Thursday, 14 January 2016

Cancun - a colossal expanse of hotels dotting the Caribbean shoreline, where beats from nightclubs pour onto the streets into the early hours of the morning and home to Spring break. The hustle and bustle is associated with the white sand beaches, glowing blue water and tourists galore. However, just out on the horizon a relaxed lifestyle of margaritas being sipped on the beach, coconuts served roadside and the hum of golf cart engines fill the air. This is Isla Mujeres.

Arriving in the early hours of the morning after our last attempt at trying to explore the island, we manage to rent out a golf cart. All it takes is three hours to make your way around the seven kilometre long island surrounded by the Caribbean sea. Map in hand, foot to the floor and we are off. Getting lost down alley ways, getting beeped at by cars is all part of the unique experience. We made it back onto the main road where the Naval base in all it’s prominence displays the long history of naval involvement Isla Mujeres has.

The patter of the engine as the golf cart struggles to make it’s way up the tallest part of Isla Mujeres. An abandoned zip lining centre is prominent with it’s thatched huts scattered amongst the water and cliff faces. Crashing of waves upon the cliffs and the sound of a man yelling “get your coconuts,” fills the background as your are reminded of the sheer size of Cancun rising high out of the distant horizon.

Standing triumphantly that our golf cart has made it to the top, we are now at Punta Sur, the southern most tip of the island where the worn remains of a temple dedicated to Ixchel, Maya goddess of the moon and fertility guard along with a lighthouse and sculpture garden. One can stand and look out to the vast ocean where Cancun lurks in the distance or standing upon the cliff top with water so clear, reflections of clouds pass by and the light breeze brushes upon your skin as you contemplate how the water is so blue.

Back on the golf cart the sun pierces your skin and the sweat starts to pool on your forehead, this is winter apparently. As the haze of heat follows you, to the left is the coastline of secluded beaches and to your right appears wooden dilapidated houses next to white Spanish influenced mansions that whizz by you at a riveting five kilometres an hour on the cart.

By this time a much needed stop for a delicious meal is needed and driving through a small area of buildings consisting of a school, church, houses and stores there is the

number one ranked restaurant on Isla Mujeres - Mango Cafe. Quaint and located where it is easily missed, Mango Cafe has won Trip Advisors award of excellence and serves up the very best meals created by locally sourced produce. We sat down to refuel the system with freshly made mango juice, chicken tacos, yogurt bowls and coconut French toast.

The Caribbean sea calls us as I imagine floating in the mixture of blue water creating something that should appear on a canvas. Once you park your golf cart in a side street where dogs roam and cyclists ride, you walk to the ocean front of Isla Mujeres’s main beach, Playa Norte, where once again you are left in awe of the beauty that is before you. Wet sand seeps between your toes as you enter the chest deep water and sigh at the feeling of the water surrounding your body. Mega yachts with American flags are docked just meters of shore, the heads of snorkelers can be seen in the distance as they snorkel around a lighthouse where schools of fish call home, the contrast of the white sand and a whirl of turquoise and blue blinds you.

It is time to get on the boat and leave the relaxation behind as the immense hotels grow closer and closer on the horizon. Looking back at the island you can see where scuba divers are exploring hidden underwater worlds, boats towing parasailers see the world from a birds perspective and a smile spreads across your face as you reflect on memories that you won’t forget because who could forget cruising on a golf cart while taking in the sheer magnificence of the island that is around you. 

Follow me on Instagram: @codie_zofia and stay tuned for Cancun, Tulum and Las Vegas posts!

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