Thursday, April 2, 2015

Puerto Morales, Mexico

Well,   I thought I was done talking about Belize when I wrote the last blog but we had one more adventure I have to write about.  We had sailed up to Cay Caulker, an island in the north end of Belize.  It has the cutest little village, very much like a miniature Myrtle Beach.  We decided to splurge and take an excursion on a very small sail boat to 3 famous snorkeling sites.  It was Harry and me and a young couple from New Zealand.  They turned out to be as interesting and fun as the adventure itself.  They took a year off of work which is actually encouraged in NZ.  They bought a world travel ticket and have been flying, all over the world.    Our tour guide was lots of fun and provided us with lunch, lots of fruit and on the way back while sailing he served us a gallon of rum punch.  You can’t beat that.

Had to put this in.  A phone on a very remote island among the trees.  It really struck us as funny

Harry swinging at the bar

Typical day fishing for the locals with 10 people on this small boat and all those cayucas

Anyway, the snorkel sites were fantastic.  The first one was coral gardens with tons of fish and live coral and the second one was swimming with sharks.  I couldn’t believe the number of sharks surrounding us.  Our guide was feeding them so they couldn’t care less about us.  There were many excursion boats out there with probably 50 of us in the water swimming with the sharks and rays.  It was an amazing experience.  Then the last one, we swam with very large sea turtles, huge grouper, moray eels and many sting rays.  It was our last snorkel in the Caribbean Sea but a really memorable one. 
Our excursion boat with Brandine, the New Zealand and our captain , Mata

The sharks in a frenzy over the food. Check out how clear the water is

Another one of the sharks

Harry snorkeling with the sharks.  They couldn't care less.  He doesn't look like food I guess

We checked out of San Pedro, Belize and left with 3 other boats for a one overnighter to Puerto Morales, Mexico.  This is a terrific harbor to anchor in but since we decided to do land travel, we took a slip in a 5 star resort with a marina.  Wow, what an experience.  We have never had the privilege to stay in an all-inclusive resort.  Since we were in the marina we have had full privileges of all the pools and activities.  The pools are amazing and the waiters come by asking what you want to drink.  They don’t take money and it’s all included so we have been getting free drinks every day at the pool.  Although we are the stepchildren wearing white bracelets instead of blue but they don’t seem to care.  A couple of our friends have had vouchers for the restaurants but no one ever  takes the vouchers so they have had free meals.  What a setup. There are a bunch of us who go to yoga class, Zumba, and water aerobics every day.  What a life.  We could get use to this.

One of the many pools at this resort

Another pool.  This place was great

The Local security guard, Harry called Fred.  He is always there on the dock

Sand sculpture on the beach in Puerto Morales.  This was magnificent.  They use something to keep the sand from blowing or melting away

We couldn't decide whether this was Moses or Poseiden. We decided on Moses because all of the sculptures were religious

The Pieta.  Check out the detail this guy did.  We watched him working on this.

We had planned to fly to Cuba but after much research on flights, hotels etc we decided not to go.  It is extremely busy in Cuba right now and we simply could not get a flight or a hotel or B and B.  Once it opens and I am sure it will in the next couple of years, we will fly down.
So we rented a car for a week and decided to drive around the Yucatan Peninsula.  We drove to a really nice typical Mexican town called Valladolid for 2 nights and went to the famous Mayan ruins called Chichen itsa.  Quite an experience.  We had a great guide who gave us so much history and information.  He is Mayan and very proud of his heritage.  It was fun listening to him tell some fascinating stories.

Wall where the Mayans came for competition games.  Look at the big ring at the top of the wall.  They had to get a 6 pd rubber ball through the ring with a rubber club.

The biggest temple at Chichen Itza

The picture is what they image the ruin behind it to once look like.  Amazing

Another picture of what the ruin must have once looked like

I had to throw this in.  As we were driving through the Yucatan we saw hundreds of these carts that all the local people in the small settlements use for transportation.  One Mom had a baby carriage in the front and 3 kids standing in the cart.

One of the cenotes we saw in Valladolid.  Kids were swimming.

Then we went swimming in a Cenote which is a big sink hole.  There are 10,000 of these in the Yucatan Peninsula.  They are amazing.  We were there with 100 tourists so it was crowded but fun.

This is the famous one where all the tourist go.  We swam in this one.  Lots of fun

Just us at the cenote
Harry next to a termite nest.  Do you believe the size of that

We stopped for lunch along the road and had a wonderful lunch here for $3.85 for both and included 2 bottles of water.

We drove north to Rio Lagartos, which is a sleepy little fishing village that is famous for their wildlife, flamingos, crocodiles, and hundreds of different birds.  We stayed 2 nights in a real cute B & B with a pool right outside our door.  It was sunny and hot and basically nothing to do.  In order to see the flamingoes we had to hire a tour guide for $60 which we did for the next day but then a front came in, it got cold, and windy on the river and we cancelled.  We drove to 2 famous swamp areas to see all this wildlife and didn’t see a thing.  So we swam and read and ate (only 1 restaurant in town).  Next stop was Playa del Carmen on the Caribbean Sea. It is pretty much like a miniature Cancun with resort after resort, tons of restaurants on the boardwalk and almost everyone was under 5 years old.  Lots of beach stuff going on including a crazy number of the beach beds.

This was at Playa del Carmen.  It really is interesting to see all these people and all those beds.  It was just resort after resort.

 We stayed at another B& B owned by a young Italian couple.  They were great and it was lovely.  So we had a great 2 days there wondering around, doing a lot of walking etc.  Much better then staying at a big resort.

I just want to expand on Mexico.  First off, we love it.  The people are wonderful and amazing how many speak some English, which is nice.  It is very clean and we consider what we see so far as a first world country.  We have been in some really dumping central Am countries with trash everywhere but Mexico keeps their streets very clean and buildings are painted and kept up.  We have been amazed over the difference from other countries.  Their roads are equivalent to US roads, well kept and no potholes.  Of course we have only been in the Yucatan Peninsula but we have heard other areas are the same.  We have liked it so much we might someday drive through other parts of Mexico for a vacation.

Tomorrow we sail to Isla Mujeres which is the island at the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula.  It is a great jumping off spot for sailing to Key West.  Hopefully, that will happen next week.  It will be good to be back in the USA

1 comment:

  1. We loved your comments & photos. We were in Caye Caulker Jan., '14. Have a friend who lives there. What a great little island. Smooth sailing to Key West. We were there a week on our boat inside the 2nd bight on the west side of Fleming Key. Picked up a mooring for a week for $25!! Our favorite $1 beer bar was Pepe's. Also LOVED the restaurant Blue Heaven (you don't have to die to get there) and the art deco movie theater. Key West is a blast. Have fun.