Mexico: Part 4

So anyway; San Cristobal.

The plan was to have dinner all together tonight, before going out. As per usual, some people were taking overly long to get ready, and others were being overly impatient. This mean that as half the group left to find dinner, supposedly in the jazz bar next to the hotel, I was again the only person seemingly willing to wait for the remaining 3 for a couple of minutes. This was an ever-occuring theme this trip, and it was starting to get a little frustrating. But anyway, I knew where the were going to be so I held back for what was no more than 2 or 3 minutes. Why people couldn't wait that long I'm not sure. The ability to wait had seemed void ever since the shopping centre in Acapulco. Anyway, once the other 3 girls were ready, we went next door to the jazz bar.

Of course we get in there, and the others aren't there. God forbid they could've made the 10-yard journey back to the hotel to let me know that they were going somewhere else. So this pissed me off somewhat. We checked the next couple of obvious places up the street, but there was no sign. Now I was pretty pissed that they'd all had the arrogance to walk off without telling us where they were going. I can appreciate that maybe there was a little friction in the group, but I wasn't any part of it. And I didn't appreciate too much being left behind. Now if Alyssa wasn't there, I think the other 3 of us would've just gone into any place we found to get dinner. But despite just being kicked in the teeth by the others, she really couldn't see any foul play, she was determined to find them. Eventually we run into Sean who tells us that everyone is in Domino's, and we all regroup again. Certainly put a downer on the start of the evening. The 'buy one get one free' pizzas probably helped though. I did make sure to say I wasn't too happy with that over dinner as well.

We lost Lauren and Justin after dinner; they weren't coming out. The rest of us went to this club that Ant had found, under the same name of the second bar that I don't really remember in Puerto Escondido: Bar Fly I think. Apart from the free shot that you got, this place was an absolute dive. The DJ was playing some bullshit hippy music. The Jazz Bar staff weren't exactly friendly. And apart from the few drunks sitting at the bar, and half way through, the load of fuckin' indie kids that walked in, there wasn't anyone else there but us, so we left after one drink. I'm not too sure they were happy with us leaving so soon after getting free shots. But then they should've thought about that before they started playing fucking hippy music.

The only other place we knew was open (most bars close in San Cristobal on Tuesday's. Don't ask me why), was the jazz bar next to the hotel, so we headed back there. This was nice. The band was full of some strange looking fuckers, but I guess you only play jazz if you look weird. How else would you explain that everyone who plays jazz looks mental? The waitress was quite hot if I remember, and the drinks were good. Problem was, it was closing not too long after we got there. So determined to have a night, me and one of the other guys whom I won't name, decided that a strip club was the way to go. So after a quick trip back to the hotel, Sergio found us a cab and explained our needs to the taxi driver. In Spanish.

Jazz Bar 2 You always hear stories in Mexico about how phoney taxi drivers take people, especially tourists, to the middle of nowhere and rob them of their possessions. Both me and Mr.X with me had left the bulk of our money back at the hotel, not really knowing where we were going. And there were times during this journey, I really did begin to wonder where the hell we were going, as the remnants of any conscious civilisation seemed to be wearing thin. However, we eventually did arrive at a strip club. In fact we arrived at 2. They were conveniently next to each other so we had a choice. We went into the nearest one, and there was no cover charge or anything. In fact there were barely any customers. We got in just in time to see a girl walking off stage, and we kind of looked at each other. "Was she pregnant?" The clientel consisted of one group of 4 wasted teenagers or twenty-somethings, and a couple of men here by themself. This wasn't to say it was a small place. There were scores of unattended table, although this place didn't exactly ooze class. The tables and chairs were garden furniture. The girls weren't exactly the best looking. The only reason we ended up staying was because there were some hot chics in the corner who we assumed would be coming on stage at some point. But there was only so many ugly girls you're willing to look at naked in waiting for the hot ones, so after the second beer we left for the other club. The table of 4 guys had left by now as well, so it really was only sleazy guys by themselves left. As opposed to sleazy guys in groups of course. Before they left though, they had been drunk enough to get one of the ugly girls dancing on their table. And then poured a shit-load of ice over their now unconcious friends head to wake him up, which was funny if nothing else. We were a little nervous walking out because before I arrived in Mexico, Mr.X and a couple of the other guys had been to a strip club in or near Mexico City, and the bouncer apparently wouldn't let them leave until they'd tipped him. Not the case here though, and we got out, no problem.

The next club was about a block away, and was a complete contradiction to the first. This one actually had people in for a start! Then it was much more colourful and the girls were a lot hotter. There was a sign in Spanish on the wall, that with my limited knowledge I interpreted to mean that there was a minimum of drinks you must buy. 120 pesos I think, so £6 of drink shouldn't be a challenge. As we went to the bar on the way in, first thing: Tequila shots!

