Friday, September 18, 2009

5 Days with "Hoo-lia" - Day 3

Tulum Street Photo by Julia Aron

Today, we are spending the day with Ron, Matt and some of Ron’s friends in Akumal – a 20 minute ride to the north of Tulum. Akumal, which means “place of the turtles” in Mayan, is very small community. The beach is much rockier than in Tulum – perfect for snorkeling.

The beach we’re going to in Akumal sits on a bay. Half Moon Bay, to be exact. Before we head to Akumal, Julia and I must go into town to take care of some things. I need to get a local cell phone – something I’ve been meaning to do since I arrived. Julia needs to get a hat and some sort of shawl – she got hit pretty hard with the sun yesterday and needs to be covered today.

In town, we wander up and down the main avenue – a short road – no more than a mile long. On it, sits Tulum’s restaurants and various tourist shops. After awhile, one shop molds into the other, so it helps to be on a mission. And today, we are all about a hats and shawls.

Did I mention that Julia also likes hammocks? Yes, she’s into those as well – maybe not as much as the iguanas, but each time we pass one, she exclaims with delight, “Ohhhhhhhh……hammocks! I love them.”

Yesterday, on the beach, we indulged Pedro, a local man selling handmade hammocks. They were pricey and before she decided the money would better spent on something else, we got a full hammock presentation. Don’t get me wrong, Pedro’s hammocks were really beautiful, but a hammock in a NYC apartment??

Today, we’ve found some hats, trying on different ones before settling on a simple straw hat that resembles the one the Panama Jack guy wears on the suntan lotion. It’s Julia’s turn to bargain today as I played “bad cop” yesterday with Pedro and his hammocks. The guy at the store, Ricardo, I think, is haggling back and forth with Julia while I browse around. She mentions her need for a shawl and they head to the front of the store.

After what seems like a long time, I go looking for her, weaving my way in and out of the hanging blankets and ponchos. There she is, with Ricardo, admiring a hammock, of all things!! I approach announcing dramatically, “Girl! Again with the hammocks?” She just looks back at me with a smile and turns back to the hammock.

From behind it looks like they’re looking at something in the hammock. What could it be? A baby? “What’s the deal?” I say as I walk up behind her.

Nobody answers and as I look over her shoulder I don’t see anything. Well, not at first. After an awkward moment of silence, I look down and see a small bag of weed lounging in the hammock.

“Ohhhhhhhhhhhh…….” I say, understanding now.

Julia giggles and points to me claiming that I’m the “expertita”. Ricardo gives me that hard sell and wants to give us a deal with the hat and the weed for 400 pesos – about $35-$40.

Apparently, he thought that when he asked her if she liked Bob Marley and she said yes, it meant that she was looking for weed. Who knew?

In the end, Julia got her hat and I didn’t get a cell phone. But we did have some amazing smoothies.

No comments: