|The view of the docks from the tower at Isla Contoy
|And north over the end of the island
Our first day trip was to the nature reserve at Isla Contoy. Scott and I did this with other cruiser friends last year and enjoyed it again this time. It costs $65 per person and we signed up at the booth just north of the ferry terminal with the Isla Contoy sign. We snorkeled on the way there (in a fast motor boat on a tour, not in Scott Free) then walked around the island watching the birds and the people. I spent some time observing the expert fish cleaning and prep for the huge BBQ fish/chicken lunch they serve. To check out pictures of this - look up my blog entry on Isla Contoy last year.
We enjoyed the great lunch and the unlimited beer provided. On the way back the crew entertained us some with dancing demos on the top deck. It was a fun day and the weather cooperated. We had originally canceled and then rescheduled due to concern over the cold front arriving from the north any time. It held off till the next morning and then came with a vengeance.
Next day we spent in the cockpit watching the boats in the harbor drag and reanchor with lots of dinghies zipping around to help. Peter and Scott worried about our lines too. At the beginning of the storm the wind and waves came from the NNW straight down the harbor and our boat bucked and gyrated something fierce with the waves. They rearranged them with the use of the engine and all held fine. The wind was steady 20+ knots and there were gusts registered up to 40. It was a huge relief when the wind turned to the east and the harbor calmed down. We had a good night sleep.
|Fisherman cleaning fish and lobsters at the Social Justice Coop
|A cozy dinner in our salon with Peter and Julie
|While nature provides the scenery
|North Beach on Isla Mujeres
|Looking north over the wooden bridge to the largest hotel
The Mall was identical to any nice one in the U.S. but with all the signs in Spanish. Otherwise you couldn't tell the difference. Most of the restaurants were U.S. chains too. We had thought to see a movie in the huge multiplex, Bruce Willis's new one and Django Unchained were playing, but later we all ended up tired and headed back to Isla instead. Scott and I did note some stores we'll revisit later for needed items.
A third day we rented a golf cart and toured the island. We puttered around every road looking at the real estate and the views. We stopped in a local beach bar late morning for a beer and then spent some time at Captain Dulce's beach restaurant and museum. This is a lovely place on a nice beach with some very interesting nautical pieces and sculpture scattered all over the grounds. We had a fantastic margarita and vowed to return some time and stay longer. We'd intended to have lunch down at the southern tip but when we checked it out, it was crowded and rather plastic looking. So instead we returned north to eat at The Joint, a place with no pretensions and unfortunately only one waiter. It was a long wait for food, but gratefully not for beer. Later in the afternoon we had time to do some heavy type provisioning at the Chedraui supermarket before we had to return our cart.
Of course we ate several lunches and dinners out, including one memorable and excellent dinner at Olivia's. Their middle east/north african food was a nice change from the usual food on the island. And we swam and walked all over as well as enjoyed sitting and talking on the boat. It was a wonderful two weeks with Peter and Julie and it was sad to say good-bye.
|Hidalgo Ave. - pedestrian only, shopping and restaurants
|Captain Dulce's beach bar, restaurant and museum
|Over ten of these life sized sculptures were scattered
|Peter shows how large this navigation light really is
|But we had excellent margarita's at Captain Dulce
|Wind scoop sculpture at Captain Dulce
|The Joint - nice place to have lunch
|And of course, some beers