Friday, January 31, 2014
I don't think I will ever get tired of viewing beautiful sunrises through the rustling fronds of coconut palms. Always a good way to start a new day.
Thursday, January 30, 2014
An empty poolside, waiting for sluggish tourists to lounge and bake.
Flowers in bloom.
A tropical climate and rainfall of more than 50 inches annually makes for lots of green growth.
Of course some green growth is generally not welcome. This sailboat seems under-maintained, maybe even abandoned. Although it only rains an inch or two each in Jan-Feb, that increases to almost 9 inches each in Sept - Oct.
This row of bollards along the quay wall made a nice peek-a-boo image.
A Social Flycatcher sits sociably on the bow of a sailboat at anchor.
A tourist sailing catamaran sits out this cloudy, windy, cool day - the sun just broke through for a few minutes before sunset.
Although cloudy most of the day, el sol did make an appearance for sunset.
Humans aren't the only ones who enjoy a nice walk in the golden surf at sunset.
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
The Tulum archaeological site is the remnant of a walled city inhabited and built by the Mayans and in peak use about the 13th ton15th centuries. The site is atop 40-foot cliffs on the east coast of the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico about 120 kilometers south of Cancun. The hallmark structure at left in the photo above is "El Castillo" (the castle). As one of the best-preserved coastal Mayan sites, it is very popular for visiting tourists. Many folks like to bring their swim suits and take a refreshing dip in the sea below the site.
I am guessing that the lintel over this arch was installed to help support and stabilize the structure by modern day humans not by the Mayan builders.
The aqua and azure tones of the Caribbean stretch out from this cliff top paradise. (Panorama - click to view in full width).
This bluff-top view was the most popular spot for family photos.
Even we couldn't resist the tourist temptation.
One can take a swim in the beach below the site and imagine the Mayan kings of yesteryear doing the same.
I had to wait a while for the throng of tourists to subside to make this photo. (Panorama - click to view in full width). The stunning seaside location of this Mayan archaeological site is breath-taking. If you don't like crowds though, come early or late to avoid all the other tourists. Last year I arrived on a weekday an hour before closing and at closing, was chased out by the guards - we wanted to stay for sunset and moonrise.
This is one of the local residents who seemed mildly annoyed with tourists traipsing all around. The archaeological site at Tulum is arguably one of the most spectacular locations anywhere.
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
More than 500 runners participated in this year's road race in Puerto Aventuras. There were various groupings for both adults and kids.
The young kids' race start line - some were quicker off the line than others.
Crossing the finish line.
Encouragement approaching the finish line.
This man was operating a way-cool aerial drone that was filming the event.
Here's the drone. I assume his iPod was recording the scene but I haven't found a copy online yet.
A happy competitor.
More happy competitors.
Monday, January 27, 2014
While wandering along the white sand beaches of Playacar in Playa del Carmen, we stopped into the Riu Palace Riviera Maya. It has a prime location and the grounds of the property are just plain spectacular. The Spain based Riu chain has a number of beautiful properties throughout the Riviera Maya - (and the world for that matter) - they know how to do elegant and classy hotels!
And here are some happy tourists from cold and snowy Massachusetts, USA, enjoying a visit to the property.
Sunday, January 26, 2014
In 26 days, we have purchased and consumed 183 avocados for guacamole. Yes, we like guacamole - and with avos here in Mexico costing anywhere from 25-50 cents each (USD), we are making the most of the great deal. (At home, they cost $1.00- $2.00 (USD) each depending on the season). Note: we have had visitors and house guests so it's not like I ate it all myself.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack, guac is always a great food choice for us. Seven ingredients - avos, jalapeños, onion, tomato, lime, cilantro, and salt.
Guacamole makes an excellent companion to bean, rice, and salsa tacos with a side of julienne veggies. I bet you'd like a bite right now even if you are not a vegan.
Saturday, January 25, 2014
Villas del Mar is a beautiful condo complex centrally located in Puerto Aventuras. This is the view from one of the two bedroom units. The entire property was designed to retain large areas of open space/lawns/pool area and has a roped-off private area at the beach with palapas, loungers, and white sand all maintained daily by a full-time staff. Nearby, there is a fresh produce market on Wednesdays and Saturdays about five minutes walk or, you can walk or take a taxi a mile or so away to the Chedraui supermarket (taxi fare 50 pesos each way). Numerous other restaurants and shops are five minutes walk if you don't want to prepare food at home.
Just down the street from Villas del Mar, this is the entrance to one of the beachfront haciendas along the prime strip of land bordering Fatima Bay.
Another of the beachfront haciendas.
Garlic bread for sale in an area supermarket - about a dollar for each loaf. (USD).
A local resident taking a break from fishing.
A sunset walk along the beachfront.
Sunset along the beach at Villas del Mar.
Friday, January 24, 2014
This could be either my brain wave scan or a jiggled camera view of the swimming pool at two o'clock in the morning.
Thursday, January 23, 2014
I was surprised at how crowded this beach was compared to my visit last year. Of course, it was a Sunday afternoon so maybe that was the reason. There was also a lifeguard on duty and a police officer patrolling with his machine gun slung over his shoulder.
Even the crowds couldn't detract from a walk in the spongy, springy, squishy sand that make up this spectacular beach.
Clouds rolled in and clouds rolled out but the air and water temperatures remained about 78 degrees F.
On reflection, I guess it wasn't too crowded after all. I've seen a few beaches in my life - and this is one the more beautiful anywhere.
A few hundred yards walk south along the beach is a small cenote. They recently began construction of this walkway and dock to prevent damage to the mangrove roots along the trail.
As soon as you get in the water, hundreds of little fish immediately swarm your legs nibbling away. It is an odd sensation.
And this local resident was not too keen on humans interrupting his lunch - those same little fish who get too close to the edge.
This area is maintained as a turtle sanctuary to protect the habitat. Entry fee was 25 pesos/person. (about $2.00 USD). The quotation under the name of the sanctuary translates as: "Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish caught will we realize we cannot eat money" - American Indian Wisdom.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
In recognition of the blizzard raging back at home in Massachusetts, here is the Riviera Maya version of a snowman at sunset.
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Tulum is 80 Miles (130km) south of Cancun along the Riviera Maya. The beaches and archaeological site are the big draws. The beaches of Tulum are among the prettiest anywhere I've seen in my life and the stretch just south of the archaeological area is wide, with white sand, and not overly crowded on this January day.
The powdery white sand was great for walking. Rumor has that they want to improve the local airport to international standards and make the area more of a tourist destination of first choice. In 10-20 years they just might achieve that goal.
Not everyone was thinking about sunning, swimming, walking, or airports.
What an unexpected treat to find a Thai-inspired restaurant (at Mezzanine hotel/bar/restaurant) overlooking the beautiful beach for a nice bowl of pineapple mango curry - and it was even vegan - as were other menu options!
A wide range of accommodations is available - for example, you can stay at the Hostel Tulum Bed, Bike and Breakfast for $12 USD/night. Of course there are also many places you can stay for $100-500 a night. Some hotels even have 24-hour electricity and Wi-fi.