I figured when Mr.X went pretty sharply to the toiled after downing these shots, he was vomitting. They were Mexican size shots after all, which are a shit-load bigger than UK shot. What I hadn't realised until later, is that he'd also vomitted in a bucket on the bar, which, later was pretty funny to see the bar staff use to soak dirty glasses in.

One funny thing about this club, was there was a group of rowdy strippers sitting next to the stage near the bar. They were even shouting stuff at me and Mr.X, and one even got her boobs out for a time. I have no idea what they were saying, but it didn't really matter though. But then one of the final dancers came on. For whatever reason, the rest of the girls seemed to hate her, and were blatantly doing anything that they could to disract from her on stage. There was some kid in the bar; I'd guess the owners son or something, who must've only been about 14, and they started stripping with him, and putting his head in their boobs etc., and doing so as rowdily as possible, so no one was watching the girl on stage. I still was because she was the hottest girl of the night, but it was a distraction. To the point that at one stage the chic on stage was actually shouting at the others from the stage. They ignored her, but there was definitely some stripper tension here.

The thing with strip clubs in Mexico, is that they're not like strip clubs in the UK where you have to sit on your hands and it's looking only. These are essentially brothels. You see something you like and you have the money, you can get it. Me and Mr.X had said before the night, that what happens in the strip club, stays in the strip club. I don't think either of us had any intention of doing anything, but your mind never stays too focused when you're feeling horny. Anyway, this stripper/hooker comes over to our table, and essentially mounts Mr.X, puts her tongue down his throat, opens her top, and well, they carry on for a while. A show on the stage and a show next to me. She kind of demands a drink off him; first off he buys her a beer, which she did ask for, but subsequently didn't want. Incidentally whilst he was gone, she was "Me and you? Me and you?" to me. But she wasn't really doing much for me, and I think Mr.X was happy enough. Anyway, not wanting this beer, she calls the server over and has him bring her some kind of cocktail. This costs M$50. Then she does it again. This costs M$50. Then she orders another, and this one suddenly costs M$100, so I'm guessing she kept a little tip for herself. Anyway, after this she starts saying something to him in Spanish. Neither of us speak Spanish, but I know very very basic Spanish, compared to his absolutely none. All we can get from this is "50 pesos." We didn't know what the hell it was for, but Mr.X is so damn horny by now, she probably could've demanded 500 pesos and she would've got it. Anyway, he gets out the money. She then takes his hand, and takes him out the club. He is looking back at me like "What the fuck is going on?" But that doesn't stop him leaving. So I'm left by myself in the club with my beer. And a now vacant beer. The shows are coming to an end anyway. First off, girls start getting on stage in an almost party atmosphere. They're pretty loose with their clothes, and some of the punters end up on stage with them. See what I mean it's not like a UK club. Anyway this goes on for a bit. I'm still pretty sobre so don't get on stage, despite semi-naked girls ushering me on. Then when this dies down, they just sit around for a bit. I think they're waiting for a punter to offer them money for some kind of service. It was tempting seeing as Mr.X was no longer around. But I never really plan on paying for sex. Especially not when I'm not plastered, so I hold back. I never really see the difference between buying a girl in a bar a drink so she sleeps with you, and paying a hooker. Essentially they're both taking payment for sex, but that is an argument for another day. One just seems a lot more accepted. Socially.

Anyway, I'm sitting here, drinking my two beers as slowly as possible to give Mr.X time to do whatever it is he is doing. I'm assuming he's coming back, but I'm really not sure, but I'll give him all the time I can. But it gets to the point that they are stacking the chairs, the dancers are all in their plain clothes, or have gone, and I'm the only punter left, so I figure it might be time to leave. Mr.X has left his jumper behind, so I pick that up and go outside. Now I have absolutely no idea where he has gone. And I have no idea if he is coming back, so I try to speak to this guy sweeping up outside to find out. Using a lot of signing with my basic Spanish, he tells me that he is in the building next to the club, which seems to let out rooms for a short time. I think that was what the 50 pesos was for. But after a while longer, I have to ask other people. There is a taxi driver who seems to be well known, so I ask him. He goes into the building and finds out for me. I'm not allowed in. He tells me (this whole conversation being done mainly with signing), that he'll be out soon. I was stuck outside there for about half an hour in total waiting. It did give me time to find another strip club when I got bored of waiting. I didn't go in, but I just went for a walk and found it. I also pick out all the spelling mistakes on the mural for the 'Dollar Club', the club we were in. If you ever end stood outside here as well, then pick them all out. There's quite a few.

When Mr.X finally appears, I get the details of what he's been doing. It cost a futher M$500. Including drinks, thats a total cost of around M$750, so she'd better have been good. There were much hotter girls in the bar, but she got him so damn horny, he'd have never've been able to say no. Pretty good business strategy if you ask me. I really don't think he planned for things to go this way tonight. But I can't blame him for the way they did. If a girls does to you what I was seeing just in the bar, there is no way in hell you're going to say no to her. For anything.

