Buggy's to Jade Caverns
Staying on the island for 11 days and this day we decided we wanted to go to Jade Caverns
So I looked up the pricing online and found the tour offered by a company called "Wild Tours". It stated that they did the tours for $120 TOTAL for a buggy (which is really a side-by-side and both my older kids have one of them so we are really familiar with how to operate them). That was an AWESOME deal because all the other websites you had to pay per person and it was around $65-85/each. So, I booked online and got my $120 was happy with my choice.
Our booking was for 1:30pm (see we were given the option for a later tour) and we had plenty of time to get our things together, relax and of course more Spanish lessons.
When we received our booking notification, the notification said:
Guests staying in hotel in Cozumel:
Take a short taxi ride to Royal Village Shopping Center right in front of the International Cruise Chip Pier. Wild Tours booth is located right in Rafael E. Melgar avenue, at the mall's main entrance.
So we left the house around 12:30 pm because I don't like to be late for anything, even though the Royal Village Shopping Center was right down the road from us.
When we arrived, we had to park out back, walk down the side road and into the mall area, which of course was closed down due to no cruise ships in port. I think there was a pharmacy open and I think a gift shop with a guy outside trying to lure you in to buy some leather from him. But it looked abandoned here. :(
We took this opportunity to take some pictures and look for this booth we were meeting them at. I had messaged them on facebook and they said to go to the Playa Mia booth. So, here we are trying to find that booth.
When we finally found the Playa Mia store front, it was closed! Um, ok. I even confirmed with them on fb where to go and they said to follow the directions on the email booking.
So, I tried to get in touch with them again via fb. and I told them we were at the mall per instructions and they said Playa Mia Beach club. Well, that would have been nice to know. I told them we were following what the instructions said. I sent them a screen shot of my email and told them they should probably change their instructions then and they responded with "There is a mistake with our website, and we are fixing it in this moment. We apologise for this inconvenient. We appreciate your comprehension and the feedback" Alrighty then, we were on our way...but we might be late.
We arrived at Playa Mia to find that it was closed too. But not the tours being operated out of there, which I guess is Wild Tours. There is also a Chocolate Factory there as well that is open. We were greeted in the parking lot and they knew who we were. I guess this is because we were the only people there to do a tour! They had us sit at the tables outside and fill out paperwork and were told to use the bano's if we needed to because there would not be any place to use them once we left and there were none at the caverns. They took our temps and we used sanitizer, then went to watch a video in the building, of the do's and don'ts during the tour, which one said NO CAMERAS! Are you serious??? I'm taking my camera anyhow and I'm taking pictures!!! I will hide it if I have to.
It looked so weird to see Playa Mia like this with their pointed Circus looking tents down and the walkway uncovered.
Hubby went over to the store by the Chocolate Factory tour and bought us some pop. No Coca Light for me. Ugh! At the factory, they had some birds. We could hear them talking.
We sat around and talked to several of the guides and told them we were learning Spanish and doing our apps. Hubby would look up how to say something on his google translator and then he was rewarded with a weird look. They would tell him that's not how it's said and correct him. This was turned into a Spanish lesson while we sat at the table. He even wrote down some things for us. But the NUMERO UNO thing that I took away from that lesson was HIJA! That means daughter but you say it like "EEEEEE HAAAAAA. Kinda like Yea Haw! Like you riding a horse" he said. Now this was the funniest thing I have ever heard on an explanation and it stuck with us! Sakari was now Hija from here on out and I was loving every minute of it! (Yes, to this day, she's answering to that name).
We were told that another couple was coming with us to ride a 4 wheeler on the trip and we were waiting on them. I had no issue with that and they finally arrived and while they were filling out their paperwork, we were given our bandana's to wear on the trip. We were informed that it does get dusty but there wasn't any water right now because it's all dried up. So, no getting muddy. DARNIT! We had such an amazing time getting all muddy when we did a tour like this in Dominican Republic and I was hoping for a repeat!
One last trip to el bano and we were ready to roll.
We headed to our "buggy" and got in. They showed us the seat belts, the side nets, told us to turn it on and....it wouldn't start. Oh just great! They tried and tried and the battery seemed to be dead. They had another guy come over with tools and did something under the seat in the back and it started right up. I really hoped that the cables just needed tightened and we wouldn't get stranded at the caverns.
They lined us up. The leader, then us, then the couple on the 4 wheeler. I thought this was weird. I thought they would have them second and us last since we were a big vehicle and would probably be throwing up more dust and rocks than them.
One of them ask if we wanted our picture taken and ask me did I have a camera. Was this a trick? Man I really wanted a picture. Ok, I confessed that I had a camera and handed to him hoping that I would get it back. I let Sakari sit up front because I knew she enjoyed it so much the last time when we had switched places. I work better as a back-seat driver anyhow...ask the hubby. :)
Off we went on our adventure, following the guide on his 4 wheeler. We headed down the street and passed many beach clubs we had been to before. They all looked familiar to us and I smiled as we went by because of the fond memories we've had at these place. Before long we were crossing the street into something called "El Cedral". There was a big welcoming entrance for us and we knew this was going to be interesting.