30 steps to the playa (del carmen)

5 Dec

30th November 2012

I left Martina, Nathan and Steven in Tulum and took a collectivo to Playa del Carmen, popular destination for Italian tourists in Mexico.

I had heard of many friends going there for its marvelous beaches and vibrant nightlife but I had always been quite reluctant in visiting it since I imagined it as with too tall building with fake palms and flashy lights.

It is actually a much exploited place with few ugly tall buildings and souvenir shops with neon signs. But also nice and cozy restaurants, shops and corners. Not too long ago it was a fishermen’s town and the less exploited version of its nearby town Cancun, 60 km away.

What I most liked of Playa del Carmen was the fact that everything was pretty close to everything and it was easy to walk to the beach as well as to the main road full of bars and shops, while for example in Tulum everything is spread out and you need a taxi to get from the beach to the town, which doesn’t really make me feel on holidays

I love to walk to the main places wherever I am, it is the only way to see peculiar details of the places you walk and observe.
Martina, the girl I had met in Tulum had recommended me a nice and new hostel in Playa del
Carmen: Quinta Playa.

Impossible to be better located: between the “Avenida quinta” – main street- and the beach.
At the hostel I was welcomed by a friendly guy called Julio who made me feel at home immediately.
Quinta Playa is colorful, bright and new: it has amazing showers and comfortable beds, which were all I needed after the bad experience in Tulum.
There is also a very well equipped kitchen where you can keep your food and cook whenever you want.

As a special request of my stomach, receiving street and away from home food all the time, I decided I would take advantage of that great facilities to try to cook and eat healthier when in Playa del Carmen.

I first went to drop my clothes at a close-by laundry and then to a great supermarket, Walmart, for vegetables and fruits.

I spent probably more than an hour there walking through the huge ‘pasillos’ full of whatever you desire to buy. It might sound freaky but I absolutely enjoy wandering in supermarkets whenever I am.

I love to see new products and realize that most of them exist all over the world, like nesquik, nutella and Special k.
Julio organized first some beers at the hostel and then a night out to a cool mezcaleria called Mezcalinna, with some of his friends and other guests. It was a quite peculiar bar with many funny writings on the walls.

While smoking a cigarette outside the bar I met two lovely guys: Tim from Australia and Ab, a banker from London who was taking advantage to travel while changing job. They were staying at Quinta playa as well.

Among the guests there was also funny guy from Tijuana, Omar, we had quite a lot of fun.

I tried a mescal with nuts, another with almonds and then I decided to continue drinking just a paloma, one of my (new) favorite drinks made of tequila, sprite and lemon. Fresh and tasting.
I also met a sweet Argentinean girl called Lucia, from Neuquén, a little new town in Patagonia where I went few times as it is hometown of my ex boyfriend. It was quite awkward for her to speak with an Italian girl who knew perfectly about her usually unknown hometown.

She had just arrived to Playa del Carmen to find a job and eventually settle down. I like to listen to people stories.
From the hostel you only need to walk about 30 steps to get to the white sand beach full of restaurants and mariachis entertaining its guests. Me and Lucia spent few hours there. You can rent ” camastros”, Mexican word for sun beds, and lay on the beach all day long or you can do different sports such a windsurf and kite surf.
We went for a drink at Mamita’s, a famous fancy lounge bar on the beach with electronic music and good ambiance. I loved it.
I don’t know what made me get sick again, but unfortunately I caught the third food poisoning of my trip on that day, and I had to cancel a dinner out with Tim and Ab who were also leaving the day after to Puerto Escondido.
It was another night to forget but I still enjoyed a lot this place, and I wished I could get back for one of the most important electronic music festivals in early January.
It was time to leave playa; I was missing the city life and took a flight to D.F.

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