There were still a couple of taxis waiting at this point, so I guess there were more people in the rooms that'd need a ride home soon. We jumped in one, before realising neither of us knew the name of the hotel. We got ourselves dropped off at Domino's Pizza instead. At least we knew the 2-block walk from there.

Now you remember how I said that I had a single bed tonight. Well that was lucky tonight. Since we'd arrived in Mexico nearly 2 weeks ago, I hadn't knocked one out at all. The last time was in New York when I somehow got myself so damn horny I couldn't sleep. But I was thinking, why not go through Mexico for as long as I could. Well I was still set, but sitting in strip clubs all night must've got to me, because I had one of those really happy dreams. I woke up thinking it was nothing more than a dream, but I thought I should double-check. And yeah, I had. I'm quite proud to say that I was able to clear up nearly 2 weeks worth of love juice, without any of the 4 other people in this pretty well-lit room, realising. I got my endaway for free. That was an interesting challenge though. Damn strippers broke my duck. Anyway, to make sure this didn't happen again this trip, I cancelled my no wanking rule, so I apologise to anyone who used the showers after me. Starting the next morning. There are no pictures for this bit.

The next day we were losing those who were going to Cancun. We had some time in the morning, so whilst the others were getting breakfast, I decided to walk down to the market. Only problem was, I walked in the wrong direction. For quite a good distance. By the time I'd got back to my starting point, there wasn't enough time, to find it again, so via an Internet cafe that I'd spotted some of the others in, I headed back to the hotel. We were going to be seeing these 3 in a couple of days in Cancun, but despite this, there were still hugs all around before they got in the taxi. These three were, you could say, the more extravagant end of the people travelling. Justin and Lauren had spent something like M$4,000 each on alligator boots this morning (about £200). And once in Cancun, they were staying in a 5-star hotel. I think they wanted some time to have a more extravagant holiday, as well as get a chance to see Cancun... so off they went.

Yellow Church The rest of us were here for one more night, so the plan was to spend the day shopping. Great. With people wanting to do different things, we arranged a meeting place, and then split. Sean, Sergio and Alyssa, and me, Susan and Jen. I was still craving some alone time, so the plan here, was to come to a couple of shops with these two, and when it became clear that they were going to want to spend all their time shopping in women's shops, I'd make my excuses and leave. Turns out it was surprising entertaining actually. I had no plans of buying anything, so I stayed with them for quite a while. Well I got bored eventually and went to Burger King. And then, typically once the rain had started, I went down to the market. I'm not a good shopper though. I don't like looking at stuff, I don't like spending money, I don't like carrying things. Shopping really is my nemesis, so typically I came back with nothing. It gave me the best part of an hour alone though, so that was cool.

Hotel roof 1 We were meeting at this yellow church, and with the rain still coming down, we were waiting inside. Just after everyone had arrived though they locked the main doors; a service had started a bit ago with praying and that kind of crap. So before they had a chance to lock the side doors, we got the fuck out of there.

Because people had done there own thing today, only me and Jen were hungry come dinner ish time, so we found this restaurant a couple of blocks from the hotel. Now if anyone has read the blogs prior to these Mexico entries, you'll know I like to invent my own foods and food combinations based on fitness goals. So when I saw breaded chicken with pasta, I really didn't think it'd be as good as it sounds. I would eat this a lot at any point when I need to gain weight, which admittedly, was the last goal of Mexico. But it's still a damn good meal. I thought there had to be a catch though. What restaurant in the world is going to mix pasta and breaded chicken? But they did! God it'd been a long time since I'd had that. They added sauce where as I would use low-fat cheese, but they were pretty damn close. This was one of my favourite meals in Mexico. Not because it was especially good, but just because it was exactly as I expected it. Brought back a lot of memories of putting on weight to play football a while back. It was good to see Jen one-on-one as well. She opened up a lot more now there was Hotel roof 2 no others around, so I could find out a lot more of what actually goes on in that slightly crazy head of hers.

The plan was to go out tonight, but we were out at dinner for nearly 2 hours. So when we got back and the others were all set to go out, Jen needed to pack because we had an early start in the morning, and I needed to sleep... just because I like to, so we arranged to meet the others a bit later. The problem with sleeping at that time, for a short time, is that it pretty much fucks you up. When I woke up, and even by the time we left the hotel I was barely conscious and didn't feel like going out. I didn't really want Jen walking around by herself at night though, so I came out to this bar. Now this, is what we needed last night. Last night, everyone was psyched to have a big night out partying, and apart from me and Mr.X, the best we get is a jazz bar for 45 minutes. Tonight we're in a bar where pretty much everyone is salsaing. Not only on the dancefloor, but among the tables as well. This place really had character. And then there was me, nearly unconcious in the corner. I forced down a mojito on the hope that it would wake me up, but it really had no positive affect. So after that one I came back to the hotel. Not only did I feel too unconscious to party, but it evened up the numbers to 2 Hotel roof 3 girls and 2 guys without me, which is what you really need for Salsa. I knew when I was leaving that I was going to miss a lot of fun. But what's the point in staying just to sleep? If this bar had been open the night before, then it could've been one of the best nights of the trip. As it was, I had to spend last night watching naked girls dance around instead.

