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Carnival Miracle Western Caribbean Ports of Call

More on a Day in Costa Maya from the Carnival Miracle

By Bob and Wendy

Costa Maya (continued)

The cruise lines have done everything to try and keep cruisers out of Chac-Chi, large concrete wall extending down to the water with signs not to enter, big metal fence going way up the road. There is a billboard above the fence on resort property welcoming cruisers and stating you can take a cab out around the highway to their main entrance.

But there is also a shortcut, an 8 minute walk, that the locals and land resort people use. Go past the cruise shops, keep to the right, and exit into the taxi and bus area. Walk around the roundabout with the yellow concrete centrepiece, and down the right side of the street, to the first intersection, which will take 3-4 minutes. At the intersection turn right and you will see a white building with red lettering saying Comisariato, a local shopping place. Walk past this building and you will come to a wire gate. Lift up the broken right side of the gate and go through. You'll see other people on the road going there too. The wire is rather heavy, take turns holding it for each other. Then walk down the path past some junk, and turn right at the end onto another path through the forest, which takes you into the resort. From the intersection to the resort took 5 minutes, 8 total from the roundabout.

I'm in education, and we wanted to take some supplies and gifts to the kids in the local school, we've done that before in impoverished areas. School is out at noon, so we had to get there in the morning. When the taxi dispatcher found out what we were trying to do, she got us both a taxi and a tour operator to be our guide/interpreter, Juan, no extra charge.

The school is at the far end of the village of Majahual, a block or so off the beach road. The entrance has old swing gates held closed with a drop bar. There were 2 small buildings, one with 2 rooms and the other 1 room. Juan talked to the teacher, Rosemaria, and found that the older kids in the 1 room bldg had gone on a day trip.

Rosemaria's class was about 20 7-9 year olds, and the other room had about 15 3-6 year olds, all in uniforms. Our gifts fit the 7-9's best, so we stayed there. There was a little 7 year old boy from Britain who was bilingual and did some interpreting for us. And there was also a little boy from Germany who spoke English. The room was very clean but had very few supplies, we didn't see any readers or activity kits, just a small set of shelves with a few things on it. When we arrived the kids were writing in notebooks. We asked Rosemaria to distribute the gifts at her discretion . pens, pencils, erasers, sharpeners, crayons, pencil crayons, chalk, notebooks, solar calculators, English/Spanish workbooks, balls, skipping ropes, toy cars, Frisbees, lollipops. The kids were very excited, I'm afraid we wrecked the lesson for the day. The room had a dry erase board, and I wished we'd brought dry erase pens. Rosemaria said the older class had a chalkboard and she would give them the chalk. Apparently there is a girl called BebeAnna in the older class who speaks English. She said she would give the older absent class some items that fit their age.

We took some lollipops to the class next door, where the teacher brought forward a little girl about 5 who said she was from Michigan and Colorado, and we had a little talk to her, she seemed proud to be the one dealing with the visitors. I told her to tell her parents when she got home that she met people from Ontario, next to Michigan, and that I was the best looking guy in Ontario. She had a look at me and a chuckle, I'm not sure that she was convinced. We took a few pictures and then left, they were all outside waving goodbye until we got to the gate, and it was a highlight of our trip. The remote inland schools have even fewer supplies, a 2 hour drive each way, and David at The Native Way tour company will gladly deliver your gifts to them.

We then walked a block to the beach road, and strolled past the shops and cafes. The beach has nice sand, but some seaweed in the water and along the water's edge, which could be easily cleaned by running a tractor down the beach to drag it away. Not as clean as Chac-Chi. There is lots of water activity equipment for rent, and free loungers to use. We drank local water (ice cubes in lemonade) here at the Cat's Meow café and the café in Cozumel with no problem. A cab from the dock to town is $3 p.p., and returning it's $2 p.p., a 5 minute trip. Our cruisemates walked from the ship to town down the coast, which took them 20 minutes. In the cruise village area there is a boardwalk along the shore, but at the end of the property there is another concrete wall like at Chac-Chi. They walked around the wall in water up to their ankles, and continued into town. It was not a pretty walk, some garbage.

Read more about Bob and Wendy's Western Caribbean cruise on the Carnival Miracle.

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