Monthly Archives: January 2013

A Belated Happy New Year

Our 10 day visit back to Cleveland was fun to see all our friends and especially all our family. However the reason we go to Mexico is to avoid the snow, sunless skies and cold weather. We had a snow storm when we arrived home.

SnowDriveway (Custom)

We had another one for Christmas, and finally one more on the day we left.

SnowBackyard (Custom)

But we made it back with only a one hour delay. But even in sunny Cancun the Playa del Carmen airport bus was 45 min late for some unexplained reason.

We had a big surprise when we walked out of the bus station in Playa. As we walked toward the Collectivo stop to catch a short van ride back to camp. Vera jumped out from the sidewalk and shouted welcome. I almost decked her from my surprise but it was sure nice of Dierch & Vera to take the time to drive their truck into Playa to pick us up, especially with the delays we had. She had to be waiting there for at least an hour.

La Playa Restaurant Band

We got back to camp and of course we were greeted by bands and musical groups.

Or maybe because it was the weekend of before the New Year.

The beach was crowded all week for Semana Santa. The local people take a holiday and hit the beaches.

Singing Group Behind Campers

Lazy Bones, Sit-in in the Sun, Never goin get this darn Blog done

Reed gets organized

I took a few pictures of some more camper friends that arrived in the past month.

Here is Reed with his inflatable kayak and sailboat.

Reed & Elaine are from Las Cruzes, New MX but are now Elaine-Reed (Custom)full time campers.

Or as I like to call them “Homeless People”.

 

Rob - Shirley

Next to Reed & Elaine are Rob & Shirley from Martha’s Vineyard.Rob & Shirley2

And across from them is Pat & Mike from Salida, CO.

Pat & Mike

Didn’t get or steal a good picture of them yet.

Mike used to make really nice wooden kayak paddles. He brought a couple with him to show everyone but didn’t have my camera ready then either.

Greg-Micki-Erick STT

Last week in rolls 4 Sprinter vans outfitted as campers.

Brian-Sande-Doug-Marsha STT

Greg Mallory STT

It turns out that this group of lifelong friends from Washington, Oregon & British Columbia decided to either quit their jobs or take a long leave of absence and travel from Washington State to the tip of South America. So far they have travelled down through the Baja, they took a ferry to Mazatlan, proceeded down the West coast of Mexico. Then traveled to the mountains of Chiapas, went down to the Yucatan, stopped at Xpu-Ha and are heading for Belize next.

They have three blogs, but have been slow to update them but bookmark these to follow their travels.

http://longroadstt.wordpress.com/
http://www.theramblinvan.com/
http://southerntiptrip.com/

They brought all their toys with them Surf Boards, Stand on Tops, Kite Surfers and best of all 4 of them were white water paddlers. These were the first WW paddlers that I ran into on the beaches of MX. Greg Mallory gave me a Discovery Channel video from 6 years ago when he safety boated for a group doing the first decent of a river in Bhutan, a small Buddhist country near India.

Greg Mallory is, among other things, a lawyer, L1 Paraplegic, white water kayaker and Captain of the U.S.Disabled Nordic Ski Team, a post that he was nominated for by the other members of the team. He has been in the chair 13 years, kayaking 12 of those, and is the 1st disabled person, in a group of paddlers, to conquer the remote Mangde Chu river in the Himalayan region of Bhutan.

I also got a chance to do some ocean paddling with them over to Puerto Adventuras.

 

Windy Week in Xpu-Ha

Weather has been warm and windy and the tides have been high for the whole week. It has slowed down my kayaking although I did mange a few surfing days.

Last  year when Claude and Mags were here they generously provided us with free transportation everywhere. We went to get bottled water, take and pick-up laundry, go grocery shopping, go out for dinner.

This year there are not a lot of cars to haul around everyone in our campground. So we get rides here and there, friends offer to drop off laundry or pick up some groceries. But we only made it out one time to eat at Pizza Leos, our old favorite Friday night out in Chemuyil, a small friendly town about 8 mi away.

