"Wilma" in Cozumel continued


After breakfast, the hotel asked for help clearing the road in front of our hotel to the main road. Practically every guest was out picking up rubble and debris and patching up washed out sections of the road with many of the local people.

Within an hour and a half, the road was cleared enough for small trucks to get through.

Because there was no real communication with anyone in town, some of the staff had to walk to town and bring back news of our "rescue". Even this news was confusing. The original plan Chris and I had decided on was to sit tight until the airport opened. We figured this would be Tuesday. But after a
chance meeting with some tourists who were staying in town, we decided that getting to an airport on the mainland might be a better idea. They had told us they had tried to get to the Cozumel airport but it was still flooded, and it didn't look like the water was subsiding too fast. It was all a guessing game really. We were told later, the airport actually opened on Wednesday. Our minds were made up so we, along with about 20 other guests headed off for the ferry to Playa Del Carmen.

As we were walking out of the hotel, a truck delivering water was just about to leave. We asked for a ride to town which he was happy to do. We managed to talk him into picking up Denny Payton and his family on the way. I guess the sight of all these people lying in an open water delivery truck put some smiles on many faces. There were actual giggles as we drove passed. That was the one picture we didn't get.

Our driver dropped us as close as he could to the dock as the police and military had most of the main roads blocked off. We caught the ferry (those 20 other guests made it on our ferry also) and headed for the bus station in Playa were we got the last tickets for the 8pm bus to Merida; the closest city with an international airport.

After a harrowing bus ride through high standing water (Any luggage on the bottom of the baggage compartment got wet. Guess where ours was.), the bus finally pulled in to Merida at 3 in the morning. We grabbed a taxi for the airport. Of course, all anyone was thinking was we have to get to the airport. No one actually had a ticket on a flight out, since we didn't have access to a working phone until we got to the mainland. When we got to the airport, we all sort of chose a line. The only american carrier there was Continental. The airline we flew down on, American, was partners with Mexicana. That's the line we chose.

It wasn't too long before we knew we had to get someone state side to actually book us a flight. So, Chris called his brother. Mexicana has a low cost airline called Click (www.clickmx.com). Their sign actually had the website listed on it. There were lines and lines of people in front of ever ticket counter except Click. Chris' brother, Mickey, got on the website and managed to get us booked for an 11 am flight for LA with a layover in Guadalajara. We were quite relieved.

Once in LA we decided to get a hotel room and catch a flight to Denver the next day. At the hotel, I bought us a couple of new t-shirts as we'd been wearing the same clothes for some time and everything in the suitcase was wet from the bus ride. Once in our hotel room we were able to take hot showers for the first time since Thursday. And we actually were able to sleep soundly though the night. By Wednesday afternoon we were home in Denver.


There is so much more to tell; the great people we bunked with, stories of the spirit of the Mexican people, other tourists stories, just so much more. This was an experience that changes a person in a positive way.

One thing we would like everyone to know is that the staff and management at the Fiesta Americana resort was wonderful and did everything in their power to keep us comfortable. We were fed and there was plenty of drinking water. The General Manager, Jose Luis, even sacrificed minutes on his personal cellphone for everyone to make a quick call to loved ones. They did this knowing that their own homes would most likely not be there when it was all said and done.

You can View all our photos here
There are more photos by other hotel guestshere