Cozumel Island by car
Last night before dinner Bronwyn & Brett arranged for a pair of jeeps to be delivered to our hotel at 9 am. In true Mexican style they arrived at 9.30.They were old and a bit the worse for wear but if they went ok we figured they would be good enough - wrong. More on that later. One was manual with a shot gearbox that required double de clutching for every gear change. The other was an automatic with a very stiff transmission shifter. We set off for our loop around the island but made a stop for fuel a few miles down the road as one was low. We used our walkie talkies to communicate between cars. Our first stop was Alberto's Beach Bar & Restaurant. A beautiful spot on the protected western side of the island. We spent several hours here.Brett took out a jet ski. Simone took out a kayak. I went for a swim. Brett took Bronwyn out for a spin and also his Mum.
The others enjoyed the drinks in the shade of the coconut palms. The breeze made it very pleasant to sit there and take it all in.
When we decided it was time to move on we got into the jeeps. I took over driving of the green auto one as Bronwyn had consumed a few rum & cokes. The transmission shifter was stiff before but I had managed to tug it into gear. But this time none of us could including reinforcements from the bar and a taxi driver who was waiting for his passengers. So we borrowed a phone at the bar and called the company. They said they would be down with another car in 20 minutes (Mexican time, which was more like 45 minutes). After some haggling on price & rental conditions we set off in the red jeep and a little manual red Dodge Alto.
By this time it was after 3pm and we wanted to get to the Punta Morena surf beach recommended to us by our host. We made one brief photo stop and then made it to our destination. It was my first time driving a manual car on the right side of the road. All previous driving had been in automatics. More than once I started to reach for the gear shifter on my left but otherwise it was all good. Punta Morena is a restaurant and bar and shops and swimming pool on a sandy surf beach. We had a few drinks at a table overlooking the beach.Simone sat in the shallows of the pool. There was a strong cooling breeze coming off the ocean making the warm day feel very pleasant..
There is no electricity up the eastern side of the island and they use solar power and operate in daylight hours only. After an hour or so there basking in the late afternoon sun we headed back to the hotel. After a refreshing swim we sat poolside under the thatched gazebo and our drinks and snacks and good natured banter extended well into the evening.