Day 2: KinHa Beach
Rise & shine and the hubby and I sat out on the patio with our dedicated caffeine in hand. I did not sleep well last night. It was so hot (over 80 degrees in the room) even with the fan going and the bathroom door shut. I can't say the hubby complained too much...I completely stripped down to sleep and still wasn't cool enough. I'm pretty sure at some point the threatened to remove the batteries to the a/c after that.
After sitting out on the patio awhile, it was getting humid real quick. I went in to put on my bathing suit and sat by our patio pool to cool down while waiting on hija to get up for the day. She had the ice freezer room and I swore if we put any liquids in her room, they would freeze in a matter of hours. Who needs a fridge when I can just store everything in there.
Hija greeted us with the "What are we doing today?" "Well buenas diaz hija, estamos bien y tu?" I guess I needed to get breakfast in our bellies and I decided to make egg sandwiches. Sakari reminded me of our fiasco in Cozumel with the SAL not really being salt and ended up being garlic salt because I didn't know the word for garlic in Spanish. I doubled checked our "stash" the owners had left for us...yes indeed, it was salt.
After that, it was time to pack. So, I didn't have anything planned for today because we had a big adventure coming up tomorrow. So, today was going to have to be a laid back beach day for us.
But first, I wanted to go into town to the bank and exchange our US dollars for pesos. So off we went in our "Jeep", exploring along the way and checking out all of the neat houses. (Taking pictures along the way...) Man there are a lot of pharmacies on the island. I didn't realize there was a Dolphin Discovery on the Island either.
So I see the HSBC bank across from the ferry. The hubby parked and I went up and they were closed. I wasn't sure what to do so I just stood around for awhile people watching. They had 3 atm machines there and I watched people using their cards to get money out. Ok, maybe I should give it a shot? I had informed 2 of my major credit cards that I was coming here so they were aware. But, when I went up, they were all in Spanish only. I couldn't tell what it was saying. I decided to leave and told the hubby to try the other bank down the road. I had bookmarked everything on the MapsMe before I went and knew there was a CIBanco just down the street.
Off we went to locate it. I went up and....it was closed. Ok, I'm going to try the atm here. It did have both Spanish and some English on it. I tried one card-no bueno. I tried the other card...it looked like I was getting somewhere with that one (or at least further than the last). It let me put in how much I wanted and even told me the fee and ask if I would accept. In the end, all it spit out was a receipt, which I couldn't read. I tried again...I didn't even get as far this time around. I was hot and frustrated. I walked back to the golf cart and told the hubby "they are closed and the atm is not working.
We headed back down the street to HSBC again and I told them hubby I wanted him to try it (I'm not sure why because he knows less Spanish than I do but figured there is such thing as beginners luck right? So off he went.
No bueno for him either. Ok, well...the only other option was to go over to the ferry terminal to exchange our cash and off he went. While he was there, I just remembered....it's SUNDAY! That's why all of these banks were closed. Duh! He came back and was successful in the exchange. I know they say you get a better exchange at the banks, but desperate calls make for desperate measures right?
Since we were down this way in town on the North end, I decided to head over to Squalo (a dive and tour company) to confirm our excursion for tomorrow AND I basically wanted to see where they were located at and if that was going to be the meeting spot for in the morning.
They were pretty easy to find once we were on the road (even though their shop is not on the road but in between 2 roads). The were on the opposite side of what we will call the loudest massages girls on the island! I kid you not. They would scream "massage, massage, massage" non-stop. My throat would be hoarse. Of course despite us saying "no gracias" while we were sitting in our golf cart, the minute we got out, they would say it again, walking past them to Squalo, again...then on our way out again. They were persistent for sure. I remember at one point I said "no gracias, my mind has not changed from the last time you ask". Not sure if they understood or not.
There was a lady sitting outside of Squalo and said that they would be back in about 5 minutes. So, we decided to have a seat at a table in the area and ordered some freshly made smoothies. We would end up finding out they were with Roosters, which is a restaurant on the opposite street.
Sakari and I got the mango smoothies and the hubby got the banana smoothie. They were very good and very cold. The hubby and Sakari both got "brain freeze" instantly. Can you believe I've never had this thing called "brain freeze"? Everyone always says it, but I've never experienced it. The drink goes down my THROAT and freezes it, but never to my head. I guess I just don't understand this concept.
So, 3 smoothies cost 261 pesos, which is around $13 US dollars, so I would say on-par with prices you would find in a tourist area.
A lady at Squalo came back and I told her about booking our excursion with them tomorrow. She confirmed she had us down and that the meeting place would be there in the morning at 8am. It was so cold in her building and felt so good...oh my gosh it's so hot outside!
We decided to go to some of the vendors on the back street to see if we could locate some sunscreen. Blooper #1 for me...I FORGOT TO PACK SUNSCREEN! How in the world did this happen? We have tons of it and we always take spf 100 with us on vacation, even though we all tan pretty good. Wanna protect that skin and not burn and have some miserable days. Well, we would quickly learn the only places that sold sunscreen would be a pharmacy.
