A Travellerspoint blog

Polar Bears in Playa

sunny 29 °C

It's the first day of the year so regular readers will know that it's time for us to put on a brave face, (and swimming gear), to take part in the traditional Canadian New Year event – the Polar Bear Swim. Here is Sheila getting acclimatised for the big day last week.
We have been in Playa del Carmen on the Mayan Riviera since mid-December where, we discovered, there is such a thing as a free lunch. There are also handy little cars that can be rented for just $2 U.S. a day.
We were very pleasantly surprised when we booked this car for just $60 a month and assumed it was a mistake that would end up costing us dearly. Staff at the rental office in Cancun were equally surprised as the regular price was $35 a day, but it was no mistake – just a fabulous deal from economy car rentals.
As for the free lunch! While checking out our $2 a day car we were talked into a tour of a time-share development with the promise of a free breakfast and, more significantly, 2 free tickets to Cirque du Soleil in nearby Puerto Morelos. The breakfast was so big it turned into lunch and the show was absolutely fabulous – and we didn't pay a cent or buy the time-share.

Now for our Polar Bear swim. Our North Pacific Canadian island has been battered by major storms since we left in mid-December and our friends have suffered days without power. We too have suffered with torrential rains, no internet for ten days and the noisiest New Year's celebrations imaginable. The road to the beach was quiet this morning. This was not surprising as the entire population had been up all night letting off extremely loud fireworks, banging drums and singing as loudly as possible while the kids smashed pinatas outside our front windows. At least we had a jigsaw to do amidst all the commotion...
Undaunted, though very sleep-deprived, we put on our swimsuits and readied to brave the mighty Caribbean. However, we realised there might be a problem when we found the beach road underwater...
...and the red flags flying at the lifeguard hut...
And then...
Giant waves were crashing onto the deserted beach, the seaweed was piled high on the sand and we had to give up our Polar Bear swim. Oh well – asi es la vida as they say here. That's life ....There's always next year.

We have one more week in Playa del Carmen before we begin our tour of Central America. We hope that you will come along for the ride – if you don't mind the heat.

Happy New Year and best wishes for 2019 to all our blog followers.

Posted by Hawkson 10:01 Archived in Mexico

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Please clean up the beach before we arrive. By the way, we were quietly asleep by 10PM on New Years eve. See you soon.

by Keith Myers

There was a phone message in the early hours- a very drunk Mexican wishing us a Happy New Year in Spanish. Was that you Jim???

by Annie Prince


by Hawkson

Similar New Year's Eve to Keith's but celebrated with bottle of bubbly and generous slice of Jim's Christmas cake--wonderful.

by R and B

In bed by 11 here but it wasn't quiet with Chloe, Tiff, Lynne and the little girls! I look forward to your next adventures.....

by Joyce

Starting off the new year with the Graham Norton show. Smart decision not to swim. Looking forward to your adventures in this new year. Best to you both.

by Sue Fitzwilson

Well I am happy to hear that your rental car worked out! And s little dismayed by your lack of tenacity regarding the polar bear swim...seaweed and a few waves preventing you from getting wet? I am just getting ready for the event here.... and I can assure you there will be both seaweed and waves🤷‍♀️🥳 Feliz ano Nuevo 😘

by Catherine

Happy 2019! May your travels continue to be fantastic voyages of discovery for yourselves and for those who vicariously travel with you via your blog. But I admit we aren't feeling too sorry for you that you couldn't accomplish your "polar" bear swim. Waves and seaweed aside, could a polar bear survive at that balmy temperature?

by Shelley Tillemans

Heads up! There's a shadow of a man taking a picture of Sheila on the beach. I hope she'll be safe.

by Janet Vickers

Happy New Year to you both from sunny Southern California. Hope to meet up with you on VI in April when you are back. Should be around second half of April. Best to you both! Let the 2019 adventures begin!

by Bronwyn

Once again - Travellerspoint pops up in the inbox and I know I'm in for a treat. So much rain in Mexico this year - hopefully not a trend.
Will you be snorkelling on the reef, or has the water churned up too much?
Felix Ano Nuevo - let the fun begin.

by Ginny

A very happy New Year and safe travels in 2019.
Polar bear dip in the Caribbean Sea is such an ordeal😉😉😉😉.
Flying back home tomorrow, xxxx

by Christine Lloyd

Nice to have the blog back again. The armchair adventures begins again!

by Tom Whalley

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