BAY AREA DIVERS
The 'Get Wet' Club!
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The Holbox Adventure

August 9-10, 2006

For those of you who do not know, Isla Holbox is pronounced "HOLE-BOSH" - something to do with the Mayan language. Holbox is located north and west of Cancun. Isla Holbox is a small protected island only 7 miles long & 1 mile wide. Home to 1500 beautiful people who are mainly fishermen, Holbox was founded by Pirates who inter-married with the Mayan locals. The descendants of the original 7 families are still here today.  I came across Rodrigo when trying to figure out how I was going to get from Cozumel to Holbox and see the whale sharks. Rodrigo's website is http://holboxwhalesharktours.com. Rodrigo is an ex-pat from El Paso and know what Americans expect and did a good job of taking care of us.

 

We had two choices, one was to fly from Cozumel or go by ground. We decided on the ground adventure. He explained that the best way was to take the ferry from Cozumel to Playa del Carmen, take ground transportation to Chiquila and then the ferry across to Holbox. The ferry stops running to Holbox at 7pm so we needed to make it there by then. It is a 4 hour trip. Rodrigo was prepared to set it all up for us. This included being picked up in Playa and driven to Holbox, getting us the hotel room and scheduling the whale shark experience. However, there were 5 of us and the smallest van he could provide would have held 11 and so we chose to rent a car. That was where the adventure starts. We got off the ferry, got refreshed at a little cantina in Playa while we waited for the car to arrive. Then we hit the road. I have discovered Mexican speed bumps. The highway from Playa to Cancun is a massive 4 lane and about halfway there is a light and a speed bump. We came to an abrupt halt finding that out. From there we took a second 2 lane highway before the Cancun airport. Rodrigo told us of a shortcut to bypass Cancun

His instructions were something like: Don't worry, nobody has been lost yet. Take this highway to where you see a bunch of hazard signs on the side of the road... look for a shack with a rope across the entrance and pay the guy 10 pesos to get to the highway on the other side. And that is just what we did. In the slideshow, you see the shack, the fellow and the road - I particularly like the way the tree grows in the middle of the road. From there the highway leads to the Holbox turnoff and then a very long straight highway to Chiquila. Once in Chiquila, we drove to the ferry and parked the car in a safe "parking lot" recommended by Rodrigo.

Hopped the ferry and about a half hour later we were standing on Isla Holbox. We found the first golf cart taxi and said "Take us to Rodrigo's". He was waiting, took us over to the hotel and recommended Viva Zapata's restaurant for dinner. We watched the sunset at a cantina and went to Zapata's. That was one of the best lobster dinners we have ever had. We had seafood soup and guacamole as appetizers - it was all good. The hotel was nice, clean and air conditioned. We crashed early and were up at 7am for the whale sharks. When we got back, we showered, cleaned up, packed up, went and got lunch and caught the ferry back. The trip back to Playa was quicker because we knew the road. Remember the speed bumps. Every little town has lots of them. The girls had the back seat and they did not like those speed bumps a bit. It was a fun trip in every respect. Rodrigo was a great host and all of the people we met were very kind.