The ‘Tank-cun’ taxi ride and other Mexican misadventures

Driver in taxi
Is he lost? Or trying to get more $?

So, the plan was to take the Cancun city bus to the terminal to the Isla Mujeres ferry. For really cheap. Like under $2.00 CDN.

Tank’s Bangkok bus ride. Disasterous!

Bad idea. Firstly, the bus drivers kept telling me their bus didn’t stop where I wanted to.

Bullshit, of course.

I checked numerous sources before I went to the bus stop. They just took one look at the large, heavy suitcase I’d have to haul up three narrow stairs to get on the bus. They didn’t want the hassle.

Rimowa suitcase challenge

Then a cab driver pulled up and engaged me in conversation. He wanted $300 MXN (about $20 CDN) to take me to the ferry terminal. “Nope,” I said. “Too much.”

We finally agreed on $150 MXN. Methinks this was first visit to Cancun too! He had no idea where I wanted to go (Ultramar ferry near Puerto Juarez).

He drove right past the ferry sign. How pissed he was when I asked him to turn around. Then, he tried to drop me nearby, but not nearby enough to the terminal for my suitcase. When he turned around for the second time, he said the fare would now be $200 MXN.

“No,” I hollered back at him. “Your mistake.” He cursed and spit out the window. Lovely.

Puerto Vallarta taxi ride with the driver’s pal

The ride ended with him accepting the agreed upon $150 MXN. And chuckling.

Bloody hell. I hate dealing with these guys.

Such is a typical day for a tourist in Mexico. Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, San Jose del Cabo, Playa del Carmen. They’re all the same. This is the stuff they do. Every tourist destination in the world has its share of scams.

I’ll make the money up somewhere else on the trip. Maybe use Uber to the Cancun bus terminal for my journey to Playa del Carmen.

I know enough Spanish for basic conversation. But, not enough YET to avoid the rip offs. I’ll get there. Mexico rip-off artists, you’ve been warned.

Isla Mujeres reminds me a lot of Koh Tao, Thailand. Narrow, flooded streets. Teeming with tourists and souvenir stores. What’s different is the vendors in Thailand don’t shout at you to buy their made-in China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Bangladesh stuff.

The vacation is going great. Really. I do love Mexico. Despite the cabbie, pounding rain, undercooked diarrhea-inducing omelet, and the expensive ($150+ CDN) whale shark harassment trip featuring the most charmless boat crew of all time.

More on the whale shark trip next time. What was I thinking?

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