Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Feliz Navidad - Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year

We are back in Ohio for a family Christmas and wanted to wish all the readers of our blog a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Here is a little entertainment for your pleasure, click the arrow in center.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Getting Ready to Head Back to the Snow

Last night Claude & Dierck brought Ann back with her 5th wheel from Bacalar. Gerry is arranging to get his truck flat bedded back to Playa del Carmen where he might have better luck get some keys made. The key specialist in Chetumal could not make him a computer chip key. Gerry made it back today at 1PM so hopefully a key will get made and he will finally have his truck back.

Beautiful Altamira Orioles fly into the pine tree behind our camper every afternoon. We also have fun feeding the iguanas right behind the fence.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, is our last day before heading back to Cleveland for the holidays. In the past we left our RV at Meco Loco Trailer Park in Puerto Juarez just North of Cancun, since we fly out of Cancun. This year we decided to leave it here at Xpu-Ha to save ourselves the drive there and back and setting up twice. It will cost a little more but since Claude was willing to drop us off in Playa del Carmen Thursday morning to catch the ADO airport bus we decided to just leave the RV where it is.
The snow is supposed to stop on Thursday but even though it is cool here I’m not sure how we will react to the freezing temperatures back home. We have 4 kids and eleven grandchildren that we are anxious to see at Christmas time and we plan to fly back right after our big New Year’s Eve celebration.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Enjoying the Beach and Weather at Xpu-Ha

Last Thursday we were expecting Claude & Mags along with Gerry and Ann to arrive at La Playa campground. They all live about 70 mi North of us near Chatham, ON and we camped here with them last year.
Late in the afternoon Claude rolls in and tells us the bad news. While they were camped along the road in Bacalar, Gerry & Ann were burglarized by some kids. The worst part was, besides taking their computer, they stole both sets of truck keys, so now they are stuck there until they can get some new computer programmed keys made for them.
Of course Mexico is much safer then Westlake, I read today in the news, “WESTLAKE, Ohio -- Monday, December 13, 2010, Three homes were burglarized Saturday and Sunday in the same neighborhood.”, so I guess no matter where you are, watch out.
We like to walk to the end of the beach by an abandoned hotel and sit by our own private Palapa.

Of course we marked it so no one else will use it.

This is the beach directly in front of the camp.

This morning Dierck and Claude are driving 3 hrs back to Bacalar to see if they can pull Gerry’s 5th wheel back to camp so that they don’t have to sit there along along the highway. They hope they can tow his truck somewhere that is safe until the key gets made. They tried offering a reward if the kids returned his keys but no luck so far.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

On the beach in Xpu-Ha

See Map 6
Everything still looks the same
The solar arrays I have don’t seem to be able to keep up with our use of electrical power so we decided early Tuesday morning to drive to Playa del Carmen and do some shopping and then drive back south about 15 mi to La Playa campground at Xpu-ha. The batteries were down to 50% capacity and are either weak or we are using more power than we can produce with the low sun angles.

The roads were perfect, no construction all the way back and we made good time. About a 3:20 min drive including a search by a military drug dog on the way out of Mahahual. No drugas. The roads through Felipe Carrillo Puerto are unchanged, you still have to drive right through the city, but all the rest of the roads were 100 kph(60mph) with a few topes in the little towns. The new highway overpass in Playa looks done but it is not open yet. Peggy wanted to wash some clothes so we went to the laundry at the Chedraui, did some shopping bought some Propane and still got to camp in the early afternoon.

We met our old friend Siegfried whose husband died here at Xpu-Ha a few years ago. Vera & Dierck from Germany have been here for a month and a half. We expect Ann & Gerry along with Claude & Mags to arrive tomorrow from Ontario across the lake from Cleveland. A couple of the campers moved to a new campground just North of Playa del Carmen.

We took a beach walk early this morning before it got too hot. It went down to 52oF this morning, we darn near froze to death. It’s in the high 80’s and sunny today. A week from now we will be going back home for 18 days to enjoy Christmas with our family. A vacation from our vacation. Let’s hope it doesn’t snow too much.

