Thursday Feb 15: Cozumel

Woke up this morning with my cold taking full force – there was no way that I was going to be able to dive. So I rescheduled and now had the whole day to fill in Cozumel – with not much to do. I spent the morning relaxing in a hammock, reading my book in the sunshine.  In the afternoon I rented a scooter with an Argentinian girl and we rode around the island (about 50km around), taking in the beaches on the east side of the island – which was really fun and not something I would think of doing on my own. Afterwards, we had dinner at a gastro pub, trying some of the local craft beers and eating woodfired pizza which was delicious!  

Friday Feb 16: Cozumel

Still no way I’d be diving today – so yet another day relaxing on Cozumel. Today I spent the afternoon walking around the town, and managed to find a little lookout over the marina where I could read my book and watch the snorkelling boats come in from their days work. In the evening, the hostel had live music and free food and I had some great conversation and beers with the others in the hostel. It was a great night. 

Sunday Feb 18: Cozumel

I was a little nervous heading out to dive today; as I was worried about equalising my ears after yesterday’s problems and also I’d heard that Cozumel’s currents could be quite extreme. Luckily for me, I had no issues at all and enjoyed both of the dives a lot. Our dive masters were Nacho and Eduardo and they were great at pointing out the local fish and the corals were magnificent and interesting colours of red and brown, almost autumnal. On the second dive, we found a Moray eel, a grey nurse shark and some turtles. I am getting used to using the camera underwater, but I have to remember to enjoy the dive and not get too caught up in taking photos. Sunday afternoon on Cozumel is great as there are no cruise ships in town and the locals mostly seem to have the day off to relax with their families. I walked down to my reading nook, and there were a lot more people around today, jumping off the wall below into the ocean. A group of youngsters came by with a massive boom box, spoiling the serenity somewhat. Eventually we watched the sun set – it was a really nice one this evening, then it was time to head back to the hostel.  On Sunday nights the hostel puts on live music, so it was pleasant to relax with a beer and enjoy the music and practice my Spanish with a local guy from the army. I learned that Cozumel is very heavily guarded by the Mexican Army and Navy because the Americans tried to claim it during the Cold War – its very close to Cuba. Clearly the Mexicans still see the importance of protecting this strategically placed island.  

Monday Feb 19: Cozumel to Valladolid

Last dives on Cozumel this morning. We were delayed waiting for a passenger who was coming from a cruise ship – so we didn’t get off until about 11am. Again, the first dive was a little deeper and we saw a lot of beautiful coral and did a few swim throughs, but not many fish, whilst the second dive had less coral, but we saw lobster, eagle rays, a nurse shark and a couple of hawksbill turtles and some nudibranchs. It was a great second dive and I can understand why people rave about Cozumel , although I also really loved the Mujeres diving and didn’t think that Cozumel was that much better. 

After a quick shower, I caught the ferry back over to Playa Del Carmen and then onto a bus headed for Valladolid, a short 2 hour trip. After getting to Valladolid, I a ran into another passenger, Philip from Germany and walked with him to the hostel where we got chatting with the other people sharing the room and agreed to head to Chichen Itza together tomorrow. It’s funny how these things just tend to work out!