Pandemic Travel Is Still A Challenge

It’s January 9, 2021. The fires of COVID are burning out of control through the country and across the globe and a terrorist insurrection in Washington has left many of us feeling nauseated and fearful. It is on this background that I packed my bags and headed to the airport early this morning.

Yes, my friends Butterblogger has received his first dose of the vaccine and is again taking wing. It’s January so that usually means someplace warm, and in three of the last four years, this has meant “dive trip,” and this is indeed the case today as well.

I considered a few different destinations for this trip, but a friend has consistently reported her love of the drift diving in Cozumel, and since Mexico doesn’t restrict American travelers, this seemed to be the right time.

Travel remains in disarray, and Delta isn’t flying to Cozumel at the moment, so instead I boarded a flight to Cancun. This meant that I had to take a 45 minute shuttle to Playa del Carmen and a ferry over to the island, but the weather was lovely and I didn’t mind.

The only downside was spending 2 1/2 hours waiting for the ferry, but there was a Señor Frog’s near the pier. Señor Frogs is honestly a Caribbean version of pretty much any corporate restaurant you can think of, but with a bit rowdier atmosphere. Usually it would be too crowded for me, but today it was relatively quiet so I could sit at the table, eat my mahi mahi, and enjoy the ocean breeze.

They are aggressive with the hand sanitizer here – people offer me squirts of the stuff everywhere. I’m not certain what’s in it because it doesn’t seem to be as strong with the alcohol as the stuff we get at home, but I accept it anyway so as not to offend.

The ferry ride was another 45 minutes of heaving to and fro, but everything else about it was perfect. At the end of the pier I found a taxi stand and was soon checking into the dive resort.

There are plenty of resorts that do diving, but there are a few that are dedicated to diving. This is one of them, and I have heard good things about it.

Amongst the positives: dedication to divers. Shore diving. Walking distance to town. No frills (yes that’s a positive). On the downside, they don’t really have a beach, but I’m not much for beaches anyway. And the restaurant is just OK. and this isn’t a food trip.

Still, they had hammocks. And after all the travel, checking in, setting up with the dive shop, and settling in, I found myself laying back in a hammock lounging – and trying to get comfortable. There’s something about these hammocks, and they are the least comfortable in the world. The center of the hammock is way too tight and it’s impossible to lay back without something getting contorted.

Add on that a very cold wind coming off of the water and I finally gave up and went to my room wondering if I had packed wrong. I only had a shortie, rather than a full wetsuit. And I didn’t bring many warm clothes.

Tomorrow I guess I will find out.

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