American Sojourn

Travel has been taking up my last two weeks.  There was, because I cannot fly, the 5 hours by ADO bus from Merida to Playa del Carmen.  Then I discovered that the low tourist season has diminished the number of ferry crossings – ergo, a 2 hour wait for the next ferry on the new dock/muelle in Playa.  It was the night before Independence Day, Mexico style, and dogs sniffed, soldiers searched, Mexico raised it’s security level to preclude the terrorist bombings of last year in Morelia.  Cozumel was peaceful.

My stay was booked through http://www.kayak.com on Expedia.com at the Casa Mexicana Cozumel, a pleasant hotel on the malecon not far from the Carnival dock, puente langosta. I gave it a thumbs up for convenience, cleanliness and a price of about $53 + tax US which isn’t bad in tourist-oriented Cozumel.

Waterfront Hotel on the malecon in Cozumel

Waterfront Hotel on the malecon in Cozumel

Soon I was ensconced in the bowels of the thoroughly American world of the cruise ship – air conditioned, overfed and coddled, a VIP.   The long trip begins.

Carnival Ships Ecstasy and Imagination

Carnival Ships Ecstasy and Imagination

The Ecstasy sets sail earlier than my Imagination in whose cabins I have traveled before.  This time, VIP, my cabin has been upgraded to one with a window (not porthole since portholes are round and open – this is large and rectangular, doesn’t open).  I have stayed aboard beset with a celebratory attack of gout, still exhausted from 5 hours on the bus from Merida.  And perhaps the feeling of being back in America is worthy of some tastes of frozen yogurt and over-eating.

The Ecstasy steams away from Cozumel in the dwindling sunset

The Ecstasy steams away from Cozumel in the dwindling sunset

The voyage by sea has been over for a while followed by some time nursing gout and a flu-like something, visits to doctors and, finally, the train to New York.  That, itself, is a voyage not unlike a cruise without the comfort but still with the odd take on the past.  On the ship it is the days of ocean liners updated to mass travel.  On Amtrak it is the days of golden railroad travel barely hanging on to its’ roots.

More to come assuming the cardiac surgery Monday goes well.

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