South of the border, down Mexico way

Trip Start Apr 25, 2006
Trip End Apr 25, 2007

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Friday, August 18, 2006

Knowing full well that Cancun was little more than the sort of tourist trap I'd be well advised to avoid, I flew in with a healthy dose of apprehension, but also renewed hope after securing a rendezvous with MC after his exploits at the World Series of Poker in Vegas.

Alarm bells ringing in my head, I boarded an airport shuttle bus and my fears were soon realised as we passed endless hotel monstrosities, crowding every inch of an otherwise-beautiful coastline. With plenty of construction still ongoing, the charm of the selection of big brand name US companies was lost on me, and so was any semblance of excitement that would normally bubble to the surface when arriving to a place for the first time. It is how I imagine many holiday-makers would picture a perfect destination - fine enough beaches, large selection of gaudy hotels, plenty of fashion label shopping, your favourite restaurant chain on hand, access to your preferred party drugs, annoying street vendors.. and all at very slightly reduced prices in an environment where there is always someone on hand to pick up your rubbish and fetch your next beer.

It only took a few days before I began crawling up the walls. There is a limit to how many DIY audio Spanish lessons I can endure before going a little mad. So, desperate to leave the confines of my overly pleasant hotel room, I donned my good thongs, summoned all my strength, and unleashed myself on Cancun. Trouble did not take long to rear it's ugly head. Strolling towards the "party zone" I noticed a disconcerting amount of US hip hop emanating from the clubs, but then noticed nearly every place was advertising the same deal: All you can drink for US$20. It seemed I was destined to suffer through shitty music in order to make a mockery of their underestimation.

And suffer I did. As the plentiful booze coursed its way through my being I was able to focus not on the shithouse music, but instead on the blips I had begun to register on my Single Chick Radar. Cancun is the sort of place that lends itself to a dirty blokes/chicks weekend, so I knew a standard group of "3 slappers plus 1 hot chick" was just around the corner. Well, that is how it was explained to me by a Kiwi who I quickly severed ties with (he spewed on the bar). By the time a decent line-up had surfaced in my newly preferred bar, I was, let's just say, having some trouble forming sentences. In a scene better recognised from Weekend at Bernie's, I managed to prop myself in my chair and flail my arms around in the air while paying great care not to let my head flop on the table too hard. I had long ago lost the ability of subtleness or tact, so before long I was caught checking out a girl a few tables away and could only respond by shrugging my shoulders at her and enquiring "What?!" at the top of my voice (necessary in every bloody bar). So very lame, yet so very successful. Before I could formulate a sufficiently cheesy excuse (or pickup line), or even gather my thoughts enough to endure the inevitable barrage of small talk, she had already made her way over to my lonely-looking table. More plastered than a new home, I opened my mouth to the sounds of some clown unable to form a sentence. Fortunately, she was all over it and started chatting me up?! Sure enough, she was with a few friends from New York for a dirty girls weekend, clearly gagging for it, and all too aware that another hour of open bar would render me completely useless. She scarcely waited 5mins (could have been longer as I was operating in Drunken Time) before subtly mentioning in great detail how great her hotel was, and how fantastically nearby it was. I reluctantly left unfinished alcohol behind, and followed her off into the night...

I woke at 3pm the following day to the sounds of MC's arrival. Apparently he knew which room was mine as I'd left him "a sign" - a bunch of empty beer bottles on my window sill. We added to the tally and caught up for a while before taking the long walk into the party zone (via KFC) to tie one on. MC suffered a food poisoning setback so left me to continue the solo fight until around 3am.

At some point MC picked up a hankering for some fishing action, so we enquired and booked a stupidly early start. Waking to the sound of rain, and to the sight of menacing storm clouds forming a little too close for comfort... we were not deterred. After a 40min ride to the jetty, followed by the clouds dumping a deluge on our heads for a solid hour, we opted to pull the pin and reattempt the next day. I was not too unhappy with the outcome as I had been suffering from a rotten gut all morning and was not exactly looking forward to the prospect of a whole day being thrown around a boat.

Repeating the ridiculously early start, happily the weather held up the second time around. Our skipper, Alex, flawlessly positioned us on top of the fish for hours but we struggled no matter how he tried. We were getting plenty of bites at the lures, but our alcohol-stunted reflexes were letting us down badly. A change of lures and heading from the mangroves to the open sea bore immediate results - we both landed barracudas in quick succession (to everyone's relief). The only thing left to do was put the finishing touches on our healthy sunburns and scratch away at the insect bites suffered.

We went out for celebratory drinks of course, taking full advantage of the US$20 open bars before we could simply not stomach bloody tequila any longer. What happens on tour stays on tour...
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