Day 6 (on shore)
Thursday morning we arrive at Cozumel, Mexico. Once again, there is a “safe zone” all the way around the docks for the cruise liners. It is fenced in with security guards and check points for all of us coming and going. It is filled with shops, souvenirs, drug stores, food and drinks. The shop keepers tend to keep their overhead lights off and air conditioning off, I guess electricity is expensive there? But they don’t want you to think their shop closed, so they come up to you in the corridors/walkways and whisper in broken English in your ear, “My name is Ernesto. I will take good care of you.” Now doesn’t that just make you want to enter a darkened room with a strange man?
On this stop the Four Musketeers had planned an on shore excursion in advance. We found the opportunity to ride dune buggies! That’s just something we don’t do every day. We were driven to this park area where a killer track was set up to ride these dune buggies. And when I say killer, I mean killer. Two people per car with 5 point harnesses, helmets, goggles, encased in a steel frame. I drove. We pretended to be Monster Trucks over rocks, boulders, branches; fell into crevices, craters and sink holes. We plowed through mud puddles, creeks and bounced over bridges. Did I mention these were not automatic steering? I had to hang onto the steering wheel with every muscle that I have just to keep it from going off the dirt track. Unfortunately, I did just that. Yep. This girl! I crashed our dune buggy right into a tree! And now I am known as Dwight the Driver.
I was cruising along and the helmet kept knocking the goggles down. I couldn’t see. I kept pushing the helmet back up, pushing the helmet back up, pushing the helmet back up… until at one point I just got so irritated, I let go of the steering wheel with both hands and as soon as I did…the front wheel hit a rock and the whole car made a perfect 90 degree right turn…right into a tree. Head on! BAM! Dead stop! Hubby’s head turned in slow motion. He looked at me and simply said, “I can’t believe you just hit a tree.”
While they pulled off the front bumper, which was embedded in the tree, they brought us a new car and sent us on our way. I never let up on my grip on that steering wheel again!
We stopped at a natural cave with real stalactites or stalagmites (whichever shoots down from the ceilings). The cave was covered in bats and we swam in the freezing cold mineral waters! I actually swam in the Bat Cave! Do bats poop upside down?
Although Hubby claims he is fine, I was terrified from then on that I had killed him. I was convinced he had rebar protruding from his chest or that his newly unprotected heart was shaken loose from its tender moorings. I had hit my knee on the steel frame so hard even I started walking with a limp. I took it slow from then on. I didn’t even have the guts to jump the last jump. (Mike and Sue actually got airborne!) But the final farewell to the track was a giant mud pond. They told us to speed up and hit the water as hard as we could! BAM! Mud wall! Absolutely covered from head to toe in thick, cold mud! Hubby peeled my hands off of the steering wheel and we sloshed our way back to the boat. Hubby and I dripped mud right straight to the hot tubs on Deck 11. We stripped off the outer layer (down to our swim suits) and limped, broken and slightly bleeding into the soothing hot Jacuzzi. Ahhhhh…
An older woman leaned over and queried, “You look terrible. May I ask what the hell happened to you in Mexico?”