When the name of a beach sounds like a rap song

As you might have noticed, we really enjoyed Tulum. But the open road of adventure waits for no one and there was an island waiting with our name on it.

Travelling like fancy people – by taxi

We were on our way to Playa del Carmen – the place of rich kids, pretty people, reality television crews and Walmart. And the easiest way to get to this mini Cancún from Tulum is by taxi. You can try to squeeze yourself, your backpack and The Satellite Sombrero in an overcrowded minibus filled with cheerful travellers with matching tattoos, or you could get a taxi.

Due to my budget conscious party pooper brain, I did force the Husband and Brother to give the overcrowded minibus a chance, because every peso saved is a peso gained. We waited for an hour, and when the same taxi driver drove past us for the hundredth time with a shrug that said ‘Are you sure gringos, I am going there now…”, we decided to go by taxi.

All them playas

Playa del Carmen is nice. But nice enough to stay for one night only because it’s just too touristy. You’ll see when I show you my lack of photos – there isn’t really anything to put a filter on.

So the Husband and Brother went for a swim, and during one of the Bearded Mermaid’s many water-based tricks (like holding his breath for way too long or trying to walk on his hands), he pulled an iPhone in a waterproof case out of the water. Oh how excited we all were!

We looked around for somebody with a ‘oh darnit, where did I put my phone’ expression on their face, but nope – nothing. And then, while I was trying to pull seaweed out of my braid, I realised that this is karma. My iPhone got stolen during a hike in Nicaragua, and now, it’s given back to me. With a complimentary waterproof case.

To make a very long and uneventful story short – that iPhone was (and still is) useless to us. It’s that stupid model with the built-in SIM, so you can’t get the SIM out to replace it with your SIM. And we obviously couldn’t crack the code. Thanks for nothing, karma. Pft.

At least it gave us something to do.

When that was over, we took the opportunity to peruse Walmart – yes, it’s a thing. There are LOADS of things and they even sell Hawaiian shirts for really really big people. Amazing.

We bought a whole chicken (and managed to ask the butcher to butterfly it in Spanish), bought a couple of beers, charcoal and corn – because there was a BBQ at the hostel. Yes friends, I do enjoy a salad, but after not braaing for 4 months, it was time.

Importer of firelighters needed in Mexico – apply within

The thing with trying to light a fire without firelighters is that it won’t light up. You can buy some sort of firelighter fuel at Walmart for 50pesos, but my party pooper budget brain said no.

So the Brother and Husband had to start a fire with ingenuity. The Husband took little pieces of newspaper, added a whole lot of patience and matches and tried to nurture the coals alive. The Brother took his deodorant and a lighter and tried to blast it alive. I dipped ten scrunched up pieces of newspaper in rubbing alcohol (a real winner when dealing with mosquito bites), and tried to set it alight. The newspaper burned around the alcohol.

In the end the little pieces of newspaper, matches, love and patience worked. And for the rest of the night, we discussed the massive opportunities that lies within the importing/exporting business.

Things we want to import into Mexico

1. Blitz firelighters

Things we want to export from Mexico*

1. Tinned chipotle chillies

2. Clamato juice

3. Gringas al pastor

*the further we travelled through Mexico, the longer the export list became

The next day

Playa del Carmen really wasn’t that exciting and the only reason we went there was to catch the ferry to Cozumel. I wanted to include Cozumel in this post, but because I can’t keep any story short, I decided against it.

I did however made another badly edited video for your entertainment titled ‘Things to do when you have nothing to do’.


And now, for some photos.

Playa’s shopping streets – paradise to many, but I prefer my paradise to be more on the beachy side.
A fancy hotel with interesting balconies, featuring chicken wire and mannequins.
For those of you who’ve never stayed in a backpackers before – this is what they generally look like. You’ll mostly find flags, barefoot Aussies and photos of parties you didn’t attend inside them. Every single backpacker’s kitchen has at least one notice urging you to label your food. No labels = free for all.
See, dorms are not always scary stinky dampy places – this one was quite airy and breezy. And sometimes they give you fresh towels. #score
Have meat. Will braai. All you really have to give a couple of South Africans to make them happy is a BBQ, meat, bread and beer. Add some corn if you’re into nutrients.