On Christmas day Mike and I and our daughter Mariah and her husband Greg spent the night near the airport in Portland. Early the 26th we flew to Cancun with a quick stop in Phoenix; the flights were uneventful other than a fraying passport scare and a small is-there-a-seat-for you!? scare due to an overbooked flight. The rental car process was nicer than expected and before we knew it we were at the enormous, beautiful Mayan Palace Resort between Puerto Morelos and Playa del Carmen. I'm pretty comfortable in Mexico but have never stayed in a resort before so I'm enjoying a little end of the year culture shock.
We celebrated our safe arrival and the pending week together with a nice dinner at Tramonto, one of the 8 restaurants at the resort:
Next morning we enjoyed a long sleep; here's Mike enjoying the jungle and golf course view from one of the 3 balconies in our suite which also includes 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, and a nice living/dining/kitchen area.
Mariah and Greg's Christmas present from us this year was a day trip to visit local Maya ruins and a special surprise - a visit to a spider monkey sanctuary called the Jungle Place. The owners took our cameras and shot hundreds of photos; here are some of my favorites:
I had raisins hidden in my pocket:
We liked the rugged, jungly roads better than the busy highway with construction, accidents, and too many traffic lights.
This is the Xunaan Ha cenote near the monkey place. A cenote is a fresh water sink hole; sometimes they're covered and cavey, this one was open to the surrounding wilds.
Next we headed to Akumal for some late afternoon snorkeling; 1st we got serious about delicious fish tacos at the Lol Ha snack bar on the beach.
Even though it was a bit cool and cloudy and late in the day, we enjoyed snorkeling (well, 3 of us did, Mike was a little cold). We saw lots of beautiful sea turtles and swam out to the reef where we saw the usual cast of characters in terms of reef fish (I counted more than 30 species as I snorkeled along) and some interesting rays.
On the way "home" we stopped for a major shopping trip, as seen below.
Since we'd eaten such a late, big lunch we enjoyed a light dinner - crackers and bread, local cheeses and meats, fresh avocado and pineapple. :-)
And for dessert mango cream cakes. Happy trails!
THIS BLOG WAS SET UP TO CHRONICLE OUR ADVENTURES IN MÉXICO & GUATEMALA IN 2010.
Mike and I explored the Mexican Yucatán Peninsula for 2 weeks of flyfishing (Mike), diving (Stacey), snorkeling, Maya ruins, a colonial city, cenotes, quite a few hammocks and lots of great food.
When Mike flew home I headed to San Cristóbal de las Casas in Chiapas for 2 weeks of Spanish study with a small group in tow. We lived with host families and visited area sights including villages, museums, and ruins.
When the group flew home I bused to San Pedro La Laguna on Lake Atitlán in Guatemala for a week of planning for future growth of the Beca Project (link below) and meeting our sponsored kids and their families.
When our daughter Mariah and her husband Greg invited us to share a timeshare in Quintana Roo between Christmas and New Years, a new chapter to this blog was added. HAPPY TRAILS!