Day 3, Saturday January 14, Cozumel, Casual/Tropic

Trip Start Jan 10, 2012
Trip End Jan 16, 2012

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Flag of Mexico  , Yucatan Peninsula,
Saturday, January 14, 2012

My morning walk on deck 5 was pretty successful, despite the dampening
of a morning drizzle. Since I was booked on a walking tour, I cut back
my walk on deck to 3 miles (8 laps), and finished about 6:30. Internet
on the Jewel is a bit frustrating as there is no wifi in our cabins, and
it has not been very reliable in the public rooms. I tried to go online
in the WJ at breakfast, and could not connect either there or in the
Viking Crown Lounge.
We arrived at Cozumel about 8AM, one of 3 ships in town today. The
Liberty of the Seas was right across the dock and the Carnival Triumph
was nearby.
My tour was "Historical Walking and Shopping", and it was thankfully
more history than shopping. We met our guide Patricio at the end of the
pier and walked outside the pier gates where 2 taxi vans took us about 2
miles to the center of town. A couple of blocks into our walk Patricio
stopped and pointed out a couple of houses. Cozumel is in the path of
pretty regular hurricanes, and the original wood homes with thatched
roofs were not up to the challenge. Modern homes are substantial cinder
block structures and often suffer flood damage from hurricanes but much
less structural damage. 2011 was not a bad year but one of the worst
was 2004 with 2 massive category 5 storms but no loss of life. Patricio also told us that this is a divers paradise and has developed medical facilities to match with 10 hospitals having hyperbaric chambers with a total capacity of 40 divers.  I hope they never need all that capacity.

As we continued our walk we stepped into a local house (which also appeared to serve as a B&B to get view of how a typical resident lives and to enjoy an iced tea made from some local flowers.  Cozumel is near the heart of the Mayan territory the Island was a sort of Mecca for Mayans, with young person expected to visit here once in their lives.  Like most of Mexico, it is a largely Catholic country and we stopped in the Catholic Church for a few minutes.  It was a relatively plain sanctuary.

Our shopping stop was at a Tequila outlet.  Samples were given out.  A couple of blocks later we stopped at a bakery where we each got to choose 1 bread item, but no pressure to buy.  The center of town is a rather large square with a clock tower.  The current Cozumel population is about 90.000 and the primary industry is tourism.

Our final stop was at the town museum.  There was also a shop there and Patricio gave us a talk on black coral vs the various imitations.  At the museum there was a garden with a Mayan house, a small structure built of vertical staves lashed together and a thatched roof.  There were artifacts from local life and industry, although it was quiet a modest museum.  After the museum Patricio hailed 2 van cabs and we returned to the pier.  I walked around the area a bit, returning to the ship a little after 12.

After a little siesta lunch came at the Seaview Cafe. a burger and fries.  By this time a steady rain was falling.  I went down to the WJ for coffee and ice cream, but still no internet, but found it at the Viking Crown Lounge.  One of the football games was being shown on the Liberty's outdoor screen, although I doubt that many were watching in the rain.

We sailed away from Cozumen just about dinner time.  All 6 were at our table tonight.  One did a Mayan ruins tour and it was wonderful, except the ferry ride to the mainland was rough.  The others did bus tours of the mainland and were pleased with them.  Tonight was the Italian dinner.  I enjoyed the Strawberry Bisque, Chicken Marsela, and Tiramisu.

The evening show was Los Pompos Gauchos, a drum and dance duo from Argentina.  We lost the hour we gained just last night, and I retired early before the 70's Disco Party in Centrum, but did sign up for early disembarkation (8:30) with a long drive from Tampa.

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