Suzi was still awake back at the hotel, and we were layed there talking until the others got back quite a while later. Having her alone, she really opened up as well. It's interesting to know what people will tell you when no one else is about. With the others gone, we had gone down to one room instead of two, so for the first time on the trip I had to share a bed. Sergio will probably never know how lucky he was that we weren't sharing the night before.

The next day we went to breakfast at this French cafe for some reason. It was alright. Me and Sergio accidentally ate Alyssa and Sean's croissants thinking that they were communal, and we never heard the end of it for the rest Hotel roof 4 of the trip. We split up again after breakfast as we had limited time until we had to check-out and get to the bus station. I was with Jen going to the market. God-damn that girl loves to shop. I could've done the whole market in the time it took her to do one stall, but it was still a lot of fun. The thing with this market, and many others in Mexico, is that nothing is priced, and you're expected to barter with the merchants. The best way we found of doing things, was ask them how much something was. Whatever answer they give, return with half of that amount. They'll then say a number higher than that. You then once again say your amount. They say no. You then walk away, and a couple of yards from their stall, they'll call you back saying "ok, ok." You felt kind of bad seeing as these people don't seem to have much money. But at the same time, if they would just quote a sensible price at the beginning, then you wouldn't have to haggle. I'd guess that they were clever enough that we were still paying way more than the items were worth, but everything was so cheap, it doesn't really matter. I didn't buy anything, so I'm not too fussed. Jen really knows what she wants though. One of the merchants was wearing a top that she wanted, and she made her change it for another one so she could try it on. And she didn't even buy it. Pretty funny though. When it was time to go, getting her away from this kind of place is like getting a child out of a candy store. It just takes a lot of persistance. I managed in time to get up back to the hotel ok. From here we checked out and got into taxis to the bus station.

This bus journey was the one and only on this trip, that I wish could've been longer. It actually had an English speaking film!!! Albeit with Spanish subtitles, but still. And this was one of the funniest damn films I've ever seen. The whole bus was in laughter, it was like being at a comedy club. Yet the bus journey was shorter than the film. You'd think they would've thought of this before the journey. You would think so, but they didn't. Since getting back, I've found that the film was School for Scoundrels, and it's top of my list of films to see.

I've got to be honest, I didn't really pay much attention to where this bus journey was going. It lasted about an hour, but when we get off, things look awfully familiar. "Have we been here before?" I ask. Then looking around, I realise that we are back at the bus station where we spent half the night sleeping, waiting for Alyssa to arrive. When we were doing all that driving in the jungle, it was a little frustrating, but I always assumed it was worth it because we were making progress across the country. This was the first time that I actually realised, we were doing a big fucking loop. Fuckin' eh! If I'd know that at the time, then I might not've been so willing to sit in the cars for so many hours a day. Anyway, we were here to have lunch with the person who'd organised the jungle trip. I think she was the mother of Sergio's ex or something, and she was also a tour operator. This was a sort of thank you lunch I think. Her sister and another person were also here, so we were split; me, Sergio and the Mexican's in one car, with the other 4 going in a taxi. They were all speaking Spanish so it meant I could relax in the car a bit. Though I could still tell that Sergio was talking about me to them in Spanish.

Once we get to the restaurant, it's like a giant buffet on our table. 2 massive plates of various meats, with a load of other Mexican things. Tortillas, beans, that kind of thing. People seemed to think that I was going to eat a lot. Unfortunately I was no longer the fat person I was in Halifax, and my stomach could hold a lot less nowadays, so there ended up being a lot of leftovers. I would've been able to eat more, but for the fact in one of the salads, there were pieces of supposedly the hottest chilli in Mexico. I was sceptical, but was eventually convinced to try it. It was a piece the size of the tip of my thumb, so how bad could it be? It wasn't too bad. I put it in my mouth and chewed it for a few seconds without feeling much. Even swallowed it. Then it hit! And it hit bad. My mouth started burning up, I was sweating, I had tears running down my face at one point. Fuckin eh that was one hot-ass piece of chile. For the next 30 minutes, all I was doing was sipping the various drinks around the table, and trying to cool my tongue by covering it with feta cheese. There were points too, where I was thinking I might have to vomit. And when the pain first hit, it was just panic. How the hell do I stop this? It passed after about half an hour, but it had lost me my appetite. I won't be eating one of them again in a hurry. I've never been the best with spicy food, and that was the worst I've ever had.

