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Asia Caribe & Other Culinary Delights On Isla Mujeres

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  So you are in MEXICO, and there you are eating Asian and Caribbean and Italian and French food!!? Not Mexican food, but exotic foods from all over the world. What’s up with that? You’re in Mexico. Oh sure, there are traditional Mexican restaurants – good ones too, and we’re not complaining at all, but it gets tiresome eating the same food (Mexican) all the time. Aren’t we spoiled!.   The truth is, Isla Mujeres is now more of an adventure in international foods, than the quaint little Mexican island it used to be years ago. But what a cool … More…

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Little Boy Gets Buried in Sand

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  One evening on Isla Mujeres, Mexico, the sunset was particularly beautiful. We walked out onto the beach, closer to the water, to take a few colourful sunset photos. A Mexican man and his four children were laughing and playing beside a table and chairs. I asked if I might sit on one of the chairs to take some photos, and they said, yes, of course. As I was taking sunset photos, I couldn’t help but take a few photos of this family having so much fun. They were digging a deep hole in the sand, then the youngest boy … More…

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Which Beach Would You Choose?

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  Isla Mujeres is an island surrounded by beaches and depending on the weather, you can choose the best beach. Having a choice of 4 unique beaches is really quite fun, and the best ones are all within walking distance of the North third of the island.   If it is very windy, you can go to the calm West side of the island, facing Cancun, where it is protected by the mainland. You can get a reasonably priced massage here too.   Cancun across the water at dusk…   If it is just a little breezy, The North Beach (Playa Norte) on … More…

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Take A Walk On The Wild Side

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  Isla Mujeres, Mexico, has a wild side, a very wild side. In fact, it has two wild sides.   It’s worthwhile to rent a golf cart and drive the length of the 7 km island.   Along the way, you will find Chedrauil, the big grocery store, a village, the natural bush land of the island, treed roads, a turtle farm, a dolphin experience, roadside food and seashell crafts.    As the Southern tip of the island narrows you can see both sides of the island at once and it is quite spectacular.   Usually there is a Mayan … More…

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The Golf Cart Pole Dance (and Other Golf Cart Disasters)

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  The day after we arrived at Isla Mujeres (Island of Women), a tiny island off the coast of Mexico near Cancun, we were all set to enjoy a lovely afternoon at the gorgeous North Beach, when the rain started. A downpour filled the streets to overflowing within a short time, climbing over the sidewalk opposite our hotel. So much for our first beach day.   The next day we started looking for a golf cart to rent and were barraged with salesman trying to convince us that they had the best carts for the best prices and beckoning us to … More…

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Mexico To Belize

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  As I was saying in the last post, Belize is located directly South of Mexico, below the Mayan Riviera on the Yucatan Peninsula. It was cheaper to fly into Cancun and then drive down the Mayan Riviera coast, scattered with luscious turquoise beaches, and then drive on into Belize.   We started in Cancun, and after sorting out problems with accommodation and the rental car, we headed south towards Tulum (see last post: An Inflatable Car? ).   When we were in Tulum 7 years ago, it was a tiny village. Now it was more like a town. Development is happening … More…

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An Inflatable Car?

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  For years, we have wanted to go to Belize.    Belize is located directly South of Mexico, below the Mayan Riviera on the Yucatan Peninsula. It was cheaper to fly into Cancun and drive down the Mayan Riviera coast, scattered with delectable turquoise beaches, and then drive on into Belize.   Something always goes wrong on most trips. Seldom are they disasters, but still they are disappointing at the time. We expect to have little problems, so we never get too wound up about them.   We flew into Cancun, and took a taxi to the Solymar Beach Resort … More…

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The Yellow City

  What a shock when we drove into the yellow city! Who knew such a thing existed? We were just driving along, taking the less-travelled and non-toll road from Telchac to Cancun for our flight home, when we came upon the yellow city.    At first, we thought it was only a few streets.   But then everywhere we drove in the city… it was yellow, yellow, yellow. It reminded us of the song, Mellow Yellow.   “Oh”, I exclaimed, “This must be the yellow city we read about!” We had crossed it off the list of ‘Must See’s’ when we … More…

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In The Pink

  Birds are not a big attraction for us, but we were a little curious about the Yucatan flamingos. We thought $100 was a little steep for the Flamingo Boat Tour out of Celestun, so we declined several offers from local tour operators.     Since there was a large lagoon stretching for miles along the highway near Telchac, where we were staying, we started looking for the flamingos there. Some parts of the lagoon were quite pretty, but there were no flamingos to be seen.   We spotted the flamingos a little farther down, but they were little pink … More…

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The Secret, Cheap, Hauntingly Beautiful Mangrove Tour

  It was only by accident that we heard about the Mangrove Tour. We were swimming in a cenote at some Mayan Ruins in the Yucatan, Mexico, when a woman was telling other people about this amazing tour that no one knows about because it originates in a little village far from the madding crowds. We were immediately intrigued and joined the conversation. Where, how much, and when we asked.   A few weeks later, along with my visiting cousin, H, we set out to find this tour. We found the little village of San Crisanto just fifteen minutes up … More…

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4-Legged Beach Bums in the Yucatan

