I didn’t think so. It appears that I’m like the kid at summer camp who can write to his parents every day, because there is nothing going on, but when there is hiking, fishing, canoeing, games, play, and many other activities, he never seems to get the time to write. I’m the guy with too much to do and too lazy to post. What’s worse is that several friends have emailed to ask if all is well as there is nothing coming out of the mill. In fact, I started to blog a few times, but then got busy and……. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.
So…..the vacation continues……. No! It’s not a “vacation”, it’s a winter relocation to a warmer climate. The people up the shore are on vacation for a week or so, WE are nomads living near Playa Del Carmen for the winter. At any rate, on December 24th, Helen and I drove the 20 miles to Tulum to view the ruins there. These ruins are right on the coast and, at one time, was the port city for many of the Mayan communities further inland. It was in use longer than many others and was one of the last to be destroyed by the Spanish.
One of the towers overlooking the City of Tulum and the Caribbean, too.
This is the beach below the ruins and is obviously popular with the tourists. In fact, Helen and I encountered the greatest crowds of our winter trip here, and realized that we had entered that time of year when Mexican families come home for Christmas. We decided that this would be our last day to play “tourist” until the crowds disperse after “Day of the Holy Kings” on January 6th.
Although many of us in the campground chose to avoid the crowds at the resorts and attractions in the area, we could not avoid the fact that Xpu-Ha is a destination sought out by many. The pristine beach combined with an excellent restaurant, fully equipped dive shop, and a shallo reef not far offshore attracts many people, hundreds of people, several hundreds of people. All this mostly adjacent to our campground.
However, during the busiest of days, we would find the campground inundated with not just cars, but passenger vans and even BUSSES.
In the middle of this picture you can see my Jeep. Between our camper and in front of the one with the awning out was a space that I had looked at, figuring that if worse came to worse, I could park there. NOPE!! The alternate spot for my ONE Jeep was taken by FOUR smaller cars. Some campers who wanted to go out were restrained by other vehicles in the way. As crowded as it was and congested as it was, I was amazed to see a large refrigerated ice truck trying to get in to the restaurant to unload yet another haul of ice cubes. I never actually saw the driver turn the truck around and back up to the restaurant, but I did see the truck there.
As crowded as the beach directly in front of the restaurant and resort was, there was plenty of vacant beach just to the north where Helen and some other campers were able to spread out in peace.
During this hectic time, there were two electricians working on the main electric panel, adding a number of meter bases and circuits. They came from the Merida area and the whole family joined them. As the men worked, the rest of the family was having a bit of a camp-out. Between the two men, they had five niñas, all as cute as can be and all extremely polite. We got along very well with the two families.
And then, it’s Christmas Eve, which we shared with others at the campground at Casa Ann y Jerry. It was a very nice time and we did not run out of food or drink. However, we are ALL senior citizens, and we ALL ran out of energy. Each couple left with a bag of goodies from Ann.
Here is Robb, in red, having a mellow time, Percilla in blue, pacing herself and having a good time, and Gerry, lonesome as Brenda is spending time in Canada. From the level in the wine bottle, I would say this is well into the party.
Next is Christmas Day, and Ann had made arrangements for us to have Christmas dinner at La Playa de Xpu-Ha Restaurant. They normally close at 5:00 PM, but would accommodate us for dinner at 6:00 and we could have the restaurant to ourselves for the whole night if we wanted. Again, seniors turn in early.
From the left, going clockwise is……….forget it. We are the gang from the campground. Dinner was great, service was most excellent and we ALL had a grand time.
This is Vera und Dierck, the official campground hosts. Dierck is usually a very amiable fellow, but rarely THIS happy.
And so we cruise into New Years Eve. Helen had a strong desire to have a beach bonfire, but the establishment nixed that idea right from the start. The remains of the fire, even just the ashes, would discolor their fine white sand. With Ann as a collaborator, she was able to get us a place next door, well away from the beach where there had been fires in the past. Over several days, I became the chief gatherer of firewood and accumulated the mess right outside our camper. The slight problem is that the wood had to be gathered early, but we could not get a definite OK on the fire until 6:00 PM NYE with an ignition time of 8:00 PM. I borrowed a large wheel barrow from the resort and made 4 trips to the fire site. Pushing a loaded wheel barroe through soft sand is not for sissies……it’s not for he-men either. When the barrow finnally stopped and turned over, I took as much as I could be hand and made several trips with the first load. Several trips later I had it all in place and started the fire with Rob and Shirley around 7:30. I wanted to have a small fire that would act as a beacon for the others.
Now, I have to confess that I NEVER thought that the bonfire would really work out. For several night prior to NYE, I was at the beach trying to get some photos of the full moon rising over the ocean. Each night I was foiled by clouds and a constant very gusty wind. I couldn’t see how this would possibly work out. NYE turned out to be very calm and the fire started quickly and the smoke rose almost straight up.
Not a great time exposure, but it was my best effort.
Helen and Percilla snacking away as the fire blossomed.
After several night with absolutely NO SUCCESS with a night time exposure, I had this opportunity from the bonfire area. Keep in mind that I have only begun to experiment with this and look forward to being here for the next full moon around January 26th or 27th.
More later, I promise.