So that morning, me and Amie were on top of the world. We were finally leaving Quetzal, and then catching a ferry to Isla Mujeres. It felt a bit weird leaving Flynn and the creeps behind. We had gotten used to doing whatever we wanted in a place where people were so used to our antics that we no longer raised eyebrows.

Cozumel was a more concentrated version of Cancun. When we arrived I stepped off the bus and craned my neck looking at the shops. Everything was tall and narrow, along with the streets where we were forced to weave in and around people just like in Cancun. There was even a narrow three story Maccas rigt accross from the bus station. We squinted in the sun and dragged our bags through the crowd until we hit an open park like area. The ocean came into view at the exact time that an overwhelming stench hit my nose and caught in my throat. It was the smell of garbage and as I looked around, I saw  bins were overflowing. I was about to blame the grounds keepers but then watched a backpacker carelessly drop their food wrapper in a badly aimed throw at a garbage can. So I said nothing at all, and continued on to the ferry port

We spent a little time debating prices with the tellers. At the bus station back at Cancun, a lady had tried charging us for first class tickets but had not realized that we could read Spanish and clearly saw a two economy seats left over on her screen. So we were slightly more aggressive negotiators than usual. After playing a million spider solitaire games on my ipad the ferry docked and we boarded. There was a talented man playing guitar and singing both Spanish and English songs the whole way there. I pulled strands of hair out of my mouth and looked over the side of the boat and saw crisply colored aquamarine blue water and brown masses of seaweed. I couldn’t stop smiling, the water was never this clear in Cancun, and I had stopped myself from excessively searching pictures of Isla Mujeres so that the first sight would be completely new.

We stepped off the boat with our legs slightly wobbly from the waves. There were bathing suit shops, bars, steakhouses, scuba centers, and travel agents all claiming to be the best in all of Isla Mujeres. It wasn’t long until I got sick of having menus, blankets, and necklaces shoved in my face. After a while I just stopped saying “No, gracias.” and took to ignoring them all together. My eyes were darting from one place to the next, taking in more culture on the walk to Poc Na hostel than I had on my whole week in Cancun. When we got there, we had  reached a broad stretch of white concrete wall with incredible street art on it to our left. To our right was a fairly large tented group of merchants selling the typical products. In front of us, we realized we could walk no further, but through the chain link fence blocking our way we could see an expansive yard full of hammocks and then the ocean. There was a large orange irregularly shaped circle logo and words reading Poc Na over a small arched entry way to a tunnel, and we walked through.

As my eyes adjusted, I walked to the front desk window and then realized there was a Mexican Jesus looking man smiling at me. I said hi just a little too loudly, suddenly unable to control the volume of my voice or the fact that my mouth was slightly gaping. I asked for two rooms while Amie was stabbing me with her heel as we worked out the details of our board and what was included, and then we were led to our rooms.

There was an open area with picnic benches and a small bar at the edge. The whole space was covered by a wood and palm roof, and off to the left was the kitchen which was just closing. I silently cursed the backpackers smiling and saying hello to me in every language as they held plates of delicious food from the last serving. We walked down a short path and over Amie’s shoulder I saw its network branch off into several directions, weaving around corners, all of which were white cement walls of other dorms. Mexican Jesus unlocked our screen door and it creaked open to reveal a sardine can of a room. Bunks were absolutely jam packed into the tiny space, there was barely any room for anything else besides the 6 beds. With what space was left in the room, there were lockers and a tiny bathroom. It was extremely claustrophobic, but it was cheap. And  most importantly, it was clean, seemed safe, the toilets flushed, and the sink didn’t leak. So after Hostel Quetzal, Poc Na seemed like a palace.

Upon dropping off our bags, we met Nat. She was draped over her bottom bunk reading a book in what appeared to be along t-shirt… because I could fully see her cooch. I was not prepared to see what I saw, because unfortunately I’m straight as an arrow. As our time went on a Poc Na, I realized that Nat did not in fact wear t-shirts that were slightly too short to be dresses, but wore dresses that were sightly too short to cover her whole ass. It didn’t sit that well with me getting an eye full of vagina every time I walked by her bunk. But I liked her anyway because there were a fair amount of times when she was a voice of reason in our group when we really needed one.

We met the rest of our roomies who were all friends travelling together from Australia (where else). One girl got so drunk every single night that she was a hazard to herself. The other was very sociable and nice, and then there was Yan from the Czech Republic. They were the best travel partners we had yet. Yan made a solid effort that night to get me and Amie to party but we were tired enough to go to bed early. The beach party would still be there tomorrow.

That afternoon, we checked out the North Beach that was a five minute walk down the street from us, and it was more beautiful than any beach I had been to abroad (<em>Maybe</em> besides the black sand beaches in Faial, Portugal). The sand was almost white, and the water was like glass. There were tiny fishes no bigger than my palm that darted around our legs, and thin long transparent ones that swam in the shallows. There was also a bar that had a bunch of swings, and serves reasonably prices sandwiches. I was so happy we made it and even thought that was most likely because it was far away from Quetzal, I could tell that it was going to be a good 3 days.