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Vacation Journal
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A typical e-mail home to family

By: IslandNana (View Profile)
Date: 10/3/2006

I was clearing my e-mail sent file and came across this message from last March.

"Sorry folks, We┤re having so much fun doing nothing here in Paradise that it┤s hard to get to the internet.

Here┤s a typical day: The sun rises out of the Caribbean right outside our Punta Piedra slider at about 6 AM. The turquoise waves are crashing on the rocks and the Frigate Birds and Pelicans are soaring overhead. There is a breeze (or for the last two days, a gale) from the southeast. Donald makes coffee and we sit by the pool drinking it and watching the day begin. Sometimes we make toast with miel de abeja (honey) and yogurt with granola for breakfast. Sometimes we take a taxi to town (or walk if we're being virtuous) and have breakfast in a streetside restaurant. Today we had croissant sandwich (Donald) and I had huevos mexicanos (scrambled eggs with tomato, onion and jalipeno pepper - medium HOT). Then we walked around town, picked up some fresh squeezed orange juice at the native mercado, stopped at our friend Capitan Tony┤s house for a chat. It is too windy for him to take out his usual boat trips to Contoy Island. But a highlight of this vacation was our trip with Tony and his brother Mario to Contoy on Tuesday. We went in his 25┤open launch with twin Yamahas to the island which is about an hour away. Then we snorkled and met the semi-tame Manta Ray. Tony & Mario cooked lunch on the beach (delicious grilled barracuda, rice, guacamole, salad and watermelon). They fed the leftovers to the waiting iguanas and hermit crabs. On the way back to Isla Mujeres, Tony threw out hand lines and caught 4 barracuda, Donald had fun pulling one in.

We usually take a siesta in the afternoon, maybe swim in the pool. Then we come back to town for dinner, watch local basketball or volleyball games on the Plaza, or maybe go to an AA meeting. We usually meet friends at the zocolo, and maybe buy a slice of flan or tres leches cake from a street vendor. We┤re usually back in bed by 10:30 and wake to start another day in Paradise.

Wish you could all be here with us."

And here's an earlier e-mail:

"While I wait for the lavanderia to finish our laundry (wash, dry, fold and package for $3.50), I┤ll try to compose a short trip report.

We flew into Cancun last Wednesday, the first, and took a bus to Playa del Carmen, changed to another bus for Tulum Puebla where we stayed at Posada Luna del Sur, a twelve unit hotel owned by Mexican woman named Janet who spoke excellent English. We ate supper in town (Tulum is spread two kilometers along highway 307 which runs all the way to Chetumal, the capital of Quintana Roo state, and on to Belize. The next morning after breakfast of eggs scrambled with tomatoes, onions and peppers, we took a cab to the ruins at Tulum where we hired a guide named Jesus Alejandro. We were his only customers and it was early and not too hot so we probably saw a lot more than the later huge bus tour groups. Tulum was a Mayan trade center built on the sea more than a thousand years ago. It was still operating when the Spanish arrived (unlike many of the other Mayan cities). It is built on a beautiful seaside cliff. After the tour, we saw the Voladores of Papantla perform. They are four guys in ancient costume who "fly" suspended by their ankles from the top of a 100 foot high pole while another man plays a haunting tune on the pipes while standing at the top of the pole. The four guys represent the seasons - it┤s a fertility ritual. In the afternoon, we went to the beach (there was much toplessness, which delighted Donald.)

The next day, Friday; we were up bright and early for our all-day tour at the Sian Kaßn Biosphere Reserve. It was an incredible experience. We took a boat through a brackish lagoon and mangrove swamps, learning along the way about all the plants, birds and animals. Then we reached a fresh water lagoon, saw a temple (dedicated to the crocodile god) and got out of the boat and floated for 40 minutes with the current of a canal which was once used as a trade route by Mayan merchants in canoes. After a ride to see the ocean inlet and the "ojos de agua", we returned to the Biosphere center for a great lunch and some "siesta" rest time, finally we had a chance to swim in a cenote or fresh water sinkhole - but we passed as a thunderstorm was bearing down on us.

The next day, we took the bus back to Cancun and the ferry to Isla Mujeres where we are now.

My internet time is almost up so I┤ll have to continue tomorrow."

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