On Monday 17th January, we had finally checked out of our Lisbon Airbnb and been dropped at the airport for our 5.30pm flight to Cancun. It had been a busy morning and I was so grateful when Tiger crashed out in her buggy for a bit to give me a rest. I had just about recharged my batteries when I had to spring back into Mummy mode for the 10 and a half hour overnight flight to Cancun.
I really was not looking forward to it at all but we did get a few (two?) hours sleep. The biggest thing I learnt though was headphones for Tiger as she would not use the in ear ones provided and the blue tooth ones wouldn't work, so she did miss out a bit on being able to watch the cartoons on the screen in the back of her chair, which may have helped a bit. Upon arrival, shattered, with a 5 hour time difference, we managed to get the bag and travelcot which had been checked through, out onto the concourse and got in a minivan who dropped us at the Mex Rent a Car office at 1am (Lisbon time 6am!) where I finally got an automatic Nissan and drove to our hotel to sleep for a bit, which was about 15-20 minutes away. The car seat barely fitted but we extended the straps as much as we could. I managed to forget how to drive an automatic and had a brief moment of bunny hopping down the road but apart from that, it was ok.
We got into the hotel for 1.45am, which was called Extended Suites and is a little like a Travelodge or Premier Inn. They have 13 hotels around Mexico, all identical and with pools (closed for Covid!) and laundry rooms so just very convenient to simply get your head down. Plus the price was excellent, 798 pesos (£27) via Booking.com. All we did was sleep from when we got there until about 10.30am and then left around 12 to drive to Valladolid but I was very grateful for the AC and a comfortable bed and to get out of Cancun as soon as possible. Not a fan!
Finally, on 18th January, although our body clocks were all out of sync the sun was shining outside, we got our dresses on and back in the car to drive to Valladolid, not too far away at all around 157km and 2 hours. I relaxed into the driving nicely, the roads were easy and quiet, my phone connected with the car through Apple Car Play so I could use Waze and my radio app, and the only real hiccup was stopping at a toll with no pesos yet! I simply hadn't gotten any from the airport as I hadn't seen the ATMs (although they must have been there). Luckily, I did have some euros so paid in euros and got change in pesos. Phew!
I must admit by the time we arrived in Valladolid, I was pretty shattered, so we had to have a lie down for a bit. Our Airbnb was lovely and in a great spot on Calzada de Los Frailes 200. It was just a main room, with a bathroom big enough to hold the travel cot, opening directly onto the street with a bench outside to watch the world go by. It was also only £24.57 for the one night. This was also the day of Tiger's 3rd birthday! We had intended to go out for a nice dinner but we were both too shattered to keep our eyes open to do that.
By 5pm, I managed to get us up and out for a walk around and Tiger fell fast asleep in the buggy and missed it all! Still, I managed to walk down to the main square, Parque Principal Francisco Cantón Rosado, which was bustling with people. Here, people were taking Covid very seriously indeed with everybody encouraged to wear masks outside. There were people walking around the main square with placards saying "Keep Valladolid safe" and I was even stopped by a police woman and asked to put on a mask.
Finally, in Valladolid, I felt that we had truly arrived in Mexico!