"Anyone for Scuba?"

Trip Start Oct 01, 2012
Trip End Sep 15, 2013

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What I did

Flag of Mexico  , Yucatan Peninsula,
Sunday, December 9, 2012

Where to start with this blog... before I write anything else, I just need to say that my excitement about my time in Mexico, and my future travel prospects in general has just increased tenfold. I have newly discovered, and fallen in love with, scuba diving. Hook, line and sinker you could say. In 2 days I got my PADI Open Water Diving certificate, and Im looking to do the Advanced course in the new year. Before, there was so much of the World to see, and now with Scuba Diving, it has opened up a whole new world of travelling possibilities and I can't wait! 

You may have seen a delightful picture of me on facebook where I am stuffing my face... not out of the ordinary, but there has been some questions as to whether it was a taco or a pizza, but I would like to clarify that what is in my hand is actually a burger. In fact, half of a Venezuelan burger from a street stall. After being deceitfully played after trusting Maryanna too much, I believed I was getting a cat and dog burger... this was obviously not true, but instead it was a burger consisting of beef, chicken, pastor (google it,) ham, egg, cheese, onions, tomato, mustard and mayo. Mustard and mayo, I've repeated this for my nearest and dearest to read again, mustard and mayo! Tomato and egg WITH the yolk, no chance of me being able to take it out... and guess what, SO TASTY!

I didn't write a blog last week, but both weeks have consisted of standard daily events such as BBQs, basketball, the beach, going out and tacoman. Tacoman is a hero and I can't believe I haven't written about him yet... he is situated just outside our residential and the choice between beef tacos, hamburger, a hot dog or a combination of two is probably the hardest decision I have to make out here in Cancun. Tacoman, Cristobal, is a legend!

One night that I have to write about is Seńor Frogs. Mamadas as the Mexicans would say. The cover was free this night, so we should have been able to enter without paying and enjoy the foam party. However upon seeing two English girls and a Gringo step out of the taxi, immediately the staff all agreed on a price we had to pay, even the two Mexicans we were with, were also made to pay... despite the fact that about 10 of our other friends in earlier taxis were already inside for free. Grrrrr. The first time that this has happened here and it was utter bullshit.

Last week, after 4 weeks of no-shows I finally got to play in my 3rd basketball match and try to prove that I wasn't a choker who doesn't turn up for matches. My team have improved so much and it was great. The first half I played much better than the last time, but then went downhill after getting 4 bullshit fouls by the 3rd quarter. Post game dinner with Edith and Tec: my first chicken bake from Costcos...mmm. Took a couple of knocks, with grazes and nail marks to boot... and afterwards, my back was absolutely killing me, to the point at which I was crying helplessly like a baby on my bed that night. Apologies to Twitter for my moaning. So much pain, the next day I found myself a massage... with bells and grunting. Interesting.
The start of my 6 week Christmas holidays, what a perfect time for Rosie and I to book on to do our PADI Open Water Diving course at Scuba Cancún. We had been planning this day for a long time, and we were full of excitement to receive our manuals and actually study for something! What an amazing place to learn how to Scuba Dive, with the most beautiful reefs! Like a scene from Along Came Polly, our scuba instructor welcomed us with his speedos, long hair and ridiculously tanned and built body. Unbelievably good looking! Oh gawd. Of course the next day our instructor would be the exact female version of him, equally just as stunning. Unreal. Rosie and I were in awe, all these instructors have the best jobs and are just effortlessly cool with perfectly toned/tanned bodies, sick tattoos and amazing hair. So jealous!

Day 1: We spent the morning in the pool next to the lagoon learning the basic techniques and skills that we will need in the sea and in emergency situations. I was surprised at how quickly we were able to pick things up! Then we boarded the Scuba Cancun boat to take us on our first open water dives! First dive was to 10m and then to 15m. Amazing!