We hopped on our Jeep, gave another "no gracias" to the massage ladies and off we went.
This was one of my favorite buildings for some reason. It caught my eye every time we passed it. The pastel colors they used, the worn look. I just kept thinking it would make for a great photo session for someone.
Along the main strip we located a pharmacy and the hubby pulled up and I ran in and I would then find out that the highest spf they have on the island is only 50! Hey said "We're Mexican, we don't need any higher here on the island." He had a point. Well, we would have to make due with that. I paid the overly priced amount of around $20 for it US (yes I had peso's but that what the conversion ended up being: 391 pesos). But, we weren't going to burn at least.
Heading back to the south end to find a beach, we passed by this little landmark for tourist to stop and take a picture with the whale shark.
Now when we pulled up, there were 4 ladies there taking pictures. We got out and waited. They took pictures at the front, at the back, in the middle, different poses, with 2 people, with 3, with 1 each. It was just non-stop. Just when you think they were done and Sakari would walk up there, they would walk back and start again. At one point it got really annoying. It was almost like they would wait for her to walk up and they'd go running back up for more then look at me. Like come on. The last time they did that to her, I told Sakari just go up and stand there and be in their pictures. She wouldn't do it...so....I DID! They did it one more time so I went up as they were running back and stood there. I was about to become their new family member in the photo's. They decided they had enough obviously and walked away giggling. Yea, they were doing it on purpose. I mean come on, have some respect and let others get a picture in. I only needed a few and took me less than 1 minute for that.
Then we were off again and taking pictures along the way.
Along the way, I spotted this old red phone booth. The only other places I have seen one of these is in Bermuda. I have my loft at home done up in "vacation" stuff and the theme is red. I have a picture of a phone booth in red (rest of picture is black and white) and an actual metal red phone booth I bought in Aruba. I made the hubby stop and back up. I needed a picture of Sakari in this phone booth to print out and go along with my display.
We were headed to KinHa for the day. I knew it was free to get in and you just had to purchase food. Well, I wasn't starving yet, but knew by the time we ordered, we should all be pretty hungry because it was already 2pm.
Now if I didn't have this place on my MapsMe, I probably never would have found it. It's off the main road and you have to turn down this road which is like a 1 car lane, very bumpy and tons of pot holes. It looks like you are going down someone's driveway. But, it heads down a very narrow street for the hotels and such there. That's where you will find KinHa.
KinHa offeres a lot of water activities...all for free if you are eating and drinking there. They have 3 pools. Starting at the top is the very shallow pool for the littles and it has a water slide (a decent big one). There is a waterfall from it to the next pool for the kids. Then another waterfall down into the last pool for adults only (even though I seen kids in there with their parents). The adult pool at built in tables and chairs in the water and a pool bar as well. Later in the day they would put out umbrella's on those table too.
They also offering Kayaking, paddleboards, snorkeling, a swing out in the water for pictures and a long deck that has a rock climbing wall over the water and also a rope swing. Plenty of stuff to keep everyone occupied for the day.
We went in under the large palapa and was seated with a view of the pool.
We were handed the menu's and I have to say, the service was pretty slow. After finally getting our food and drink order in, it did take FOREVER for the food to come out it seemed like (actually 40 minutes according to my photos).
Sakari and I decided to go check out the pool since it was right beside us. It was so hot and humid and we wanted to cool down.
Oh my gosh the water felt so good! Not too cold or anything.
As we cooled off, I was telling Sakari to "look out that way" and was showing her the rope swing, kayaks and all the goodies this place had to offer. She immediately kept saying "Let's go down there" and "how much longer until our food gets here?" she was so excited.
We headed up to the top layer of the pool. Sakari went on up to the water slide. I waited down below. When she came down, she was flying and I didn't even get a picture. She came up saying "Owww" and said that she had hit her bottom on the bottom of the pool. Yea, it was a little too shallow for kids her age.
We decided to head down to the next pool area. There were kids jumping off the wall into the next pool area. Sakari decided she wanted to try. I went down to get some pictures. We would later ind out that's a no-no and they were telling the kids to stop while we were eating.
When we got back to the table our drinks had arrived...THEY CAME IN BOTTLES!! How exciting. I always loved drinking pop from glass bottles when I was young. It's taste so much better.
Shortly after, our food would arrive and it looked amazing! Sakari and I ordered the fish taco's (290 pesos) and the hubby ordered a cheeseburger (250 pesos) and pop is 45 pesos and orange juice 70 pesos. This is pretty much on-par with tourist location prices. Our total bill was $1,000 pesos, which equals out to be $50 in US exchange or $62.50 if we wanted to pay in US dollar. See how much you save by using pesos? We saved $12.50!
I had ordered fries with my meal, but they never came.
I'm glad they didn't because there's no way I could have
ate them. They didn't have them on the bill either, so I
wasn't going to press the issue.
As we were finishing up our meals, a band was setting up.
We were about to have some live music.
