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Published: July 20th 2017
"The bad news is time flies. The good news is you're the pilot".
And now, a word from our sponsor. (OK I'm the sponsor, and here's the word!)
Hope this blog finds you all well and enjoying the summer weather. We've settled into a routine here even though I was a bit homesick and my mind is on things back home as my Dad has not been feeling the best but he's in darn good hands. (Drop me a line Bar when you can.)
The first few days we put our nose to the grindstone taking photos of the condos for the company. Al's new camera equipment has made the photos pop. Monday co-operated & was a bright sunny day & the Caribbean exuded that jaw-dropping myriad of colors that made for perfect travel magazine shots. Boats and ships were floating off in the distance helping our efforts. While of course it's hot here, it's steaming hot when working on the rooftops and balconies where there's very little shade. How hot was it you ask? (Did you ask? 😉 It was so hot I saw a guy light up a cigarette and it lit itself...Badda bing,
Anyhoo, after I stage the shots for Al, (arrange furniture, set up the tables with dishes, put out attractive food, fill wine glasses) all to set a tropical mood, I then duck into the a/c as my burning point is much quicker than Al's. Don't worry - I bring him many cold refreshments & lunch is always on me! Aren't I a good boss? There is no workplace HERassment (er harassment 😊) going on here. And he's getting paid well. One beer per hour. Seems fair to me.
By noon we'd take a break & head to the beach for a refreshment & to dip our toes in the sand. It's always so nice to meet up with some of the folks we know at the beach bars. Two margaritas plus 1 beer set us back a whopping $7 Canadian. Score. Afterwards we got take-out to eat on our balcony - a chicken bacon club & an order of wings set us back about $10. Double score! Al buys a case of Sol at Walmart for around $11 so less than a buck a beer to enjoy a cerveza in the perfect setting on our rooftop
to sit back and people watch.
Tuesday, we took off to the beautiful little coastal town of Puerto Morelos. Wow - what a stunning quaint spot. It's the poster child for a charming Mexican fishing village. It is known for its iconic leaning lighthouse that was damaged in a hurricane in 1967, & due to erosion it started to tip but they maintained as their own 'little' leaning tower of Pisa! PMorelos is also known for being one of the oldest communities on the Caribbean coast & home to a National Marine Park which is part of the Mesoamerican Barrier reef.
Back in the day this town was a booming spot as it was the only deep-water port that could accommodate big ships. So it started to export its locally grown mahogany around the world. But when mahogany fizzled out, the farmers started to focus on growing gum and exporting it circa the 1920s. However when they started to use a cheaper product to produce the gum, it too fizzled out. Fast forward to today, and this town probably resembles more of the town it once was before the gum craze days.
We'd been there twice before
but never really explored it. This day we walked the many miles of beautiful shoreline. It also has a charming town square with cute little shops selling Mexican souvenirs/art etc. and little bistros and bakeries. And some of the funniest friendliest locals you can ever meet. Always joking with you. This is not a place where you'll be hounded by time-share salesman. Hallelujah.
PM is between Cancun and Playa, and to get here we took the city vans which cost us a mere $1.50 each. Each city van can take 20 people and there's one that goes by every few minutes. Air conditioned, and efficient. Once there we had to take a taxi to the beach for a mere $2. (Tulum is a lot more expensive to get around).
This neck of the woods is a world away from it all. A laid-back feel, with big blue open skies, wide sandy beaches, and due to the protection of the reef, the water is very tranquil and calm. It's an ideal place to snorkel - you can bring your own equipment (which we did), or you can hire a boat to take you out. There is someone selling a
boat tour on every corner. Boat tours, snorkeling tours, fishing tours, scuba tours...It's all at your fingertips here in Puerto Morelos.
It's like a gift to walk out into ocean water so clear you can see your toes. Turquoise waters and softy sandy shores. Paradise. We saw many tourists with those 'super-brellas' which are like a cross between a lightweight tent & an umbrella offering great sun protection. Big enough to sit under. You bring your cooler, your drinks, and can while away a day very cheaply on these sandy shores. It is 'speky-tacular'.
As we toured around, of course it was hot, so we hit a few watering holes along the beach. (Hiccup). Great chillax music was playing in every beach bar, and there was no shortage of great beer, great margaritas and amazing food. Al really loves trying the local artisanal beer here. His latest is Pescadores, an amber beer which is actually brewed in Puerto Morelos.