  When we moved from Merida to the beach near Telchac Puerto, we had no idea we would have so many visitors, especially these kind.   First challenge though, was finding the tiny sand road turnoff to our beach house. It was a bit of a challenge, even in daylight, because so many roads looked exactly the same, and even though it looks big in the photo, the sign was tiny from the highway.   Our beach house was lovely, right on an empty beach with houses scattered far apart along the beach. Inside, the rooms were large, and there … More…

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Lol Tun Cave, Yucatan: An Underground Castle

Take a walk into Lol Tun Cave, and it feels like you are walking into a grandiose cathedral or castle. It is a bit of a rough walk down and into the cave but it is well worth the effort.    There is a mysterious quality to caves. While the water drips and every small sound echoes in the vast cavern, your eyes settle on the gigantic icicles of mineral deposits drooping down to the ground.   Caves are fascinating in that it makes one wonder why the earth’s crust doesn’t fall into these enormous holes under the very ground we … More…

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The Magical Cenotes of the Yucatan – You Have To See Them All, But Especially These Two…

  There are 6000 cenotes in the Yucatan – six thousand. OK, so maybe you can’t see them all, but here are a few of the most mystical and enchanting of them all.   What the heck is a cenote, you say? Cenotes are natural swimming holes, a sinkhole resulting from rainfall slowly eating away at the limestone bedrock of the Yucatan peninsula and a huge network of underground caves was formed. The caves fill with water or from the deep underground water table. When the roof of a water filled cave falls in, a cenote is formed. Cenote water … More…

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Should Have Stayed In Mexico

    Thursday, February 26:   A few days ago, February 22, in Mexico, the cat sitter emailed us that the pipes are frozen in the house, and that there is no water, so no bathrooms either. Car is also unlikely to start and is buried in a mountain of snow. They have had record-breaking cold temperatures between 20 and 40 below in the last few weeks. Colder than the Canadian Prairies! It seldom goes lower than –10 in Southern Ontario. Coldest winter in 30 years.   We got home about 11 pm last night, checked the pipes, no water anywhere in … More…

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Off-The-Beaten-Path Beaches In The Yucatan, Mexico

  It was exciting to see the sublime azure ocean come into view as you drive in to Progreso on the North coast of the Yucatan. We were here is 2008 and it was just a small fishing village with a beautiful miles-long sandy beach and clear aquamarine water. As we drove up to the beach back then, it was still an untouched beach for miles in each direction with only a few restaurants facing the sea. But now Progreso was a big town, all grown-up, with paved front street, and a boardwalk; 37, 000 people and growing. The little fishing … More…

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A Mosquito In Your Wine… Is Better Than A Bee In Your Beer

  While I screamed and hollered and swore at my computer with the new hard drive that would not load emails from the external drive back-up, T went merrily off to the Merida Zoo. He has been into long walks lately, so he walked. It was a long walk on a hot day.   At the zoo, he was pleasantly surprised to see that the animals were well taken care of and had plenty of room to move around. Only the wild cats – tigers, lions, and panthers were pacing back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, and … More…

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Sumptuous Mayan Chocolate

  The real highlight of our day to the Uxmal Ruins was discovering the Chocolate Museum just opposite the Ruins. The place was absolutely fascinating.   What incredible insights to the Mayan culture! Who knew that they used chocolate beans as currency at one point in time? You could buy a rabbit for 10 cocoa beans, while a slave in good health would cost 100 cocoa beans.   The trade routes in Central America…   The museum was in the thick jungle and among the cocoa bean plants were little palapas (thatched roof huts) joined by a walking path. Inside … More…

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Mayan Ruins And Phallic Sculptures

  The hard drive crashed on Saturday. Totally out of the blue. No warnings. No odd behaviours. Just fried itself. No computer. NO COMPUTER. Desperately tried to fix it and got it up just long enough to make a backup on the Clickfree external drive before it was in total ruins. This was not the type of Mayan Ruins we were looking forward to experiencing. This was Computer Ruins. The next day was Sunday – everything closed. It turned out Monday was a Mexican holiday so most businesses were closed Monday as well. Murphy’s Law: computers will always crash on a weekend. … More…

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Mosquitoes, Markets & The Art Of The Yucatan Sale

  This is our modest rental home in Merida, Mexico.   Our huge Roman Bath on the rooftop deck. You could fit 15 people into it.     The house has everything we really need, accept for the uninvited guests – mosquitoes! The little buggers get in everywhere and they are so tiny you can barely see them. (There is no need to seal doors and windows in tropical countries to keep out the cold.) You don’t feel the sting of these mosquitoes until some time later when you start scratching and look down to see a big red welt. … More…

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The “Lucy Arnez” of Merida, Mexico

  We’ve travelled all over the world having many misadventures, but very few times were we ever been duped out of our money.   One day a lady named C, stopped by and introduced herself. She is a “Lucy Arnez” woman, full of spunk and energy, talking a mile a minute. She first asked if we had a cleaning lady. Yes, sorry, we did. She lived just a block away and said if we needed anything at all just to call her.   She dropped by again the next day with her 16-year-old daughter who speaks fluent English and we … More…

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