A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: russncath

Vegas Baby

Bright lights, big city; and what a place to tie the knot!!

Hello everyone and welcome to our final blog, what a trip it's been and what a way to finish off in Sin City itself!! We had quite a cool day travelling over from Mexico as our booking got mixed up and they had to bump us up to business class on our flight from Mexico city! Loving the free G&Ts in real glasses as soon as you board the plane...


It's crazy as you fly into Vegas as there's literally nothing but desert for ages and ages and then all of sudden you see the shining buildings of the strip rising up from nowhere.


We got a cab straight to the Luxor where we were staying and were suitably impressed by the outrageousness of it all! Giant sphinxes inside a huge pyramid, with rooms sloping up every side. Quite a culture shock after the homely little places we've been used to staying in!!




This place is crazy! There are people walking the streets armed with seriously large cocktails at all times of the day or night! Its like a Disnay Land for Alcoholics and degenerate gamblers! All the Hotels are massive and totally over the top such as...



They are just as crazy inside as out with Corvettes and Huge Motorbikes to be won on the slots....


As well as massive foodcourts, theatres and restaurants inside, check out greenwich village inside New York New York..


Felt like a proper rockstar for the week, the pool at Luxor was amazing...


And it also has the strongest beam of light in the world shining out of the top!!!


We had a busy couple of days when we first arrived sorting out all the details for our wedding day. Found a lovely little chapel downtown for our service...


And here is Rusty signing his life away in the marriage licence bureau!


Anyway on the actual day (Wed 22nd April) we had a wonderful day, starting with a lovely relaxing morning in the hotel spa, which was pretty bling as you can imagine!! I went and had my hair done after lunch while Rusty had a go on the blackjack tables for a couple of hours. Then it was time to get ready and we jumped around drinking wine in our room getting more and more nervous!! Finally it was time to go and we made our way through the hotel to wait for our limo...



The great thing about Vegas is that you can be as dressed up or as dressed down as you like- anything goes, so I didn't feel uncomfortable in my dress, in fact got lots of lovely comments and even had people wanting to have their picture taken with us! Anyway we enjoyed our limo ride to the chapel and then just had to wait a short time before the ceremony...


It all went really well and we managed to get our words out ok despite feeling very emotional!! Afterwards had some pics taken and then it was back in the limo to the Venetian (another posh hotel) where we planned to spend the evening...



Had a great evening drinking cocktails and enjoying a very posh dinner at Bouchon (a French restaurant in the hotel), followed by a final drink and flutter at one of the bars in the Luxor. All in all a wonderful, romantic day, and totally stress free!!!




On the last night we decided to take a wander down the strip to see some of the sights and free shows....


First we went to Treasure Island and saw the Sirens of TI, some scantily clad birds gyrating around on a pirate ship sadly no pictures as my eyes were solely on my beautiful wife! Then we caught the volcano at the Mirage....


Before ending up in a very Oceans 11 way by watching the fountains at the Bellagio...


So that was pretty much Vegas Wedding......Done. Got the long and dreary flight back and froze our nut brown asses off on the way back to lovely old Leicester. Cant wait to see everyone on Sunday we missed you all loads!

Over and Out. Dr & Mr Haynes


Posted by russncath 06:40 Archived in USA Tagged backpacking Comments (2)

Isla Mujeres (The Island of Women)

The final stop in CA!

Hey there boys and girls! We have left the madness that was Playa Del Carmen and have caught the boat to the beautiful Isla Mujeres, so called because it was said that Carribean Pirates left their women on this little rock while they went out a plundering for booty ahaaahhaaaa. Things are a little different now and we got the lovely new ferry across from Cancun....


The Island was a welcome relief from Playa and was a lot more laid back and relaxed, it was still fairly touristy but also colourful and very pretty...



Also the beach was AMAZING....


The sea was really shallow and you could walk out for ages before it got to above your waist! A lot of time was spent playing around in the sea and sunning ourselves on the beach....



We took a long walk around the island one day and found ourselves at the Tortugranja, where the local conservationists protect various types of sea turtles. We saw cute little ones...


Kind of albino medium sized ones...


and great big giant ones!!


There was also a sea tank outside where there was a very scary shark swimming about, and a touch pool inside where you could pick up some very slimy looking sea dwelling ´things´. As you can see Rusty was delighted by his new friend!


We even found Nemo while we were there. He's fine and sends his love...


Anyway enough of all that! We have sadly made our way back to Cancun today for an overnight stop before heading to the airport in the morning. Can't belive our time away is nearly over :( Still we have one very exciting week left and as it is our official wedding/honeymoon week we are banning ourselves from computers or phones. We are soooooooooooooooo excited about seeing you all and can't wait to celebrate our newly married status with you all on the 3rd. Look out for the final Vegas blog and wedding pics which will appear at some point. See you all very soon, C&R xxx


Posted by russncath 10:43 Archived in Mexico Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

Playa Del Carmen

Tourists, tourists everywhere!

Happy Easter everyone!

We had booked a hotel room in Playa Del Carmen over the easter weekend as we knew it'd be really busy everywhere...we weren't really prepared for just how touristy it would be here though! The beach is very pretty if you stand and look out to sea, but there is literally no room to move for sweaty bodies!


The main strip is one long drag of souvenir shops and restaurants and oddly loads of silver shops, so lots of wandering and trying not to spend money has occured!



Don't worry you've all got lovely gifts to come though...


The Hotel is lovely thankfully and we have got a top little room (which comes with its own swan!)


and there is even a swimming pool surrounded by giant trees and lots of plants!



We have really been hiding from the mad throng of drunken yanks by lazing by the pool and topping up those deep professional tans...



