Mellow in Mexico

On most days, Dr. Laxmiratna is rather busy with patients, but a medical conference recently took her to Mexico, where she enjoyed a lovely break from her hectic routine. Read on to learn more about her travels.


I recently travelled abroad with my son, who is also a doctor. We were invited to attend a medical conference in Cancun, and we decided to fly via Chicago, where we met some of our family. In the Windy City, we went downtown and to Millennium Park; the underwater museum was lovely. We also took a family tour around the place.

From Chicago, we were off to Cancun for four days of work and leisure. The conference we attended was a congress on menopause. My son and I were put up in a beautiful hotel by the beach, the Fiesta Americana. It was both lovely and convenient, and the restaurant was quite a delight!
 
Fortunately for us, we had time between sessions to explore and experience Cancun. A water city and major tourist hub, Cancun’s clear blue waters and white sand beaches make it a popular spot with tourists of all ages. In our free time, we went for an extraordinary underwater walk, where we traversed the sea bed. We saw sea life like never before – up close and personal!


 


During the underwater walk, we were made to wear enormous helmets which at first seemed impossible to hold up. But thanks to the buoyancy of the water, they were miraculously light. These were meant to let us breathe and keep us safe, in case we needed to be pulled back to the surface for any reason. They showed us a video to illustrate safety and technique, and we could only talk in sign language.

I didn’t think it would be as hard as it was to walk underwater. The current is so strong that every step is a struggle. It was difficult to stand, let alone walk. We had railings to follow, and the guides took good care of us, explaining what we needed to know. Several feet underwater, we saw a host of different fish. We got to touch sting rays, all the while being very careful not to get near their stingers.


 


Another wild and wonderful experience was the zip bike ride; it’s like zip-lining, but on a bike! You sit on what looks like a cane chair and pedal down the line. The ride comes around full circle and is set in the midst of dense foliage. When you look around and see only forest, you can’t imagine being able to go through it, but it was gorgeous! The view from there was unimaginable.

We visited Xel-Ha Water Park, where my son had a blast with the dolphins. He danced with them and even got some dolphin kisses! The water park offers an amazing snorkelling experience, and though I did not do this, my son did and thoroughly enjoyed it. He saw such big fish that they even scared him a bit!


Cancun is famous for its underground water caves. Because the small islands there connect to each other, there are many underground water formations. One can go into these beautiful structures and see the sparkling, transparent, turquoise waters. You can even go into the water, but we did not have enough time for that, as we were to see the Cancun pyramids that same day. These structures are much smaller than those in Giza, but are still quite lovely. We weren’t allowed to go into the pyramids, unfortunately.

Cancun is full of little tourist spots, hotels and restaurants; a tourist hub in the truest sense! I didn’t see a single school or college around, and the people were very friendly and seemed to always have smiles on their faces. The culture is easygoing and the people helpful.

There is a lot of good seafood to relish here. I’m not very experimental when it comes to food, but my son tried a variety of things. Burritos (as you can imagine) are extremely popular, and people seem to be comfortable eating them at almost every meal. Tequila flows in abundance, and we even got to see the fields where they grow the fruit it is extracted from.
 
One day, as I sat by the hotel pool doing some work, a young lady in a bikini came up to me and asked me for a photograph. She was fascinated with my saree, but I unfortunately didn’t have the presence of mind to ask her for a picture in return!     – as told to Saloni