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Sailust | Roughin’ It in Playa

Roughin’ It in Playa

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

Sean and Canice in Playa del CarmenMahahual was the same as I remembered it. I introduced Ali to Gary and Larry and showed him my home for the past two months. Since I left, the port captain prohibited Gary from taking Crystal Blue Persuasion out for business until he gets all his paperwork in order. We lounged on the beach a couple of days and did some snorkeling. We had a little foosball competition. I was down by two games after the first day. The second day, the table was freshly lubricated and I won 6 games in a row. The last game I was down 9 to 1, when Ali, confident he would win, said “I think I’m going to win this one.” Not so. I came back from the eight-point deficit and beat him again. After that, I think he decided to retire from foosball.

After Mahahual we drove to Tulum, the site of coastal Mayan ruins halfway to Cancun. We stayed in a hut on the beach at Papaya Playa. Tulum is the best beach I’ve encountered on my trip. The sand was very fine and white and the water calm and turquoise without any obstructions. Our second day we ran into our French friends, Sylvie and Clarisse. They just arrived from a 20+ hour bus ride from San Cristobal de las Casas. It was also the day that my old coworker, Canice arrived. He’s doing a good job of Twittering his trip and wrote upon our meeting: “I have made contact with the conaty. He is thinned, tanned and mustached. I am the exact opposite. Should be interesting.” The five of us plus another French guy the girls befriended at the hostel, Antoine, went to the beach outside our hut. We tossed the Frisbee around and played some volleyball, France versus the United States, except Canice played for France and Clarisse was on our team. Sad to say the US team lost the two games, the second one after lots of tequila and beer.

That night occured Canice’s favorite story of the trip. He was exhausted from a red-eye flight and a sleepless night in Cancun. His hut was farther back in the woods with a sand floor and large gaps between the side planks. He could hear rock iguanas and little weird mammals we think are called “despesquigles” rummaging around his hut. He was too scared to sleep and spent all night killing time on his Blackberry playing Brick Breaker and updating his friends about his dangerous predicament on Twitter. Here are a couple of his tweets from that night:

8:15pm: Played on the beach today. Then showered and got dressed in pitch black in my hut which is in the woods and crawling with animals.

8:19pm: Thank god my baby let me borrow her piggy light or I would have been doomed in the darkness. Still have sand in my butt tho.

1:14am: I can’t sleep cuz there is an animal outside my cabana

2:25am: [Canice] Feels like he is in the blair witch project right now. There is some animal outside my cabana and I can’t sleep. And I really need sleep!

2:31am: Furthermore I am jealous of the lucky souls who are sleeping right now. And NO I am not overreacting. When did I become so neurotic?

2:58am: In the next 2 hours I will either pass out from exhaustion or become brick breaker champion. Also a skeeter has breached my net. Bollix!

4:22am: …it is the mayans and I am anything but fierce. My un answerable question is this: am I just being wimpy or is this torture?

8:06am: …But It does look like I will live to fight another day. It was a lovely sunrise. Thanks for talking me down :-)

After Tulum we drove an hour to Playa del Carmen, our last stop before we had to say goodbye to Ali. Playa is the new Yucatan party city. Cancun, Canice and I decided, is for spring-breakers and families. In Playa there are more hostels, the hotels are smaller compared to the all-inclusive mega-resorts of Cancun and the city is compact and pedestrian-friendly. According to Canice, “Playa del carmen is where eurotrash meets the mexican hipster.” We ran into our French friends again and it looked as if Sylvie and Antoine had been warming up to each other. It was also Clarisse’s birthday.

I plan on laying-low in Playa del Carmen for a month and waiting for my next voyage. I will possibly rent an apartment or work at a hostel. Maybe I’ll find some freelance work to defray my spending. Mid March I will go to Ecuador and begin a sailing trip to Australia, passing through Galapagos, The Marquesas, Tahiti, Fiji and who knows where the hell else?


  1. Mom Says:

    Sound like you’re having fun. Did you get my previous message? Call me when you can. Take care of yourself. Love you.

  2. Katie Says:

    Are those the same Mayan ruins we went to?

  3. ali Says:

    Ahh…I almost forgot about the despesquigle. I found a site that should help Canice id the perpetrator: http://www.vivanatura.org/AnimalsMammals.html#canidae
    My guess is the wolly possum. It looks vicious :b

  4. sylvie Says:

    ah ah ah! we had a lot of fun playing volleyball with you! i hope we will meet again anywhere in the world, and you’re welcome in France whenever you(included canicec and ali) wanted to!
    do you have pictures of that day? we’ve got a few, i dont know if you saw them…
    by the way, are you STILL in mexico??? wow!!! im jealous!
    have fun and give neeewwwsss!!!!
    kisses from france!

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