Tuesday 17 February 2015

Belize: Caye Caulker to Mexico: Playa del Carmen

Day 20

Leaving Paradise!  Today we had to leave our lovely Belizean island and head off to Mexico.

There was a long day of travel ahead so we kicked off with a DIY balcony breakfast - super tasty!

Then we boarded the boat heading for the Belizean mainland.

The day was a blur of travel and buses.  Sweaty and hot we amused ourselves for 12 hours...not everyone had quite the same sense of humour!

We crossed the border back into Mexico - a drawn out process but that fortunately involved no bag searches this time.

Around lunchtime we stopped in Bacalar - home of Lago Bacalar (lake of the seven colours).

Finally in the evening we arrived in Playa del Carmen.  This town was our last stop on the group tour and we were delighted with out centrally located hotel - right on the main pedestrian street and close to the beach.
Playa was particularly busy at the time we visited because the BPM Festival was running.  BPM is an annual electronic music festival in its eighth year running for 10 days in January.  It's name means "Bartenders, Promoters, Managers" and is a global gathering of over 1200 DJs, producers and music fans.  The festival runs night and day with 50 events taking place so we decided to visit the following day to celebrate Friday, Playa-style!

We wandered through the bustly streets in Playa - full of restaurants, stalls, shops and bars!  Coming from our lazy island life, everything was bright colours and high energy!

A small group of us headed to 'La Cueva del Chango' (The Monkey Cave) for dinner - a Lonely Planet and Trip Advisor favourite in the area.

Our waiter recommended some tangerine martinis, so Lisa and I happily obliged!

The mosquitoes were out in force - fresh tourist flesh! - so the staff also bought us over some bug repellent.  Major points!

We ordered some dips and dunks to start us off...

I selected a fish filet for dinner - which came with a 'morita' chili sauce and fresh spinach, carrots, bell peppers and 'jicama'.

Morita chilies are smoked, red-ripe jalapeno peppers - much like chipotle peppers, however they are soft and have a slightly fruity flavour.

I'd never heard of 'jicama' before so our waiter bought us to sample - it's also known as 'mexican water chestnut' or 'mexican turnip' - a refreshing, crisp root that can be eaten raw or cooked - basically like the Japanese white radish you get with sushi.

After dinner we wandered around a little more, making our plans for the next day and doing a little shopping!

My size shot vs. Lisa's...

And having dessert!

Nutella & pavlova...don't mind if I do!

Then, worn out from our travelling day, and knowing we had an early start the next morning we headed back to our rooms.

Only for Lisa and I to be freaked out by 'Smokey Joe'!  We decided we had a ghost as we came back to a room that stank of smoke and a shower running full blast...spooky!

Central America

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