Cozumel

Thursday

Check out my YouTube clip of the last salsa lesson. You can see how much fun we had with the classes with Laura. The link is about midway down the page.

The time seems to speed by. This is our second to last day in Cozumel, and the morning was already blazing hot by the time we left to walk along to La Palapita for our last salsa lesson from Laura.

We warmed up doing a routine that incorporated the various things we had learned, our right-hand turns, and the shines.  The two things Laura wanted to incorporate into our salsa knowledge base were arm styling for the basic right-hand turn, and then the cross-body lead. For the latter we learned the basic footwork and also a variation which she said was a Cuban touch.  Basically instead of taking step three forward (with a pointed foot) you rock back on step three before taking a large step forward on 5 to complete the change of place.

Ixchel's templeWednesday

Our concierge at the hotel arranged for Raul, a taxi driver with a fair command of English, to drive us around the island. We originally decided that a 5 hour excursion would be fine but as it turned out we added another hour at the end because the water at Playa Corona was so great.

the layout of the siteWe started going north on the coastal road and then turned east along the center road that runs east-west across the island. We turned off for six kilometers along a not-so-great road to San Gervasio,  the best preserved Mayan ruins on Cozumel. There were six different cruise ships docked in Cozumel and on the road we were passed by people racing in jeeps along the dirt road. APat shows the ways we arrived at the ruins tour buses were also pulling up  disgorging hordes of tourists. I guess next week we will be part of the hordes if we do any excursions off our cruise ship.

Compared to the magnificent Mayan ruins at Chetzen Itza the site here was smaller and far less well preserved. But we still took about 70 minutes to walk around the site.

The most important temple left there was dedicated to the Mayan Goddess Ixchel. According to the handout written by Ric Hajovsky, she was associated with the moon, sex, childbirth, disease, beekeeping, planting, water, writing, and weaving. Obviously a woman of many interests- actually rather like me – except for the disease and beekeeping – although as a retired doctor I suppose disease would have also been considered one of my interests. Hmmm... 

Monday, our third full day in Cozumel - and it was scorching.

We spent the morning at the pool. The sun was out with only a few wispy clouds and the temperature was around 28 C. The water in the pool was still quite cold as it is sun-heated and there had not been much of that the previous day.

We checked out the hotel activity list and decided to watch the  advertised cooking demonstration by one of the hotel staff. Only Pat and I ventured down to the activity palapa to watch and actually Gaby, the staff person, just showed us how to make ceviche. The shrimp was marinated in lime juice until it turned translucent.  Then she sliced tomato, onion, and cilantro to mix with the shrimp. I managed to get my plateful before she added the cilantro – I really hate that soapy taste of cilantro. Anyway without the cilantro the ceviche tasted good and went great with the guacamole that we had for our poolside lunch.

This 7 day visit to Cozumel was not originally on my travel agenda for 2012.   My travel plans for the first six months of the year were aimed more at making up for the year of ballroom dance that I had lost with my severe back pain that culminated in emergency spine surgery.  So I had planned to start the New Year in the South Pacific taking a dance cruise on the Ocean Princess.  Shortly after getting back from that, I had to head off to New York for an exciting family event  - and the added bonus of a theatre and restaurant blitz.

But a chance call from the timeshare exchange that I use, offering a great priced cruise and resort deal, caught me in a reckless moment and before I knew it I was signed up for a 7 day stay at a resort in Cozumel, to be followed by a 7 night Caribbean cruise.

Although I have stayed in Cancun and several times in Playa del Carmen, I had never stayed on the island of Cozumel. The map shows the beaches of Cozumel as well as San Gervasio, the local Mayan ruins. The hotel we were booked into was located at Playa La Ceiba - and called El  Cid La Ceiba Beach Hotel.

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