Cancún, USA

Latitude 21.16311°N Longitude 86.82614°W

Friday, September 20, 2002

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Today we explored Cancún's Zona Hotelera (Hotel Zone), the other part of Cancún. This took about five minutes before we realized that it was not actually part of Mexico, but instead, some kind of touristic extension of the USA warped into Mexico's physical space using alien science. Along the sandy spit that is Isla Cancún, all views of the beaches and exquisite turquoise carribean waters are blocked by wall-to-wall megahotels, reminiscent in scale and density to those on the Las Vegas strip. If you don't come to Cancún with a package deal and stay in these hotels, it is effectively pointless coming. Even then, it is pointless if you want to experience anything genuinely Mexican. The fast food joints, air conditioned shopping malls, bars and nightclubs and BMW dealerships (wonder how many locals are in line for a new 7 Series this year?) could be from any large city in America. We looked at each other and knew we weren't going to last long in this place...

We drove to a Shopping Mall called "La Isla Shopping Village" and ate lunch (appropriately) at Johnny Rockets. Then we sat on the beach for a few hours at Playa Ballenas until the tide came in and washed us away. We then drove around the strip to some of the other beaches: Playa Linda, Playa Langosta and Playa Tortugas - all lovely - before returning to the hotel in the late afternoon to clean up for dinner.

Ate a delicious, albeit pricey (by Mexican standards), dinner at the restaurant Maria Bonita at the Hotel Camino Real. Got a very romantic seat by the window over looking the ocean and caught the tail end of a spectacular sunset on the Gulf of Mexico. Highly recommended for future visitors.

To cap the day (again appropriately) we drove to a Cineplex nearby and finally saw "Austin Powers 3".

Photos: (click on images to see full size)

Keiko enjoys the water at Playa Ballenas

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