So I arrive in Playa del Carmen and I'm dropped off at the ADO bus station on 5th Avenue and immediately I am not impressed. I have to check to make sure I'm actually in Mexico and not somewhere in the US. Everything is priced in US dollars and all I hear are American accents, which is worrying.
My first hostel (Viva la Vida) was lovely and clean, but soo boring and no one talked to each other. It seemed like a lot of the guests were actually living in the hostel, which was weird. Plus, the dorm was soo hot that every time you went in to get something, you ended up slipping into a heat coma and waking up 3-4 hours later drowning in your own sweat. After 2 days I couldn't take anymore and I moved to a new hostel.
Hostel Che was dirty, cramped and smelly, but the dorm had air con, it had a roof bar and it was a lot more social then my last hostel. Immediately I made friends with a Danish girl named Pannilla and two Icelandic girls (Elizabeth & Catherine). There were a few other nice people at the hostel (the young couple from Quebec, the crazy french guy who took mad photos of himself pretending to be a snake, and a dodgy Mexican guy looking for work) but I never learned their names and it got to the point where it was too late to ask.
Most days me and the girls would go to the beach, but a few days in and it got pretty windy in Playa and the waves and the current were too strong to swim in. We decided to stick around and sunbath, but the sand kept blowing on us and after an hour I felt like my skin was being exfoliated by a sand blaster, so Pannilla and I packed it in after a bit leaving the Icelandic girls to brave the elements alone.
We had a few nights out at Coco Maya and the Blue Parrot on 12th street, which were pretty good, but for it being "Spring break", Playa was pretty dead. The great thing was that you could walk every where, but there was alot of construction and road works going on, which was quite annoying. Plus, all the shop keepers are constantly calling out to you and trying to drag you into their shop to be some rubbish souveniers and it begins to wear on you after a bit.
On our last night Pannilla and I decided to go out for a big fancy dinner. I ordered a ceasar salad to start and they came and made it at the table from scratch. It looked delicious and then as I went to take the first bite a lovely, little worm crawled out across my plate. As you can imagine it got sent straight back and that was the end of any further salads in Mexico! There was also 2 drunk American guys sitting behind us (one of which decided to take his shirt off during dinner) and they kept giving the Mariachi band money to play for them, as they sang along. They were still there when we left!
Playa was a bit hit and miss for me. I met some nice people (all of whom seemed to speak 2-4 different languages and made me feel very lazy for not even knowing Spanish!) and had a good couple nights out, everything was super cheap, but I wasn't very impressed with the beach after being on Isla Mujures, my bank card wouldn't work, I broke my new laptop power cord, got bite by bed bugs and had a bikini stolen, so after almost a week I found myself looking forward to moving on. All in all, I give it 6 out of 10... Booo to Playa and Booo to Sean for telling me it was really cool and raising my expectations way to high!!!