Cozumel: Rain, rain go away.
We spend our last morning in Cozumel packing and attempting to clean. With no basic cleaning equipment provided, we have limited success. We don’t even attempt to do anything with the anthill which is still thriving. It’s a little dull outside, but has brightened up by the time I spot our host’s head bobbing around outside the window. He’s a bit early, so this is his subtle way of announcing his presence. Brodie jams our suitcases into the boot of the car – which is probably worth less than the cases alone. Then we’re off on another surreal journey punctuated by broken English conversation. The car sputters to a stop at the ferry port and we wave goodbye. The next ferry won’t actually sail for another two hours, but we plan to cross the square and pay a last visit to Wet Wendy’s – this time I have a strawberry/basil margarita and Brodie tries peach and mango.
Our waiter is full of the joys of his job, flitting about to regale each table with some witty commentary. We enjoy his tale of how he was so nervous on his first day in the job (two years ago) that he dropped an entire tray with $150 worth of lobster on it. It’s all very amusing until a few minutes later when there’s a loud crash at the table where he’s serving drinks. He doesn’t even look sheepish as he runs off to procure a sweeping brush to clean up the carnage he’s just wrought. By the time we’ve done some damage to our drinks the food is long gone and ominous clouds are lurking above. We check in early at the ferry port to wait. Within minutes a torrential rain starts beating down. Much of it going sideways under the shelter. The views of the island shores disappear in a thick fog. More and more scantily-dressed tourists appear, dripping a trail in through the doors. Looks like the party is over for today. It’s a very crowded ferry that finally departs into the stormy seas and we’re treated to a rollercoaster journey back to the mainland.
There’s still no sign of the rain abating when we disembark and start the miserable trek up the road towards the bus station where we hope to find a bus going our way. It’s hard to run through the rain dragging heavy luggage, so we settle for a brisk walk instead. Unfortunately it’s not quite brisk enough to take us past the waiting taxi drivers unscathed. One doggedly keeps following Brodie all the way up the road, then gets in his way several times offering a good price to the airport although Brodie tells him repeatedly that we don’t want a taxi as we’re taking a bus.Finally Brodie shouts loud enough for the whole street to hear that we are NOT GOING TO THE AIRPORT, WE ARE TAKING A BUS – WILL YOU TAKE ME TO TULUM FOR 60 PESOS? YOU WILL NOT! SO GO AWAY! His harrasser jumps back, looking less sure of his god-given right to take advantage of tourists when possible. Sometimes tourists fight back! This time the message is finally understood; we’re left in peace to continue dodging slow-moving tourists waddling along under umbrellas.
It’s absolute chaos at the bus station. Constantly growing lines of tourists queue for the next airport bus. Locals and tourists alike push through to ticket booths, then mill about looking for the right bus, getting hemmed in by each other like a big game of snake. No one seems to know where they should go. We eventually get our bags onto a smaller green-striped bus that might be going to Tulum. It’s now a question of whether we can board the bus before all the seats fill up. Yes we can, but the only remaining option available to me is a seat being blocked by someone’s granny and she’s determined not to budge more than an inch. She’s sprawled across the bags between her and the window and is acting unaware of all the people who are now cramming into the aisle for the journey. I make it clear that I am sitting and I will not be getting up again, even if it means sitting on her. As the bus finally takes off she begrudgingly shifts enough for me to gain an extra millimeter of what should be my seat, then promptly stretches out for a good sleep.
The journey down the coast is slow and it’s hard to keep track of where we are through the sheets of rain. It’s end of the world weather. We pass a huge lorry that appears to have driven straight off the side of the road and overturned for no obvious reason. Part of its cargo stays blocking the road pointing the way to the slanted cab resting in the bushes. Blurry signposts fly by, obscured by condensation on the window and passengers in the aisle. It’s like a mirage when ITour Mexico materialises at the corner of a junction at the start of Tullem pueblo. This is our accommodation for the next few nights. A couple of blocks pass by before the bus stops, however. With the torrential rain and lack of useable footpaths, we are two very wet and mud-spattered creatures when we wash up on the doorstep. We must look as miserable as we feel because check-in is skipped, and we’re promptly installed in our (wrestling-themed) room to clean ourselves up. A while later a slightly cleaner version of ourselves emerges, ready to beg some information from our friendly local Italian hosts. Both the guys and Trip Advisor are recommending El Asadero for some good food. So we swim our way a couple of blocks down the road and find ourselves eating some tasty mexican food at the cost of a small number of pesos.
The rain has literally not stopped for over 12 hours now. There’s no sign of that changing as we return to our accommodation, dry off again, and crawl into bed hoping that eventually the weather will have to improve.