Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Jun 21, 2007
|After our long trip to Cuba the next leg to Isla Mujeres, Mexico was a piece of cake. Although we were up at the crack of dawn we had to wait till 9:15 to be cleared out of Cuba. This time we had a general type guy come to the boat, fill out several more forms and search the boat again for anyone we might be attempting to smuggle out of the country.
We were underway for 13 hours, pulling into the closest marina once we reached Isla Mujeres. It was a little tense trying to dock the boat in the dark with a stiff breeze, strong current and a few volunteers helping us who spoke no English and us with our limited Spanish. We slept well after the long trip and before 9 am the dockmaster was at the boat with the first of more forms. He arranged to have all the officials come to us for a small fee, which we found out was well worth it after speaking to other cruisers who ran around contacting the officials themselves. Once again we had the food in our fridge, freezer and pantry inspected. It was a breeze after the experience in Cuba, however and by about 10 a.m. our Quarantine flag was down and we were free to explore the island.
Isla Mujeres was discovered on Mar 4,1517 by Franciso Hernandez de Cordoba who led an expedition from Cuba. Isla Mujeres means Island of Women after the numerous terra-cota female idols he found at the Maya temples and shrines. It is believed that they were dedicated to Ixchel, the Maya goddess of the moon, fertility and childbirth.
Each day around mid-morning boatload after boatload of tourists from Cancun converge on the island and swarm the streets and the beach. By late afternoon most of them have left and the island takes on a quieter, more peaceful feeling. There are still tourists in the hotels but they are few in number compared to the multitudes that arrive from Cancun.
John and I were amazed when we went out walking last night around 8 pm. Only a few hours after the thousands had left the beach had not a single piece of garbage on it, nor did the streets. Neatly tied garbage bags lined the malecon for pickup the next day. It is a refreshing change after the litter we found almost everywhere in the Bahamas.
Mexico is such a feast for the senses. The streets are alive with bright colours, romantic music, tantalizing smells and the tastes! John had some coconut shrimp last night the size of chicken legs and I had seared ahi tuna coated in sesame seeds with ginger, soya and some spicy green stuff (forget). The tomatoes here go down like candy, juicy, sweet and ripe.
We had planned to leave this morning but couldn't drag ourselves away. So we dropped off our laundry, walked to the post office and mailed catorce (14) postcards and brought the laptop to the Internet café which is air conditioned. I am surrounded by people speaking Spanish and am actually beginning to understand them.
Most important phrases so far
Solo estoy mirando - I am only looking
Puedo la cuenta por favor - Can I have the cheque please?
Cuanto cuesta - How much does it cost?
Cuanto tiempo - How Long? The laundry will be tres horas or ready a la una ( 1 oclock)
Somos de Canada - We are from Canada
Well that's all folks (for now).