For the last leg of our GAdventures tour it was time to head back to Mexico, the place where this all started. Not exactly the same place, but the same country. This time I would be residing in Playa Del Carmen for a couple of days before I headed off to Costa Rica on my own.
Day 12 (Friday): Today was a long day, consisting of travelling. Caye Caulker to Playa Del Carmen seemed so far away. We had to get up early to catch the ferry back to Belize City at 7am, that took an hour, then we got a taxi to the bus station. Hopped on the bus when it finally arrived and travelled to the Mexican border this took approximately 4 hours. It was exhausting, and we weren’t even done yet. We then proceeded to do our border cross which was very similar to the airport this time unlike the others but obviously by land. Our luggage went through security, our passports were checked and stamped and at last we were through. Hello Mexico, my old friend. We then (finally at last, I’ve missed this so much) got on our private mini bus to our next hotel. This transfer was again 4 ours long, but we stopped off for lunch quickly at Lake Bacalar (Lake of the Seven colours) which is a beautiful lagoon and as the name state supposedly consists of several different blue tones. After lunch, we continued on to Playa Del Carmen and not before long we had finally arrived! Now Playa Del Carmen is my sort of place! I can see why people would hate it here, it’s loud, it’s noisy, it’s busy, there’s no culture but I’m a city girl whose been in the jungle and small towns for the last few weeks. There were shops here. Like real shops. I’m talking Sephora, I’m talking H&M, I’m talking Forever21. This place was a world away from anywhere I had been since I started this trip and it was such a treat. I had to calm myself down though, I was far too excited and but it was late and my tiredness was setting in so all of this would have to wait until tomorrow.
Day 13 (Saturday): Today was our first relaxing day since the beginning of our tour. We decided to just stay in town today, walk down to the beach (it was packed out with sun lounges. It was nice, but I’ve seen better) and head to the shops to buy a few things. It was so now to just relax and do whatever I could do freely. At 7 though, we met up with the whole group for one last time and had a farewell meal. It was very nice, I finally had a good Mexican burrito! I can’t for the life of me remember the name of the restaurant but it was so cool, the waiters served the cocktails on their heads! And I had a Flambé made right in front of me! It was amazing! The flames were so big, again like the majority of things I’ve experienced throughout this trip, I would never got the opportunity to experience this in the UK as it’s such a health and safety risk but it was so cool! It was without a doubt one of the best dining experiences I’ve ever had. After dinner we went on to a bar and had shots but I was exhausted so left quite early.
Day 14 (Sunday): My last day in Mexico, and the last day I’d be spending with Mum before she goes back home and I go onto Costa Rica. We didn’t really do that much today just relaxed. It was the first time in this trip that it would rain, and it rained very heavily. So we took advantage of the rain and sat in bed and watched the film Burnt for a couple of hours. It was nice to just stop for a while and not do anything, you know? I mean we’d been doing something every day for 2 and half weeks, it was exhausting. I mean amazing, but I need rest too! 2 more weeks and I’ll be home to rest, I’m ready to go now though. Although part of that feeling is probably down to the fact I’m daunted by the fact I’m going to be Costa Rica on my own tomorrow and I don’t know how it’s going to turn out. It’s been such a good trip so far though, I hope it stays that way.
So that marks the end of my Mayan Discovery tour with GAdventures. It was great, the whole thing was great. If you’re daunted by the image of travelling around a country you’ve never been before I’d highly recommend going with a touring such as GAdventures, they just make it so easy. Booking all your accommodation (even though you may not like it), finding good restaurants, telling you about the best activities to do and providing insight knowledge of the country and culture. It was worth every penny, seriously.
So on I went to Costa Rica. Yet again travelling to another country on my own. For me it doesn’t get any easier, maybe the next time, who knows? But something in me keeps getting me to do it again and again. The thing putting me off the most was the thought of doing a connecting flight (I’d never done one before let alone on my own!) and what it was going to be like when I arrived. I was volunteering in Costa Rica through a company called Frontier so I wondered if it would be the same as when I went to Sri Lanka or different. It was different. Very different. The flights went smoothly, and to make it better our CEO from GAdventures was actually travelling back home to Costa Rica and just so happened to be getting on the same flights as me, so that helped tremendously! As for when I arrived at San José airport at Costa Rica I could not for the life of me find the guy from the Costa Rica Animal Rescue Centre who was meant to be picking me up. During my 30 minutes of waiting and panicking, several people came up to me asking if I needed a taxi, wifi, a phone (to call someone) or just general help. Which was very nice of them, considering some people went and found a translator so we could speak as my Spanish is limited and their English is almost non-existent. I must’ve looked distressed (Lord I felt it). But I finally found my taxi driver and was finally on my way to the Centre. Not only was I off to great start with all the panic I felt at the airport, once I arrived at the centre I then found out I had to pay for the taxi ($30 US), which I was under the impression this was already paid for through Frontier. Unfortunately no-one at the centre knew anything about this so I was forced to pay (thankfully it got resolved later on in my stay). So here I was in a new place, feeling stressed, disorientated and sad. I just wanted to be home and my impression of this place so far was not the best. I felt so small and uncomfortable within myself. Things did change (thank God), but it took some time. Catch my next post, describing my time in Costa Rica and to find out what the Costa Rica Animal Rescue Centre is really like.