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.

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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.

 

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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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Isla Mujeres 2020 Trip Report-Day 20

May19

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As you can see my “making it up for sunrise” streak was going quite well.

Bow-thank you very much.

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As I strolled right down to the beach I noticed this native plant growing from a crack in the sidewalk up against a stucco wall. It occurred to me that determined plant was like many islanders that I have known over the years. Their beginnings are simple and their life is hard but still they persevere and in fact grow to be something quite beautiful.

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We missed seeing Lori from Chaya and Cacao this year but I have noticed that she is renting out a couple of rooms in the building where her restaurant is on the main floor. With the proximity to both the beach and Hidalgo, I for one would love to stay there and may get the chance in the seasons ahead.

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I was early enough to secure a palapa for the gang. Here’s a pic of it in the shade from my vantage in the water.

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I love the early morning on the beach when the shadows from the palm trees are stretching out to the edge of the water. The air is cool and refreshing.

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I really enjoyed being in the ocean when there were so few people around.

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I don’t swim per se, because I don’t want to have to redo my beautiful coiffed hair again (jk).

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As the morning stretches on more and more boats arrive and drop anchor on the other side of the buoys.

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Staff at Na Balaam were very accommodating when I purchased a “to go” mug of coffee. Drinking coffee on the beach was one of my fondest memories of visiting Veradero Beach in Cuba, eons ago.

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I am always very empathetic with the Mayan girls who sell their wares on the beach. Covid note: I am particularly concerned about them and their livelihood right now with no tourists on the beach or along Hidalgo.

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I made the mistake of checking my cell phone (because I own a business, I check my phone once or twice a day when on the island). It was an error to check it because the bubble that I had been living in, safe from Covid was about to burst. At home fellow Winnipeggers were hoarding toilet paper and the rumours of lock downs were swirling.

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I met Brother #3 and my sister-in-law for sunset. You may know them as they have been coming to Isla almost as long as me. They always stay on Hidalgo and go to the beach most days. That is why they are so beautifully tanned as compared to my freckled face. We tease Kelly that he is the mayor of Isla Mujeres because he looks like a local with that tan and never forgets a name or a face. When he walks anywhere he greets just about 75% of people and calls out their name (hence the “mayor”). I am so blessed to have both he and my sister-in-law Lorraine in my life.

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As the sun was sinking I noticed something really fascinating. When you looked in the direction of the sunset it was all golden

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but when you turned the camera away from the sun, the light was soft and pastel.

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Gold…

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and pastel.

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The sunset itself was stunning

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but so was the sky even 10 minutes later as we made our way to Sardinian Smile for dinner.

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I love this picture of Sylvia’s restaurant. It reminds me of a Parisian café painted by an impressionist. We enjoyed an amazing dinner that evening, but once again I am not going to share it until Covid is over and the restaurants are open again.

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Aren’t these local kids’ faces shining? They were collecting for their soccer team and we were happy to help them out. Who knew that Covid was just around the corner and they wouldn’t be out enjoying a game of soccer for a very long time.

Kath’s quote: “Siblings-the definition that compromises love, strife, competition and forever friends”. – Bryan Pulsifer

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Love never fails.

 

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Isla Mujeres 2020 Trip Report-Day 19

May15

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A beautiful sunrise!

Joined the gang who were having bacon, eggs and pancakes for breakfast. I had yoghurt and mango and peanut butter and jelly on toast! The gang including Bro #3 and L, went to LYSH for a visit. I was eagerly anticipating my plans to meet Peggy and Linda for lunch, so I declined.

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Yes this is a tree that is growing in the middle of a building. It has been here for at least the 15 years that I have travelled to the island.

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I ambled to a new location on the beach with some different sights on my walk for a change.

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I headed to the beach for some shade and a breeze, to no avail. I figured if I planted myself right on the corner of Playa Norte and Playa Sol, I would be bound to feel the air stir in one direction or another, but I was wrong.

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I walked over to Jax at about 11:30 for the bano and wifi. This was the view from the open patio on the second floor.

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Peggy and Linda are seated to the left. On the right are my long time neighbours from Luna d’Miel. In fact we all met at Luna d’ Miel as well as many more good friends over the years.

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Most of the gang ordered salads and were pleased with them I think.

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I wanted to try the soup which was ok. (Jax is not my favourite place).

Home for a rest and then to meet Sister #3 to check out the opening of Pizza and A More on their first evening at their new location on Hidalgo.

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Mateo asked us to come back in an hour so we went and visited Fredy.

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Sister #3 with Fredy who has been a long time friend of ours.

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We ran into another old Isla friend who was at Fredy’s too. We met Linda a long time ago when I use to arrange island meet ups.

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To say that we enjoyed our pizza and pasta would be a massive understatement. Pizza and a More is sensational, click the link here to read more!

Then I headed back to the hotel to join up with my gang and head to Snappers for a Jets game. Donna and I stayed until the end to watch the 3rd period win! Covid note: Little did I know that I was watching my last Jets game for the season. The next day the NHL was cancelled until further notice.

Kath’s quote: “There are only three things women need in life…food, water and compliments.” – Chris Rock

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Love never fails.

 

 

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