A few days ago we needed to do some serious shopping for some meat and fish, so we hitched a ride to Playa with Sigrid. She dropped us off and was spending her day visiting the immigration office as well as shopping.

We shopped at two grocery stores, jumped onto a collectivo to get to Sam’s Club and another big grocery chain, Soriano, We took another short ride back to catch the Playa – Tulum, collectivo to get us back to Xpu-Ha. There is about a half mile walk from the highway back to our camper and believe it or not Sigrid was pulling in the driveway and we got to ride back to camp with her. We bought enough main course provisions to last use for three weeks.

This Friday, Elaine lent me her truck to we could drive to Chemuyil for Pizza night. After eating we always take a walk around town to see what is going on. On our walk I spotted some action at the end of one of the streets.  Off we went to check it out.   It turned out to be a state sponsored recycling program.

Waiting to recycle

People were lined up for blocks with all kinds of trash.

At the end of the line they were weighing the different kinds of trash with fish scales hung from a basketball hoop.

 

Weighing recyclebles

Brenda talked to a few people and found out that the folks bring in their recyclables, sorted into plastics, paper, metal and others, and they are weighed. They are given points corresponding to the weight and type of recyclable.

Points for Trash

Brenda also provided me with all these pictures from her blog. As usual I forgot my camera.

They then trade those points for food. See the second sign.Food for Points

Picking out their item

They then step over to this table to trade their points for food and staple items.

This is really a great program that teaches the people, and especially the children that everything has value and it is better to recycle and not dump your trash along the Mexican roads or dumps.

We decided that we should also be recycling in our campground and are now going to try to bring in all our Aluminum cans to give to some kid in town the next time to go to Chemuyil.

Two of the Sprinters left on Saturday and by Sunday morning they all were gone. I think their next destination is Belize, then Guatemala, however they alter their plans as they go along. They eventually want to ship their vans from Panama to South America and continue their journey to Tierra del Fuego at the tip of the continent. One of their blogs http://longroadstt.wordpress.com/

Sunday afternoon Doug & Marsha showed up again to stay for one more night, they had driven back to Puerto Morelos to pick up a repaired surfboard.  They are trying to contact their friends to get back together tomorrow. Plans for them the STT group seems to be to camp at Paella Fish Camp south of Tulum for another week.

Monday Morning does not seem as windy, so hopefully the big WIDE beaches will return. The water has been coming all the way up to our Jon & Peg coral display. It washed it out a couple of days in a row.

 

A Littler Cooler this week in Xpu-Ha

Thing have been quiet here all week, We got to go out on Friday night to Pizza Leos with Paul & Helen.

LaPlaya_TV (Custom)

All the campers are behind a line of trees and behind a fence separating us from the beach. Most of the beach walkers never even notice that we are back here. We get a nice beach view out our front window and a good breeze by the camper.

John_KayakIt’s a short walk to carry my kayak out to the surf, I can take either a long paddle to Puerto Adventuras or visit the two cenotes along the way. When the waves are high it’s a lot of work. When the wind is a little less I can do a little surfing. if the waves are right. But you have to watch where the waves are breaking.

Ramone Jet SkiThere is a lot of shallow coral directly off our beach and you wouldn’t want to flip and be dragged over the coral. They rent a couple of jet skis and a tourist got surfed and flipped his jet ski. He really cut up his leg badly but Ramón who rents them out just yelled at him for scratching up his new jet ski.

Helen_Paul_Cool_Happy_HourWe have not had any rain for weeks but after the high winds died it suddenly turned cooler.

Take a look at Helen & Paul who are from Florida and used to warm weather. During our Happy Hour, the temperature  plunged to 70oF. At night it got even cooler. last night it was 58oF. Peggy wanted me to turn on the heat, But within less than an hour it was in the 70’s and it is now in the 80’s.

Paul also does a blog and if you read it you can view better pictures and find out more of what is going on at Xpu-Ha, Paul, Helen, etc.  Another blogger Gerry & Brenda, Turtle on Down the Road have been camping here for the past two months. They just left yesterday for Akumal where they will stay with Brenda’s sister for a few weeks and then start traveling around the rest of Mexico until they return to Canada. Links to both their blogs also appear on the left side of my blog and if they write anything new it moves up the list.

