A day at the Barracuda

DSCF4286Well, it’s been a good week here on the island of Cozumel.  It started with my decision to go offline and unplug for a few days.  Since the heat began to rise a few weeks back I’d noticed that I was getting a bit too comfortable just sitting in my living room with the air conditioning on and the laptop on my, well, lap.  As a friend teased, “the internet is strong with this one.”  So, after busily perusing social media sites for more days, and way more hours, than I like to admit it occurred to me that I was neglecting the island life.  I mean, I could be sitting with a computer just about anywhere, yes?  So, I temporarily closed up shop, went offline and went back out to see what I was missing and it was a great decision.

In the last few days alone I’ve had lunch with friends, swam with others, and was able to take enough bike rides and walks so as to remind myself that I do indeed live in paradise.  But, before plugging back in, I thought I’d return to one of my favorite haunts, the Hotel Barracuda.  And, since it was such a nice day, I thought I’d take a few pics and share the experience.

DSCF4289The Hotel Barracuda is located on Melgar across from the Mega a few blocks from el centro.  It’s a bright salmon colored building that houses not just hotel rooms, but also has a pool,  palapa,  sports bar,  restaurant and a dive shop on theDSCF4291 premises to guarantee that all your needs can be met.  It was one of my first hangouts when I moved here since the cost of using the facilities is cheap.  Get a cup of coffee and you can take a dip in the pool, or the ocean, the choice is yours.  But, let me suggest getting some brunch as well since their prices are reasonable and you simply can’t beat the ambiance.

DSCF4288Mimi, one of the girls who works the pool area, greeted me by name and got me a Coke withinDSCF4313 seconds.  That’s her on your left.  Her English skills are great and her smile makes one feel welcome.  I picked out a table poolside and sat for a few minutes just relaxing in the quiet morning breeze.  Then I grabbed my camera again and started to walk around.  It was still early enough that I could get the shots I like of the chairs and tables  waiting for customers.  The sun was just starting to peek out over the top of the building and it, too, made for some interesting possibilities.  For example, the pic on your right of the umbrellas reflecting in the pool is my favorite of the day.  It wasn’t taken in the broad sunlight that is customary when shooting pics of resorts, but I like the simple lines and the blues one can get when the sun isn’t yet out in full.

Next I headed past the pool bar towards the bathrooms and the sun porch built just DSCF4307behind the main hotel.  There I discovered a corner filled with some of those great little touches that let us know we are in the Caribbean.  It was tucked under the stairs and before I headed up you know I had to take a shot.  Then I DSCF4303went up the wooden steps and found the place to be when looking for a tranquil setting and a great view.  A sloping roof complete with lounge chairs and a putting green look out over the ocean and the property.  I took another photo of the pool from up there and then just sat for a few minutes to watch the fishing boats pass by.

After a while it was time to head back down and grab a bite.  The menu is interesting at the Barracuda and can be enjoyed by both carnivores and vegetarians alike, and, also, by folks like me on a budget.   After checking out both sides filled with food and drinks it only took a few minutes to make a decision and I ordered aDSCF4340 DSCF4337smoothie with mango, pineapple and ginger to go with falafels that came with hummus, very lightly browned pita bread and a tomato salad topped with onions and parsley.  Now, I’m not a foodie, as I’ve mentioned often, so the descriptions and photos will not do my lunch justice.  So, let me just say that it was good and, once all was said and done, I’ll repeat that it was very affordable.  In fact, the check, that also included my Coke,  came to less than twelve dollars usd,  including the tip.  I do want to mention, however, that I did receive the “local discount” of 10%.  One of the many advantages to living on the island  is that quite a few of the restaurants, and other businesses, give us a discount to encourage our patronage.  What a great incentive, yes?

After my brunch I decided to focus a bit of my time on taking shots of the scuba folk.  Dive Paradise can be foundDSCF4329 DSCF4316on the backside of the hotel and they seemed to be doing a brisk business.  Now, I’m not a diver so I don’t know about prices, times, or the locations of their dives.  But, I’m sure those can be found easily by the folks more in tune with the sport.  I simply wanted some shots and those were easy to come by since everywhere I looked there were people walking around with tanks and fins.   I was able to determine that there were several groups that seemed to be at varied skill levels.  Dive masters were hard at work with pairs, individuals, and whole groups both in and out of the water and, as is often the case down here,  they didn’t seem to mind having their DSCF4334pictures taken even though they were all focusing on events of their own.   But, the sun was getting strong and I was starting to get a bit warm so I grabbed one last shot of a guy out in the ocean and then I made my way back to my table.

Once there I paid my bill and started to pack up my stuff.  The pool area was starting to get busy and most of the tables were getting filled with vacationers.  I spotted a group of folks that, I’m assuming here, were visiting from Australia.  They seemed to be having a lot of fun and I thought that a shot of them might well be the one to top off my day.  So, never shy when it comes to taking photos, I DSCF4342asked one of them if it would be okay.  As always the answer was “of course” and they quickly maneuvered into position in the center of the pool.  With big smiles they struck a pose and I got my last pic.  I wrote down the name of my blog for them and, if they happen to find this,  I’ll take this moment to say “thanks guys.”  I grabbed my stuff, said goodbye and headed back home to write this down.

Now, this is where I usually end one of my pieces, but I wanted to take a moment to mention that I will be starting a new series this July that will be titled “Getting Cozy in Cozumel.”  It is going to focus on some of the many wonderful neighborhood inns and B&Bs that we have here on the island. Since the off season has fewer events I’d been scratching my head over what to write about and then, when visiting friends who own one of these little jewels, it hit me that there is a wealth of information that I would love to share.  As usual, there will be no compensation, or direct promotion intended, I just want to take a peek at a few of our hidden gems in the hopes of sharing more of what we have to offer here on the island of Cozumel.  Finally, if you happen to own a neighborhood inn, or B&B and would like to be included, please just drop me a line at M.Chero@Yahoo.com and I will happily come on over with my camera and notebook starting in June.  And, please tell your friends.  Until then, check in to see what it’s like to shop on the malecon and take a sunset cruise.  It really is paradise.  Salud!cruise ship

p.s. if you peruse former blogs you will find writings that also cover a variety of other hotels and activities.  I don’t intend to promote, and never receive compensation, but I do like to share good experiences.

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