I arrived at the Ferry Terminal in Cancun. Luckily for me, there was a ferry leaving right as I turned up to the terminal - so straight aboard for the 20 minute trip across the straight.
First impressions of the Isla: it seems to be a lot like Bali - but with less bogan Australians and more bogan Americans. It's a lot cleaner than Bali though, I noticed this in Mexico City too, the locals seem to be a bit more educated about keeping the environment; particularly the sea, pristine. I spent the afternoon wandering the island, checking out the famous Playa Norte Beach and eating tacos in a local restaurant.
I was up early and headed over to Sea Hawk Dive shop by 8:30am to meet Ivan, my instructor and get prepared for my first two dives of the Advanced Open Water Course. We headed a short way off the west coast to the local reef and had a nice couple of dives, where I worked on my buoyancy and navigation using a compass. We saw a nice turtle and heaps and heaps of fish and colourful coral.
Headed back to the Island - the Carnivale was already gearing up and it was only noon. Back at the shop, I was given a day off the next day (Sunday) as it was going to be a little bit crazy downtown with all the activity - so I was already going to be extending my stay on the island, not that I minded! I spent the afternoon lying on the coral white sands of Playa Norte, reading my book and occasionally heading in for a refreshing dip in the crystal clear blue waters of the Carribean, Idyllic and very relaxing.
That evening I headed into town to check out the Carnival events. The whole thing is just awesome, everyone gets involved and there is so much enthusiasm and colour (and beer) on display. The local women get driven around the streets on the back of utes and stop on street corners - pump up the music and dance to various skill levels for anyone who happens to be walking by. All ages get involved, from tiny little kids to older ladies, all dressed up in lewd colours with lots of sequins, feathers and crazy makeup on display. Golf carts full of tourists wait patiently in the traffic jam for the spectacle to be over, then everyone jumps back in the ute, does a lap of the town until they reach the next street corner.