It was our last day in Isla Mujeres, and even though I knew I had a multitude of great new memories, I was thankful to be leaving. Our room was so confining that it was difficult to have more than one person in the room at a time. I was excited to head back to Cancun and even room in a 30 person dorm if it meant I would be able to fully extend my arms without hitting a wall or a bed frame. We checked out of Poc Na, and caught the ferry to the main land. From there, we took the bus back to Cancun.

I had found a hostel called Mezcal that was rated #1 in Cancun, so I reserved us a vacancy. It deserved every bit of that rating because it was hands down immaculate. It was clean, run by professionals who wore matching Mezcal branded shirts, had an excellent chef and bartender, and was an architectural work or art. There were sculptures on the walls, mosaic tile work floor to ceiling on the outside and most of the inside, and almost all of the windows were stained glass. The pool was always clean and refreshing, the playlist was balanced, and the beds were comfy in air conditioned rooms. There was themed nights like BOYBarbecue, Make your own Mojitos, and game night. It was cozy, and luxurious but big enough that there were multiple seating areas for privacy. At night when it was lit up, it looked like a medieval Caribbean paradise. It may not have been appropriate for us to go nuts there like we could at Quetzal but that was a worthwhile  sacrifice.

The next day was the day we met Neo and Haydin. They were both Australians travelling alone. Neo was about my age, an active thrill seeker, with a buzzed head. He had a dry sense of humor and, like me, didn’t really care for details about plans unless it concerned where to eat. Haydin was 40 which we all found incredibly difficult to believe. He had a full head of dark hair and was tall, and in excellent shape besides a bad knee that flared up during a few of our antics down the road. He was a bit of a devils advocate but at the same time avoided all confrontational situations, so I chalked him up to a bit of trickster. Amie took more time to talk to them than I did, I was more interested in getting into the pool after I settled into my room. We eventually took off to the beach and by the time we got back, it was almost time for Amie’s best friend from home to arrive. I was nervous to meet Darra, who wouldn’t be nervous to meet their travel buddy’s best friend.

She was about 5″3 at best, with long dark hair, and light green eyes and freckles. I wouldn’t have guessed she was Australian at first, I think Irish would have been the more obvious bet. She was a direct personality, and had no problem calling out what she observed in total honesty. From that alone, I already knew I liked her but I had two other shallow things to hope for. The first was that she liked me, and the second was that she had a good sense of humor. Amie and I tended to take jokes to the¬†point of no return absolutely 100% of the time, and I knew what it felt like to be around friends who didn’t even seem to be speaking the same language as you. Eventually she arrived, and of course all my worrying was for nothing. This final addition completed the little group that I traveled with for the rest of my time in Mexico.