The Mexican guy had had to leave before the rest of us, so intead of booking a taxi, we decided to all try and fit into the 4x4, which was at capacity on the way to the restaurant. With now one spare space we had to fit in 4 more people and a load of bags. It was pretty funny in the end. There were five of us piled up on the back seat, with Alyssa sitting on the sister's knee in the front. We dropped the sister at home, then for some reason and somehow, she not only came to the bus station, but beat us there. We just about made it on time. The bus was boarding when we arrived, which meant there was no time to pick up water or anything like that. But they give you one drink and some snacks as you board the bus, so I had to make the bottle of water I got given last me the next 17 hours.

It was a pretty good journey in the end. I was next to Susan, who has so much damn energy when she's conscious that she keeps you entertained. Then once she passed out, I could just relax and listen to music. I didn't sleep at all, but the time still went pretty quickly.

I can't remember exactly the time, but we arrived in Cancun at around midday the next day. Despite my best efforts to encourage people to get together and organise accomodation for Cancun before we arrived, we had got nothing sorted. I'm not sure where she'd got this information from, but Jen seemed think there was a town hall not far from the bus station, and that they'd be able to advise us on a place. But we had no idea where this was. And in the scorching Cancun heat; everyone with backpacks, there was no way that we could spend time out in the sun Cancun Hostel searching for places. Instead we stopped at a phone box. Jen had for some reason got some very specific ideas in her head about accomodation here, and obviously Sergio had to make the calls being the only Spanish speaker, so the other 4 of us found some shade outside a restaurant 5 yards away whilst they made the calls. With the most extravagant 3 people on this trip already bunked up in a 5-star hotel, the option of hostels was open again. 2 hostels were called. One of them offered us 6 beds: 4 in a room by themself, and then another 2 as part of another dorm. The other hostel didn't pick up the phone. Now logic tells you, that you should probably go to the hostel that actually answers the phone. Apparently not. I did voice some concern to this at the time, but I guess not loudly enough. Despite the fact that they didn't answer, we got a taxi to the second hostel. I still don't know the logic for this; whether it was a better location or what. Whatever the reason though, it was pretty fucking stupid. We get there, and guess what. The hostel doesn't exist anymore. There is just the skeleton of a building remaining. You want to know why they didn't answer the phone? Because there's no damn Beach 2 phones there anymore. We didn't even get out of the taxis, and just came straight back, to an apparently cheap hotel that Sergio had heard about off someone. Each taxi was M$120, so that was a waste of money. Anyway, it turns out the hotel isn't actually that cheap, and essentially out of our price range. I think the taxi drivers knew this as well, because before we'd even decided to leave, they had come into the hotel to get us. They had just waited, knowing what would happen. So another taxi journey later, where do we go? That's right, the place that actually answers the phone and actually has beds. All those taxi journeys essentially wiped out the money that we'd have saved by staying in a hostel. And where was this place? Yep, less than a 2-minute walk from the payphone we were using. So that was a great start to Cancun. To make it all better, Jen managed to lose her wallet in the whole furray, which had about 3,000 pesos in it. Loving Cancun so far. I still cannot fathom the logic of going to a place that doesn't even answer the phone. Why did we call the other place if we weren't even going to go there? Anyway, that's how it went down. Burger bar

Having not eaten too much the previous night because of that fucking chilli, and then sitting on a bus for 17 hours with only a couple of snacks, I was damn starving by now. There was a burger place right next door, so without waiting for the others, me and Sean went and ordered. Even though the waitress spoke English, I still ordered not really knowing what I was getting. I had a rough idea, but I was so damn hungry that I didn't care what I ate. I have to say, thank fuck we came down first. When the 3 girls came down; oh my god, I've never seen people being so fussy in a burger bar. It's a burger bar for fuck's sake. You order what is on the menu. "Can I get it without this sauce, with this sauce, with pineapple..." I felt sorry for this poor girl. It must've taken 5 minutes to get their damn order. I hate people being fussy. At the end of the day it's all food. What the fuck does it matter?

Beach 1 With that out the way, we eventually worked out how to get a bus to the hotel that the others were staying at. It was a pretty long bus journey. Maybe 30 or 40 minutes in the end. We found the others waiting for us in the entrance, and spent a few hours chilling at this 5-star resort, using the facilities, going to the beach. It was nice. The plan was to meet back up with the others this evening, and go to a club. So I started saying to people about 4 hours before we were supposed to meet again, shouldn't we be getting back now? And I repeated this several times, and we eventually decided to leave with about 2 hours before we were supposed to meet. And of course leaving is never a case of actually leaving. Jen wanted to do something on the computers and says to go without her. She didn't expect us to actually leave, because as soon as we start walking, "Can't you wait, I'll only be 5 minutes." So other people sit down at the computers, and by the time we actually get outside, we only have about an hour and a half until we have to meet the others.

