Gatwick to Playa del Carmen

Well, our obsessive tracking of Hurrican Rina showed her weakening all the time, so our Saturday flight began to look like a runner.  We managed to check in online on Friday morning, so we had some confidence it would go.  To celebrate, we went and watched the changing of the guard.  Then back to Gatwick for another night in the delightful Travelodge Gatwick Airport, a tatty sixties box in an industrial estate 100 yards from the runway.
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The flight went pretty smoothly, really, in a haze of mediocre movies and occasional meals.  We landed at Cancun at about 2:30pm, and then waited and queued for about another two hours, as the baggage carousel disgorged bags eight at a time, and we queued to go through customs.  Finally, though, we were on a minibus and off to Playa del Carmen, where we arrived in the late afternoon.  Our activities that evening were confined to unpacking, buying water, eating in a little taco place up the road from us, having a beer in the German bar over the road, and sleeping.  On Sunday, though, we were up in time for breakfast, which is 8am-10am at our hotel, the Barrio Latino.  Diane in her favourite pose again, here.  It’s a budget hotel, but nice.
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We ambled down to the beach, about 5 minutes walk from the hotel.  It’s really very hot, and very humid, especially so, as it’s the rainy season still, and there are torrential downpours at intervals throughout the day.  Here’s Diane, favourite pose again, on the beach, and it’s not raining yet.
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We will soon start studying Spanish at the International House Riviera Maya language school, so we wandered around town until we found it, then went shopping again, this time buying cheapo beach towels and beer, as there is a fridge in our room J We still needed notebooks to use during lessons, so Diane took herself off to Walmart (yes, they’re here also).  Monday morning, it’s still raining heavily every now and again, and they’re also digging up the road round the corner from our hotel.
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The first day at language school is quite tough.  It’s an immersion course, so no English is spoken, and concentrating for four hours is tiring.  The Tuesday is even more so, as some lessons were cancelled last week, and so we’re starting at 7:30am !!  Six hours of Spanish with only two breaks.  Wednesday gets easier, and we also celebrate Dio de Muertes, the day of the dead, a big deal in Mexico, and make a little altar to Frida Kahlo, a famous Mexican painter.  It’s complete with tequila and cigarettes, as she enjoyed both.
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We usually have lunch in a local taco place, and they also have a picture of Frida.  The food is excellent, and cheap.
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We settle into a routine of school until about 2pm, lunch, back to the hotel, out to the beach for a couple of hours while the sun goes down, with maybe a swim.  Here it is on a windy day: the kite surfers are out.
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Sometimes we end the afternoon with a drink in a bar on the beach.  This is, er, orange juice.  Well, I think it has orange juice in it.
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And that’s how we end the week.  I can barely remember Gatwick now, thank heavens.  Laundry and the beach on Saturday, a tour of the local area on Sunday, with visits to two Mayan villages.  Splendid.

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