Being the disorganised family we are, we started thinking about transport from Isla Mujeres (an island in the gulf of Mexico) to Valladolid (a big town in mainland Yucatan) the night before we were leaving.
There were 2 options:
- Pay the tourist tour seller to sort out the transport from door to door, where we would have our bags taken to the ferry, picked up off the ferry in a van that would drive us directly to our hotel.
- Rough it: find someone to help us with our bags, or carry them ourselves, take the ferry, find a taxi that would take us to the coach station, take the coach and then somehow find our hotel, which I suspected was quite close to the coach station in Valladolid.
We chose option 2, thinking it would be more “fun”. The walk to the ferry was quite easy with the help of a man on a bike carrying our bags, so the kids even had time for ice cream. The ferry ride was lovely looking out to the turquoise sea. Arriving at the port is where every taxi wanted to take us directly to Valladolid. But eventually took a taxi for 1/4 of the price quoted on IM to the bus station. We even had time for lunch and got on the most luxurious coach with aircon, soft comfy chairs and they even put on the film The Big Short dubbed into Spanish. We arrived, put all of our kit on our backs and walked the 2 blocks to our hotel, delighted with our adventurous spirit.
Proud of our achievement we checked into our hotel, when disaster struck. I realise that I LEFT MY PHONE ON THE SEAT IN THE BUS at exactly the same time Edward lies on the reception floor screaming that he has a sore tummy before pooing in his pants. Slightly freaking out moment! The hotel were brilliant, called the bus station manager and the bus had already left for Merida (another 3 hours) with no way of contacting the driver since you can’t call and drive in Mexico. They would send security onto the bus on arrival and find my phone and I would come to the bus station at 6 pm to work out how to get it back. And we managed to change Edward’s pants. So everything felt back under control.
6pm came, and unsurprisingly, no phone appeared at the other end. 100% my fault for getting flustered getting the kids off the bus and just leaving it there. Anyway, checked on my computer and thanks to google, dropbox and evernote, all my notes, emails, contacts and photos were easily accessible and the phone was insured so very annoying but not so important.
Conclusion: you might think we should have taken the comfortable taxi ride and everything would have been fine. Well who knows? I’m still happy we took the bus, it reminded me of my backacking adventures in Mexico 15 years ago and the kids enjoyed the journey. More importantly, it reminded me how unimportant material things are and how important the time together we have is, which after all is why we’re doing this crazy trip in the first place! And no pictures for this article since they were on the phone 🙂