Browsing: Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres 2020 Trip Report-Departure Day

May27

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The morning happened in a blur. I didn’t make it for sunrise and before I knew it Jan, Bruce, Dona and Sister #3 saw us off at the ferry terminal. This is Brother #3, L and I on the ferry to Cancun.

The day prior when I was writing from the malecon I remembered hearing a couple of ferry honks, which meant if you were not already on the ferry, you missed out. The coming and going of people and ferries has as always been a fascination to me. I have greeted Brother #3, L, Sister #3, Lorena, my husband, Richard and Melinda and have said good-bye to most of the same.

Covid 19 had created a sensation that I had never known before-I was glad to be going home. But throughout my three weeks on the island, the time went perfectly slowly. I said to myself over and over again “I cannot believe I am still here!” I have seen almost every sunrise and sunset for 20+ days. I love travelling to a place where one of the most important events of the day is the waxing and waning of the sun.

I had been hesitant about my 2020 trip because there had been a lot of crime and even murders in the year in between my times on the island. But the only incident that was a teeny disruptive was when a taxi and a motorcycle bumped into each other on Medina. Perhaps the Policia and the armed Marines are successful in keeping the peace and creating a calm for a traveller like me.

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It doesn’t look like paradise from the water does it?

I felt so bad for the Islanders as I left. In conversation with them, they seemed to be unaware of the cancellations and lack of business ahead.

When I was in the luggage line at the airport, I turned the data on my phone to hear the announcement that all persons having travelled internationally must self quarantine for two weeks upon their arrival home.

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This is what was awaiting me at home-bleh. But so was my wonderful husband who had gotten all stocked up on groceries for our quarantine. We had lots of TV that we recorded while away and new Netflix shows to check out. And now that we are on the other side of that, it wasn’t so bad after all.

Kath’s quote: “I want to take a vacation so long that I forget all my passwords!”

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Love never fails.

Isla Mujeres 2020 Trip Report-Day 23 Part 2

May26

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I quickly popped in at home to change clothes and then Sister #3 and I went to visit two of my favourite women on the island. The female bakers/owners of Dulzura Argenta have my heart. Gabriel and Marita are so warm and cordial, I wish I had visited them sooner.

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Their empanadas with Argentina influences were fabulous. Or so Sister #3 told me. I had a special dinner that evening, so I abstained. There were both spinach and chicken separately stuffed inside a lovely pastry. The chimichanga sauce that accompanied the empanada put them over the top.

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I had a taste of the cheesecake and the pecan pie. Both were delicious and what I like about their baking is that nothing is overly sweet-even the pecan pie!

They packed me a little lunch for my plane ride the next day- a rich and chocolaty brownie and one of those spinach empanadas. I do hope this lovely bakery comes out on top of the covid shut down. I wish them much love and many blessings.

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That evening Brother #3 and L met together at Muele 7. Full details will be linked here after Covid.

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Muele 7’s location right on the water is magical. When we were invited to walk to the end of the wharf to get the best view of sunset, Marco came with us. He said that even though Isla is his home, he never misses an opportunity to enjoy its beauty.

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Being our last night on Isla, we just had to say good-bye to Fredy and enjoy a night cap.

Kath’s quote: “Don’t cry because it is over. Smile because it happened!”

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Love never fails.

 

 

Isla Mujeres 2020 Trip Report-Day 23 Part 1: Take a Loop of the Island with Me

May25

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As you can see, I was just a wee bit late to see the sun come up over the horizon that morning.

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It was a very hot day as demonstrated by all the visitors huddled under their umbrellas.

I spent a long and lovely time actually exposed to the sun since it was my last full day. I typically am under a palapa or umbrella because of my fair and freckled skin.

As I started my walk back home I was right at the rendezvous point for the local buses. I spontaneously hopped on the Punta Sur bus, not to go there or anywhere really. I simply enjoyed one last loop of my precious island.

Follow along with my tour up Medina and then the west road of Isla, around Punta Sur and back down the east road.

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Shops for tourists are concentrated in a couple of specific areas. Here near Playa Norte is one area.

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This west beach was once called Playa Sol. I still call it that because I am not really sure what it is called now.

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There are also a number of shops in the vicinity of the ferry terminal and along the route that visitors would take to get to either Playa Sol or Playa Norte.

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These beaches are not for swimming. Much of it is for the use of the Navy. Do you see how you can see a strip of land across the top of the picture? This is not Cancun but Sac Bajo-a peninsular with lovely homes, condos and Dolphin Discovery which visitors flock to.

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I am always amazed that even the grandest homes start out looking like this. Cinder blocks can better withstand hurricanes and most of Isla’s buildings start out looking like this.

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By now we have gone round the bend at Punta Sur and are heading back into Centro. The first time I cam to the island I stayed at Villas Punta Sur not knowing that we were on the opposite end of the island than most of the restaurants, shopping and beaches. That has changed now with a number of places to eat and shop in Colonias-the “neighbourhoods” of the locals.

