Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Visit to Playa del Carmen

On Monday we decide to visit the tourist area of Playa del Carmen. This town has been growing by leaps and bounds and is only about 16 mi away by a nice four lane divided freeway.

We really lucked out on the transportation, we had intended to catch a collectivo which runs from Tulum to Playa. But when we started walking out our half mi long campground road and young couple stopped and offered us a ride to the exact place that the bus would let us off, a few blocks from 5th avenue. Fifth Avenue is the first N/S street that runs along the beach area. They made it into a pedestrian walkway. Of course there is a Senor Frog, Carlos & Charlie's and every kind of jewelry & t-shirt store you could ask for.

As we walked along someone stopped us and said I know you, we camped together at Xpu-Ha last year. When his wife Gerry stepped out of the store with their kids we recognized them, they are staying in a condo this year. They told us about a new campground that has just been completed near their condo. We will have to check it out.

The last time we were near the beach in Playa was only 11 years ago, but there was nothing here. We took the ferry from Cozumel with Chuck Singer when we were heading to Belize for our sea kayak trip. I remember a dirty little town with a few parking lots.

One bad thing is that most of the beach area is closed due to construction of a sewer line or beach restoration. There were huge pipes lined up all the way down the beach. So that places with beach access were overly crowded.

We had lunch at a recommended Mexican restaurant owned by some Russians, Los Amigos on 30th & 26th St. After lunch we decided to do some grocery shopping on 30th which has three super markets. The Wal-Mart is only about 4 blocks back to the collectivo  stop.
Our driver must have been in a hurry as he drove the 15 passenger van about 70 mi/hr all the way back to Xpu-Ha. Again we had good luck, another young couple offered us a ride down our half mi long campground road so that we didn’t have to haul the groceries very far.
I’ve not mentioned but I’ve been getting in about an hour of kayaking every other day to prepare to beat Chuck in the Vermilion River Race in late March. The weather has been very nice with highs about 80o and lows in high 60’s. We have not had to run our A/C at all since we have been at Xpu-Ha.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Birthday Pie

Another nice day for a walk on the beach. Forecast called for warm but chance of thunderstorms. The rain never materialized.  A group in the campground decided to go out for Pizza at Leos in Chemuyil, a little town about 8 mi south of our campground. We had been here last year and remembered how good the pizza was, so we decided to come along.

It turns out that Friday was my birthday so I guess I can claim this as my birthday party with Pie (Pizza) rather than cake to eat. It’s worth the drive to the cute little town. Peggy & I ordered Pizza Leo with salami, ham, pepperoni, spinach, onions, green peppers, and jalapeno peppers (on the side for me) on a thin NY style crust. We bought the Extra Grande so that I would have leftover for lunches next week.
We walked around the town and headed back to camp. Guess what it must have rained at Xpu-Ha and we had left our camper windows and vents wide open. Luckily only Peggy’s sleeping bag got wet and it was now too hot to use it anyway. It dried overnight.
We woke up on Saturday to really hot sunny weather and headed back to the beach.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Visit to Puerto Aventuras

Weather was sunny and pleasantly cool so on Monday we decided to ride our bikes up to the upscale resort community of Puerto Aventuras. It is about 3 mi down the busy 4-lane divided hi-way with a nice bike lane, but Peggy still was wary of the high speed traffic whizzing by.

They have a Dolphin encounter, swim with manatees and sea lions. We didn’t try on the cool day but enjoyed watching the others enjoy the adventure.

We finished up the afternoon with a big Grouper sandwich at Gringo Dave’s, best bargain lunch at $6, which include grilled onions, french fries and shrimp on top of the Grouper.

Monday, January 11, 2010

It sure got cold in Mexico

Right after we got to Xpu-Ha (spoo-ha) the weather turned. First the winds, then the an all day rain, then the cooler weather. Highs Sunday in the high 60’s with the low this morning  only 51oF.
I took a bike ride yesterday to the town of Puerto Adventuras, it’s across the road from the resort. They have lots of little groceries and bakeries. It’s a nice little town. Bought some fruit & vegetables.
The highway is high speed four lane divided and it was about 3 mi away. However there is a very wide concrete shoulder to ride  your bike on, so it felt safe with the collectivos and buses flying by.
We were told we can ride our bikes into the resort, so today we may head back there and take some pictures of the area as soon as it warms up a little.
Here is a picture of our little campground. The beach is right behind all the RV’s.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Xpu-Ha Beautiful Beach

See Map9

Xpu-Ha Beach Kite Flying

We got to Xpu-Ha La Playa campground Wednesday morning. There was one campsite available it was next to where we camped last year, we snagged it. La Playa Campground caters to long term residents, the short termers go next door to Bonanza Campground. It’s on the same beautiful beach but does not have full hookups.

The weather has been cool at night, about 60oF, but warms well into the 80’s in the afternoon.

Peggy and I took a walk past the beautiful beach to see the coral beach.

There is an abandoned hotel on the left end of the beach. If it were open I’m sure 500 people would be on this beach.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Back in Mexico – Boy do I hate dogs

We had a nice on-time direct flight back to Cancun. We were back to our RV by 1 PM. The weather had cooled off but compared to the snow and cold temperatures in Cleveland it was great. Highs are around 75oF and lows around 65oF.

In the morning Peggy & I took a bike ride to do a little grocery shopping at the Bodega Aurrera (Mexican Wal-Mart) which is only 3 mi from our campground. The weather had cleared so Peggy suggested we take a walk on the beach. Beach access is not really easy since most of the homes have blocked it off but a little private park up the street allowed us to walk through their property to get to the beach.

The last time we walked the beach in this direction some dogs barked at us  from a large private residence. Today, the dogs were running loose on the beach and when they saw us, went into attack mode. Peggy stood still and they growled but did not attack her. They then came toward me and I figured if I splashed some ocean water on them they would go away. Boy was I wrong, they not only didn’t go away but they attacked. Two of them were big Pit Bulls and I ran into the water and fell on my back but one bit my leg. Peggy yelled for help and some workers an a maid came out and called their dogs back, but my leg was bleeding.

Peggy told them they needed to get me medical care so they called someone who was in charge of caring for the home while the owners were away. She could speak English and  said one of the men would take me to a hospital to get it taken care of. They picked her up along the way and stopped at a little Urgi-care type place. They cleaned the wound and said OK I’m all better. Peggy insisted that we see a doctor since she felt I should have a Tetanus shot.

So off to the big American Hospital. A nurse re-cleaned the wound and put on a big dressing. The doctor give me a Tetanus shot and a Rx for an antibiotic. This care cost the owner of the house over $400 usd. I guess medical care in a resort area is not that cheap. He said the one puncture wound was not that deep and we should clean it each day and hopefully no infection will occur.

I hate dogs.