Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Our Mexican Christmas in Cleveland

We flew home for the Holidays. Flight went through Chicago where 350 flights were cancelled due to the winter storm approaching from the West. We were only delayed an hour. We had our annual family Christmas part at my daughter Joan’s home and everyone made it. Joan decided to have a Mexican theme to celebrate our coming home. You can click on these pictures to get a bigger view of our 4 children, spouses  and 12 grandchildren. 


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Uno Mas Dia – We Fly Home for the Holidays

I can’t believe it’s already Wednesday. We fly out of Cancun tomorrow at noon, we go through customs in Chicago, one of the world’s busiest airports. We hope to be home by 9 PM. Our return flight back to MX is direct from Cleveland to Cancun on the 30th, it should be much easier. Our German friend Dierck will take us to Playa del Carmen Thursday morning to catch the airport bus which takes about an hour and cost only $10/person. It’s much easier than driving. It’s a first class bus and a pleasant drive. They leave every 45 minutes, so we never make reservations. If we miss one, we leave plenty of time to catch the next bus.

We had about 5 minutes of rain yesterday and it has been very hot. Several of the campers are now running their A/C. We just run our fans.



We will miss our walk on the beach where we watch the Pelicans dive for fish every morning.

The wide view below is looking toward where we sit each morning under the Palapas at the abandoned resort on the South end of the Xpu-Ha beach.


 Xpu-Ha Beach from dock

We won’t miss the big crowds of Mexican tent campers that arrive on this weekend for their Christmas holiday. Semana Santa lasts for about 10 days, so there may still be some campers here when we return.

I took my last kayak paddle for the year. I don’t think I’ll be heading off to WV to paddle in the next 10 days. I’m too used very warm weather and water temperatures.


I just noticed this 7 day forecast based on the Mayan calendar.

Looks bad for this Friday

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Big Storm Last Night – Mucha lluvia

We have been coming to Mexico for many years but during the winter months we have never really had a severe thunder & lighting storm. Last night was an exception.

The weather took a turn yesterday morning and really got hot & humid. Many of the campers were running their A/C. We just used our fans as we normally get a good breeze off the water. We got a few sprinkles during the day and wouldn't you know it, it rained during our Happy Hour. So we all huddled under our new big awning.
I didn’t take any happy hour pictures yet, so I thought I would post a picture of Claude & Mags from last year. They didn’t come to Mexico this year and we miss them both.
It stayed very humid and at midnight it started to rain. I could see lightening flashes in the distance but no thunder. Then out of the southwest the storm approached with very loud thunder and a really heavy rain storm. Our new awning worked OK, dumping the water off as it filled and since it wasn’t really windy I left it down to keep our patio mat and chairs dry. We had to close up everything tight but it cooled enough that we slept soundly until morning.
I expected to see washouts in the sand and stuff strewn about but everything looked about normal. I guess the sand can really soak up the rain and with no heavy wind no palm fronds came off the trees.
HappyHourWomenIt was still humid in the morning. Most of the women campers are heading off to Playa on a shopping trip.  From Brenda’s photo that I stole from her Blog it’s looks like it was more Happy Hour and less shopping.
Peggy & I are riding with Dierck to take some clothes to the laundry and do some food shopping. It seemed like we stopped at every grocery store in Playa. It was sort of looking like rain all day but all we got was a few brief showers.
Elaine_Reed2011I heard from Elaine & Reed. They left today from San Miguel de Allende on Wednesday morning and plan to arrive here on Saturday. This should work out good since Stefan & Nicole move off of their camp site and move their big 5th wheel to a storage area until next March when they expect to return from Austria.
Another two German campers arrived today, I heard they were travelling from Alaska to Patagonia. The one is a large unusual rig. Their friends have a small SUV type camper.
They are only staying a few days.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Took another kayak trip to Puerto Adventuras.

Our RV at Xpu-HaWhen we took our beach walk this morning the water was as calm as I’ve seen it and there was hardly a cloud in the sky.

I decided to take a picture showing the other side of our campsite next to the huge Impatiens planted by Sigrid our German neighbor. She stays here year round and doesn’t mind the summer heat. I changed the header picture to show the palms on the right side of our new motorhome.


The beaches at Puerto Adventuras are not near as nice as the beautiful white sand beaches of Xpu-Ha. You can walk on our white sand beach and the sand feels cool even in the heat of the day.

Puerto AdventurasIt’s about a 3 mi paddle one way and it’s a fun place to visit. They must have hundreds on Condos, time-shares and 5 hotels, so it is a big place. They run fishing, sailing & snorkel trips.

They let tourists swim with their Sea Lions, Manatees, Nurse Sharks and Dolphins. It seems well run and they are not abusing the animals.