 Day 2: Usually it takes 3 and a half days to complete your course, but we were able to finish it in 2 :D Everything came so naturally and we were able to do all of the skills which we had learnt in the pool. Such as cleaning your mask, giving your buddy the alternate air supply etc. It is so cool to be able to adjust your buoyancy simply through breathing, inflating and deflating your lungs. I said before, whilst we were on the boat, that if I saw a turtle I would probably cry. I never thought that we would actually see one... let alone TWO! Ahhhhhh it was amazing, a dream come true! The first was just casually munching away, and then swam away up towards the surface, with the sun providing an unbelievable background. Outstanding! 

 The reef itself was just so beautiful, it is a completely different world down there. So many bright colours and incredible fish just swimming all around you... In the second dive we saw another turtle and again, endless beauty!  



In the afternoon we did our final exams, and handed in our knowledge reviews which we did the night before, and boom, we are certified :D Here is some footage from the great man Pollo, who videos/photographs the whole dive, that I have edited and cut down (cutting out the other random people haha.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhabBThaAMc

We celebrated in style at Sensations, a roof top bar which was so cool and chilled out with decent music. It was also a farewell to uni friends going home for Christmas, and Residential people going home for good! The moon was incredible that night and the free bar worked its magic and I ended up getting a taxi with two Cubans from the Residential to go to the nearest street food stall. I completed my night making friends and talking about life with two old Mexican men whilst eating the tastiest "chicken" tacos. This was the same place where we also ended the night after our night of live Banda music and narcotraffic men in Ruidoso. Again, when Maryanna tricked me into believing it was a secret thing and I couldn't tell anyone but HAD to wear jeans... hahaha.


The next day we were back booking onto our Shipwreck dive for the following day! This dive was to 82ft, the deepest dive that they have here in Cancun. The ship was from World War II and 7 years ago, after the hurricane, it was split into two sections. As we entered the water and started our descent, below us we could see around 15-20 spotted eagle rays! Incredible, I couldn't believe it! We then swam to the line to make our decent towards the wreck. 

Once you are down there you don't realise how deep you are, you just get lost in a different world watching the spotted eagle rays swim past you, and the fish swim in and out of the wreck. Almost straight away we made our way INSIDE the wreck which was so cool and eerie going through the cabins all the way to the other side! Absolutely incredible experience, it was so cool! So happy Pollo was there to video it for us... again, which I have edited, definitely worth a watch if you have time :) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WT5yiMboV2I The second dive of the day was back to Punta Negra reef, for a drift dive, where it was just as beautiful as we had remembered! We saw a SHARK! NO MANCHES! A SHARK! Blacktip reef shark to be precise, just swimming in front of us and then away from us! Crazy. When we surfaced after the dive it was surreal, we were surrounded by the open water, like a scene out of one of those shark horror films, and the sea was just completely still. It was so serene and just incredible to float there whilst the boat came to pick us up. No waves, nothing. Just incredible.


 I can't describe it in words, it was just an amazing experience! Now all we can think about is when are we going to do the next dive? We are constantly researching places, we are so lucky there are so many dives around here... whale sharks in Holbox, cenotes, Cozumel, Belize, the list is endless. Scuba diving has opened up a whole new world for me and will definitely be top of the list when I next choose a place to travel. What an experience!

The rest of the week has consisted of a trip to the Cinema where Maryanna spilt my popcorn, open bar in Congo, daily trips to the beach to swim in the incredible sea and beach volleyball where I was dying in the sun, still shining brightly in December. 

Basketball match yesterday was just incredible, I was buzzing! So, so, so happy! FINALLY! Finally I played well :D I actually scored more than one point this time (lol,) scoring half of our points! The Mexican spectators were so nice too, so excitable and cheering me on (must stick out like a sore thumb, this red faced white girl, towering above them,) even when at half time I sat on one of their plastic cups which had their ice lolly thing in... oops how embarrassing. Even the referee told me how shit I was before, something like "oh so you've been practising, now you can play Mexican style." Ah so happy, even writing this now makes me smile! The whole team has improved so much, each player playing brilliantly, what a win! Such a good feeling to finally not let my new team down... took 4 matches but hopefully it will be the same today for our match tonight!
My Mexican blog reached 1,000 visitors this week :D Thank you so much for reading/sharing all these experiences with me! Still going strong out here, even when I think it is not possible, it just gets better and better each week :) 

Lots of love, Kim x
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