The hotel has an ace restaurant attached and we signed on for the shrimp dinner, which is probably the best thing I have seen, the shrimp were massive and they just brought out this big pot!!!


I have no idea what these things live on as a gang of them could probably eat me if they got the chance, needless to say we made sure they would never get the chance to bother any other swimmers by munching them all down!!!



Can't believe we have less than a week left in Mexico now!! We are heading to Isla Mujeres tomorrow (just off the coast of Cancun) to try and get a bit of peace and quiet before we hit the sleepy little town of Las Vegas!! Sooooooooo excited about seeing you all, lots of love and hugs, C&R xxx

Posted by russncath 14:02 Archived in Mexico Tagged backpacking Comments (2)

Tremendous Tulum

More beaches, more ruins and a crazy fun filled day!

As we said at the end of the last entry we left Ambergris and had a fairly long day travelling to Tulum on the Carribean coast of Mexico. Our last border officially crossed!!

We decided to hole up here for a few days as we have done enough moving around for a while and time is getting very short! We´re staying in a cool hippy dippy hostel called the Weary Traveller, which has a big communal area and yummy free breakfasts.


We were delighted to find a wonderful shower in our room too...


Anyway spent the first couple of days chilling around town and enjoying the wonderful local beach, which has the most amazing powdery white sand and clear turquoise sea...



We haven´t been on any official days out in a while so we decided to book in for a day at Xel-ha which is basically like a sort of natural Mexican water park set around a beautiful lagoon full of fishies. We weren´t too sure what to expect, but we had one of the best and busiest days of the trip so far. This is the main lagoon.....


Not only was it a beautiful place it was also an all inclusive day, once you had paid for your ticket everything was free, all activities, food and drink etc! We took full advantage and did.......





Buffet eating....


Iguana Spotting.....


Bike Riding....


Help yourself Corona Beer Drinking.....


Hammock Swinging.....


Rope Swinging.....


Treetop Walking.....


Cliff jumping....


More Buffet eating....


Rope Bridging....


And more Snorkling.....


Nb- I would like it to be noted that whilst most of the action pics have rusty in, I Catherine Painter did in fact take part in all of the above activities, and that includes rope swinging into a pool full of fish, and cliff jumping. Must be getting braver in my old age.

The place was amazing, filled with loads of fish of all shapes and sizes and it all nearly went a bit Steve Irwin when we swam across a big old Ray which had scary ghoulish eyes and a really long thin tail!!!!!!! There was a cool river bit where you could float down through the mangroves in ringos and everything! We also got to snorkle right up to the Manatee pen and could see them under the water they are massive and look like a big slug!

As you can imagine we left the park feeling very worn out and full of buffet food and beer! Opted for a lazier day today wandering round the cliff top ruins at Tulum which are in an awesome location but nowhere near as impressive as Tikal or Copan.


So that´s about it for now. We´re off to Playa Del Carmen tomorrow where we´ve got a hotel booked to take us over the busy easter weekend. Hope you´re all enjoying whatever time you have off for Easter, not long til you will have the joy of hearing all of our stories in person!! Love you all lots, C&R xxx


PS Rusty wants to know if these sunglasses are too outrageous, comments please...

Posted by russncath 12:45 Archived in Mexico Tagged backpacking Comments (7)

The Northern Cayes

On my Island in the sun..........

After much bus catching trauma from Placencia (they do or dont run today depending who you speak too) we finally decide to get the water taxi back to Independance and a bus from there. As luck would have it though there is a big football game on today and they are laying on free buses to Belize for the fans and we manage to wangle our way to one. Result!

Belize city is....not that great, well not in the parts we can afford to stay in so we make the decision to hope onto the boat direct to Caye Caulker. If im honest im glad we did as its amazing!


Its a tiny little place with sandy streets and a really laid back vibe, the motto is 'Caye Caulker....Go Slow'. We head to Marins to get a room and we get a top little cabana in a lovely courtyard...


The Caye was hit pretty hard by the hurricane in 2005 and it effectively split the island in two, this is now called 'The Split' and is now a place to hangout and go swimming!




Not a lot to do here really apart from soak up some rays and go slow while looking out at the crystal clear waters of the carribean, still we need to press on though as time is fleeting so we catch another boat to Ambergris Caye.

Ambergris is known as the more touristy of the cayes and it´s definitely busier here (they have cars as well as golf carts for a start!) but still very colourful and pretty laid back compared to most places we´ve been...


We manage to find an affordable hotel with an great sea view though, and we are also getting quite good at figuring out how to eat nice and cheaply. Here is rusty munching on hot tamale he bought off a local on a bike!


We also found some cheap and cheerful entertainment here in the form of the ´world famous´chicken drop, which is basically where a chicken is dropped onto a board of giant numbers, and whoever has the number it poops on, wins all the betting money (a dollar a go guys, this is serious stuff!)



Unfortunately the chicken wasn´t really into it that much and only moved a couple of squares before doing his business and it wasn´t our square either, boo!!! Apart from that more going slow for the last few days; found a cool pier where you could swim in the crystal clear water (there´s lots of protected sea grass along the coast of the island so can´t always find a place to swim).


In fact was so clear you could literally lie on the pier and watch all the fish swimming around below. Look at me being very brave and diving in to the fish infested waters...


We´re actually writing this from Mexico as ended up having a long day travelling yesterday rather than stopping just before the mexican border...more about that later. Only four weeks til the party of the century guys, hope you´ve got your glad rags ready and waiting, loads of love, C&R xxxx

Posted by russncath 10:39 Archived in Belize Tagged backpacking Comments (4)

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