Hotel view Now when we're outside, it's very simple, we catch the number one bus. So why the hell do we get on a number 5 when we don't even know where it goes, especially with a number one showing up every couple of minutes, and with one behind us when we board. Again, I said this at the time. No such luck though. The 5 goes a lot of the way back, but it still drops us a 15 minute walk from the hostel. So this was an hour and a half to get 2, 40 minute buses, walk for 15 minutes, have dinner, and get ready to go out. I really struggled to see at this point why I was the only person who could see that this wasn't going to work. I started saying we should go 4 hours before we're going to meet, because it takes 4 hours to do all that crap. So when we're supposed to meet the others, who don't have cell phones, I don't think we'd even finished dinner yet. The restaurant wasn't even very good. And it had a lizard crawling on the walls in the kitchen that the chef never noticed.

Coco Bongos 2 I think we eventually arrived where we were supposed to meet about an hour and a half late. Of course the people we were supposed to meet here were long gone by now. We'd also picked up some girl at the hostel, who for some reason came with us to the club, but then left. Strange. She reappeared in Playa Del Carmen a couple of days later. But anyway, we arrive at the club, which is M$500 entry for a free bar, so if you're going to get value, you need to get into asap, and we spend 45 minutes outside. Waiting. For the others to show up or what? I don't know. If they were going to be anywhere, they were going to be inside, so we missed about 45 minutes of free drinks as well. This was all very fucking annoying. The most annoying thing about today though, was that every fucking thing that went wrong: Going to the wrong hostel, missing people at the club, getting the wrong bus etc., would have been avoided if people had actually listened when I had said we should do something. Every single thing that went wrong I had seen before it happened, and every single one I said something. Yet every Coco Bongos 1 single time, we fucked it up anyway. After all this, I needed a free bar. We never did find the others.

After all this, I needed a good club. And this place was something else. Coco Bongos it was called. And for all the shit in the daytime, this place made up for it. The place in Acapulco was my top club this trip so far, but this place was even better. Never in my life have I been to a nightclub even remotely like this place. Jen got ID'd 3 different times on the way in which I found pretty funny. Once we were in there though... damn! It seemed a normal club for the first few minutes. Free drink on the way in, but it was a free bar, so that was nothing special. But then the lights go down, and on this huge screen up to, they start playing the unforgettable scenes from ancient warrior films such as Gladiator. This was awesome. And then suddenly the lights change and all these people are hanging from the ceiling on these white sheets, and they go through this really impressive dance routine.

Coco Bongos 5 Once this was over, you think thats the show done. But then another comes on. Then another. Then another. There must've been at least 10 mini shows and tribute acts until they ceased at about 3-3:30 am. They had Queen, Elvis, Madonna, Michael Jackson. The best though, had to be a Spiderman show. These guys were swinging all about the club from the ceiling; Spiderman and his enemy whoever that is. I don't read comics. Then they land on the bar which is in the middle of the floor downstairs, and directly surrounded by loads of people, and have this mock fight, not to dissimilar to a mini professional wrestling match, before obviously, Spiderman wins. This place was immense though. It would have been worth the 500 pesos (£25) just for the show. The fact it was a free bar, made it absolutely awesome. My aim was 25 drinks before we got into the club. At M$20 per drink, I could've said I got good value for money. I think in the end I got closer to 30, so as it turns out, the drinks were really cheap, and there was an incredible show going on. Coco Bongos 4

After the first couple of acts, we had gone upstairs to one of the balconys. And this is where we stayed for the rest of the night. The view wasn't quite as good from up here, but you had the space to dance. Which we did. Once in a while, I'd glance at other people around us, and I got the feeling that we were quite a lot more drunk than everyone else. I think maybe they actually came in for the shows. But free bar dude!!! You're an idiot to waste that.

The shows wind down at about 03:30 as I said, and this was also when the free bar ended. Now I'm someone who hates leaving a club before the end. Especially when, like here, it's been quite tame up until now because there's been shows going on. The main floor was now opening up to a dance floor, and you could tell it was about to get good. Why now then, do people decide it's a good time to leave? The others all decide they're going. I'm never one shy of spending time by myself, so I wave them a goodbye and stay on the dancefloor. I think they thought I was joking as they came back about 10 minutes later having waited for me on the way out. Fuck that. There is no way I'm leaving a club this good before I have to. I'd rather stay in the club by myself than leave early with everyone else, so off they went. This time for real. I was well happy I stayed as well. I was pretty wasted, so I was dancing away with this balloon I had found. I was talking to people, and even had my photograph taken with every person around a table individually. I can't Coco Bongos 4 remember why that happened. But I had a great time. Even if it would've been better if the others were here still. Even though the club was still busy, after a couple of hours of drinking and dancing by myself, I actually left. I guess contradicting everything I just said seeing as it was still banging. But it will've been gone 5 by now. And I had drunk a lot.

