Although disappointed about leaving we were glad that we decided to head directly to the ferry this morning. The winds have kicked up and the choppy sea will make for an exciting ferry water crossing today. Isla Mujeres, the Island of Women, lies 8 miles from Cancun across the Bahia de Mujeres, Bay of Women. Pre 15th century the island was sacred to Ix Chel, the Maya goddess of childbirth, fertility and medicine. When the Spanish invaded the island many sculpture and figures were found of Ix Chel. The Spanish renamed the island, Isla Mujeres, the Island of Women. This paradisiacal island is curiously barracuda fish shaped measuring only 5 miles long and half a mile wide, at it's widest point, surrounded with powdery white sandy beaches. The tranquil fishing village maintains a relaxed and casual atmosphere, although, constantly abuzz with masses of island circling golf carts that people use to get around in!
We rode up and over the ferries rusty, sea swelled moving ramp and onto the slippery deck. An attended directed us to a clearing behind an old oily black diesel smoke emitting lop sided truck. There are no hooks or cupplings to secure your bike here…you just had to extend your side stand and hang on. Kev and I tossed the idea of center standing the bikes, but there was too much water coming over the front and side of the ferry to attempt it on the slippery surface. Some of the vehicles actually started up their engines, inching backwards to escape the larger swells that were breaking over the platform. The whole scene was a little unnerving to say the least. All I could do was keep my right leg firmly planted on the platform and my left leg hooked over the bike while maintaining a solid grip on the handlebars. It was a tense 30 minute crossing!
Thankful to be off the ferry Kev and I actually circled the Isla twice before recognizing our secured accommodations at El Milagro Marina. Eric the owner of this very friendly 16 slip marina, welcomed us with great enthusiasm and Inga had kindly stocked the fridge with several cold beers for us to enjoy. Little did Inga know that we appreciated the beers more than ever today! We settled in, unloaded the bikes and headed to the grocery store…it is great to have a kitchen once again!
The best way to see the island is to rent a golf cart for the day…so that is what we did. Kev and I tooled around visiting places from North Beach to South Point, including Spiral Island and the plastic bottle floating island. Golf carting is a very fun way to travel…you just gotta slow down to a crawl for the topes!
Kev and I have decided to make a quick trip back to the US to visit our family for Easter and El Milagro has agreed to watch and store our bikes while we are gone! Thanks a ton guys! We say goodbye and catch the fast passenger ferry across to the Mexican mainland so that we can spend the night in a Cancun airport hotel.