My first real dive in Cozumel with Aqua Safari

So I got certificated with Aqua Safari, it’s a very reliable company with lots of years of experience.  I also went out on my first dive from a boat with them, it costed around 1100 pesos for two tanks. We went out like 1,5 hour from the center to the south, when our boat broke because of some water tank or something. While waiting for another boat to come so we could change to that boat to take us to the reefs, we had almost two hours to just chat and hear different diving stories. Very interesting.. It was a lot of Americans on the boat (12 to be exact), around 5 Mexican in the aqua safari crew, and me and another Swedish girl, Sandra. So funny that it was only americans and the other one was also Swedish!

Boat dive with Aqua Safari

Boat dive with Aqua Safari

So we were 14 divers and 2 dive masters down in the water at the same time. Quite many but it was such an experience. Just putting on your gear (even if I’ve just learned that the crew and other more experienced divers helped me with everything, really everything!).

When we jumped in the water and was going to descend, I really didn’t know what to expect. And I was amazed. It was really breathtaking. The most important rule in scuba diving is to always breathe, to never hold your breath because it can cause serious injuries, and I had to remind myself of it all the time. Underneath the surface lies a whole other world I couldn’t believe. It was layers and layers of corals, like a castle underneath. While “standing” almost at the bottom of it, and looking up, it was totally overwhelming. Woooow. We followed the dive master and got in holes of corals and it was like a completely different universe. We saw big turtles, box fishes, lobsters and other fishes I don’t know the name of. Awesome. We dived 80 feet, around 24 metres, so I wasn’t allowed to bring my camera since it can only be 12 metres or 40 feet underneath the water. With my open water certification I’m also only allowed to go to a depth of 18 metres, but they let me if I hold myself close to the dive master. Sooooo cooooool.

After 55 minutes we ascended and took the boat to another place and dived a depth of 15 meters. It was really current this place, totally different from the first. I couldn’t bring my camera then either, to bad. It would have been awesome to show you. But the American guy who had 25 years of experience, Ron, had a camera and he said that he would send me some pictures later, it would be totally awesome. So I will update this post later with some of the pics, until then, here are some pics from google so you can get the picture of how it was like:

The most beautiful coral reefs in the world. Pic from tropicaltravelersblog.com/

Beautiful picture from oceanfirstdivers.com/

When we got up from the last dive, it was raining and it was really windy.. but under the water you don’t notice that at all.

After getting back from the dive, I finally sent my postcards too! So many of you will now receive a post card. I haven’t been able to send them since there isn’t many post offices here, usually like one main post office with difficult open hours and really far away from where I am, but this was only one square from Aqua Safari.. so the postcards comes all the way from Puerto Escondido, like a month ago! And even Guatemala.. haha. :)

I got back to the hostel where Duilio was guarding our stuff and we took the ferry over to Playa del Carmen and directly took the bus to Tulum. We didn’t stay anything in Playa, it wasn’t at all an atmosphere I was looking for … I’m sure if you are 18 it’s great, or if you are there with lot’s of friends to party.. All the prices were in dollars, everybody on the street talking English, everybody was drinking or partying or shopping or laying on the beach.. I found it too American and too touristic. Worse then Cozumel.

 

Sunset when leaving the port of Cozumel, with the american cruises.

Sunset when leaving the port of Cozumel, with the american cruises.

We went directly to Tulum, and when we got out from the ADO bus station, we look around to see who to ask for a recommendation of a hostal… and who do we see? Pepe, from Holbox! The very Mexican guy that was in the Casa Maya gang. He worked here for a hostel called Lobo Inn, who had free bikes and internet, and a discount of the taxi there in the price, so we got there but they didn’t have any private rooms left so we had to sleep in a double bed but in a shared room, very weird. It was in a bad shape,  really hot and other people using our bathroom in the middle of the night… not cool. Also they were supposed to have a pool, which they had, but no water in it, haha.

The pool they promised us.. haha

The pool they promised us.. haha

Our backpacks. :) They are friends now, looking for a new place to stay. haha.

Our backpacks. :) They are friends now, looking for a new place to stay. haha.

Next day they had a private room available but it would cost 400 pesos with discount… So we took advantage of the free bikes thing before check out and went to the beach to see if we could find any cheap cabañas. It usually costs from 600-1500 pesos to be here by the beach, but we got a discount, 400 pesos for a cabaña just by the beach.

