The next morning, we woke up just in time to get breakfast at the beachfront hotel restaurant. Due to our hangover fog, we didn’t understand that there was also a menu so we went for the buffet that morning. We decided we should take it easy, enjoy the beach and then see what we felt like doing later.
And then I spotted some jet skis out in the water.
Ooh jet skis! We should ride jet skis! Ha ha ha…
Ha ha ha…
This would become a trend. We would joke about something and then end up doing it. So much for that relaxing day.
We finished up breakfast and then hesitantly suggested, should we see how much they are?
We walked over to the jet skis just to check the price and walked away from the booth with a jet ski ride for 30 minutes, tickets for a jungle tour that afternoon, and tickets for the ferry to Isla Mujeres the next day. We’re not very good at this.
I was terrified to get on the jet ski. I had never driven one before, and I didn’t like the idea of being responsible for such a large machine out in open water. I headed out into the shallows with a life jacket and a nervous smile. Jet Ski Man gave me my introductory “lesson.”
This is the gas, this is the off button. There is no reverse, and there are no brakes. Have fun.
Wait, what?! That’s it?
I hesitantly held down the gas, lurching forwards a bit before finding my rhythm. It only took a few minutes before I was zipping around the water, standing, sitting, jumping over waves, and doing that awkward half-laugh half-scream you do when you’re on a roller coaster or a zipline or something. Basically, this was the most fun I’ve ever had.
After our jet ski adventure we did actually manage to take it easy… for an hour. We lay out in the sun for a bit, then we grabbed a snack for lunch and headed to AquaWorld for our jungle tour. I don’t know why they call it a jungle tour because it has nothing to do with the jungle, but regardless of the weird name, it was a lot of fun.
We were told that the guides took you on speed boats through the mangroves, out to this little reef to snorkel. Sounds great. We got there, suited up with our life jackets, flippers and snorkels, and prepared for the ride. Well, it turns out WE were the ride. Everyone had their own speed boat.
I had just overcome my fears of driving a jet ski and now you want me to drive a BOAT?! Come on. Baby steps, guys. B had never driven a boat either but I made him drive first because I was genuinely terrified to be responsible for a speed boat zipping through the mangroves and out into the ocean. We survived the first half of the trip, scared-laughing the whole time and made it out to the reef where all the boats were tied together.
Our guide quieted us down to give his intro-to-snorkeling-for-dumb-tourists-speech. “Congratulations! We made it…” Yay! Everyone cheered, “…We made it to Cuba.” I was in tears laughing as he gave everyone a moment to be genuinely confused and freaked out.
The snorkeling wasn’t bad. I saw lots of fish, including a huge parrotfish, but I honestly wouldn’t recommend this tour if you’re an experienced diver/snorkeler (or at least don’t set your expectations high). You weren’t allowed to take your life jacket off to go in the water (but you can get behind the wheel of a boat with no experience?) and most of the people there didn’t know anything about snorkeling so they were disrespectful of the reef environment which made me really sad. How hard is it to not touch anything?!
I finished my swim and lay out on the bow of the boat while I waited for the others. I also did some balance challenges…
Finished with our snorkel hour, I finally mustered up the courage to get behind the wheel. I prepared B for almost certain death and whispered words of encouragement to myself. I felt a bit shaky at first, but managed to find my rhythm just like I did with the jet ski. Although I wouldn’t say I ever became “confident” per se…
I managed to park the boat at the docks and was extremely proud of myself for driving both a jet ski AND a speed boat that day. What other vehicles could we master on this trip? I’d also like to point out that we were the only people there who celebrated gender equality. All the other friends and couples just let the men drive.
After our super relaxed day doing nothing but lying on the beach, just like we planned, we went back to the hotel to sip piña coladas and watch the random beach wedding that was taking place. As the sun began to set, I got up to go get a sweater from the room. Since I’m so good at walking and not embarrassing myself on a regular basis, I tripped and slammed my toe into a piece of coral rock in the sand. It was the kind of pain that makes you just clench your fists and not move for a few minutes.
I sat back down on my lounge chair, feeling helpless as the blood poured out of my toe onto the sand. I managed to stay alive through all of our adventures, and I hurt myself WALKING?! Sigh.
As I moped about my toe, a nice member of the hotel staff came over with a giant first aid kit and proceeded to wash, clean, and wrap up my toe while I filled out a form explaining my stupidity. Question number five: What can the hotel do to help this situation? Nothing, I’m just terrible at walking.
I sipped on another piña colada, ate some more guacamole, and watched the end of the sunset before retiring for the night so we could rest up for Isla Mujeres in the morning!