The No-Tell Motel, an Iguana and Cancun

We hated Cancun.

Oh, balmy air, sand so fine it felt like refined flour. Ocean water with all the blues your kaleidoscope can contain, and birds chirping so loudly and melodiously that I thought Micah’s “Big Business” app was perpetually on.

It wasn’t the balmy air, fine sand and melodious chirping of course; it was taxi drivers who tried to charge $22 for a ride down the block. It was the overwhelming ostentatiousness of it. It was the feeling that we were in Las Vegas, sans casinos, by the water.

It didn’t feel like Mexico At. All.

The McResorts, roads smoother than a baby’s butt, gleaming malls with product straight out of Paris.

 We hated it.

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So we stayed at Puerto Morelos, which is right in the vicinity but not in the heart of it. We stayed in this tiny campground that charged us a whopping 560 pesos/night and could easily get away with that, being flanked on either side by places that were charging around US400/night.

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meriah nichols mexico-20 meriah nichols mexico-21 meriah nichols mexico-24 meriah nichols mexico-23 meriah nichols mexico-22 meriah nichols mexico-25The cost put me in a bad mood. But seriously, what wasn’t putting me in a bad mood?! I mean, I was just cranky from lying with my foot elevated for a week.

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It was harder on Mikey than anyone. Mikey was the one dealing with the cab drivers, he was the one doing with all the cooking, cleaning, shopping and diaper duties.

meriah nichols mexico-16 meriah nichols mexico-14He is the one who figured out we’d save 300 pesos a night for renting my Mom’s apartment by dealing with the apartment owner directly, rather, than going with the “referral” from our campground.

my mom used crystals to help micah do his schoolwork!
my mom used crystals to help micah do his schoolwork!

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and crystals with my foot!
and crystals with my foot!

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On my Mom’s and the kid’s part, I think they all had a fine time.

Beach, sun, ocean, sand. Bliss. Our camping neighbors were incredibly nice. Canadians again – I swear, are there any mean Canadians? Anywhere? Nicest people, ever.

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Then there was this iguana in our campground that was the first live, wild iguana I have ever seen.

Such a cool creature! I adored that little guy. He hung out on the roof of a shed that was outside the camper, so since I was on my back with my leg elevated, he was totally in my eye reach. I felt like he was my buddy, hanging out there with me and throwing a pity party while everyone else was off doing something interesting.

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And then, Mom and the lady whose apartment she was renting became friends and that was all heart warming.

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Another thing that pulled me out of my crankiness was my kick-ass podiatrist. Truly awesome – and his  first class (private) care only cost US$50 –

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my naked broken foot – story on that was my doctor said that since I got the swelling down (and was so “obedient”, I went to a boot and not a cast.
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huh.

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and when wandering around another part of Cancun looking for a medical supply store, we came upon what felt like was a real Mexican town. I guess it’s the original Cancun? It felt okay. Not double dipped in vats of ostentatiousness. Just regular, complete with Feliz Pollo.meriah nichols mexico-5 meriah nichols mexico-6 meriah nichols mexico-7

AND THEN instead of going for the Comfort Inn (one tiny room, two beds, unsecure parking, 1,500 pesos), we went for “La Cerezas” (- “The Cherries”), a hotel that charged by the hour but gave us a special deal: a full suite, 2 rooms, 2 showers, secure parking, 700 pesos. Yeah, SEVEN HUNDRED PESOS. They even blocked the porn channels!

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a timer in each room!

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Now, La Cerezas kind of re-affirmed my belief that this world can be FUN, Mexico is a mighty fine country, and the Cancun area doesn’t totally, completely and utterly suck.

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***

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Meriah
Meriah Nichols is teacher and artist who lives in a yurt off the grid. She is deaf, has 3 kids (one with Down syndrome) and a lot of chickens. She writes about travel, disability, and getting dishes done. She likes her tea Earl Grey and hot.
Meriah

@meriahnichols

#deaf mom, teacher & #disability activist, living in a yurt #offthegrid. 3 kids (1 with #downsyndrome), a camera and a lot of chickens. Never a dull moment
A comprehensive collection of resources for new parents of children with Down syndrome - https://t.co/WfzGfpmWm6 - 2 days ago
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8 Comments

  • I feel the same about Cancun. Even more about Playa del Carmen, with that shoppong corridor named ” La quinta avenida” (5th Avenue…) From that area you might like Celestun. It is still a fisherman’s litlle town. Food by the beach is real good. I don’t know much about hotels there because i dis not stay. I just visited for the day and went back to Merida. There is also a beautiful beach down in Tulum: Playa Esperanza. As there is very little electric light, you can enjoy an astounding view of the stars at night. Sian ka’an is also a fun place to visit. Kids are going to love it. Hope your foot comes to a full recover soon.
    Greetings from Mexico city,
    Adriana

  • Hi Meriah,

    Mean Canadians – there is Conrad Black, and their Prime Minister is very right wing and economically dry, so in my book that is ‘mean’. But I guess it is kind of mean in terms of social policy, probably not mean in a one on one personal kind of situation.

    😀

  • Your photos are stunning Meriah- those sunsets- and spontaneous portraits. Wow! Love your colorful writing and spirit of adventure too. Many more happy travels — watch your step! Loved that you kept shooting great pictures even while immobilized.

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