The room is very simple, only a bed with a mosquito net and a table. It’s half open so lots of sand gets in here with the wind, haha, and we can hear the ocean in here.  So nice. But we only have light from 19-23 in our room, and no other electricity to charge our cameras and stuff, but we can do it in the restaurant, which is beautiful. Soooo relaxed. And we have our own private beach with the beach chairs, finally! Hahaha. Very good! It’s called Diamante K.

Our cabaña! A lot of sand blows in but I love that it is rustic.

Our cabaña! A lot of sand blows in but I love that it is rustic.

Our beach at Diamante K :) Love the colour of the sea and the white water!

Our beach at Diamante K :) Love the colour of the sea and the white water!

Just before a wave.

Just before a wave.

Hahaha, such a funny pocture.

And during a wave.. Hahaha, such a funny picture.

Water splash!

Finally we managed to take the picture with a water splash!

So…. Time to have enjoy our last week in Mexico!

Video part 2

Mexico 2 from sofia armenteros on Vimeo.

Videos from the second part in Mexico, in the Caribe in Quintana Roo. Carnival in the island of Holbox and scuba diving in the island of Cozumel. A longer video, for you mother :)

And sorry for the quality of the editing and the sound mixing, which is none, haha, it’s only put together quickly in iMovie!

Cozumel – lets try to scuba dive!

So I arrived at Cozumel this Wednesday. I’m staying at a hostel called Hostelito, very clean and nice! But the dorm is big, for 26 people, and it was like 15-20 places occupated in the dorm. I was sleeping quite close to the showers and bathrooms, and there was a reality film team about 10 people here who got up really early, they all showered around 2.30-4.30 in the morning, and packed all their equipment etc…. I couldn’t sleep at all.  It felt weird to know that everyone passing my bed could see me in my bed. And it was hot too, the two ventilators in the roof on the sides of my bed wasn’t working, and my back did hurt a lot so I couldn’t find a good position to rest it and sleep. I had my first class at 8.30, but I changed it to 12.30 because I only managed to sleep like 2 hours that night.

My bed in the hostel first night

My bed in the hostel first night

When I got to the place where I’m getting certificated, it was really close that I wasn’t able to start the classes, due to my training astma. But after talking about it for like 30 minutes and since I haven’t  needed to use my inhalator in over 10 years, they let me do it. PHEW!!! I was so close to just start crying right there, haha.

Since I was so tired that day I watched 5 videos about diving, and saved the diving for next day.

There are other PADI-students here at the hostel :)

There are other PADI-students here at the hostel :)

It was the 14 of february, valentine’s day, and I was supposed to be alone since Duilio was staying for a couple of days more in Holbox, but he got here in the evening :)  Aww. We wanted to have a private room here at the hostel, but they didn’t have anyone available, only a suite which we got for 420 pesos instead of 650 pesos… and wooow, so big!! We have our own room, bathroom, shower, kitchen, balcony, living room.. haha. It’s amazing!! And the bed is sooo good! Haha. As duilio said when we went to bed ”Wow, I can’t believe this is true, the best sheets ever, so soft, without any holes or dots”. Haha. Yeah. We have had some really lousy rooms and beds before, with steel wires coming out through the madrass! Haha.

Our kitchen and living room! To the left we have a big balcony and the door there leads to our bedroom. So big!

Our kitchen and living room! To the left we have a big balcony and the door there leads to our bedroom. So big!

What an argentinian! Drinking mate and having toasted bread with cajeta...

What an argentinian! Drinking mate and having toasted bread with cajeta…

Anyhow. Next day I had my first scuba dive, and woooow, it’s totally another world!!! My instructor hold me in the hand the whole time. We went for 3 dives that day, and this is some of the things I’ve learnt: Equipment preparation, safe check, descent, buoyancy control, mask clearing, regulator recovery and clear, to use and alternative air source, underwater exploration, ascent and I’m sure some more stuff. My instructor said that the moment most people have problems with is to take of the goggles underwater, swim without seeing them, and then put them on and blow out the water so you can see again. But it wasn’t that scary. Everything has been amazing. It’s so weird to be down there with the fishes, it sort of feels like your are an intruder, visiting their calm home. Its fascinating. And it looks like they are flying around you since they are buoyancy.