Feeding the big Manatees lettuce.


I thought I would try the video on my camera to see how it works. This is the first video post that I tried to post. The video is a little short I guess.

My First Try
Another Try

Oh well, maybe I'll try again sometime. This is why I never owned a video camera.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Second Week at Xpu-Ha

Playa_ZocaloTwo weeks almost gone, two weeks until we fly out for the Christmas Holidays. We have had pleasant weather here all week, not too hot, not too cool and a few rain drops here and there. We miss our 4 kids their spouses and our 12 grandkids, hopefully we will see them all at our big Christmas party back home near Cleveland, Ohio.

Playa_5th AveLast Friday we made our first visit to Pizza Leo’s. Our RV friends Robb & Percilla from Manitoba were kind enough to drive us there. Of course we got the Extra Grande Leo, so I have pizza for lunch all week.

We decided to go to Playa del Carmen for the day on Wednesday. Maybe we could find something for daughter Joan’s Feliz Navidad party.

Playa_PlatesWe jumped on a Collectivo, a big van that runs from Playa to Tulum and back about every 10 minutes for about 30 pesos per person.

The street that runs closest to the beach in Playa is called 5th avenue. It’s a walking street and it goes on for at least 30 blocks. The stores seem to repeat over & over again as you walk to the North from the Ferry dock; jewelry, cigars, restaurant, Mexican crafts (of course some made in China). bar, ice cream shop, t-shirt shop, silver, massage parlors, clothing and bathing suits. We found a few things to bring to the party.


Here is Peggy with a few of her thin friends.


Of course my friend looked just like me.

Friday, November 30, 2012

End of 1st week at Xpu-Ha

It’s been a pretty relaxing week. The weather has been near perfect. High for the day in the Low 80’s and partly cloudy, night time lows in the mid 60’s. We had one day where it rained in the late afternoon and into the night. But other than that it’s been very nice.

John_Peg_XpuPalapaEach morning we take our 3 mi beach walk on the white sand beach and rest under the little palapa at the end of the beach.

Of course, as always, we use the pieces of coral to write our names in the sand and see how long it goes undisturbed from dogs & tourists.






JohnKayak_Xpu-HaI brought my Remix 69 river kayak down this year since I was going to do some river paddling in the mountains. But it is also is a great surfer. On Wednesday there were some nice small waves to surf.

Today I decided to get a a little more exercise and paddle over to Puerto Adventures. It’s about 3 mi one way and takes about an hour.


The Remix is a little slow for Ocean paddling but I’m out for exercise not racing. I spent about 1-1/2 hours there watching the tourists play with the dolphins. You can bike or drive over there also and walk all around and watch the free shows.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

On the Beach at Xpu-Ha

We are early risers so we left Tepetapan at 6:15 AM on Friday as the sun was rising. We had a long day ahead of us since we wanted to get to our winter beach home at Xpu-Ha, QR on Saturday. Our plan was to overnight in a Pemex along MX186 near MX221 road to Candelaria.

We found the roads much better and with the early start we were in Acayucan 30 min ahead of schedule. Last year when we hit the MX145D cuota it was in terrible shape. This year it was way better and we gained more time and we got to Villahermosa at 11 AM. Then we took MX186 heading east, that road was in great shape also so we found ourselves near the Palenque turn at 1 PM. We gassed up and figured we could make it beyond Escarcega for the night. After a quick check of Church’s great campground guide we found what would turn out to be a great choice.

At milepost 53 km is a place called Campestre Restaurante Bar-Familiar Maya. It is set back off the noisy highway on Laguna Silvituc. It has a nice large grassy area where very large RV’s can park and a great restaurant. We had both fresh fish filets, with salad, refried beans, tortillas and a beer. Our total bill with the tip was only $17 US and the camping was free. A word of warning, when the sun sets there are many mosquitos so put on your repellant before going to the restaurant.

RVXpuHaSaturday we again left with sunrise, stopped twice for fuel, once to fill our Propane tank and went grocery shopping at the big Chedraui in Tulum. We arrived at Xpu-Ha at 2 PM. We were able to squeeze into the same spot as last year.

There were already 10 campers here but room for at least 4 more. We had a nice day after we setup and a cool night’s sleep. Temp’s 58oF.


SignPostsSunday morning we took our beach walk to see if anything had changed since last year.

The beach was much wider everywhere and super clean. No new hotels but they are adding a couple of new rooms to Al Cielo. The small place where they filmed the Corona Beer commercial last year.

NY_Corona_ComercialAl Cielo 2012



Of course we saw a bride on the beach being photographed and laying in the surf. I assume she was married yesterday since she was trashing the wedding dress on Sunday.