Last sunrise on Isla

Walked along the seawall to watch the sun rise one last time then took the 8 o’clock ferry to Grand Puerte (Puerto Juarez) where I met my van to the airport. I heard enroute that MSP was iced in so I wasn’t surprised to discover that my flight was delayed a couple of hours. I hung out at the airport eating a last meal in Mexico and reflecting on how lucky I am!!

Got into MSP a few hours late but retrieved my car efficiently and drove home without ice. Life is good!

Hol Box

Well I’ve always heard about Hol Box And how it’s less touristy and is similar to what Isla was 30 years ago. We chartered a boat and went there today and I’m certainly glad I did and had a lot of fun but honestly I would pick Isla over Hol Box anytime. You really can’t beat Isla’s beaches. And because of recent storms there was tons and tons of seaweed on the beach that smelled bad. 

We got up early and met at the dive shop at seven for toast and coffee and juice. Then we headed to the pier to our cruise. The highlight of the cruise was that we spotted flamencos along the shoreline on the way there and that was exciting to see! There are flamingos in Isla Hol Box also but we did not see any there today.

First we walked to the city Square and a little bit around downtown the streets are all dirt streets and reminded me a bit of Caye Caulker in Belize.

We walked all the way along on beach to Coco point and then we turned around and walked back to the city center looking for a restaurant. I had read about the lobster pizza online and someone said that Roots had the best so that’s where we went. I have nothing to compare it to but I liked it a lot!

After eating we decided to walk along the beach in the opposite direction until we got to mosquito point… We didn’t walk all the way there because we spied a bar that had a swimming pool on the roof that you could lie in a hammock or stand in the adult pool and drink your drink so that’s where we spent the remainder of our time.

There were beverages and sandwiches on the boat for the return trip and we had intended to watch the sunset but there were a lot of clouds in the sky so we weren’t really able to do that. All in all though it was a very fun day and our captain (Gabriel) and first mate (Luis) were excellent!

December 26th

My daughter texted me first thing this morning that it was going to be rainy and she ended up being right. She must have a different weather app than me as mine did not indicate rain but right after she said that it started raining so I was lazy and stayed in the room and skipped breakfast. Then I walked down to the grocery store to get pesos out of the ATM and they were out of pesos so I walked to the bank and got some. We need a bunch for our big adventure to Hol Box.

I walked to the artisan market again and bought two little beaded birds to replace the two that I bought yesterday and thought I had lost but I found them right after I bought the other ones. They will make nice Christmas ornaments. The kind seniora at the market threw in an ankle bracelet.

Met my daughter and son-in-law at the hotel and then we walked down to have brunch. I had some lovely French toast and a bottle of water.

Spent a relaxing afternoon at the beach as it cleared off nicely. It was good to enjoy the ocean and to soak up some sun.

Decided it would be a good night to eat at Chi Chi and Charlie’s because this would be my last sunset on the island and Chi Chi and Charlie’s is a perfect location to enjoy the sunset. We had mixed ceviche for an appetizer and I decided to treat myself to lobster. It was delicious with a little bowl of melted butter and another little bowl of garlic for dipping. 540 pesos for a lobster tail.

After dinner we walked around a bit and walked down Hidalgo and checked out some artists that had paintings and jewelry and other things for sale west of the city Square. We didn’t buy anything but it’s always fun to look. I was sleepy after dinner so decided to go back to the hotel early.

I am meeting the kids at 6:45 to take the boat that we have charter to Hol Box I am super excited!

de Rex

Christmas Day

Feliz navidad! Watched the sunrise on Christmas morning with a long walk along the seawall. There was some cloud cover along the horizon so it wasn’t a perfect sun rise but it was a perfect Christmas.

The streets of Isla Centra were quietly waking from a festive Christmas Eve. I ate a lovely omelette at Stingray’s and drank a glass of pineapple juice. I ate alone because I assumed the newlyweds were going to sleep in but as soon as my food came I got a text wondering if I wanted to meet them for Christmas breakfast. I had already eaten but I thought I would join them for conversation and a mimosa. We walked the streets again and a few more restaurants were opening but one that we stopped at came out as we were looking at the menu of the restaurant that usually opens at 8 and said “I just want you to know that we were hoping to open at 9:30 but now it looks more like 10 or 1030 because well… last night was Christmas Eve you know and the employees are getting here late!” Working on Christmas in a touristy area is a given on this little island but I love the laid-back approach to life.

The sun was out and the wind was minimal so we enjoyed some time at the beach on Playa Norte with many others. I bought two little beaded birds to hang on my Christmas tree but when I got back to the room I didn’t have them so I’m wondering if I somehow left them near my beach chair. I’ll buy some more today. I also wandered over to the artisan market and bought several embroidered pillow covers, and an embroidered dress. I got the best price on the island and yet the seniora that owns the shop crossed herself blessing the money and kissed it and gave me an Isla Mujeres coin purse “Feliz Navidad “.

We have been trying to arrange a cruise to Hol Box. I’ve always wanted to go there and you can go inexpensively via land and a couple ferries but it’s a long trip and certainly too much for one day. There is someone that offers the trips now direct from Isla but they only go on Tuesdays and they weren’t going on Christmas Eve so we ended up booking a private one for Friday. it is expensive but should be interesting!

My daughter has a lasagna for Christmas day tradition recently started so we were looking for Christmas lasagna for dinner. There is no shortage of Italian restaurants on this island but we had already eaten at three so we decided to try something new. Sardinian Smile had a special multi-course Christmas dinner but it sounded way too heavy so we just opted for the lasagna. We also tried the tiramisu but I guess were spoiled from Italy and it was more like a pudding with ladyfingers stuck in the sides. all-in-all though it was a lovely Christmas dinner and a nice after-dinner walk. Buenos noches.

Christmas Eve

Breakfast at Mogagua and then some time at the beach. The clouds came and went and it was windy. Bought sound trinkets and then lunch at Chimbos.

My son-in-law went to have a massage so my daughter and I sat in the hot tub and enjoyed the view.

Went to dinner at Asian Caribe and then mass for Christmas Eve. It was interesting to see the tradition of the women bringing the dolls dressed as baby Jesus to be blessed.

Day 10

Beautiful sunny day. Walked along the sea wall south enjoying the Caribbean side of the Isla. Walked down to Madeira and had an amazing lunch of spicy shrimp appetizer and beef bowl. Also had a tasty spicy margarita.

Took a lazy walk back which included a couple stops to look for shells and sea glass on the rough side of the island. Had a little backpack along with a beach blanket so lazed a bit enjoying the sea, sun, and surf. Felt good to get an 8 mile walk in today as I’ve really fallen behind in my walking after the Camino ended.

So often when I am here I forget to eat tacos pastor (pork on a spit street tacos that are popular with the locals) so that is what I had for dinner tonight. Tres tacos pastor y horchata por 75 pesos.

Day 9

Woke up early to watch the sunrise at the eastern most point in Mexico. So I guess you could say that we were the first three people to watch the sunrise this morning in Mexico. There are lots of clouds on the horizon so we didn’t get pictures of the actual sunrise but we did get pictures of the colors reflecting off the clouds. We also some very nice photos of the ocean at Punta Sur and watched someone catch a Barracuda.

We were just getting back to the hotel as my son and his fiancée were leaving for the ferry so we gave them a ride in the golf cart and I stayed to see them off and walk back through town.

The afternoon consisted of a great lunch at Cafe Mango and exploring the east side of the Isla.

Late afternoon was spent relaxing at Playa Norte as the sun was back out today.

Dinner at Muelle7 was a lovely Red Snapper by the water.