Scuba Cozumel Mexico 2009 02 03_Al's Photos

Scuba Cozumel Mexico (Photo credit: connermajik-e)

So.. what I love about our stay here is the scuba diving, and our room. But Cozumel itself is disappointing. There are American cruise ships that anchors here for like 12 hours, and all the tourists go out and get drunk and buy diamonds, Cuban cigars, tequila and artesanias… 90% of the people you see here are americans. The rests are scuba divers, haha. And the town itself or the people here isn’t really anything special…. No… so I will try to have some more dives so I can enjoy the world underwater.. Cozumel is one of the top ten best diving places in the world, let’s take advantage of that!

Studying to get  the certificate..

Studying to get the certificate..

I was supposed to do my exam and my final dives today, the third day, but it rained this night and today it has been sooooo windy, so the whole harbor is closed, no one is allowed to scuba, snorkel or even bath…

So I got the day off and we hired some bikes to bike around the island, but damn it, the worst bikes ever!!!!! Mine had the brakes against the wheel the whole time so it was a  heavy and made a weird noise all the time, the gears didn’t work at all, we had to manually lose the chain to change the gear, on both bikes! Oh, but the worst was that it didn’t have any go in the bike, like it was on level 1 all the time even if we manually changed it, so bad.. so we had to pedal a lot and didn’t get anywhere!

The bicycles handlebar was a little bit crooked so it turned left all the time… what more.. oh, worst saddles ever! So unfomfortable… We bicycled to the southest point on the island, it was 32 kilometres.. and it took like 3 hours! We watched the sunset there and then we bike back in the dark, and had all the wind against us, so heavy, we were sooo tired, and our buts were really soar.. haha.  Now we are dead… But yeah, biking 62 kilometres  when you are not used to bike that much does that to you.

Out bicycling around  the island.... 32 km to get to the southest side of the island..

Out bicycling around the island…. 32 km to get to the southest side of the island..

Roadtrip at Cozumel :)

Roadtrip at Cozumel :)

At the Punta Sur, quite tired.

At the Punta Sur, or final destination, quite tired. Only 32 km back home then!

Let’s hope I can get my certificate tomorrow!

Last days in Holbox

With lots of shells in the beach in Holbox!

With lots of shells in the beach in Holbox!

Right now I’m sitting in Cozumel, I have just arrived here, and there is internet in the hostel! Woho! Haha.

I went here directly from Holbox, so I stayed 6 days at Holbox.. and I could have stayed more. I really don’t know where the time goes.

Today I took the ferry from Holbox to Chiquila to go to Cancun. I took it at 13 (80 mxn pesos), the bus to Cancún at 14 (104 mxn pesos), then from Cancún the bus to Playa del Carmen (48 mxn pesos) and then the ferry to Cozumel (156 mxn pesos), arrived around 19.30. The hostel where I’m staying is called Hostelito and is really good here. Very nice and clean!

Yesterday was the last day of the Carnival, and the men dressed up as women and ”danced” and ”sang” haha. So fun. I will upload some videos later.

Last day of the carnival, the men dresses out as women and dance and sing.. but they are not that good as women

Last day of the carnival, the men dresses out as women and dance and sing.. but they are not that good as women

Another dancing group in the carnaval :)

Another dancing group in the carnaval :) Women though.

We ate dinner at the beach, Doña Diosa or something, so expensive and not so good. Don’t recommend that. But there is another place in one corner of the Plaza, with cool green paintings, that’s totally recommendable and affordable. :)

Eating dinner at the good place.. hungry men :) And Miel has such a funny face.. haha

Eating dinner at the good place.. hungry men :)

But I can really recommend where to eat breakfast: Juguera La Chaya. It’s close to the beach to casa Maya, and they have breakfast packages that are very affordable, but also a meny, which also is cheap and good! Totally the best place to eat breakfast!

Breakfast at Chayas, the best in town! :)

Our third breakfast at Chayas, the best in town! I’m having fruit salad with granola and yoghurt, and Duilio is having a torta. mmm :)

 

Sunset and the moon that's total different from sweden, here it looks like a smiling mouth!

Sunset and the moon that’s total different from sweden, here it looks like a smiling mouth!

Oh and I’ve seen so many beautiful sunsets in Holbox. That’s why I have so many pictures from it haha.

So I totally recommend to go to Holbox! Do it now before it gets too touristic. Today when I arrived at Playa del Carmen I oooonly heard english here, there are so many americans here! So many people, hotels, deals and stuff… so yes. Holbox will probably not be a calm paradise for so much longer. Sadly.

How to get to Holbox? There are buses from Merida (once a day) and from Cancun (three times a day). You go to Chiquila and take a ferry from there to Holbox.