Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Mexican Caribbean Road Trip - A Mother and Son Adventure

Mom and Max aka "Team Light, Love and Positivity". Booyah.

Being a single mom is not an easy job. And I am quite sure that being the only child of a single mom can be a bit trying for an energetic ten (almost eleven!) year old boy. We love each other to pieces but in the day to day routine of life we occasionally butt heads, pretty common situation especially as we both get bored easily.

The entrance to Blue Kay Mahahual

So, how do we survive the "semana santa" two week spring vacation without killing one another? ROAD TRIP. Truthfully, it is a bit of a crazy time to try to travel, the whole country is on vacation and has the same idea. Prices are high, availability is low, but where there is a will, there is a way and I was determined to find a great escape from big city Cancun life.

The Canucka in paradise

After hours of research, obsessing, and occasionally being sidetracked by Bali or Greece or Egypt or cats doing silly things, I settled on a trip to Mahahual, a small village on the sea in the south of Quintana Roo in the area known as "Costa Maya". Looking at the maps, I realized how close we would be to the state of Campeche and extended our plans to include Calakmul. After that, it was up in the air, either drive back via Yucatan stopping along the Ruta Puuc or heading back up the Riviera Maya way. Not having a plan was PERFECT, I mean really, isn't that the beauty of a true road trip?

Small but charming cabañas at Blue Kay

We packed up the car, downloaded audio books, loaded up on snacks and hit the road. I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly the drive flew by, 4 1/2 hours and we were out of Cancun and in our cabaña at Blue Kay Mahahual and three seconds later in the ocean. The next five days were pure bliss and relaxation, five days not wearing shoes, not cooking or cleaning, just hanging out with my best buddy. We fished, snorkeled, swam, walked along the malecon, napped in the hammock (ok, I napped, ten year old boys DO NOT NAP apparently). We had one terrific day at the new waterpark, Lost Mayan Kingdom (that's a whole other post, coming soon!) feeding our need for speed and adrenaline.

Max's "office" for a few days

Max showed his entrepreneurial spirit and got himself a "job" on the second day. He was desperate to go kayaking and bike riding so he offered to work at the activities booth in exchange for use of the equipment. Dude had ALL the kayaks rented out within 15 minutes to the delight of the concession. I lost him to that hut for a couple of days and he was in heaven, they even paid him and fed him and he made friends with EVERYONE.

Max drumming up kayak business

We both fell in love with Mahahual and really didn't want to leave (don't tell Max I told you, but he had a few tears at check-out). The town has a truly unique vibe, like a small pueblito in Yucatan set on the gorgeous Mexican Caribbean sea. No big hotels, no big stores, not even an "Oxxo" convenience store. It is still relatively undiscovered and not a major tourist destination, unless you happen to arrive in one of the cruise ships that regularly dock here. There are small boutique hotels and cabañas and camping and the malecon is dotted with rustic beach clubs. I was thrilled that the reef was close enough to swim to, no need for a boat trip (though I will take a snorkel trip to Banco Chinchorro next time!) I imagine it is like Holbox ten or fifteen years ago before the luxury hotels started charging an arm and a leg for rich tourists. We felt safe, welcomed, relaxed and cozy, I had no qualms about letting Max run free in paradise.

We said our goodbyes and "hasta prontos" and loaded up the car for the next chapter in our Mexican road trip adventure. Where will we end up? Stay tuned!

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