Saturday, November 26, 2011

Isla Mujeres

Every time we’ve been in Cancun somebody has mentioned Isla Mujeres, always favorably. We always intended to go there, but somehow always got distracted by other activities until yesterday. Wow! Now I want to go back.

We took the 9 a.m. ferry and walked indirectly to the Hotel Avalon. We went there because the last person to recommend Isla Mujeres had worked at that hotel until recently and he told us that they have a nice beach beside a friendly bar, and if we order a drink or two they’ll let us hang out on their beach. And we walked indirectly because we got a little bit lost, but in a good way. We walked around the back side of the island and contrasted beautiful views of the craggy coral-encrusted coastline with the washed-out buildings not yet repaired after a hurricane from a few years ago.

At last we approached the bridge to Avalon by way of a beautiful strait dividing the tiny island of Avalon from Isla Mujeres. Once across the bridge, we found the hotel people just as friendly as promised. We bought some virgin piña coladas and settled in at their very quiet beach. After a while we got hungry, and went back to the hotel bar for lunch. They made us delicious fish tacos, and the waiter served us with food-delivery stunts and plenty of smiles.

After lunch, the waiter confided in us, suggesting that we should go through the hotel to a private tidal pool at the back, called the King’s Bath. He also gave us a few pieces of bread to feed the fish. The fish must have been hungry, because they swarmed us as we scattered crumbs on the water. We swam around in the pool and found a wider variety of fish and coral than we’d seen anywhere else in Cancun, all in microcosm.

We explored the villas near the pools, often remarking on the beautiful gardens and breathtaking views. Finally I went and asked at the front desk what it would cost to stay at this paradise. The villas, this season, sell for $110 (US) per night. Considering the view, the beauty of the place, and the delicious food, it sounds like an amazing bargain. I don’t know what the rooms look like inside, but I don’t care. I’m eager to add a couple of nights to our next trip and stay at the Hotel Avalon villas. And eat more fish tacos.

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