The Black Watch arrived early at about 7.30am. Our tour was off at 8.00 so we had an early breakfast and gathered all our bits and cameras, and went up to meet in the Neptune Lounge. Jill got our bus allocation. Number 8 tour, bus 36 “The Best of Cozumel” 5 hours. You have to remember these things because there are so many tour buses going around. The ship was docked at Punta Langosta a very tourist focused place. A long walk along the L shaped quay bought us to the emigration – show your ship’s card – bit more laid back than Cuba. Then a long walk which was cleverly organised to take you passed every shop in the complex. It was mainly silver jewellery, many pieces with lapis lazuri, jasper and other semi-precious stones. There was also the inevitable fridge magnets and other souvenirs, tee-shirts and food outlets. Things were very reasonable – 2 Tee-shirts for $10
Our guide was Edwin and he never stopped talking. He repeated everything 3 – 4 which was fine at first as you had to get used to his accent. I supposed he is used to tourists who need everything repeated over and over again. Still he was very clued up and took us to the first stop which was some Mayan Ruins. It was a very extensive site but nothing on the scale of Chichen Itza which we visited last year. The ruins are in limestone but unfortunately most of them are not very well preserved as many of the stones were used in the past to build houses for the settlors. As usual the tourist trap of shops and food outlets were at the entrance. Very expensive as you can imagine. $5 to take a picture of a girl holding a parrot. Their tourist season runs from November to March and Tourism is the main industry so you cannot blame them.
The island is only 34 miles north to south by 11 miles east to west so it did not take long to get to the Hacienda Tequilera where we learnt how to make good quality Tequila. We were invited to sample various spirits ranging from 1 year to 12 years and some mixes with coconut and pineapple – Pino Colado to name only one. I was thinking of buying a bottle until I saw the prices. A 12 year old was £100 per litre, and the Pino Colado was £65. I am sure the place was an outlet for the real stuff which we found out was made in North western Mexico and has the equivalent of the Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée label.
We progressed around the island arriving on the north coast with the most amazing views. The reef is one of the biggest after the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and was discovered by the famous Jacques Cousteau. The waves were awesome and the beaches have sticks with red flags which mark where a turtle has laid her eggs. They are very keen to preserve the four species which lay their eggs here. Further along there were some fresh water lagoons where we saw a crocodile – the other coach was told it was an alligator. I think it was probably a plastic replica as it did not stir at all. Apparently, there are real crocs/alligators but they do not get into the sea as it is too rough and so swimmers and surfers are safe.
Further along the Mayan Cacao Company beckoned with a tour showing how they make Chocolate including the way the Mayans made it. Their chocolate drink was very weak and bitter but I enjoyed it more than the many samples of different flavoured chocolates which were very sweet. A small bar was $8 so we gave it a miss.
We got back to the ship in time for lunch and then out again to look around the Mall. Jill bought a tee-shirt for her son Lee and I knocked a pair of leather sandals down from $US50 to $US30. It started raining so we went back to the ship for any early drink to watch us sail out. There was a beautiful rainbow as we sailed.
We had a very good dinner of beef fajitas and the usual excellent mousse and a crème caramel. The mousses are delicious and I justified having one by saying it is mostly air!! The crème caramel is a weakness – my favourite.
The evening show was Robbie K who called himself An Unusualist – what a show. He juggled 3, 4, 5 balls, a big dog (his daughter lent it to him) and toilet plungers. He stood on a teeter totter – a lavatory seat on a cylinder. On this with the ship swaying he then juggled for a couple of rounds. He called a lovely Swedish lady Ingala to help him with this act – to pass the plungers to him. Her husband Gunnar then helped with a couple of tricks. It was funny when Gunnar was asked how long he had been married. He had to refer to Ingala who confirmed it was 45 years. I cannot believe she is over 60.
Robbie, a Scot had a very cheeky patter and was given a great round of applause. A great show.