I remember downing a couple of doubles before leaving, so from here it gets a little vague. I definitely tried to walk home. Which would've been stupid in the daytime sobre, going in the right direction, because of how far it is. I was wasted, had no idea where I was going, and it was nighttime. Of course last time I was walking at night by myself, it cost me M$800 in police bribe. I don't know how far I got, but I remember some taxi drivers being really worried about me. Anyway, I ended up in a cab, I think going in the opposite direction to where I was walking, but whatever. I woke up the next day, still with my balloon. I remember having that when the others left, so I will've been dancing with it for a while. And then felt the need to first walk, then catch a taxi with it. Now apparently when I came in, I said I pulled some chic on the dance floor. I don't remember either saying that, or it Coco Bongos 6 actually happening, so one of two things happened. Either I did pull this chic, because I do remember getting really close with a girl, and I still remembered when I was drunk, but had forgotten the next morning. Or I just made it up when I got in. Both are very possible, as I can turn into a pathelogical liar when I'm drunk. I guess I'll never know. In moments of doubt like this, I'll assume that I did pull her.

But anyway. I had an absolutely awesome night. Some of the other guys didn't like the club. Why? Because they wanted to go to more of a dancing club than a show. Then why the fuck did you all leave just as the dance floor was opening up you retards? I've never understood why people leave clubs so damn early. They always get better later. That's pretty much science. But fuck 'em. If people want to leave early, and regret it the next day, that's up to them. I had an awesome night.

Daytime the next day wasn't too dissimilar to the previous day. It was Ant's last day so we were back at the hotel to say bye to him. He was the only outsider, I guess you could call him, on this trip having not been to Dal, and knowing only Justin. He fit into the group like a glove though. A really likeable guy. We had some good times so it was sad to see him leave. This whole day isn't all that clear to me. I had KFC for breakfast. And we were definitely at the hotel again abusing Waterfall tv the facilities. One thing to note: 5-star hotels never check you're actually staying with them. 6 of us did happen to know 3 of the guests at this place; Me Cancun if you're interested. But even if we didn't, they never checked to see that. We could have come in here off the streets, used the pools, the free Internet, and all of their other facilities and noone would have ever known. I was trying to persuade the others to go and do exactly that at a 5-star hotel in Playa Del Carmen, but they all have "morals" and won't go. It's definitely going on the money saving section of this website. Stay in a hostel but get 5-star facilities. They even had a TV behind a waterfall look. I have no idea what the fucking point is of having a TV behind a waterfall. Surely it'd make it harder to watch. But I've never seen one in a hostel so it must be classy. But yeah, although this daytime isn't too clear; probably something to do with the free bar last night, my photos tell me that we were at the hotel and the beach for most of the day. I remember being at the beach with Ant and Jen for a while. Oh, I remember now. Everyone was going for lunch, supposedly at the hotel restaurant, which looked expensive. Only it wasn't open which Alyssa found really difficult to take and started arguing with them that the restaurant was actually open. It wasn't, but she put forward a good case. Anyway, the plan was this classy place. We ended up in Hooters. That was nice too. This was at a shopping centre a 5 minute walk from the hotel.

Hotel view 2 We didn't get a chance to hang around though because we had to get back to see Ant off. It was sad to see him go, but the weird thing was he had a taxi big enough for about 12 people to himself. As they were settling up the hotel bill, I remember thinking that for the same price as 4 nights at this hotel (with whatever else they had added onto their bill), we could've had 2 months at our hostel. Admittedly we don't have a TV behind a waterfall, but that's not everything. In fact last night I didn't even get linen because they'd run out. It was lucky I was drunk because I had to sleep under a slightly damp towel. We did get some kind of camping stove to cook eggs on though. Free eggs.

Later that day, the rest of us go back to the shopping centre. It's cool for a while, but people stop making effort to wait for one another. Justin was either high or in a bad mood, so he's making no effort to integrate with people, so the group splinters. I end up with Jen, Susan and Alyssa somehow. I always seem to end up with them. Luckily Alyssa is a counter-strike to the other 2 spending so damn long shopping. She always would get really stressed out when we couldn't find someone, so the fact that we'd lost 4 people was awesome as she was really antsy to look for them and was like a damn army sergeant after a while. It Cancun at night was a good counter for the other two who spend stupid amounts of time shopping, and made it so we were actually at the shopping centre for just the right amount of time for me. We found the others back in the hotel room. They were all monged out watching a film. Not especially wanting to be a part of that and craving some alone time, I instead went back to the shopping centre. Jen and Alyssa had gone to the beach, and I wanted a couple of hours alone, so I went back there. It had a nice waterfront area where I could just sit. Looking at the nightlights of Cancun, and staring out over the water. I was here at least an hour I think, and it was just what I needed. I got my head straight and clear, and came back really relaxed. It's what I need every day or 2; just an hour to myself to think things through. Otherwise my head gets too clogged up with stuff.