After eating, Sakari could not wait to go out to the water.
We went down to the lounge area and it was completely
full. Over by the eating area, again completely full. We
decided just to go ahead and put our bags down by the
steps that went into the water. It was so hot I just wanted
in the water at this point.
Most of the area is grassy after a certain point. Grassy is
not always bad. You can find critters in the sea grass...
but not this time. There wasn't much to see. So we did a
few over/under pictures as we splashed around.
They have some swings out in the water with the name Isla Mujeres and KinHa on the wood across the top. It makes for a great photo to post on social media and gives them publicity too of course.
Sakari couldn't wait to go down the dock and jump on the rope swing. So, daddy and I decided we would get on the kayaks and go out and meet her there. I went up to inquire about getting a kayak. He stated he needed our ID to hold onto for us to get them. I went back for my ID, but wait...I don't have my ID because Ciro's has it until I bring the golf cart back. I went back and told him this and he said I could just bring our golf cart key instead.
Then once we did that, the guy walked over and put the kayaks at the top of the deck and slid them into the water as we caught them. Getting on them...yea, lots of fun. Sakari had to help both of us with this. LOL
TA DA! I don't know what she did but Ta Da!!!
We made it to the rope swing and Sakari couldn't wait. They do have a long pole with a hook on the end of it so that people can pull the swing back to them. However, I watched multiple people drop it in the ocean several times. LOL It must have been slippery. That meant they were having to dive down there to get it.
Finally it was Sakari's turn.
She went plop and let go too soon. LOL She said the rope was slippery...in her defense. She should be a pro at this after our Jolly Pirate tour in Aruba. She did the rope swing so many times.
She wanted to try to climb the rock wall. She really struggled because she couldn't get up out of the water. Another guy (tall) came along and did it and went to the top. She's like...nah, it's just too hard.
We found all the seagulls. They were on all the posts out there.
We decided to head back to shore with the kayaks. There was quite a current out that way and it kept wanting to take us under the dock. Sakari hitch hiked along the back of our kayaks. When we returned, the kayak guy was no where to be found...for like 45 minutes. We ended up having to situate the kayaks on the pipes and push them up and Sakari was up at the top pulling. Then the hubby would have to go up and help her move it over with the rest of them. Where is this kayak guy? Then we had to do the other. It was a bit of work. We still didn't see the guy for around 45 minutes. No clue where he went. When I finally found him, I told him I needed my golf cart key back and that we had to put the kayaks back up on the dock ourselves because we couldn't find him and his reply was "don't forget to tip me". Um, tip you? We had to do the work ourselves trying to get those things back up on the dock. What is it you want tipped for?
Sakari wanted me to walk out on the dock with her. She didn't want to go by herself and jump. I gathered my snorkeling equipment and my camera's and headed down the dock with her.
She was jumping and I decided to get in and snorkel some. There's always something to be seen under docks and there were plenty of groups of fish under here.
There were just so many groups of fish hanging out from yellow snappers to grunts and there was a large group of needlenose fish as well. Of course you'll always have your damsels that will pester you the entire time you are snorkeling.
But, I did manage to come across a decent sized smooth trunkfish but as hard as I tried, I could not get a picture of him. He was hiding behind a pole and I'd move one way and he'd move around the other. I'd go back and so would he. He managed to peek around the corner and then dart back. There was just no way to get a picture without a second person down there with me.
I did find a black banded angelfish though.
Sakari was busy jumping off the dock, diving off the dock and anything else she could think of.
We decided to head back and see what daddy was doing. Then we went out of more swing photo's.
We headed back up to our table (we obtained one earlier when people had moved before Sakari and I went down the dock) and decided to order a plate of nachos.
A plate of nachos cost 230 pesos and was loaded with everything except beans. We do not like beans. They were really good.
After we ate, Sakari gave the "When are we leaving?" and I knew she was ready to go. We gathered our things and headed out.
We headed home and hung out by our pool on the patio for awhile.
Once I returned, Vianey stopped by with her google translator and ask if we needed anything. I told her I needed a face wash rag because they didn't have any in the house other than the bigger hand towels and I also needed something to wash dishes with...with a scrubber. She went off and came back with 2 dish scrubbers (yippee) and another hand towel. LOL Maybe they don't have face wash rags in Mexico? I don't know but I guess it would have to do. At least now I had one for washing and one for drying.
I also led her to our room to show her the air. She messed with the control for quite some time. Then messaged me she would be back. She brought back her boyfriend??? that takes care of the grounds and he messed with it for quite some time as well. I showed them Sakari's freezer box. They said that since her room was an interior room, that is why it was much colder. However, she had several windows (one that didn't close) and her sliding doors went out into the open area between our rooms and the stairs and like I've said before...it was the hottest room in the house. So, not sure about that.
He continued to mess with the control and somehow got it on a "turbo" setting and you could tell it was blowing a little more out. Fingers crossed it got cooler tonight. Hubby was hoping it didn't of course.
I headed over to the pool area to take some close up pictures of all the beautiful flowers.