Gray Days in Puerto Morelos Jan 3-5
Jan 3, 2010
Sunday January 3rd
The most frequent noise we heard in our hotel room in Puerto Morelos was the crowing of a rooster who ruled the chicken coop in a neighboring building. That was rustic enough for us, and at night he merged amusingly with the blues-bands who played at Cantina Habanero down the street. We liked this town just fine, so we decided to stay put and take it easy for a while since the rest of our trip had been so action-packed. The first day, Sunday we didn’t do much except eat. We went to Pelicanos, a famous local restaurant by the dock, for lunch
. The weather was not great for swimming,
or sitting in the sun,
, but we took a walk. Later on, we browsed for escapist fun at Alma Libre, ran into a couple that we had met previously at Casa Ana, and then went to dinner at an Uruguayan restaurant.
Monday, January 4th
After a delicious lunch at Piccolina’s,
we decided to go to Crococun, a tropical petting zoo near Puerto Morelos that we’d read was not to be missed. We did enjoy ourselves, ge We started with a kiss from a macaw,
- a maacaw that really liked Warner,
. And we continued on, gazing at iguanas,
petting weird lizards
and holding snakes
. Of course, the main attraction is holding the crocodiles,
and walking among them
but we also got to feed these tiny deer
and meet some wild monkeys.
They also had orchids growing at the entry point
and spectacular butterflies
that no one made a fuss over. And while all those crocodiles you see in the picture may look frightening, the mosquitos were the fiercest fauna we encountered. I particularly liked this small wild-cat. I don't recall the name of the species, but our guide told us that Mexicans had tried unsuccessfully to domesticate it in the past.
. We also saw a coati here,
. I had seen a coati before, because one wandered into the lobby of the all-inclusive resort where I stayed with my Aunt a year ago. Such incidents are quite common, the guide told us, as coatis, which are a branch of the raccoon family, often go to resorts looking for food and are fed a lot of bread and junk-food by tourists. After we got back from this non-strenuous tourism, we decided to try the blues-bar place we'd heard at night but not yet dared to enter. We liked the fact that a sign announced that “no sniveling” was allowed and I enjoyed this very large margarita,
while Warner worked on his syllabus for next semester’s classes.
Later, we continued our tour of Puerto Morelos’s many good restaurants, eating fish tacos and ceviche at PesKAYitos for dinner.
Tuesday, January 5th
On Tuesday, when the weather had improved a bit, but was still too cold for swimming, we began our day's adventures with a fabulous lunch at email@example.com where I complimented the chef on his “comida muy rica” and took his photo.
He waved to me every time I passed by later, (which was often, since this place was two doors down from our hotel). After lunch, we went to the other nearby attraction, the botanical garden, where we hiked around on a pretty rugged trail,
and made our way across a rickety bridge in order to see an overlook and some orchids,
for which the garden is famous.
In addition to orchids, the garden has a lot of other beautiful and intriguing plants
and I tried, mostly unsuccessfully to capture images of the gargantuan butterflies. There were giant blue morphos, as well as this large yellow butterfly,
and some incredible smaller ones. This “spot-celled sister”
sat quietly on the ground for me for a while, but most of the "zebra longwings” and this black and red one called a erato heliconia
went way too fast for us to photograph. They flew quite close to us several times though, the longwings seeming to dance in the air in a group of three. According to a taxi driver I talked with later, this is the main season for butterflies in the Yucatan. We also saw an explanation of the chicle-processing process and some chicle trees with scars on them from previous sap-gathering. We learned on our last day from a waiter at breakfast that the main industry of Puerto Morelos before the tourist era was chicle production and that trees throughout the jungle here bear these scars.
We continued eating well that night, dining at Casa de Pescador, where we were served, as our new friends, Sally and Brent, who had also been at Casa Ana in Merida, said we would be, by a man who slightly resembled Ricardo Montalban.
So far, Puerto Morelos was ultimately relaxing, many good restaurants that were easy to find, no hawkers, and pleasant and interesting things to do nearby. So what if we couldn't hang out on the beach or go swimming; we had our big snorkeling day still to come - we'd read that the weather was about to get sunny and warm again on Wednesday.