Faced with the prospect of major dental procedures and no insurance to cover them, I did what most people would do.

I shopped around.

My cousin had been urging me for years to get my dental work done in Mexico, where he does his. “Much cheaper, and every bit as good quality. Tack on a vacation, to boot!”

But covid had held me back.

When my 33-year-old bridge finally collapsed last summer, the task was urgent.

So, September found me in Playa del Carmen on the Mayan Riviera, with four dental appointments over six days. But also with exceedingly good care at a fraction of the cost, even with the added trip expenses. And a two-year warranty on their work!

But alas! It was confirmed that I needed implants. The implants would need five months to heal before the new permanent bridge could be installed.

“Darn! Another trip to Playa del Carmen—in February, at that!” (he says with tongue firmly planted in cheek).

So, this writing finds me sitting on my patio outside my Playa B+B, (under the palm trees, to be sure), between more dental appointments. Two days ago I spent another 5 hours in dentist’s chairs. Three days from now, I get my new bridges. (Yes, that’s plural—that’s why the five hours the other day.)

Four days in between, of nothing but a sore mouth, missing teeth (hey, smoothies aren’t all bad—and refried beans do slip through the tooth gaps quite nicely.) But I’m not a beach kind of guy. So, I find myself checking my business emails (hey, I can respond to your applications and inquiries from a distance, provided I have decent internet connections); searching for decent internet connections; spending a few hours being tutored in espanol—Buenos dias, cuanto cuesta?; wandering around to find restaurants that will serve smoothies; and, oh yes, writing a post for my subscribers.

Now, I wouldn’t want you to think it’s all a chore or merely time filler. Being more of an adventure traveller than a beach guy, I tacked on a brief excursion through Chiapas–an area that’s been on my bucket list for awhile–via the Yucatan, before arriving in Playa del Carmen. There I visited the impressive Senduro Canyon, had a private tour of the Mayan villages of Zinacantan and Chamura, then travelled through magnificent mountain scenery to Palenque. “I’m living the life,” I found myself musing under my breath.

Next day, I explored, with a guide, the impressive Palenque ruins–in a torrential downpour (still impressive, despite conditions), then joined another tour to the region’s two distinctive waterfalls, Misol-Ha and Agua Azul. While the rain had subsided in between, it was again pounding us like the falls themselves by the time we got to Agua Azul, my anticipated adventure highlight. Still, they did not disappoint, and I truly believe I have now seen the world’s most beautiful waterfall (though perhaps not as spectacular as Iguazu Falls–which I have not yet seen–due to the difference in size). No photos will ever do them justice, and I can only imagine how much more beautiful they might be under a clear sky.

An overnight bus ride to Merida, and a day exploring that city before catching the day bus to

Playa, completed the pre-dental adventure. Hey, my cousin had advised, “Tack on a vacation!” (To clarify, I don’t really do “vacations;” I do “adventures.”)

Now I fill in my time here, with limited internet informing me that Dr. Bonnie has lifted most of the restrictions that have held us back, that our women’s hockey team won Olympic Gold, that the truckers’ protest continues, and that I still need a negative PCR test before Canada will let me back in.

That test will happen two days from now.

Meantime, I can still receive all your applications, and respond to them; I or my assistant can answer all your questions; and my realtor can help you find the home you’ve been dreaming of (just not in Mexico, por favor!)

I cross my fingers that I’ll get that negative test. But, should I fail, I just might end up coming back with a whole year’s worth of blog posts–and way more sun than I really planned for.

And, I might, reluctantly, have to admit that I actually enjoyed vegging on the beach.

Either way, coming back with a perfect set of teeth will be the highlight of this trip.

At least, that’s how I see it . . .