Friday, December 16, 2011

Are we there yet? Are we there yet?


The Lock Men - on the car ferry to Cancun

Holy cow we're tired!  Ethan aged 10, and Evan aged 8 arrived with their dad, John, on Wednesday December 7th and we have been going non-stop since.  Where do they get the energy? 
On Tuesday morning we headed off for a two-day road trip, aiming for the first car ferry which I was absolutely positive left at six-thirty in the morning.  We arrived at the ferry dock in time to watch the boat leave at six o'clock.  Darn!  We turned around and headed back home to try and nap for a couple of hours since none of us slept much the night before, waiting in anticipation for the five o'clock alarm. Three hours later we were on the car ferry headed off for our adventure.  The first stop was the X-Plor Adventure Park near Playa del Carmen.  Wow!  What a great place to go. 

Good thing the 'crocodille' was asleep and didn't see me
We and the guys rode zip-lines, swam in the river, splashed down into the water off of the hammock zip-lines, bashed around on a jeep tour through the jungle, and finally Lawrie and I did the river rafting using small hand paddles.  Okay, I could give that a pass next time.  Our shoulder muscles were screaming in agony by the time we finished the activity!

By six o'clock in the evening we were done.  The guys loaded up one more time at the buffet and we headed off to our eco-chic hotel Retiro Maya on the beaches of Tulum. 
"Eco-chic?"  A bit of an oxymoron.  It was fun, but definitely not chic.  We had Mayan-type grass shacks on the sugar white beaches, with mosquito netting over the beds, and an outdoor shower/washroom.  Despite a slight mix-up at the front desk with the reservation we all eventually crashed into bed around nine at night. Exhausted!
Lawrie on the high zip-line

Up again early in the morning for a quick breakfast and then off the Tulum to see the Mayan ruins.  Ethan is quite interested in the Mayan culture, however, the prospect of another day at another adventure park took a bit of the edge off of his interest. 




Holding on to Tarzan the Iguana at the Tulum Ruins

And Evan, the younger brother, all he could think of was which park we were headed to next, Xel-Há? X-Caret? Xel-Há? X-Caret?  The rich history of the Mayas and the beautiful ruins of Tulum were pretty darn boring to him.




The Boyz at the Tulum Ruins

Around noon we arrived at X-Caret Eco-Adventure Park, which is right next to the X-Plor park near Playa del Carmen.  We could have stayed overnight at the hotel on the X-Caret site, but we really wanted the "Boyz" to experience a beach hotel instead, hence the drive to Tulum and back again.
So onto more fun and adventure - oh boy!  Or is that, sigh, oh, boy.  First stop was the Mexicana buffet to load the guys up with fuel for the afternoon.  It was pretty interesting watching them try out "poppers," the deep fried jalapeño peppers, chicken molé, and other traditional Mexican foods.  Somehow I think the dessert bar was the biggest hit for the day.  I discovered the great taste of Mexican Café Olla, make the traditional way with ground spiced cane sugar, cloves, orange rind, and cinnamon.  I'm hooked.  

Evan, John and Ethan on the Rio Paraiso River Boats
At X-Caret, after hiking some distance along the jungle pathway past macaws, flamingos, deer, vicunas, and the mushroom farm we boarded the big multi-person raft for the easy twenty minute Paradise River cruise.  It was fun, but pretty tame after some of the activities we had been doing. 

Our next adventure was the Subterranean River.  It's a swimming and snorkeling activity that takes about an hour from start to finish.  The best part of this event it was the first time that Ethan, Evan or John had been snorkeling - and they are now enthusiastic converts to the sport. 

Rio Paraiso boats at X-Caret Eco Park
 About four in the afternoon, Lawrie and I begged off any more activities and hiked back to the main plaza to sit down with a rejuvenating cup of coffee.  John and the Boyz carried on with visits to the manta rays, sharks, aquarium before meeting up with us as the water activities were closing for the day.  We could have stayed to watch the fabulous evening shows of horseback riding or traditional folk dancing but we were just too pooped out.  Time to head back to Isla Mujeres and our own comfy beds. 

I think we all agreed that X-Plor was the more interesting park for what we wanted to do.  They also have a very inventive system for capturing photos of the park users.  Everyone is issued a safety helmet to wear on the park property.  It serves two purposes; one is to keep your head from bumping into the stalactites hanging down from the natural limestone cavern that is the centre or 'heart' of the park. 
The other reason is the helmets have an embedded data chip.  The date chip triggers the various cameras around the park whenever the wearer is within photo range.  At the end of the day the photos for everyone in your group are downloaded onto a memory stick that you take with you - after you pay for it of course.  It's a great system. 

At the older park, X-Caret you have to wait around for the printed photos, or you can purchase them on-line the following day.  However, I have checked several times today and the photos from X-Caret have not as yet been uploaded to their website.
My sweetie and I - at the heart of the park

Today is a recuperation day - a day to relax and let sore muscles mend. 
Tomorrow - well, that's another adventure!

5 comments:

Edie said...

You guys looked like you had so much fun. Its fun to be a kid again for the day.

Sherry Fauscett said...

You have a lot more energy than I do! That park sounds like something our daughtr, Sophie, would like. Merry Christms!

Lynda said...

It's a great place for fun! We really enjoyed ourselves, and enjoyed watching the Boyz discover new talents.

Ann said...

Sounds like it was a great, but exhausting few days!

Lynda said...

The Boyz leave to return to Canada-eh, tomorrow afternoon. We had a great time..... but yes, we are very tired. Next blog is about "Elmo, and the Pirates!" Hopefully I'll get it posted tomorrow. Cheers Lynda