To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted. – Bill Bryson
My first night back in a hostel after many years and I’m beginning to wonder how I’m going to handle these sleepless nights, especially with music blaring in to the early morning hours. It is 8:30am and the sun is shining through the window above me as I am still lying comfortably in bed, looking across from me is Valentina and without words we decide it is time to begin the day. Within a few minutes we are out the door walking towards Front Street in search of breakfast and the possibility of snorkeling, despite the clouds gathering overhead ready to let out another torrential rain. Our first stop is Raggamuffin Tours, no luck in securing a reservation as they have an extensive backlog to complete before accepting new customers due to the previous days’ weather and the inability to engage the high swells. We continue to stroll down the street with little sense of urgency while peering out over the white caps of the waters that are typically calm and blue, the disappointment is obvious in Valentina’s eyes as she contemplates her options of whether to stay another day in hopes of more formidable weather or begin the planning preparations to leave the island discouraged. Talking over her options as we continue walking north, we find ourselves in front of Costa Maya Adventures where we luckily snag the last two available spots for the full day excursion, granted the weather cooperates. A bit pricey, $180 BZD ($90 USD) for the equipment rental, park fees, lunch, and four separate locations, including the notorious Shark Ray Alley. Since diving the Blue Hole is out of budget, I am easily persuaded, giving in to Valentina even though she is determined to do this with or without me.