Sunday 8th January 2017
4am was the wake-up time, as we were leaving Cusco for sunny, ground level, Mexico this morning.
Whilst Larry ( our guide throughout our trip in Peru) was trying to encourage us to take a later transfer to the airport, we on the other hand had been previously burned, what with the being 4 minutes late on our arrival in Peru, so we wouldn’t have a bar of it…. 4.45am was to be the pick up time to ensure we made the 5.30am cut off time shown on our itinerary, for our 7.30am flight.
Needless to say, we arrived well before 5am and got ready to queue up for check in, only to find that the airline booth we were travelling with, was the ONLY ONE who refused to actually open until 5.30am. Every other airline was accepting check in, but we had no chance of checking in before the cut off time.
That worried look on my face returned, and both Michael and i were ready for a fight if they refused to take our luggage this time around………….. but luckily they allowed us to check in AND they actually ticketed our luggage all they way (via Lima) to Cancun.
So at 7.30am our flight took off, leaving that super small airfield, holding breath and hoping we didn’t slam into the mountains at the end.
Our first flight was from Cusco to Lima were we had an hour and a half stop over, and then we boarded the 5hr Virgin America Flight to Cancun, Mexico.
Upon arrival at Cancun Airport, we lined up for the normal customs entry, with hundreds of other people, from lots of flights all arriving at the same time. After around 45minutes we finally had our passports stamped, and we were able to go through to the next stage…. bag picking up.
After holding our breath, hoping that the Peruvian airline staff got it right and had transferred our luggage from Lima to the right plane, we managed to find our luggage and thought that things were looking up.
With bags in hand, we went through the normal scanning procedures that you do at every airport, luggage, toiletries, electronics through the scanner, walking through the metal detectors, and then we were directed to a separate area for FULL checking of the contents of our bags.
We waited, and waited, in the three lines that the barrier herded us into, and then the customs officers proceeded to call people on either side of us. Completely ignoring us, no, not you, next on the left, then next on the right…… and all the while we were getting stroppy.
We finally, after about 20 minutes, pushed our way in and then had the entire contents of our bags removed, inspected and then shoved back in. No drugs found… except the normal prescription ones we had doctor authorisation to carry.
After that, we headed to the foreign currency transaction window to exchange a little of our USD to Mexican Peso ( as we learned our lesson to do this before leaving the airport) and then we headed outside to find our pre-arranged transfer to the hotel.
We found two young kids ( around 19 years of age) there holding our ‘name board” and they chatted to us about their hopes of visiting Australia in the future, while we waited for the transfer car to pull up.
Jose (pronounced Hose) picked us up, and drove us the 40 minutes from Cancun to Playa Del Carmen.
Nicole, our travel agent, had recommended we stay at Playa, as it had more of an authentic mexican vibe, rather than stay in the heart of Cancun, the “party town”.
Party town was more for the under 25’s, not ideal for us.
Michael had researched the best hotels in Playa Del Carmen, once we decided that we would stay in that area, and he selected “The Royal”, an adults only, all inclusive, spa resort.
The best way to end the holiday after spending the first half of the trip climbing mountains!
Be sure to sign on as a follower to hear all about this amazing hotel…. the only hotel i have ever checked in, with champagne in hand, in the foyer.