly went back and got dinner at a restaurant called Sanburnos, where the waitresses wear huge orange collars and is kind of reminiscent of a fruity star trek uniform… I ordered a coke and some enchiladas de pollo which were delicious… the cheese was overwhelming! But good! I remember the cheese from Puerto Vallarta last year being really oddly processed, but I hope this doesn’t give me the same effect later on IF you know what I mean, cough cough.

After dinner, I proceeded to take an awkward shower back in the hotel room. The shower is on one side of the room and the toilet on the other, and it’s hard to place your clothes and towel in places where you can reach them and not get them wet. Also, the towels provided are TINY… but I showered! And I’m still sweating! But it’s cool! I’m here safely and without any major hitches! Hooray!

Tomorrow entails possibly a ferry ride to Isla Mujeres which is supposed to be gorgeous… either way, it’s time to hit the beach yo! Tonight I am sleeping early though… it’s been a long day and I need the energy.

Saturday is when we meet up with the rest of the tour group and begin the actual journey throughout central America. There are 7 guys and 7 girls, and I have no idea how old everyone is so this should be interesting…