Cancun Journal: October 13
At five this morning we walked out our door under a moonless sky perforated by a million stars. The dogs, dolefully viewing the luggage, knew they weren’t coming. Our driver had us at the airport 15 minutes later.
The lines were enormous, but we breezed through Continental’s Elite passageways. We flew to Newark (landing 20 minutes early for a 30-minute flight, showing how schedules are padded), where we caught the shuttle to another terminal and the Cancun flight. This, too, arrived early, barely three hours later, in a relatively new and bustling terminal. We travel with one carry-on holding “lost bag emergency supplies” but the checked bag made it, and we were off to the Royal Sands, a $53 ride of 20 minutes. (At customs, you press a button under what looks like a traffic light, and if it turns green you leave the building, but if it turns red they search your luggage. “How can they tell that from your finger?” asked mia espousa.)
There is no concierge desk at the Royal Sands. Instead, you are assigned a personal concierge, in our case, Leonel (“Pronounce it like the trains,” he advised), and we were escorted by him to our two-bedroom condo with a huge balcony overlooking the pool and the ocean.
Cancun, if you don’t know, is on the Eastern Coast of Mexico on the Yucatan Peninsula, and is a narrow strip of beachfront with perhaps 40 resorts sitting between the Atlantic and a huge lagoon. It’s over 80 degrees during the day this time of year.
One thing about international travel: By the time you arrive at your destination, you’re ready for a vacation. At 4:30 we arose, and by 2:30 we were eating Nachos Grandes at the pool, washed down with a Rum Runner.
In the evening, we attended services a cab ride away in beautiful open-sided church. Then we caught another cab to Captain’s Cove, where Leonel mad made a reservation on the veranda on the water’s edge of the lagoon. (The narrow, well-maintained road connecting everything features a grand prix of cabs and buses all apparently driven by descendents of Juan Fangio and the great Ferrari race teams.) Virtually every tourist here is American or Canadian. All of the locals speak excellent English and they really aren’t interested in hearing me practice my Spanish. The recovery from the devastating hurricane of a couple of years ago is complete.
I noticed some people staring into the water a few tables down, commenting on the size of something. I assumed it was a crab or lobster or fish. Turns out, it was an alligator, quite substantial, who visits at about the same time every night, entertaining the tourists. I didn’t know that alligators lived in brackish water. Evidently, no one has informed the gator.
I asked the waiter about it. “Oh, he’s really here to eat,” he told me.
“What does he eat?”
“Fish, crabs, turtles, sea gulls—basically, anything he can reach.”
I wasn’t impressed. I’ve been to wedding receptions with people like that.
© Alan Weiss 2007. All rights reserved.