We live on Calle (street) 32, situated just north of the busy tourist area of Playa del Carmen. We love being within walking distance to supermarkets, restaurants, great cafes and of course the beach, and have no complaints about our gentrified neighbourhood which is extremely clean and secure. But last Sunday we took a wander through the back streets of the local neighbourhood north of town, which although not very far, is a world away from the paved pedestrian walkways and European style coffee houses of our neck of the woods.
Mexican people are among the most unassuming and chilled out that I’ve encountered anywhere in the world, but even so, we received a few surprised looks as we made our way through the local Sunday flea market selling everything from holographic Virgin Mary prints to pirated DVDs and underwear.
Down on the beach, modestly dressed locals armed with jumbo-sized bottles of Coca Cola and containers of delicious smelling food enjoyed a day out with their families under colourful umbrellas. Kids played in the white wash, young couples snuggled discretely under coconut palms and round-bellied older ladies gossiped together on the sand.
It was one of those days where nothing really happened, and yet it stuck in my memory as one of the best we’ve had here; proof that sometimes it pays to just take a walk.
Fancy a walk through the backstreets and beaches of Playa del Carmen? It’ll only take a minute…