Carnival and consequences

The latest post from the “Intern with a Sunburn,” Rada; her impressions following Cozumel’s Carnival celebration!
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Carnival is behind us now. The remaining of stages and kiosks are slowly coming down while the festive impressions are still fresh in my mind. The five or so days were packed with events throughout the day not to mention the weeks and months of preparations leading up that all ran smoothly in the end. Carnival was everywhere; it could hit you at any point without warning. An afternoon stroll to the supermarket was when we witnessed a kid’s performance on 7th street. Watching the kids and families get into it really makes it. Just marvelous, as a first timer, really was something.

cozumel carnaval

cozumel carnavalOne night I decided to wander around the neighbourhood in search for tacos and a beer. I had time to think about something curious a few ask. The local plaza was packed to the rim, carnival was in full swing and tacos were locked in sight. The vibe was nice, I felt safe. I didn’t feel strange because I was alone or a foreigner. Maybe it’s just my attitude to think I am at home wherever I go or Cozumel is not as dangerous as what we see on the news as far as Mexico goes—it also helps not to read the news (especially in Central America—no good news there). That night I got nothing but warm smiles and polite greetings on the street.

cozumel carnaval queso oaxaca
Senior queso Oaxaca

Cozumel is different. What I love most so far is taking the car on the other side. You take Transversal Street 14 km from town and you reach an untouched stretch of beach which extends left and right. The traditional path is to go right, the nice paved road leads past endless beach, some scattered restaurants along the way. The other day we were feeling up to the change of going to the other side of the other side. Turning left offers a more wild experience; a small sandy road takes you through an untamed green. A friends’ last day is worth the extra effort—a little swim and picnic was the plan. Trooper was fine until she sank deep into the sand and the back tires turned hopelessly. It took some strategy and man power to free her at last. Meanwhile, we had a chance to take a few snaps of the wilderness and mighty Atlantic, that is, before a flash rain hit and we were scrambling to keep the baguette dry.

cozumel carnaval

cozumelcozumel

Diving this week was exciting. I am slowly checking off the dive sites I have been to but there was one on my mind since I came. The Devil’s Throat, as they call it, is famous dive a bit farther south—is all I pretty much knew about it. Was one of those things that I just wanted to see for myself without building fantasies. I only realized it was a little extreme when Willy (who was organizing the dives that morning) was hesitant to put me on the boat. “But it’s for professionals,” he said… I was already mentally on the boat; he had me at Devil’s. The divemaster for the dive gave us a few tips that confirmed my adrenaline. Maximum depth 40 meters and a flashlight would be useful. “If there are any problems let’s catch them before we go in because then there is no turning back” he said as we raced towards Punta Sur. The boat was full with experienced divers and everyone was friendly, down to earth and helpful. We back rolled out from the boat and entered the deep abyss and began swimming vertically down one by one through a narrow dark system of caves. Having survived the devil’s grasp, we warmed up a bit and shared a little of our experience (different and the same). We all now had that experience under our (weight) belts. Have you done that dive?

This week I am taking the instructor manual and slides out once again to get back on track to finishing my dive master. Matthew and I made a nice list to make sure I complete every requirement. Rescue exercise #7, equipment exchange, skills circuit are a few. The shop is busy and company came at the right time. A group of young Canadians came full of enthusiasm. This should be a good learning environment for all of us.

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You can read more of Rada’s personal blog here.

 

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