Our first day in Mexico, Cancun (13 January)

January 13, 2006  
Topics: Mexico

On Friday, January 13th, 2006 we started our trip to Mexico by flying from Brussels to Cancun. We happily got a flight with Jetairfly for only 300 Euros each of us.

The flight lasted 14 hours and though it sounds like a very long time we did not realize it so much. This I assume was the result of sleeping at least half way. Another point was that we were pushed to eat and drink most of the time. The only sign for that long time sitting was that my bottom was hurting 😉

After our arrival in Cancun, we called one Hospitalityclub member (http://www.hospitalityclub.org) which agreed to host us during the first 2-3 days. We reached him, but the news were that he is not in Cancun during the weekend and thus cannot host us. Instead he gave us his brother’s telephone number. Instead of calling him right away, we decided to go to the city center for checking other Hospitalityclub members in an Internet cafe. There was a bus leaving directly to the center but the price of 15 Pesos (1.5$) was quite expensive. As we anyway intend to do our journey by hitch-hiking, I suggested to start right away. Thus we went outside the airport building, into a bright, 30 degree hot day.

As we were with shoes, socks and without sun cream, we first searched a shady place for changing to sandals, head, sun glasses and a thick portion of sun protection. When standing shortly afterwards on the road, we felt a bit funny doing hitch-hiking. Nontheless, we continued and soon figured out which cars were not private, but public ones and better avoided stopping them. Besides lots of taxis, there was a mass of high class mini-buses. We tried to hitch-hike them, too, but they were only hotel shuttle buses and seemingly not at all interested in giving us a lift.

Very soon we found a car that brought us directly to the city center. It was a young mexican couple, Carlos and Eliza, that even when asking for a cheap internet cafe, invited us to do that in their house.

A short time later Carlos and Eliza took us to the market place Mercado 28, where besides the supermarket and clothes shops, also a public telephone could be found. The first Hospitalityclub member we called could not host us because he was going out of the city. So we called to the brother of our supposed host, but we could not reach him neither. Thus we tried the next Hospitalityclub member. His name was Edgar and after a big hazzle in English-Spanish communication, I managed to explain him our situation by phone. He agreed to host us for the first night and asked us to come to Movistar (mobile phone shop) in Av. Tulum at 6 p.m.

In our quite undetailed tourist map, Av. Tulum occured as a huge avenue. Thus we decided to ask a woman nearby where Movistar is situated and which street we are in. In the end, she invited us for a lift to Movistar. We were very happy about such hospitality, especially because we did not have any idea how long it would take us to walk.

Arriving there, Edgar spotted us and came out of the shop. His first question was “How many days?” I was a little bit careful as it was such a short-term host agreement and answered “One night?” It was fine with him. As he still had to work, he invited us to sit inside the shop until he finishes. Thus all we did for an hour was waiting.

After his work we were all brought to his house by car. His colleagues happily gave us a lift, as it was quite a long distance. Before that ride Edgar told us that he lives about 5 to 7 minutes from his work. We thought that means 5 to 7 minutes by foot, but in reality it took us about 10 minutes by car. So much to the measurement of time and distance in Mexico.

When arriving home, he showed us the three rooms the apartment consisted of plus kitchen corner and bathroom. The comfort was not much different to what we were used to, just that the water from the pipe was only dropping slowly and a bit stinky.

Later in the evening we learned a few things about nice areas in Mexico and got advices what we should not miss during our visit. Especially, the pyramids around we should see. We also got information about the hurrican that happened upon Cancun just in October 2005. Already when arriving we could see from the plane how strong Cancun was hit. Driving and walking through the streets showed clearly how destroyed many parts were. Edgar told us that in his house the water was about 1 meter high and stayed for 3 to 4 days. Now the water is gone and at least in his apartment nothing reminds the catastrophe.

We went to bed quite early and short before we wanted to sleep, a couple of his room mates’ friends came over to have a small celebration on Friday evening. They drank a bit, the music was loud and with a strong beat, but somehow we did not mind at all. We were so tired that though those circumstances we soon fall asleep deeply and only woke up about 3 a.m. when his room mate came back. He was calling for Edgar, but he was in deep dreams. Thus his room mate opened the door himself with a phone or credit card. Since we knew then how easy it was to break in, we did not have a very deep sleep anymore. Also the door opened once without anybody having touched it.

In the morning we left with Edgar to his office. We took a taxi, or better he took a taxi and invited us. For us it seemed that they are good friends, the taxi driver and Edgar, and that we do not have to pay for the ride. But in the end we found out that Edgar had to pay for the ride as it was just a usual service. It seemed that taking a taxi is a very normal thing over here.

Although Edgar told us about the pleasures of Playa del Carmen, were all the tourists were gathering right now, we decided to leave in the opposite direction. We will head today to Porvenir, were the antique ruins named Ecab are situated.


  1. Long time viewer / first time poster. Really enjoying reading the blog, keep up the good work. Will definitely start posting more oftenin the near future.

  2. anne says:

    hey, i am planning to go hitch hiking to mexico. how much should my budget be if i am only planning to cover mexico? any other tips regarding the same would be much appreciated… thanx..

    • Hi Anne, if you cook yourself and will not stay at the hostels (will use your tent or stay with local people), $5 USD per day should be enough. If you will not have a camper stove, lunch in the restaurants might cost around $2-$3. More about our expenses and some tips for hitchhiking in developing countries you can read in our FAQ section.