Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Good,the Bad, and the Ugly

This is Elise.  Living in Mexico has been a big adjustment for me.  Renting a place and doing daily chores like laundry and cooking make it a totally different experience than staying at a resort.  First the good.  I loved Akumal Bay.  It is a cute village style place with a beautiful bay for snorkeling and swimming.  The beach is sandy but the entry into the water is rocky.  Most of the bay is a shallow lagoon the perfect depth and clarity for snorkeling.  I love to swim in warm, clear water.  They have cute restaurants there where you can have a drink and a meal under a palapa on the beach overlooking a bay with every shade of blue.  My experience of Tulum was mared by our horrible rental.  The trash filled street outside was a bummer.  The beach was too far away even by bicycle.  The beach was beautiful but rough and filled with seaweed.  If you go to Tulum stay in one of the hotels on the beach and you  will have a good time.  Don't stay in Tulum pueblo like we did.  We learned an important lesson about trying to save money on our accommodations.  We would have a great day of fun then my mood would spiral downward as soon as we got back to our very small, very run down one bedroom casita.  Nothing in there worked right.  I had to stand on the bed to turn on the bedroom light.  If you tried to put a towel on the towel rack, the rack fell off the wall and the towel fell on the dirty tile.  There was no bathmat so water got all over the floor.  The locks were complicated and hard to work.  I could go on.
We had a great drive to Mahahual with almost no traffic on the road.  I haven't been on a road that empty in years.  It was so relaxing I fell asleep.  Good thing Mike was driving!  There is no traffic here in Mahahual on the days when there are no cruise ships which makes it very pleasant to bike ride around.  You have seen the photos of the beach here.  It is beautiful.  There is a lot of seaweed on the beach here too.  They are getting it cleaned up so hopefully we won't have to wade through it tomorrow.  It is almost a full moon and we have been going down to the beach and watching the sun set  and moonlight sparkle on the water while drinking rum and juice. A full moon on a tropical beach is truly sublime.  It is worth leaving Austin for.
The bad and the ugly. When we got this house we have rented for the month it was filthy.  I mean like it hadn't been cleaned in months.  Food spilled in the microwave.  Dog hair on the unwashed sheets.  No water in the pool.  The manager was cavalier and said just fill the pool with water.  We will get someone to clean. So Mike put his pool skills to use and worked on the pool.  I delayed cleaning in the hopes a maid would show up.  We had no running water for a while for some reason.  We were really angry and had to spend a lot of time emailing the owner and FlipKey to document the state of our rental.
Three days later.  I decided to just clean myself with the help of the family. NOT happy about cleaning up after someone else.  I asked for a $100 refund for my cleaning services and the owner agreed.  The pool is finally filled with water and the house is pretty nice now that it is clean.
There are no supermarkets here just small grocery stores and fruiterias.  I just biked around town on a search for food for dinner.  I stopped and asked for fresh fish or chicken at several places and had no luck.  Then the grocery store was closed early.  Finally I found a stand selling pollo asado.  I am having fun with the novelty of it but I wouldn't want to live here.  I think we are almost better off just eating out.  The restaurants are pretty cheap and beer is $1 a bottle at the beach.
Even cleaning is an adjustment.  Of course, we don't have a washing machine so I take our dirty stuff to the laundry and it comes back clean and folded.  I couldn't find any Windex so I bought some all purpose cleaner that was the right color.  All they have are the old school mops with strings instead of a sponge type.  The paper towels are as thin as napkins. I used some stuff to clean the wall behind the bed because it was disgusting and I didn't want my pillow near it.  I didn't know the cleaner was mostly bleach and so I accidentally got bleach stains on our sheets.  We questioned what we had done wrong and if all the rental properties were going to be this bad.  Should we not rent on line anymore?
Now that we have a clean house, we are feeling more positive.  I went diving yesterday and I had a lot of fun.  It was good to be underwater again.  The reef here is healthy looking with lots of coral and sea fans.  There aren't any big developments nearby so that must help.    


  1. I would clean in a heartbeat if it meant no work for a while! Everything looks lovely and I appreciate the descriptions of the isolation. How precious an experience!

  2. I know you are all freezing your assess off and working and dealing with traffic etc. so I hate to complain about dirty rentals and seaweed. I do love the weather here. I am lucky to have to opportunity to stay somewhere a while and get to know what's like to live here. I miss you and all other friends too.