Once I get back to the hotel I go up to the room again. The 3 other guys and Lauren are in there, with the others supposedly downstairs on the free Internet. Sean and Sergio say to me that they're either going to stay the night here, or stay hanging out for a while, and head back in the early morning. Either seems fair as the 4 of them were really Beach 3 tight during the first semester in Dal, and this would be their last chance to hang out for a while, As fun as it sounds though, the room stinks of something I don't want to breathe in, and I'd much rather have a night out, so I go downstairs to see what the others are thinking. Jen is there, and she is very cautiously agreeing to come back with me. Susan is there, but she gets kind of mental when she's on a computer. Nothing you say registers in her brain and she loses any concept of consequence. She is staying therefore. We can't find Alyssa. So we head up to the room and I give Justin a man-hug goodbye, and after a bit of "fucking move," Jen comes with me. We again go and see Susan before we leave, but she's still in her little Internet world.

As we're walking out, I say to Jen that one of two things will happen at the hotel tonight; the other two have decided they're staying now. Either one of them is going to have to leave to bring Susan back to the hostel. Or she's going to end up sleeping in their hotel room, either on the floor so she'll be moaning how uncomfortable she is all night, or in one of the beds, displacing someone else which will piss them off.

Once we get back to the hostel, before even going in, me and Jen venture further than the burger place next door to the hostel for dinner. We go to the restaurant next to the burger place. Now it's pretty rare for me to get defeated by food. I can't eat like I used to when I was a porker in Halifax, or when I was playing football so needed to keep my weight up. But I still have a pretty healthy appetite. When we then ordered a plate of nachos, a couple of enchiladas and a bowl of cactus to share, I wasn't expecting too much. Oh my fucking god that was a lot of damn food. Couple that with these really thick fruit milkshakes they did, and there was a whole days food here. The waiter had initially forgotten the cactus, so I had pestered him for it; I really wanted to try it. So when he collected nearly a full plate of nachos and nearly a full plate of cactus, it was kind of embarrassing. At least the enchiladas went down.

Before this dinner we'd both been pretty pumped for a night out. And after dinner we both even took a walk down the street with a load of bars and clubs on, opposite the hostel. But we were still in beach clothes, so by the time we'd got back to the hostel, Jen was waiving on me. We got back and Susan and Alyssa were already there. I didn't realise it at the time, but guess what. Sergio had had to come back too. Jen finally set that she wasn't going out tonight, and I have to say I was feeling pretty much the same. It did take a little encouragement from her, but I did eventually end up going out to a local bar by myself. I was almost reluctant to do so, but as it turned out, it was one of my favourite memories of Mexico.

I go into this sports bar, sit at the bar and order a beer. I look around. This is Mexican Cancun. In Coco Bongos and that area, it was designed for tourists. I am the only white person in this bar. The bartender speaks very basic English, but he seems to be about the only one. Now I did very little here. There were a couple of TV screens within my view, one playing the MLS, the other playing some MMA. I just sit here, watching the TV's, looking around and watching people. It was more time alone so I could have a beer and think things through. There was sport that I could give my attention to on the TV. As much as both of those, I just enjoyed looking around the bar. This was the only time I can think of on this trip that I went into a bar completely void of tourists. And I loved just sitting there, soaking up the atmosphere. It was coincidentally buy-one-get-one-free on beers tonight as well, so I got through a few. I didn't realise that when I ordered, and the barman didn't tell me until he put two beers down in front of me, so it was a nice surprise. I was getting ready to finish up and leave, and the second person in the bar who I found whom spoke English came up and sat next to me. This was some absolutely rat-assed Mexican, who ran on a cycle of about 5 questions, 5 or 6 times. It was pretty funny. The first one was always "Where you from man?" The second one was "England. What is that in America?" Next would come "What're you doing here man?" And then he'd carry on with a couple more, before stopping, thinking for a second, and starting all over. It was pretty damn funny. Now as lame as this sounds, this was one of my favourite memories of Mexico. That's a little worrying after spending 3 weeks with friends, but I love to get to mingle with locals like this, wherever I am in the world. You can't do that in groups. And you certainly can't do that in groups of people who are picky about where they go. By myself I have the freedom to go where I please, and I think this was why I liked it so much.

Next morning, by the time I get up, Lauren and Sean are already back at the hostel with Justin gone. I go upstairs to check out the free breakfast, but it turns out to be bread, eggs, and a little stove. I have a couple of pieces of toast but cannot be fucked to cook eggs judging by the look of them. The plan today was to get to Playa Del Carmen as early in the day as we could. Problem was, me Sean and Sergio had dropped off our laundry the day before, and that wasn't supposed to be ready until midday. Now for some reason, and I never understood why, Alyssa had a right hard'n for getting a Hard Rock Cafe shot glass. Now I can vaguely understand that if you're eating there or something. But she went with Jen on a near 2-hour round trip just to get one. What the fuck? This would've been OK, but they didn't leave until about 11:00. I went to the launderette with them still in view to check if our clothes were ready early. They were. So we ended up postponing Playa Del Carmen nearly 2 hours. For a fucking shot glass. That doesn't really seem a worthwile investment of 7 peoples time if I'm honest. But for some reason, she really wanted that shot glass. They finally got back around 13:00, at which point we headed to the bus station. Bring on Playa Del Carmen baby.

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