A Day on the Water

Every night most of the campers stop over our patio for Happy Hour. Sometimes it extends almost to 2 hours. But it’s fun to get together to see what anybody did that day or what they are going to do tomorrow.


HappyHour (Custom)

Here is the group. Starting on the right is Gerry Wright, Peggy Kobak, Mike Jones, Elaine Cundiff, Rob & Shirley , Reed Cundiff, Helen Tempesta, Pat Jones, and Ann Wright. There are a few regulars missing Paul Tempesta, Carol & Richard, and of course I took the picture. Helen invited Peggy to go with her to Playa and do some grocery shopping on Monday.


JohnKayaksAgain

On Monday morning the winds had died and there were very few waves so since Peggy is going shopping I decided to take a long kayak paddle with my short whitewater boat. I paddled all the way south to just outside of Akumal near the Yal-Ku Lagoon.  It took almost 1-1/2 hours and the wind was picking up and the waves were building, so instead of paddling into the Lagoon I started right back to Xpu-Ha. I figured it was about an 11 mi. flat-water paddle which was all the exercise I needed. I beat Peggy back by 20 minutes.

WaterFlyer (Custom)

Just when I was leaving I saw this unusual “Watercraft? Helicopter?”. The water power was obtained from a jet ski attached to the big hose. He steered himself with the two jets that he held in his hands. I wonder if he was trying to sell this to the resort or what was going on? Never saw anything like it ever.

The Weather Got Much Hotter at Xpu-Ha

We have been getting a little rain at night, which has brought the humidity up. The winds have died down a little and the temperature is getting up to near 90o F. I hear a lot of A/C’s running but we are still holding out.

Last Friday nearly the entire campground went out for Pizza at Leos. In addition Glen and Maureen came from Tanka Bay, 3 people that we knew from Pal-Mul also showed up. Gerry, Brenda and her sister who has been staying at a condo in Akumal. Needless to say, the service was a little slow but the pizza and the 22 friends were great.

Jon_Peg Beach (Custom)Brenda & Gerry showed up for a day then headed off to Bacalar, see the link for her blog.

A new couple from CO came in with a big class A, but as usual Dierck managed to fit them in. Kent & Lynn will be here for a week.

Peggy and I hadn’t taken a walk through the abandoned hotel at the end of the beach this year, although we do sit under one of their palapas every day, maintaining our names in coral .

Walk-in to Club Maeve (Custom)

So today we put on our Tevas and walked off the beach to see how much more the locals stripped out of the resort once called Club Maeve. It  apparently closed in the summer of 2006 when a big hurricane hit the coast. Most of the damage now is from scavengers  stripping everything that they can salvage. Club Maeve Pool_2006

Here is the big pool before the hurricane.

The next picture is what it looks like today.

The whole place has been taken over by the jungle.

Club Maeve Pool 2013 (Custom)

Check out Paul & Helens Blog for more & better pictures.

The picture below is made of ceramic tiles and depicts the entire resort layout.

ClubMaeve_Tile Pic (Custom)

ClubMaeveLobby_2006

ClubMaeveFrom Lobby (Custom)

The left Picture looking toward the lobby, the right picture is Peggy looking back outside.

And below is Peggy waiting at registration. We saw all kinds of paper and bills on the floor in front of a closet. There were boxes of guest registration information that they apparently just left there when they abandoned the resort.

ClubMaeveLobby (Custom)

BeachGraffittiBack (Custom)

But today there is something new in front of the big palapa restaurant at the Club. A graffiti artist actually brightened up the place.

BeachGraffittiJohn (Custom)

Since we had on our Tevas, we decided to walk past the broken down dock.

ClubMaeveDock (Custom)

And across the old coral shore to the blow holes, where the waves go under the coral and blow up through the rock, when the wind and waves are out of the East.

BlowHole (Custom)