Snow back home in Westlake

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Quiet Sunday on The Costa Maya

The RV batteries didn’t seem to be taking a charge or holding a charge. So I pulled them out to inspect and found a lot of oxidation on the terminals, I cleaned them up and things look better, we will see what happens tonight. The refrigerator seems to be working just fine since our problems a few days ago.
ShoppingCruiseDock Not much went on on Saturday night and even less on a Sunday. A nice warm sunny day at Blue Bay.
We decided to bike down the Malecon and then over to where the cruise ships dock. We heard that there were stores there and that was as far as some passengers ever got.  Everything was closed of course since the next ship doesn’t arrive until Tuesday. It’s really fun bicycling on the nice smooth roads with no traffic. We get a strong breeze off the ocean which makes it feel cooler than the 85oF temperature.
This is the lighthouse at the end of the road right next to the campground. If you get this far looking for the campground you missed the right turn. The malecon starts here and is about a mile long with the beach on one side and restaurants and shopping on the other side.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Enjoying Mahahual – Warm & Sunny

The other campers from Mi left on Friday and headed South to near Xcalak where the gal has a little B & B using large tents, called Okotuil Beach Club, it seems a little pricy for a tent.
For those that have the time and don’t mind the lack of hookups this place is great. It’s 35 mi off the main highway down a perfectly smooth what they call a 4 lane road. When you see the Lighthouse make a right turn toward all the little hotels, then take the first left turn into a driveway of a construction site. It is also the only way to get into the campground. We had to wait while they moved a vehicle and stopped working in the middle of the driveway to get in here. The camp is right on the Malecon and next to the beach.
Peggy and I took a nice bike ride up and down the Malecon and over to the the little town to buy some vegetables and watch the  Holland Am. Nieuw Amsterdam try to dock on a very windy day. It seemed to take hours to dock and we didn’t see many tourists in town. There are no more cruise ships until Tuesday. 
I’m not sure how all the little shops and bars survive here, the Malecon is empty of tourists. On Friday night there were a few locals at the Blue Bay Beach Club which runs the campground. We heard them go home at 3 AM. I hope Saturday night is not too noisy.
We are starting to really enjoy our stay here, it’s very pretty setting, they have beach palapas to sit at and a place to tie up your hammock. We took a 12 mi bike ride heading south of the 1 mi Malecon. There are little places all along the bumpy road and a few places to camp. We saw 3 dive shops along the way.
In town the dogs are all friendly and used to bicycles. But as we got out far away from town a few dogs chased us and intimidated Peggy, but they didn’t snap at us.
Saturday afternoon I finally got my kayak down and paddled over to the cruise dock and did some surfing. The surfing was a little scary since the waves are breaking on a coral reef and some of the coral heads are above the water. Luckily I missed them all. They have nice cold showers and a toilet in a big Palapa for the campers. The place is brand new, so I hope he gets enough business to stay open.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Mahahual – Finally got to Yucatan Coast

See Map 5
Blue Bay Campground
Yesterday after we got to camp we noticed that the refrigerator temperature was 54oF instead of 38oF. We spent most of the afternoon checking everything I could think of including asking my friends at RV.Net who had lots of suggestions. I finally saw a suggestion that said “Put a fan behind the refrigerator to get good ventilation”. I had a 12v fan that I wired in. Low & behold the temperature went back down to 38o. We let it run all night and it was 34o in the morning. When we hit the road at 6 AM, I turned off the fan and watched the temperature. It stayed cold all the way to Chetumal where I bought a little smaller car fan to use if needed.
How many miles to Home
The roads were great, hardly a chuck hole anywhere and only one short place where they were paving. We made very good time, had time to shop at the big mall in Chetumal before driving to Mahahual on the coast. Those roads were perfect also except for the usual topes. We got to camp at 2PM in time to see one cruise ships leave port. The second much larger ship left at 6PM but there were no boat people in town when we took a walk down the beautiful new Malecon. Tomorrow another ship will arrive, and then no more ships until Tuesday.
Old VW Camper - Not in our Camp
The campground is run by a guy from Mexico City that speaks very good English. It’s called Blue Bay and it is just a few hundred yards from the Lighthouse at the end of the road. They have laid out enough room for at least 10 rigs but there are no hookups of any kind. The fee is a reasonable 120p per night with free Wi-Fi if you are close to the bar. One other couple from MI is camped here but are leaving tomorrow.
Peggy wants to take a bike ride tomorrow to get a close up view of the cruise ship and see that end of town and take a ride down the wide Malecon. It’s interesting that this town only
exists for the cruise companies to provide a port to visit besides Playa del Carmen and Cozumel. They call it "The Mayan Riviera". The ship we saw “Oasis of the Seas” holds 6000 passengers and 2000 crew. I glad they were all back on board when we got there, The Holland Am. Nieuw Amsterdam is in port tomorrow, it’s only 2000 passengers.