Opening Statement



Friday, 15 July 2011

Mexican Mayan Riviera Diary 2

This posting is being updated daily with the latest from today added at the top. The 1st Diary is posted below this blog, and covers the first couple of days. I usually update the photos daily.


Monday July 18


We decided to postpone our excursion to Chichen Itza until tomorrow. Celebrating the International Day of the Child is a big holiday in Cuba, and it seems also here. Busloads of children from all over Mexico are headed down for the day and we'd rather try to avoid the crowds. I suppose it would've been cute and all, but I have all ready ranted about that a bit, this being my holidays from school etc. The imagery is nice. They take the Mexican children down to the Mayan Ruins at Chichen Itza to celebrate, past meets future.


That's enough for me but God only know they need some hope here. We have read in the papers about the virtual state of war that exists in Northern Mexico between the various druglords and the police. The Mayan Riviera is a guarded enclave though, with army posts at each end of the strip. It was on our last visit anyways. All seems well here. I have heard of various crimes at the hotels but often suspect it might be tourist verses tourist in origin, like with the murders and what not. I don't know but everybody has been incredibly honest and upfront with us at the resort, and seems very friendly, well fed and taken care of. So far we feel very safe!


There is a sense of affluence, even with the locals we've met that suggests that as far as Mexico goes, this may be a little oasis of sanity in a state of chaos. Apparantly 40% of the countries income comes from tourism along the Mayan Riviera so I wouldn't be surprised if they are guarding us closely, and taking every reasonable precaution and then some. Problems can happen anywhere, even at home. The crime rate stats for visitors to the US is higher, but we rarily hear about that in the papers.


We went back to bed and slept in. In the early afternoon we sat by the river, just outside our lobby, in the shade on the deck. The fish were leaping in the clear water, look down into the river and it was thick with them. The air fragrant with wild tropical flowers. There was a very pleasant sea breeze, lots of coloured birds chirping, otherwise all was quiet and still. Very summery. It felt great!


We visited a silver store on the main strip, Lazis, and weren't terribly impressed. Some nice folk art but very pricey and I hate to barter, really can't be bothered. Told janet I'd buy her a ring or whatever, they had silver, gold, precisous stones and diamonds, but she figured she could do just as well at home. So far we have spent next to nothing here except for the massage at the spa, and our trips off the resort.


The food has been consistancy good but not great. Nothing grotesque. Our private buffet at the Royal Suites borders on excellent, especially the lobster.The beach grill is good for a junk food fix. They make great wings, Buffalo style or honey and garlic. The a la carts are so so. My steak last night was fatty and inedible but it might've been the exception, the rest of our group liked theirs. I'm surprised we don't get more hardcore Mexican fare. I love anything that burns all the way down! Arriba!


It's late afternoon and there's a sudden downpour. A wall of rain. It can happen, mid to late afternoon, for perhaps up to an hour, but then the sun comes back out and before long everything is bone dry. Remarkably we have noticed very few if any mosquitos. I think I will take a little siesta before supper. Planning on the lobster again.


So we will have another go at Chichen Itza tomorrow. I  have posted some of my snorkel photos from out on the reef in the slideshow, upper screen right. There is a delay in the posts from down here, before they appear on my blogspot, I don't know why, but they seem to be up now.


Sunday July 17


I swam back out to the reef again today and spent about two hours swimming about with Pearl's underwater camera. With a little luck the photos turned out good and I can post them here in the next day or so. Lots of coral, fish, and giant waves! I almost lost my snorkel and mask once when a giant breaker sent me for a spin but of course floated back up intact with my gear. There weren't many fish out there at the far edge, way too rough, but the surf did push a lot to the beach side of the reef, where I swam about at length clicking away. Then I just let the waves slowly wash me back to shore swimming with the current. Very invigorating. Lots of fun!


Janet laid about on a sun bed, as did Pearl and Don, on our section of the beach. They took the golf cart back to our rooms. I walked back the length of the beach just enjoying the breeze.


Janet and I are going to the Mayan Ruins at Chichen Itza [Translation: "Chicken Pizza" ?!?] tomorrow. Don and I are going snorkeling at the fising village of Akumal on Wednesday. There's a large turtle colony there. Will also check out a few other dive spots along the coast on our way there. We are heading out to the steak house for dinner tonight.


