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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Yes, I know we look quite cheerful, but I think we were just pleased to have found the place where Kirsty McColl was mowed down by a speedboat. Inwardly we were still traumatised by the land of the giant lizards. But I digress...

Saturday was our one and only day off the ship. Naturally I couldn't wait, so I was up at 7:30am and queuing for a place on the little boat (called a tender) (and yes, I did love my tender) to the Mexican island of Cozumel. Cozumel turned out to be an interesting place. Some might call it a dump, but me, well I'd call it a complete dump. Though I did enjoy seeing the locals riding around on their motorbikes without helmets, and with small babies in their arms. We even encountered a family of five who were managing to travel together on one scooter.

Passing a shop called 'Drugs & Deli', which sold Prozac and sandwiches, we made our way to the local car rental place, where Sis argued with a Mexican until he eventually agreed to let us have a car with no air conditioning, windows that didn't work, and an illuminated warning light on the dashboard which read "Service Engine Soon". Fortunately the company had stuck a sticker over that light in an attempt to stop us seeing it and worrying unnecessarily.

Belted up in the ramshackle vehicle of death, we made our way to the centre of the island to visit some Mayan ruins. Personally I felt we'd already seen enough ruins driving through downtown Cozumel, but these ruins cost $5 to visit, so we knew they'd be good. And we weren't wrong.

Unfortunately it's hard to concentrate on historic piles of rubble when you walk through the gates and see this heading straight towards you.

I should point out here that lizards of any description are pretty much Lisa's worst nightmare. Giant lizards doubly so. And dozens of giant lizards in every direction approaching you with their mouths open, are off the other end of the nightmare scale. But hey, the iguanas weren't everywhere. They were just all over the ruins we'd paid to see.

Undeterred however, we made our way deeper into Lizard Land, Lisa hyperventilating, on the verge of a panic attack, and with her eyes permanently shut, while Big Sis attempted to stroke the biggest iguana she could find. After getting lost, going round in circles, and recreating the plot of Jurassic Park for half an hour, we clambered across a ruin, encountered a reptile with a four foot tail ("It's like a dog!" - Lisa), and eventually made it back to the gift shop, where Lisa enquired about counselling and vowed never to visit Mexico again.

From there it was on to the Coconuts Bar where I paid $3 for a portion of fries and received a plate with about six chips on it, allowing Lisa to sign their guestbook with the message "I've never felt so full". After which we went to the restrooms, which featured doors with no locks which swing open of their own accord, and toilets which don't flush. But hey, who needs flushing toilets when you can have an open bucket in the corner with a sign asking you to place your used toilet paper inside.

The view from our table was quite spectacular though. It's just a good job Lisa didn't spot the giant lizard on a day out at the seaside until we'd finished our fries. There was nowhere to run but the toilets, and frankly you wouldn't want to go in there twice.

By mid afternoon we'd made it to Paradise Beach, where we found time to pick up a bit of agonising sunburn to take back to the ship, before heading back into town and haggling with a Mexican over a cheap snow globe for a gay friend.

So that was our day in Cozumel. Not great, but it could have been worse - it could have been two days in Cozumel.


Phil said...

I said T-shirt! Oh, yes. I'm NOT gay, am I? We did clear that up.
15 February 2006, 18:58:52

Dave Which of the gorgeous lovelies is Big Sis, by the way? They all look glamorous enough to be airline stewardesses (except for the bloke at the back who's trying to get into your picture - obviously).15 February 2006, 19:00:53 PhilThe lineup from left to right is: Lisa, Phil, S, Big Sis. Though why S and Big Sis are both bending over, I've no idea. Oh, and I don't have S's permission to publish a photo of her, so expect that pic to be removed at any moment. As for souvenirs, I'd just like to apologise to everyone to whom I promised a postcard and/or present. I've bought none whatsoever. Which is what happens when you're traumatised by both lizards and Americans.15 February 2006, 20:09:10Lisa Can I just say that the baby on the scooter had its head protected by a bonnet which was, without doubt, 100% cotton. And I find those reptilian things better in photograph than horrific flesh. Just.15 February 2006, 20:18:28Carol Ooh, a photo of Lisa on the interweb! She must be feeling extremely traumatised by the lizards.15 February 2006, 22:05:04