3-4 Day Holiday In The Mayan Riviera

When your boss tells you to take a 4 day weekend and you only have about 10 days to book it what do you do?  I hit the internet, surfed several of my favourite Last Minute vacation sites as well as the usual travel sites searching for the best deal.  And there were lots of them out there, but i was also keeping an eye on the weather among other things.  After narrowing down the possibilities I finally decided on Playa Del Carmen Mexico.  I decided against one of the big resorts outside the town and opted instead for a hotel room right in the middle of town on the main street where all the restaurants and bars are, and only a few blocks from the beach. 
If I wasn’t in such a hurry to get my mini vacation started I could have scored big time at the airport.  I got to the airport at 6:30am for my 9:30am flight and they gave me a ‘standby ticket’.  They said all the passengers were being issued the same ticket, but of course they oversold the flight.  So they were offering everyone a later flight plus a free flight on Air Canada and an upgrade to executive class.  I turned it down… stupid! stupid! stupid!   What difference would 5 hours have made???
Again in my haste to get the party started, I ordered a car to meet me at the airport. What a nice luxury… it was a beautiful black Escalade and I felt like a real celebrity as everyone stared at me while they waited to crowd onto the minibuses. It’s about a 45 minute drive from the Cancun airport to the centre of PDC.   I got to the hotel 30 minutes before check-in and of course had to wait.  Eventually got settled and hit the beach and later the main drag along 5th avenue norte. 
The hotel, El Tukan Hotel and beach club is great for a 2 star hotel. It’s on the main street 5th avenue Norte and calle 14.  The shower has rust and patina and the tiles are all lifting, the sink taps look like they’ve never been cleaned.  Thatched roofs over the reception area and restaurants and bars… a pool and hottub.   It’s supposed to have wi-fi but it turns out that’s only in the lobby, and for 3 days I tried to get my netbook to work, without any success. 
The beach was awesome… with a strong surf but very little undertow, and all soft sand, no coral or rocks.   The second day though the surf had changed.  The wind had picked up and so had the waves.  They were huge with a very strong undertow.  It made for a lot of fun but the blowing sand wasn’t very pleasant. 
I noticed several signs for a $30 massage.  I decided to try it out, they looked legit and was I ever glad I did.  I got a full hour massage by a strong handed masseur who knew what he was doing.  I drifted out of the spa and dined out at ‘Mosquito'(i think), definatlely one of the nicest restaurants in PDC.  I had a cocktail, an amuse bouche, then for the main course I had duck breast that was juicy and tender, with a side of sauteed onions that were cooked with a white balsamic vinegar and were spectacular.  For dessert (can’t forget dessert) I had a wonderful gelato banana split in a sugar cone, coated with caramel crumbs.  I also bought a cup of pineapple spears from a street vendor for 5 pesos (abt. 50cents).   
I found a really cool sidewalk bar, and ordered a Tequila Mojito with Reposado Tequila.  The bartender said he’d never made one before but would give it a try… and it was the best I had ever had… simply amazing. He was so impressed with it, he said he would add it to his menu.  Now I have to say my note taking was not very good on this trip (I was just so happy to be on vacation) and I have forgotten the names of all the great places I visited.
One more food note though… the best pizza I have ever eaten was found in a little kiosk on the main street across from the hotel right on 5th and Calle 14th.  I ate a slice every day… a light crisp crust with the tangy sauce and chewy cheese.  If you ever go back again, have a slice on me.

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