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When I stayed out this way, I would walk to cliffs in the area to catch the sunrise.

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There are a few sandy beaches like this but the east side is mostly coral. Even though there are people in this picture it is unlikely they are going swimming but to beachcomb or enjoy the sun without the crowds.

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An enormous condo development is to the left of the bus right about here. Isla 33 condos are spectacular and the main reason why that neighbourhood is becoming gentrified.

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I love the houses of the locals. They love colour and buildings are often orange, pink, yellow and turquoise.

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These suites have been a popular place for a number of years, fully taking advantage of the beautiful water views.

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This pic is taken almost at the point of the airport road where D and I typically stay. Luna d’Miel Apartments are our home away from home. We love the crashing turquoise surf right outside our terrace.

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The locals didn’t seem to mind the loco turista who’s wet bathing suit leaked on the floor of the bus.

Kath’s quote: “We are all riding the same bus.”- Mark Sheppard

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Love never fails.

Isla Mujeres 2020 Trip Report-Day 22

May21

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My friend Jackie from Winnipeg stayed at this new hotel on the island. It was called La Perla Caribe but I think has already been renamed.  I tried to spot her on numerous occasions so that I could see her room and the hotel amenities, to no avail. Initially the owners thought they might try a hotel/hostel combo but then that didn’t work out. So now I think it is a hotel with a couple of “family” suites.

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As I continued my walk, I passed a hotel that I stayed at for a couple of years. Roco Mar has been renovated and re-opened for quite some time now. I was a guest prior to their reno. It was rustic and very affordable (at that time). The view was spectacular but if it was windy, your teeth rattled all night long.

I was up in enough time to have a little stroll around the hood before I settled into sunrise watching.

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Watching my last sunrise of the trip.

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I also got the fabulous opportunity to stay at Villas San Miquel one year. The suites are a little bit pricey as compared to our modest budget but every penny is worth it. It has the best location on the entire island-on the water and yet just across from the zocolo. The suites are beautifully appointed (especially the kitchen) and they have a gorgeous pool.

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This was my view from XBulu Ha.

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As I continued walking that morning, I captured this. Anyone know what it is a picture of?

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In the same way I love to be on the beach early in the morning, I also love to stroll down Hidalgo before restaurants, cafes and shops open for the day.

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I loved this turquoise luggage cart!

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I had one last chat with “morning” Abel at Lola Valentina’s (there is also an “evening” Abel that we also have gotten to know).

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Heading back home, I also captured a pic of Los Arcos where I have also stayed in years past. It too is good value but no real view to the back and noisy Hidalgo to the front.

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Just a few more pics to stamp Isla on my brain for another year.

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That afternoon I read and journaled on the malecon. What a gorgeous view from there.

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“Hemingway’s” as it is known was just up my street.

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I was fortunate to get to the ferry terminal just in time to bid farewell to another pair of good friends who are not likely to return to the island. I will miss them.

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I didn’t capture a sunset on this evening so I share this instead. Do you know how hard it is the get the sun to dot the “i”?

Kath’s quote: “Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of travelling.”-Margaret Lee Runbeck

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Love never fails.

 

Isla Mujeres 2020 Trip Report- Day 21

May20

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I was happy to have Sister #3 with me to enjoy the gorgeous sunrise.

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As soon as the sun was out, the watered just shimmered in shades of blue.

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I left early for the beach again but took my time along the walk. Guess where I was now?

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I love beads of every colour but especially the combination of blue, turquoise and mauve.

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This first kiosk on the right is my favourite place for juice and fresh fruit. Covid note: I am pretty sure that the open markets selling fresh food were the first to be closed when Isla went into quarantine. I hope my favourite fruit guy and his family are doing okay.

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I never have actually eaten at this loncheria. Have you? What are your favourites to order?

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I always got a kick out of this hand painted mini billboard. It would be a great place for an islander to tell you about snorkelling tours and the like but I have never seen anybody ever do so.

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I always get so excited when I see that first glimmer of turquoise at the end of the street.

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Readers must be getting sick of my beach pictures but I am always in awe of the beauty of the sand, water and sky and try very hard to bottle it up to take home with me.

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I guess you can see that this is another way I bottle up Isla-in the clothes and things I buy on the island.

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Hortencia is my favourite dressmaker. We met she and her husband Marcello years ago and she has made numerous dresses for me and now my grandbabies. Her grandkids often join us for an afternoon on Playa Norte and this year was no exception.

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The older boys loved playing Frisbee and paddle ball in the ocean. The littlest loved the air mattress. They were all delighted when we bought them ice creams from the Puglia ice cream man.

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This was my favourite picture from 2020!

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Later that evening Sister #3 and I dined at Mahache-another delightful experience.

Kath’s quote: “Grandchildren are those lines that connect the dots from generation to generation.”- Lois Wise

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Love never fails.

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