It was our last full day in Cancun and we wanted to make the most of it so we got up early, I donned my red, velvet swimming trunks and we headed out to catch the bus to the ferry port. Our plan was to go Isla Merjures, do some swimming, see the turtle farm and find the plastic bottle island. To do that we had to catch the R1 bus from Tulum Avenue to Puero Juarres, and then get a ferry from there to the island. Easy right? Wrong!
We waited for about forty five minutes for the R1 and still it didn’t come. I think we saw every other bus apart from ours and so we decided to walk for a bit. In Mexico there doesn’t appear to be official bus stops. You just flag one down when you see one and it picks you up.
We walked for a while until we came to a cross roads, and so confused I went into a shop to ask for directions. Trying to do a bit of Spanish I said to the shopkeeper “Excuse me, hables Ingles?” He didn’t but a really friendly woman said she did and after I explained where I was trying to get to, she offered to show us the way. Mexicans are very friendly and helpful. Well, most of them are as you will find out. She took us to a place where a bus would pass that would take us to a place where we could get the R1 as it didn’t actually pass through where we had originally waited. After a few minutes she said she needed to go as she was heading to the airport. She flagged a taxi down and told us to jump in and she’d take us to the place where the R1 goes from. She wouldn’t take any money off us either. Sweet.
What happened next will haunt me forever. We jumped on a R2 bus (a bus we were told that also goes to the ferry terminal) and did a whole lap of the miles and miles of the hotel zone. We disembarked at the end and jumped on an R1 bus which took us half way round the hotel zone before kicking us off. We then had to get another R1 bus which completed the lap of the hotel zone before finally taking us to the ferry port. It felt like I was on the ride at Porthcawl which was fun for five minutes and then horrendous for the final twenty.
It had taken us almost five hours to get to Puerto Juarres. That’s just under half the time it took to fly from London to Mexico. The ferry was fun though. A high speed cattermaran that threw salt water in my mouth twice. By the time we got to the island the weather had changed and we were hank marvin, and so we ended up eating lunch on a beach with our jackets on. My food was as cold as I was. They must’ve cooked mine and then left it in the fridge whilst they cooked Dom’s. I still wolfed it down though. The best cold burger and chips I’ve ever had.
I didn’t fancy getting in the sea as I was freezing, so we went for a walk to find the plastic bottle island. We walked for miles, past houses that cost millions and past houses that wouldn’t look out of place in a slum. Golf buggies and bikes flew past us, taxi’s drove by and honked their horns to offer us a lift, but apart from the blisters we were happy walking. I think we were scarred by the amount of time we had spent on public transport. After a few hours we finally found the plastic bottle island and shouted down to the dude who had built it. He wouldn’t let us in though. He didn’t take guests after dark.
With heavy hearts we jumped in a taxi and got back to the ferry to try and find our way home. Dom’s phone had died, we hadn’t written down our address as we only thought we’d have to jump on a R bloody 1 bus, and so it was going to be a mission getting back. Luckily, Dom had remembered the name of the park across the road and so if the worst came to the worst, we’d get a cab to the park and walk from there.
We jumped off the R1 bus in downtown Cancun and waited for a bus that we knew went past ours. It never came and I got spat on by some kids from the bridge above, and so we decided it was best to get a cab. It turns out that the cab fare was cheaper than we’d spent on buses all day. Typical!
We stopped at the bar we had gone to on our first night on the way home. More food, more drinks and more UFC. The owner gave us a few free shots too. All of the Mexicans we have met so far, apart from the bus drivers have been awesome towards us. I love this place.