Monday, February 25, 2013

“On the Road Again” as Willy sings

Trip Plans
Also as John Denver sang “Our bags are packed, were ready to go”.
If you look at our trip plans you will see we have a lot of driving in front of us. We took our time getting to Xpu-Ha more than 3 months ago. On our other trips we continued our touring on our way back home but we have seen almost everything we wanted to see. We missed a lot of Mayan Ruins, but we were ruined out. We skipped a lot of Cenotes (Underground water holes). They are all different and they are everywhere in the Mayan Riviera. There are no rivers in the Yucatan. The whole area is composed of porous Limestone, so that when it rains it all soaks in and is transported through underground rivers. When the limestone collapses into the stream it is called a Cenote.  So a Cenote is a just big hole in the ground filled with water. The water eventually makes its way to the ocean. Many attractions near here have beautiful fresh water lagoons where the freshwater mixes with the seawater.
On Wednesday the wind finally started dying down after having high winds and huge waves all week. I figured that this was my last opportunity to get in some kayak exercise, so I paddled over to the big Cenote/Lagoon in Puerto Adventuras. I  decided that I should also do some kayak roll practice since kayak season starts in March back home in Ohio and West Virginia, and I wanted to make sure everything in this old body was still working. The Cenote water is not salty but it is cooler than the ocean, so  it was a good way to cool off on a hot day.
Robb & Shirley left early on Thursday morning to see some friends on Isle Mujeres, a small island just north of Cancun. They expect to be taking the same route home as we do, I hope they will catch up and we will travel out together.  They have been here  at Xpu-Ha almost as long as we have and are heading back to their home in Martha’s Vineyard. There is only one more camper, Carol & Richard with their famous dog Ginger, that is still here and will be driving out and two more campers that will be “Leaving on a jet plane, don’t know when they will be back again”.
If we have internet with my Telcel Banda Ancha (Wide Band) when we stop each stay, I'll provide a progress report. I stick my poster next to the drivers side window, which will hopefully ward off the trancito police looking for Bites (Bribes) for bogus infractions.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Seven more nights at Xpu-Ha

IMG_3046 (Custom)I haven’t blogged much this winter but not so much that nothing goes on here at all but because we always seem to have so much to do which really is nothing. We take a three mile walk each morning and sit under the palapas where Peggy & I try to maintain our little private corner of the beach. Some times our names remain for a week, sometime it only lasts a day.

We then go back to the camper where I surf the internet, catch up on e-mails and decide what’s for dinner. Peggy usually reads books on her Kindle. Then we may find a ride to go grocery shopping, if the wind and waves have died down I go kayaking. And occasionally we go all the way into Playa del Carmen about a 20 min drive or collectivo ride. The collectivos are vans that continuously run from Tulum to Playa & back and from Playa to Cancun & back. For tourists the charge is about $2.50 (30 pesos)/person.

Carol-Ginger-Richard (Custom)About half the campers here have vehicles so we often bum a ride from them. Carol & Richard have been very generous with their rides. The other day they took us to a fresh fish market in Playa near Calle 40 & 5th avenue. We bought some great tasting Grouper (Mero). Carol does a great Blog “Ginger goes Glamping” which has Richards outstanding photographs.

LaPlaya_wide2 (Large)

Here is the beach directly in front of our camper, we are next to a very popular restaurant called La Playa. Tourists from many of the resorts and cruise ship passengers come here for the day. But the restaurant closes at 5 PM so we have never eaten there but we hear the food is good and they have entertainment from 3-5PM on Thur., Fri. & Sat.

Several of the campers who were here all winter have moved on. Pat & Mike from CO headed to AZ and plan to fly to New Zealand. Elaine & Reed headed to Belize and were flying to Costa Rica. Paul & Helen headed back home to Florida where it is nice & warm now. Gerry & Brenda “Turtle on down the Road” and still touring the Yucatan and will eventually be heading home to near Niagara Falls, Canada.

After Xpu-Ha our plan is to drive back to the USA border which usually takes 4 days. We have not heard of any banditos or drug people stopping RV's up near Brownsville since the incident in November, so we decided to take the fast Eastern route home. We considered heading up into the mountains to Puebla but steep hills, construction, 100 extra miles of driving and $100 more dollars in tolls discouraged us from taking that route.

So on March 1st we start heading West. West?, you say. Yes, as the crow flies we are only 1490 mi from home but our longitude is due south of Chicago. We need to drive 1400 mi before we even reach the TX border, and then another 1600 mi to get all the way back to Cleveland, OH. So don’t expect to see us until Mid March.

Here is our tentative Map and Driving Schedule from Xpu-Ha to the Border.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Days Dwindle Down

Not much different has been going on around here. Our campground has been almost full for most of the season. But Dierch always seems to find a place to squeeze in one more camper.


We have been going out for pizza on Friday nights at Leo’s in the little town of Chumyil. Sometime most of the campground shows up.

There is a more upscale restaurant a little further down the road called, Oscar & Lalo’s. Prior to the hurricanes they used to be located in Soliman Bay. After rebuilding a few times they decided to rebuild right on the main highway from Tulum to Playa del Carmen.Oscar-Lalos-Garden

The place has beautiful gardens, indoor & outdoor seating and a great chef.

Prices run from 140-200 pesos (11-16 USD) for a very nice dinner. Their menu has everything from seafood & meat to vegetarian.

You get a well prepared entre with fried bananas, vegetables, and of course rice & beans. I love the fish Veracruz style with a tomato sauce.

When we went the first time they gave us coupons for free drink including Margaritas. On our second time, even though only a couple of people remembered to bring their coupons, our table of 11 persons all got free drinks.


Nice big table, Reed is wandering around somewhere while Brenda is taking the picture.

John_Iguana_KissShe took all of these pictures including this one of me waiting for the kiss from the big iguana.

But even though we are just coming up to Mardi Gras week the great group is on the move.

Brenda & Gerry from Canada have been in and out a few times but just left on Friday to head North of Playa for a week and then will be moving on. Follow their journey here.

Pat & Mike from CO left their RV here and took a bus to Belize to meet their friends at Caye Caulker for a week. They just got back early Saturday, packed up to head back to the states so that they could fly to New Zealand for a few weeks.

Paul & Helen leave this Sunday morning to meet some friends in San Miguel de Allende before heading back for springtime at home in Inverness, FL. Follow their journey here. Paul may not blog for a while since he spilled Gatorade on his computer and it is currently not working.

Also we have had Jack, a tent camper from the USA, staying next to us for the past month, he is leaving today for Isle Mujeres and then on to who knows where.

Reed & Elaine are leaving on Monday. They will drive their big 5th wheel to Belize and take their truck to Tikal in Guatemala. When they return to Belize they plan to fly to Costa Rica for 3 weeks on a birding tour.

Two campers from France have already moved into their place along with a couple from Germany. All of them in small Class C’s imported fro Germany.

In about 2-1/2 weeks we plan to head back to the states.