Rich – Arrived at Buffalo airport at 4.45 am on Friday after only two hours sleep. We saw Guster in Toronto Thursday night, and drove straight to our hotel after the concert. The show was great, but perhaps not our best planning ever. Let’s just say Sue REALLY needed her morning coffee Friday morning!
We left Buffalo shrouded in freezing fog, with the odd reluctant snowflake floating around, and just made a very tight, Amazing Race like connection in Washington DC. We arrived in Cancun, Mexico, less than six hours after leaving Buffalo, to cloudy skies although temperatures were still in the high 20s C. After running the gauntlet of people trying to sell you timeshares at the exit of the airport (and a badly behaved kid in the Immigration line who purposefully kept smashing Sue with her case) we arrived at our hotel and headed to a restaurant for lunch.
We were advised to try Mocambo, and it was a great tip. The last time we’d eaten anything at all was before the concert the previous evening, 21 hours and 2500 km ago! It was only as we ate a wonderful meal gazing out from our ocean-side table at the incredible blues of the Caribbean Sea that I realised that, seemingly unobserved, the clouds had been replaced by a gloriously sunny blue sky!
We spent the afternoon hopping on and off the crazy buses along the strip between the lagoon and the sea, looking for geocaches. The buses were an adventure in themselves, barreling along at breakneck speeds, crunching through the gears, then screeching to a stop to let people on or off before racing back out into traffic again. It was great! And all time the in-your-face presence of military-style police (and big guns!) kept us feeling safe, in a slightly nervous, self-conscious kind of way.
The evening saw us stowing away on a pirate ship! Still not having slept, so feeling a little woolly, we boarded the Buccaneer II, one of the Captain Hook ships. We were exhausted, but the crew were determined to show us landlubbers a real party. Sword fights, swinging pirates, a fantastic lobster BBQ, and being boarded by another pirate galleon made for a fun-filled and memorable evening.
After some much-needed sleep, the next morning saw us up bright and early and heading for the BOB (Breathing Observation Bubbles) – little one person yellow submarines. Honestly! Best thing was that we were the only ones there, so we had a private tour. We were taken out to our dive site and given our submersibles. Then off we headed after our diver guides. We saw all sorts of cool stuff, including a bunch of different fish I can’t identify (perhaps someone can help), a ray of some sort and a turtle. We even got to hold two different types of starfish and a sea urchin (they poo on their own heads, you know). It was one of the most incredible experiences ever!
So there you go…. planes, pirate ships and yellow submarines, all in less than 24 hours!
Jaspa – Although we Ses got slightly more sleep than Rich and Sue on Thursday night, we were all a bit sleepy on the flight south. All except Bisckits, that is. If you’ve read The Great Migration, you’ll know about his obsession with flying. He spent both flights peering out of the window, even though most of the time all he could see was clouds or the Caribbean Sea. Thanks to some really bad turbulence we hit over central Florida, Sue ended up wearing the coffee of the man sitting next to her and Bisckits went tumbling to the floor… It took Gravee a good five minutes before he stopped laughing!
I don’t remember too much of Friday, as we spent most of it asleep in Sue’s bag. It was a bit of a blur of looking for a cache then a foggy, sleepy time until the next one. Still, we all woke up when we arrived at Captain Hook. Obviously, I knew Bisckits was going to love spending the evening on a boat (which are almost as good as planes to him). But it was Gravee that surprised us all, swaggering around the boat like Captain Jack Sparrow, and saying ‘Arrrgggh’ the whole night!
Sadly, we didn’t get to go along on the BOB excursion. Giraffeses and sea water don’t really mix. Bisckits wanted to go, of course, but the idea of him balancing on top of Rich’s head in a big perspex bubble 20 feet underwater didn’t seem too safe to Portia, so she put her foot down. Still, the photos Rich & Sue came back with made me wish I could have gone.
Having said that, I’m sure the next week or so will be filled with many other adventures!