Friday, December 23, 2011

There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays


We had our annual holiday party with our 4 children and 11 grand children. Of course we had 4” of snow to make it feel like Christmas.

Had a great dinner, opened a few presents and enjoyed everyone’s company. It’s why we fly home from Mexico to have a vacation from our Winter travels.


Our three little girls; Meg, Joan & Pam.


Brian (Joan’s husband), Greg (Meg’s) and my son Jeff having a Christmas beer.

And in the photo below all 11 of our Grandchildren. From Sierra 3 years old to Jeffrey almost 22 years old.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Last Day in Xpu-Ha – Fly Home for Holidays


Our last walk down the beach to the old hurricane damaged pier.


Making sure our rocks still declare our palapa private. Last week the names stayed in place all week long.


Two days ago our Swiss friends that we met at Catemaco arrived but they left this morning to head up to near Cancun since they are also flying back home for the holidays. They have been traveling around the world in their Land Rover Camper for the past 11 years. They have been in the Americas for the last 4 years.

Peggy and Mags sitting on the beach near our campsite waiting for me to return, after taking pictures of the Corona Beer Commercials that they were shooting in front of Al Cielo Hotel,

It took 12 guys, 6 days to re-grade the beach, build a beach bar just for the commercial and put down a New York cab right  on the beach.

They are shooting a whole set of commercials there, maybe for the Super Bowl.


Here is the new beach bar which will probably wash away when a big high tide comes in.



Mr. Sandman right down on the beach reminding everybody back home to get ready for the snow.

Looks just like a snowman doesn’t he?

Well tomorrow morning at 8 AM Claude will take us to the bus station in Playa del Carmen about 20 min away. The first class bus to Cancun airport takes an hour and cost about $10 USD.

We will return to our camper on New Year’s Day. So if I don’t blog from home Merry Christmas & Happy New Year.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Friday Night at Pizza Leos in Chemuyil


Mags, Peggy, Lisa, Maureen, Glen, Dierck, Vera and Claude waiting for their Pizza’s at our favorite Friday night restaurant, Pizza Leo’s in Chemuyil. Lisa rode down with Glen and Maureen who have a place on the beach at Tanka. They caravanned down with Claude and Mags last week.


While we were having dinner this little group of kids came in singing and collecting tips. Today was the feast day on Our Lady of Guadalupe which is really a big holyday in Mexico.

There are parades and processions everywhere, some travel for miles right along the main highways. They carry large statues, pictures of Our Lady and banners. Some groups play instruments and/or sing as they march everywhere. You see them in big and small cities. If you are travelling you will see their processions everywhere for the past week.

I took another kayak trip on Friday. It was a little windy so I headed south with the wind and in 45 minutes I was nearing the Akumal hotel zone. I had never got that far before and realized that the wind was pushing me along more than I knew.

So I figured I better turn around and head back, it took me 1-1/2 hours to cover the same distance to return to La Playa. I think I paddled about 8 miles total. It was a good workout.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Xpu-Ha–Day 8

Claude_Mags_Peggy_CocktailHourSunday night near dark Claude & Mags rolled in and temporarily parked in the parking lot until they could pull into the spot next to us in the morning.

We got set up facing each other so that we would have a nice shady place for our evening cocktail hour.

Gerry & Ann are still stuck in TX trying to get their vehicle permit from last year cancelled so they can get a new one.

We have heard from Pat & Mike from CO, it sounds like as soon as they dig themselves out of the snow and cold they will be on their way. I hope to see them here in early January.


Wednesday was a nice cool day with on and off drizzle. I thought it was a good day to get a little exercise in my kayak. I first paddled over to the Cenote near Puerto Adventuras where lots of people were snorkeling. It wasn’t too hot so I decided to paddle all the way over to Puerto’s central beach. But I decided not to stop at all since it was getting past lunch time and I still had an hour to paddle to get back to Xpu-Ha. I was gone 2-1/2 hrs. and had covered about 7 mi.  The past few days had bigger waves and rougher seas which makes it harder to go long distances, today was perfect; Cool and Flat.

A week from Thursday we plan to take a vacation from our vacation. We will fly out of Cancun to be home with our family & friends for Christmas and New Year’s Eve. We will be back on January 1.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Xpu-Ha, MX – Day 5

The weather here so far has been very nice. Nights have been cool, in the low 60’s, but it warms to the 80’s very quickly and then has been cooling off in the afternoon. We haven’t done much other than take our 3 mi walk every morning along the beautiful white sand beach.

There is only one large hotel on the beach the Catalonia Royal Tulum. It looks like they have had a good occupancy rate, mostly French Canadians. The other small hotels have had a few couples, so the beach is relatively empty of people. Here is my blog from last year with pictures of the places to stay along the beach. Xpu-Ha Jan, 2011 Blog

Xpu-Ha Camp ViewWe are anxiously waiting for our Canadian friends, Claude & Mags to arrive, they may be here late today or tomorrow. It turns out that Ann & Gerry are stuck at the border. They bought a different motorhome this year but never cancelled their last two 10 yr. vehicle permits.. You can’t have more than one in your name. So they are trying to get paperwork completed that will show that they sold their old RV’s and cancel those permits. If they can get this done, we hope to see them when we return on January 1st.

Right now there is only room for a couple of more campers in the main campground but several others with small rigs could park up on the beach next to Chalio’s place. This year Dierck is collecting money for camping and getting everybody into their campsites. The rates are the same as last year. 250p/night, 1600p/week and 5000p/month all with full hookups. The power here has been 120 volts and steady all day. The exchange rate is better this year about 13.7 p/$, which makes the monthly rate only about $375.

We saw the funniest photo shoot on the beach this morning. A young woman in a wedding dress laid down in the water while the photog. shot pictures of her rolling around in the surf. Must have been her wetting pictures.

We tried out my Skype this morning with video on a call back home. Worked great. So if anyone wants to call us, my Skype ID is keelhauler9, The Telcel service is fast but it drops calls about every 5 minutes, so we can’t stay on-line.

Here is where we are on Google Earth La Playa


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Xpu-Ha Day 2


Tacho put up a new sign this year. I guess nobody knew what his old sign meant. I’m sure it will generate a little more business for him.

It was cool last night but it really got hot quickly. We took a walk down the North end of the beach and saw no changes at all. Take a look at my wide angle shot below.

By 10 AM is was already in the high 80’s. But just after noon a little wind picked up and by 3 PM is was back into the mid 70’s but partly cloudy.

I decided to get my kayak down and get a little exercise. I paddled into the next bay and back for about 45 min without a break. This will start to get me back in shape after all the driving and inactivity.

If it’s not too hot on Friday I may take a quick bike ride up to the Chedraui by Puerto Adventuras and pick up a few things as well as hit an ATM machine. Did this first thing Friday morning, 8 mi round trip. Did it all in 1 hour, incl. ATM & groceries on my bike.

Xpu-Ha Beach Wide

Xpu-Ha - La Playa - Day 1

Xpu-Ha CampOur drive from Mahahual was smooth. We drove 4 mi east of Felipe Carrillo Puerto to find propane so we will have a full tank when we get to Xpu-Ha.When we got back on MX307, we found the just opened a new vehicle LPG fill station about a 1 mi north on MX307.

We stopped for groceries at the new Super Che in Tulum, just 1 km east toward beach. It's well marked. A nice well stocked store.

We said hello to everyone and setup camp before noon with a good ocean view.

Xpu-Ha Beach Day1

Our first walk down the beach. Nothing has changed much on the south end of the beach. The day was a little cool, temperature in the  high 70’s. Went down to 57oF at night, almost got out our sleeping bags again.