Mexico

Well we arrived into Isla Mujeres, Mexico and could not have chosen a better place to come to after Cuba. There are so many great restaurants and bars with good food, toilet paper in the bathrooms, box stores to get hardware (eg a portable air conditioning unit) and provision for food; a huge contrast to Cuba.
P1080756

We were in heaven - the marina we used to check in even had a pool to lounge in

We were in heaven – the marina we used to check in even had a pool to lounge in

At the Soggy Peso which serves 1 choice of meal a day and very very strong margaritas.

At the Soggy Peso which serves 1 choice of meal a day and very very strong margaritas.

We had some good exercise riding our bikes around the island or just walking to different restaurants and bars to enjoy the music and food.

They even had a nice malacón for us to ride along

They even had a nice malacón for us to ride along

A viewpoint out to Cancun in the distance

A viewpoint out to Cancun in the distance

 Playa Norte was a nice beach (very shallow) but had great loungers to sit back and enjoy the tunes in the afternoon

Playa Norte was a nice beach (very shallow) but had great loungers to sit back and enjoy the tunes in the afternoon

A lot of bars put on bands in the afternoons while you lounge around on the beach
P1080802The Joint – a Reggae restaurant and bar
P1080769P1080772

 

 

 

 

 

The downtown core is great to sit and just watch people.

We loved seeing families all on one motorcycle

We loved seeing families all on one motorcycle

IMG_0993

 

A huge number of tourists come over from Cancun every day on the ferries and rent golf carts, wander the stores and enjoy the beaches. Not sure why they don’t stay on the island as it’s much more friendlier than Cancun.

 

 

 

We rented a golf cart to tour the island so we could see what all the hype was. It was fun buzzing about the island and was definitely handy for getting our propane filled up as you have to drop it off and collect it later in the day.
P1080782

Goddess of Fertility - Ixchel at Punta Sur on the far end of the island

Goddess of Fertility – Ixchel at Punta Sur on the far end of the island

 there are iguanas everywhere, but this guy was very impressive on his rock posing

there are iguanas everywhere, but this guy was very impressive on his rock posing

 there's some very nice homes for rent including this interesting shell structure home

there’s some very nice homes for rent including this interesting shell structure home

We went to Cancun a number of times to get Bretts back sorted. Thank goodness for chiro’s. Brett recommends Dr. Olivier Calderón if you are in need of a Chiro, he’s located at “Centro Quiropráctico Cassan”.

Cancun is basically a big busy city but does have some great beaches if you can get to them as the hotel strip stretches for miles and takes up most of the beach area. Looks like some of the businesses are hurting given all the all inclusive hotels here. We anchored off some of the hotels one night and enjoyed the entertainment of the Pirate ships.
P1080919P1080916

 there's some very nice homes for rent including this interesting shell structure home

the pirate ships came to our anchorage full with tourists and entertained us

After 2 weeks we decided to head down the coast to Puerto Morelos to do some inland travel and see some of mainland Mexico and visit some parks. Puerto Morelos has more of a Mexican feel and is not quite as touristy as Isla Mujeres, Cancun or Playa del Carmen. There are lots of restaurants, cafes and stores selling Mexican trinkets.

The famous Lighthouse at Puerto Morelos inclined by hurricane Beulah in 1967

The famous Lighthouse at Puerto Morelos inclined by hurricane Beulah in 1967

We enjoyed lunch at a small restaurant overlooking the beach

We enjoyed lunch at a small restaurant overlooking the beach

We hired a car, which was an ordeal in itself (NB. we would not recommend Europcar whose online system is misleading esp. when it comes to the insurance), anyway enough of that we’re here to enjoy Mexico.

We headed to Cobá taking the back roads thru small towns; of course very different from the tourist areas of Mexico. In Cobá we walked the trails to see the ruins of small settlements, including hiking up the 250 odd stairs of one of the pyramids; Nohoch Mul, the tallest structure in the northern Yacatan at 42 meters, which was awesome.

Imagine playing basketball here

Imagine playing basketball here

P1080855P1080869P1080865

Looking out at the jungle from the top of Nohoch Mul

Looking out at the jungle from the top of Nohoch Mul

There are many Eco Parks around Playa del Carmen and so we chose XPLOR for a day of fun zip lining, driving amphibious 4 wheel ATVs, river rafting and swimming thru caves. Zip lining on 14 lines over the Maya jungle and thru some of the streams was a blast. It’s a full day of adventure including good food so that was a bonus.

helmeted up and ready to go

helmeted up and ready to go

The cave system was amazing here

The cave system was amazing here

Playa del Carmen had a neat feel about it with lots of restaurant choices. There seemed to be a lot of Europeans here.

We also visited a couple of cenotes in the area, the biggest being Dos Ojos. A cenote is a natural sinkhole that develops after a cavern collapses. They typically have beautiful clear water and caves to swim to with stalagmites and stalactites. We snorkeled here with a guide but this cenote is famous for its cavern dives. It was very impressive.
P1080871P1080892

In Puerto Adventuras we stopped in to see friends Doug & Shelly at their beautiful villa, which they rent out. We spent a few days seeing the area with them, including going diving at Cenote Manatee and having a nice dinner at their favorite beachside restaurant, away from all the tourists.
P1080936

The beautiful green waters at Cenote Manatee

The beautiful green waters at Cenote Manatee

P1080954

Continuing to head South along the Mexican coast to Belize. Not sure how our internet access will be.