This is the view from the docks of Puerto Juárez, where we got on a little speedboat to go to Isla Mujeres or the Island of Women in Spanish.
While Isla Mujeres was easily one of the most beautiful places I've ever been, the experience of getting there was a royal pain. First off, the bus dropped us off in the middle of an intersection that was easily at least a mile away from Puerto Juárez. I'm not sure if it was because we got on the wrong bus (tho the port name was clearly written on the window) or that the driver just didn't give a damn, but we were literally dropped off in the middle of a small highway. It was also hot, dusty, and in a vaguely sketchy area (definitely not a tourist spot), but thankfully we were in broad daylight.
I'd rather not dwell on negatives at this point, so in a nutshell, after a 20+ minute walk and twiddling our thumbs for over 2 hours at the docks, we finally hopped on a little motor boat and were off!
|Puerto Juarez docks.|
|Golden eyed stray.|
|This guy looks EXACTLY like how I imaged the Old Man from The Old Man & the Sea.|
Also, most delicious fish ever.
|Live conch meeting an untimely demise...|
He taps a hole in the shell, pulls out the poor sucker and cleans its shell to be sold later.
Isla Mujeres is also home to the famous Shell House, which you can actually reserve for vacations, just FYI ;)!
The snorkeling was fantastic, there were so many fish and I must admit, it was better than snorkeling at Xel Ha! The island itself was also very beautiful, with narrow streets filled with quaint little shops, school children in uniform running through alleys, and shimmering turquoise waters as far as the eye can see.
|A Tumblr-esque picture. |
Courtesy Julie :)
In Mexico, especially in Isla Mujeres, the days felt so timeless. There was little to worry about except where to eat next and there was no rush to be anywhere. The hours stretched endlessly before us filled with nothing but sunlight, crystal waters, and daydreams.
I don't think I could live like that my whole life. Without deadlines or responsibilities, I confess I was beginning to feel a little unmoored and lost somehow. Which is ironic, considering I've pretty much spent the last 6 months complaining about how I just want to "get away from it all." And this is what I love about traveling - I feel like I've learned a little more about myself. I am not in fact someone who would happy doing nothing, as lazy as I am (yes, I am that person who will spend 10 minutes trying to turn off a TV with her toes to avoid getting up). Exploration and discovery is what brings me joy, not staying in one place, no matter how comfortable I am. It seems that being happy is rarely convenient or easy. Often the more comfortable we are, the less happy we are. So this is what Mexico has taught me: Happiness is found in doing what you love, even when it's very, very hard to do it.
“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”
– Henry Miller Read