Sunday, 28 February 2010

Go, Canada!!

The neighbours are outside in their hot-tub watching the Canada-US Olympic hockey final. The score is currently 2-0. Love it!

1700 hours: And the Canadians won in overtime-it was no doubt a good game!

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Those Crazy Vikings

My mom asked me what was the big deal about the pants worn by the Norwegian Olympic curling team. Since I haven't been keeping up with such things, I had to take a look.

Those are definitely memorable pants. King Harald V of Norway liked them so much, he got himself a pair.
I wonder how long it will take before you see people strolling down the streets of Winnipeg clad in such fine duds? I'm almost tempted; I'm just not sure how they would look on a curvy girl.

(photos compliments of Reuters and the Sydney Morning Herald)

Monday, 22 February 2010

I Cooked the Camera

The water in the Grand Cenote, which peeled the paint off the camera, may also have damaged the seal to the battery compartment.
We took the camera snorkeling today, and some water entered and fried the battery (and everything else).
I´m just hoping the memory chip is still ok.

I´m already going through withdrawal. (sigh)

The Tourism Industry

Thousands of people are employed either in the hospitality industry or in shops the tourist visit.

They start early in the day, setting out their wares.

There are six branches of law enforcement, one of them especially for the tourists.

At this time of the day (around 0630) there are very few people around.

Just those people who keep the place going...

When you start this early, a siesta is definitely in order.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Sunrise on the Beach

We got up early on several occasions to try to capture the sunrise.

Some days turned out better than others.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

We Looked Shipwrecked

We were very happy to get back from our fishing expedition. Not that we necessarily spent a great deal of time fishing. K and I ended up quite seasick. I am obviously a very poor Viking, despite my extensive time at sea (back and forth on the ferry between Dover and Calais and between Victoria and Salt Spring Island and two whale watching capers, one on each coast).

The trip back to Playa del Carman was rough and we were horribly wet from the waves crashing over the bow of the boat, but that didn't bother us; it was the bobbing around like a cork while we were casting at anchor.

Lee slept the whole trip back, wrapped in a towel, dry and snug under a rain poncho.

Our guides caught a few fish, but we just ended up feeding them, gentle Canadians that we are.

We went ashore for lunch and explored.

There were many shells to photograph, washed in from the reef.

An optimistic pelican, one of many that follow the tourist fishing boats.
And a conch shell that Ruzter found in the scrub and carried around for at least 15 minutes, only to drop it when a two-foot snake came slithering out.

A good day and a great lunch. I've never had grilled barracuda before.

Shells Old and New

The fossils were around the Cenote Azul and the seashells we found on our fishing expedition.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

A Tulum Tour, a Shore Lunch and Two Cenotes

A panoramic view of Tulum from near the north gate.
The Cenote House.The four of us standing in front of the cenote, with the Cenote House behind and above.

The cenote was of great importance to this walled community as the only supply of fresh water. The occupants of the Cenote House were of great stature, given the importance of the water supply.
The view from the eastern gate.

The beach gave access to the village. The Maya were a seagoing people, but did not like to be far from shore, or, for superstitious reasons, out in after dark. Tulum is one of the places they would overnight on their voyages.
El Palacio. When the Mayans renovated, they built on top of the existing structure.

Templo del Dios Viento.
From Tulum we went to the Grand Cenote.

Here I am skulking along the surface inside the cave.The Geek dives amongst the bubbles.
Tree roots grow through the limestone, searching for water, and dangle into the cave.

Lee did not like the water, so K handed her off to Ruzter while she enjoyed herself.

There must have been something 'interesting' in the water in the cenote as it peeled most of the paint from my camera.
This is what my camera looked like before I left.After the cenote we went to a nearby beach were we enjoyed a short swim,
then warmed up out of the wind while we waited for lunch.
After enjoying grilled chicken, guacamole and the best bananas ever, we went on to Cenote Azul.

This cenote had different varieties of fish,

and many fossils in the limestone.

We took the tour with a company called Yucatreks and our guide was a great fellow named Eder. If you ever want a tour in Playa del Carman, I would highly recommend them.

Only a Canadian

Would sunbathe in a wool sweater on a Carribbean beach.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

A Warm Carnival

We arrived in Playa del Carman about 6 hours before Ruzter and K were due to arrive.

We took the opportunity to check out our room (it was huge),

and took some time to lounge on the balcony

before heading out to explore.

Speed bumps are very different here.

We had supper, and then did some window shopping. One shop had some beautifully coloured lights.

This restaurant had lovely, colourful tablecloths and interesting sculptures on their roof.

And when we were heading back to the hotel, we heard a percussion band and found a parade heading our way.
We had forgotten it was Shrove Tuesday, and the last night of Carnival in many places.
This was a fun, family oriented parade.

All ages and genders danced down the street.

A great way to start a vacation!