 Saturday July 16


A very relaxing day. We got up fairly early to take Janet for her anti-biotic shot. It seems to be working and she’s more like her old self, but has to go easy on the sun and ice drinks. The doctor recommended drinking tequila to kill the virus but so far she hasn’t had a shot. Seems like a pretty good excuse to drink a lot of tequila. Very medicinal. Yup.
After a leisurely buffet breakfast we caught up with Pearl. Don was still in bed. I started to yawn and came back to our suite for a long siesta until mid afternoon. Janet and I then went to the spa and availed ourselves of the facilities. Pretty much everything but the cold water pool; reminded me too much of being in Canada.
For an extra charge we each had a hard tissue massage together. Was very reasonably priced and of course the spa itself was free. It sure felt great. They did an excellent job getting at the muscle knots and sore points that seem to always come from a year of stresses at work and school.  We took the golf cart home and are just relaxing in our room before we go out for dinner at the Mediterranean Restaurant with Pearl and Don tonight. We usually sit around the table, last ones out, talking and laughing and what not. Haven’t been staying up to late, though we may lie in bed reading and watching t.v.
It’s nice to be lazy! I thought I’d be more go, go, go. But it is very relaxing here and we want for nothing. The snorkelling along the reef has turned out to be top notch and close by. The resort grounds are like a nature preserve, with gardens of all the natural fauna. There are Mangrove forests. There are a lot of critters, including pink swans and the crocodile pool. There are a lot of Iguanas too, quite harmless, if not rather alien looking to us, like they are from a sci-fi horror show, maybe "Attack of the Mexician Iguanas From Outer Space". Everything is safe and clean. I rarely listen to my own music, which is a surprise. The sounds of nature are a pure delight here; the surf, the wild birds, on and on it goes.
We had planned to go off on a few excursions and still my well do but this has been just such a great and much needed rest. I can feel the usual stress and concerns of school and union business dissipating under the hot sun, and I can’t argue with just more and more of that either!


We decided at dinner tonight that Don and I will go snorkeling in Akumal and a few other places along the coast. And we'll all go to see the Mayan ruins at Chichen [?] about a three hour trip from here.
Friday July 15


Janet awoke with a very sore throat that won't go away. We took a golf cart over to the resort medical centre. The doctor thought that she might have caught a virus on the airplane. They aren't sanitized at each stop, plus everybody shares the same air with each other on the flight. Tres international? I'm not so sure, but it could be I suppose. He suggested she go to a throat and ear specialist in Cancun, but she didn't want to leave the resort, so got a super-antibiotic shot instead, in the butt. I asked if I could take a photo while he gave her the needle but she said no. Oh well. She thinks it's clearing up now. We will see. If not it could be serious, but either way, not a nice thing to happen on a vacation.


My new waterproof Fuji camera leaked in the surf today, and could be useless. I'll dry it out and see. The tiny little clasp on the battery and card section didn't lock properly. This kind of sucks too, but nothing seems to be getting in the way of our having a good time. It's not so much what happens but how one reacts. I think so. Are we going to be positive or negative? There is always a fly in the ointment. Such is life. We can expect that on a vacation everything will be perfect, but of course it always isn't. Perhaps never could be, it's an unrealistic expectation, one that can only lead to grief.


Donnie and I had another great dive out by the breakwater. He gave me his underwater film camera to make a movie. We'll see how it worked out. The waves were pretty rough and I was riding the swell, getting thrown about quite a bit by the waves. I just kept following the fish, hunting down the coral, filming everything. Ha. I got raked over the coral once. Ouch. A decent scratch. Was filming a solid wall of tropical fish on another occasion. Fish as far as I could see, everywhere, swaying back and forth in a huge cluster under the waves. Silver fish. Blue fish. Parrot Fish. A huge blue and yellow Angel Fish. I've never seen so many fish. One bit me. I think they were hungry. There was also a huge silver one, don't know what it was but must've been almost a meter long, round and flat, with regular fins and an ugly snout. I chased after him a bit along the reef, but he out swam me.


I arrived back on shore so high, it was incredible. A natural high. Nothing could phase me. I've been bitten, scratched by the coral, stung by jellyfish enough over the years. Maybe I'm immune to it now. I even swallowed a tiny jellyfish one, went right down my snorkel and into my gullet. Now that was unpleasant, but is a story for another day. I was quite pleased with the two hours or so I was out there again today, and it was a great work out!


Janet and Pearl waited back at the beach chairs on the reserved Royal Yucatan section of the beach. All sand, not much coral. I think I told you the story about that before. It was wedding day. The resort set up a little chapel on the beach and couples were lining up to get married. All the women at the resort, including our wives gathered to watch, fascinated with the dresses, vows, music and what not. I suspect they get as high off that as Don and I did off the fish. Somthing for everyone here!

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