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Mahahual Day 1

Sunday, March 13, 2022

For my last day in Bacalar, I wanted to take in the best of it – the beautiful, peaceful lagoon. No crocodile this morning.

I stopped by a small outdoor restaurant and enjoyed a chai tea latte and a green omelet. The ambiance at the outdoor restaurants can’t be beat.


After breakfast, I finished packing up my belongings and decided to head to the colectivo. Since I didn’t know the schedule, I figured I’d better just get up there and prepare to wait. About 2 minutes after I got to the colectivo station my van arrived. I didn’t even have time to get my ticket before I handed my assumed driver my carry on and got in line. When I reached the driver, I indicated I didn’t have a ticket and handed him $100 pesos. From my research beforehand, I knew the cost was $90 so I just gave him the $100 and picked a seat.

How did I know this was my colectivo? I didn’t. Other people said it would say “Caribe” on the side, whatever that meant. If I made a mistake I had all day to sort it out. Worst case, this would be part of my adventure. Once onboard, I noticed the words “Chetumal, Bacalar, and Mahahual” were written on the windshield. I guess I’m on the right one. I tracked the journey on Google Maps just to make sure.

Colectivo station in Limones

Halfway through the trip, the driver missed the only road for Mahahual. As we passed other buses, the drivers exchange some kind of sign language. Now that we’ve missed our turn I’m curious what they’re communicating. We went up to the town of Limones where the driver got out and spoke with someone inside.¬†After about 10 minutes, two people boarded and we headed for Mahahual. I got off at the first stop and walked a block to my hotel. It looked very nice. Great details and furnishings, and a lovely looking courtyard with a relaxing pool. It seemed I kept trading up on my accommodations (of course paying more each time too). After the fees, this one came to ~$60/night. I showered with consistently warm water then headed out for dinner.

I’m hammock-inept


I walked a block over to a local restaurant for some shrimp ceviche (ceviche camarone). The Google reviews said it was outstanding, and there was no menu posted, so I have to go with the one item I can communicate. Here’s how the conversation went:

Man: Hola. (lots of words in Spanish)
Me: Hola. Uhhhh, hablo ingles?
Man: *confused* (more spanish words)
Me: uhhhh, menu?
Man: *confused*
Me: uhhhh…
Man: (words)… ceviche…(words)
Me: ceviche
Man: Camarone, pescado….?
Me: camarone

Then I wander around wondering if I should sit or take it away and hide in my room from embarrassment. He points to a table, encouraging me to sit. After eating the most delicious shrimp I’ve ever had, I say “gracias” and “delicioso” numerous times, clean up after myself, and leave.

Shrimp ceviche

This is how nearly every conversation happens. It bothers me that I cannot speak more Spanish and I am always in need of their grace and understanding in communicating with me. As an independent person, I feel this limitation pretty deeply. I am compelled to do better in the future. I trudged back to my hotel and retired for the night.

Daily Expenses

Amounts in Mexican Pesos

Total Spend$1727(~$85 USD)
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