Headed to NYC tomorrow for a few days. Thinking I want to travel light, and not bring my camera. This means I’ll see something there that makes me regret my decision.
At first glace, this looks like someplace in the Caribbean. But upon further inspection, you realize this is a theme park, located in the airship hanger of a former Soviet airbase. The resort even has tents and lodges in the middle of the “jungle’ that you can overnight in.
The hangar – the largest free-standing hall in the world – was originally designed to protect large airships from the elements. It was purchased from Tanjong on June 11, 2003 for EUR 17.5 million, of which EUR 10 million was a subsidy from the federal state of Brandenburg. The building permit for constructing the theme park inside the hall was granted on February 2, 2004 and Tropical Islands officially opened its doors on December 19, 2004.
Inside the hall, the air temperature is 80 °F and air humidity around 64%. Tropical Islands is home to the biggest indoor rainforest in the world, a beach, many tropical plants and a number of swimming pools, bars and restaurants. It is open around the clock, every day of the year.
Although it sounds like a fancy GreatWolf Lodge, I sort of want to go here…
We had a great visit to Cozumel, and are sad to leave so soon. Losing 2 days of diving to Nortes sucked, but it gave us downtime to hang out and have a “real” vacation.
As always, we saw old friends, made new ones, and ate/drank our way across the island.
Special thanks to the crew at ScubaTony for the great hospitality, digs, and diving. We’ll be back soon.
After a full day of winds from the North closing the port to diving yesterday in Cozumel, I’m ready to get back in the water today. Unfortunately, the winds are still blowing hard, and it’s looking iffy that we will dive today. We fly home tomorrow either way. We’ll gear up and head to the port at 7:30AM, and see what the call is. If the winds turn just a bit NNE, they may open the port, but it will be rough as hell out there…. Either way we’ll have a great day on Cozumel.
So today a Norte blew in, and closed the port. Rather than dwell on the fact that I’m loosing a day of diving (and we only have one day left to dive) we decided to make the most of it and head over the East side of the island for the day. The house we are staying in has some really nice people that we met recently, so 5 of us squeezed into our little rental car, and headed to the east side for adventure.
Mark knew of a little place that made tortas on the South end of the island. We headed there first and I ate one of the most amazing things I’ve ever had. I have no idea what it was, but trust me it was good stuff. The second stop was a little place where they make drinks in real live coconuts. Wow, that was cool, and not as cheesy-touristy as I expected. Then we found a spot on a remote beach and hung out for a few hours until the wind started kicking up sand. Further up was another bar where we drank margaritas out of clay pots and enjoyed the view of “Naked Beach” (no one was on it, so it was naked…. Get it?)
I played with my camera in the afternoon finding things to shoot. Mexico has great textures and colors.
Beth and I headed to Le Chef for dinner, then walked around the square for a bit. The wind is still REALLY strong. I’m not sure if the port will be open or closed tomorrow. Since we fly on Monday tomorrow is our last opportunity to dive. Hopefully things calm down tonight.
This morning when we woke up at 6AM, you could tell the weather is changing. Very grey skies, and still. Sun or no sun, I’m going diving! The water was nice and smooth with the lack of wind, so we decided to head south to Punta Sur. We dropped in and immediately are greeted by some reef sharks, an Eagle Ray swimming below the ledge of the wall, and then I spotted several Lionfish. I took one of the Lionfish with my spear and noted that I was really deep. 140+. I headed back up to the group and we continued on to Cathedral, over Devils Throat and into Columbia.
Photos from both dives below.
I’m hoping we don’t get blown out (Port closed by the storm) tomorrow or Sunday. If we do, we may take the ferry over to Play and dive with the Bull Sharks…
I’ve dove for 3 days (Tues, Wed, Thurs) and haven’t posted any dive reports…. Here is a quick catchup report!
Tuesday we dove the end of Palancar, with hopes to see a group of Caribbean Reef Sharks. Our hopes were rewarded with seeing a group of 7, and several others patrolling outside of the group. Here is a photo that Beth took of the sharks. (She didn’t get too close, so they look more like shadows…)
Our Second dive on Tuesday was at Punta Tunich. We saw several turtles, and a green Moray Eel. It was a nice dive.
Here are a few photos from Wednesday–
I will post a separate report for today’s dives with some video in a bit.
This gallery contains 41 photos.
Here are a few photos from the last Carnaval parade in Cozumel for 2013! We had a great night with friends hanging out and watching the festivities.