Thursday, February 27, 2014

Hostel Playa in Playa Del Carmen

I'm now back in Minnesota.. although at my Mom's in Minnetonka where I'd left my vehicle. I plan to stay here awhile so I don't have to go up then come right down again for my dear old mom's 93rd birthday on March 20.... I suppose getting by a couple 3 more weeks without turning the heat on in my attic apartment is also partly why. After all prior to jumping ship.. I was not planning to return to Minnesota until later in March or even early April.

Now...about the hostel I stayed at in Playa Del Carmen. I just looked online for a hostel in Playa while in Punta Allen. There were about 5 other options with even lower base prices like $10 US for a bed in a dorm room. I chose a hostel that had a base price of $13 as it had some stars on trip advisor..3 out of 5 I think it was. I think it was the first one listed going lower to higher price that had any rating stars. A nice enough place located just 3 blocks from the ADO bus station with direct runs to the Cancun Aerupuerto and just 5 to the beach. A big grocery store was just across the street. I did notice a few no-see-ums and skeeters but not to bad. As usual in a hostel an interesting clientele and lots of smokers at this one I thought? Good WiFi, a basic breakfast and bedding included.

I ended up not finding a flight before 2/26 without paying a much higher fare? This meant a stay of 3 nights. Days earlier there were some but I guess they sold out?
Some photos follow.

My bunk and a view from the room. There was one other guy from the US in the room the first night, a couple from Australia the second night and 4 German dudes the last.
The place has numerous other dorm and private rooms so generally there were about 15 people in the common area at times?

There was a rooftop seating area which I never checked out. You can see the Walmart has come to the Maya Riviera : ( wow this city has changed since 20 years ago. Nice hot shower .. Too hot really I never thought adding cold water to the heated shower water made since?.. Unless it's about adequate hot water for heavy shower use...which was not the case that I could see.

5th Avenue which is pedestrian only services the beach front lodging and restaurant businesses. This place was so much more pleasant 20 years ago. For my tastes anyway.

The core area of the beach scene...between the 2 ferry docks out to Cozumel.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Meeting nice people

Yeah .. Maybe I've ranted about the negative vibe that finally came to a head concerning crewing for the captain. Time to post about the positive feelings I experienced once I'd said my piece and made the decision to go my separate way.
Actually I've already described that feeling of being dropped on the dock and my walk up the beach.
I wanted to blog how grateful I feel to have met Norma sitting in her VW Westfalia Van. I've thought about getting a VW camper van and going on adventures like her and regularly check online for used Westies. How cool to meet a solo traveler of a similar age who'd driven from B.C. Canada to Punta Allen less than 50 steps from getting out of the dinghy! Sure I was relieved of concerns of catching a ride north but she was really fun and interesting to talk to. This we did quite a bit the following 60th birthday.
... Then as I was walking about looking for a place that might except credit cards I ran into Rose and Ross a cool young couple from England. As it turned out the place they were staying was perhaps one of only two businesses in Punta Allen that took credit cards.? I stopped looking so don't really know but with no mobile coverage or phone or power I'm sure it's a rarity in this end of the road town. Next thing you know I was wondering who I might be catching a ride with? Rose and Ross were heading up to Playa Del Carmen in a couple days so I caught a ride.
I feel very lucky to have crossed paths with these lovely travelers! Thanks so much!

Norma, Rose and Ross in Punta Allen. A brief stop in the Tulum area where Rose and Ross had stayed earlier