We stopped at the well-known Unico Bar which is a fun happening beach spot. It also has fantastic ribs in a Jack Daniels BBQ sauce, which had Al at 'hello'. They also had a few of my favorites;
grilled shrimp skewers in a garlic lemon dipping sauce, and a light salmon in a shallot cream sauce. We ate like kings on a pauper's budget and we enjoyed every morsel. They had some hilarious beach signs. *Good tippers go to Heaven. Bad tippers go to an all-inclusive. *Save water drink tequila. *If you have a complaint, take a number.
Sitting around with our feet in the sound, we ended up meeting a great family from Newcastle (Northern England) who were staying at a nearby resort. We chatted up with Eric who was at the beach bar with his son and his girlfriend. I thought he was from Ireland with his brogue (which he agreed with me does very much sound Irish!) They were spending 2 weeks in the area and we had a good chat about Brexit, life in England, their trip to the area so far, and we gave them an overall view of life in Canada. Absolutely great folks. I don't often go out of my way to chat with people but they made it easy to do so. We hope to keep in touch with them. Always so nice to meet new
people on your journey...
Once home from Puerto Morelos, and after a little R&R, we strolled out for dinner, and partook in flambeed steak with red wine and Roquefort sauce, and a flambeed shrimp in a chili and tequila sauce. I'd never tried this entree before and holy Toledo - I almost licked the plate clean. We know the staff there quite well, and at the end of dinner they brought me out some photo props. A rifle and a pair of legs with cowboy boots that they propped up on the table in front of me. (Sally) Annie get your gun...PS Sherri Lynn, Megs and Tara if you read this, the staff say hola 'perras'!!! I'll never forget that! xo
After we came back and sat on the balcony listening to the live blues band playing at Fusion next door, and were treated to one of the most incredible pyrotechnic shows of heat lightning we have ever seen. Frankly it was better than fireworks as it's so quiet. I was reading up on this heat lightning business, and it refers to the flashes of lightning on the horizon or within clouds that do not have accompanying sounds
of thunder. The reason for this silent lightning is that it is very far away and the sound waves dissipate before they reach you. Generally, heat lightning occurs as an early warning sign that thunderstorms are approaching, or it can appear after a thunderstorm has moved past an area. On the coast of Mexico, heat lightning is most often seen during the hot summer months out over the ocean at night.
We have panoramic views being right on the front of the building, and we could see the heat lightning flash over the north part of Cozumel, then streak down to the mid part, all the way south. I can't tell you how jaw-dropping it was. We just sat there enthralled waiting for the next display. Al got out his tripod and camera to try and capture a bit of nature's light show. (See Al's pics below).
Weds. saw Al off for his dive. I had a leisurely morning, reading and enjoying coffee on the balcony listening to music. It's odd to be so quiet here - where are you all?
It's been in the mid 30sC every day and if you factor in the
humidity, around 40C. Yeppers - lots of sunblock is being applied. But the breeze off the ocean is soothing. Every day we've had a quick storm blow in, then out in no time. Cools things off for 1 minute then it's back to the 40s. Despite the heat, we have been walking a few miles every day - along the ocean or off 5th avenue. Lots to see and hear; birds chirping, beautiful tropical flowers blooming, sounds of water, live music and amazing food smells waft through the air. All your senses are engaged when here.
Every day is made so fantastic by the Mexican people here. Everyone is always so friendly and welcoming. The warmth and hospitality of the Mexican people never ceases to amaze me. It draws us back time after time. They remember your kids, they ask after mom, they remember you like a pinot grigio (smile).
Many of them in the tourist industry work so hard for so little and yet they are so willing to share their land - to make you feel like you belong there and aren't an annoying tourist. Therefore the reason I work on my Spanish to at least
speak to them in their native language. I love their love of life, their sense of humor, their commitment to family. I always say they are very much like the Irish (and it has nothing to do with the fact they like a drink or two!) I frankly think I should get my DNA tested - quite sure there's some Mexican in me somewhere. Mom, Dad? Anything I should know? Heh-heh. Love you 'madre & padre'.
Well that's enough of a catch-up for now. It's early morning on Thursday and we need to finish the last of the photos.
*Special thanks to my big brother Barry and his wife Charlene for holding the fort at home. It is so appreciated - more ways than you know. Dinner/drinks on us. xo
*Oh and you too Jar of Mustard (Martha). Pick the restaurant of your choice for dinner out on the town. Pick out your finest dress & get gussied up! 😊
Lucy & Desi (OK just Sal & Al 😊
See following pics.
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