Hola Mexico!

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We just went on a super awesome Mexico trip, driving down the Yucatan Peninsula to explore the side/route not taken- the Caribbean side! It was great 🙂

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We landed in Playa del Carmen, which I didn’t really like…It felt like Las Vegas to be honest! Big loud bars, party scene, touristas everywhere and just very overwhelming. If we were there for longer, I know we’d see the ‘real’ Playa del Carmen, and not just the touristy veneer, but for first impressions it was nuts~ Plus we went to a restaurant, the food was quite good but they screwed up our order, when we called them on it, they straight up lied…And we could tell. Bad move, people.

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A diff restaurant, much more humble.

But at least the order we did get tasted good? Ha. Regardless, we were eating what they brought, not what we wanted.

Then we rented our car and were off to Mahuahual. I can’t even say the name right to this day….Much less spell it correctly. It’s a wayyyys off, basically 3.5 hours from Playa Del Carmen. It feels eerily like you’re in the middle of nowhere, haha. And then boom! You are at the ocean, and it’s a really cute little town. Very touristy and has a cruise ship port- but it was very quiet when we were there. It can be a bit of a party town too, down at the far end.

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The condo at Mahuahual.

We had a condo rented via air bnb and it was AWESOME! Cool, breezy, large, good internet, clean and had a fantastic blender that I made GREAT use of. Thumbs up! We did a fair amount of snorkeling and walking around in Mahuahual. We saw about 5 rays, I found a very large snail, almost as big as a conch! I also saw a lionfish.

We got pretty sunburned, but that was okay because soon we were on our way to the jungle! We then spent 1 day at a jungle lodge in Calakmul and it was scorching hot. Holy jeezus, it was stifling when we got there and our cabin sure didn’t have A/C….But they did have a pool! We spent a lot of time in it. Dinnertime and we saw some agoutis scampering around the forest!

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We spent a lot of time at the pool…it was scorching hot! 

The next morning there was much confusion as the state we were in was in a different time zone…Ha. We got up (too early as it turned out) to have breakfast and then head to see the Mayan ruins at Calakmul (the reason we went there in the first place). The ruins are located deep in the biosphere, on a 60-km long journey on a seriously pot-holed and pitted road. It was a long and arduous drive. We did see what may have been a tapir?? several toucans, and a wild turkey attacked our car too, which was frightening.

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Toucan friend

We made it to the ruins and I bolted out of the car and ran straight to the washrooms (another story entirely….bees and or flies. YIKES). There are no services there other than washrooms, so you have to be careful with water and food- you must bring everything with you, and there is nowhere to buy those items at the jungle lodge, so you have to come prepared early.

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We then walked what felt like forever to see the ruins, hidden among the jungle. They were VERY impressive…looming out of the trees. Tons of them too! And we were practically the only people there, only a handful of others. It was screamingly hot too.

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We explored/climbed until we ran out of water and had to go back to the car, having exhausted most of the ruins- at least the neat ones. Back on the bumpy pothole road we went, this time straight to Bacalar, home of the second-largest freshwater lake/lagoon of the famed ‘seven colours’ water.

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It was not disappointing. It was gorgeous! Windy as fuck as we soon learned…But gorgeous! We spent some times swimming in the lagoon, renting space at a fancy and well-maintained beachside resort-type setup in town.

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We then went to explore the centoes (big water caves with freshwater) that was famous in the area- Centoes Azul. It was very cool but the idea of basically this giant pit of bottomless water that goes straight down is kind of frightening when you’re used to seeing and walking on the bottom of the ocean/lagoon floor…. Also I got attacked by a fish that was trying to bite my legs. Reminded me of piranhas!! I screamed and shrieked and swam for the ladders to get out.

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Cenote Azul

We wrapped up our time in Bacalar enjoying some truly fantastic food- I had a very reasonably priced whole roasted octopus, we ordered some GREAT ice cream- Ian had queso flavoured! I had ‘mamey’ flavour (kind of like a cakey vanilla?? It’s red?) And our last night we had what can only be described as a cauldron of meat. Hahahah. Yum though!

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Cenote Azul

Our journey home was arduous, stressful and had me going from 0-100 in like ten beats. UGHH. What we learned from that was- the less moving parts, the better. Next time just get a car from the airport and remove the extreme stress of returning the rental, buying bus tickets, getting on a bus, getting stuck in gridlock traffic, getting into a major huge lineup at the airport (ok maybe that part is inevitable…) but yeah. Freaking stressful.

Anyways, I can recommend our journey. It was amazing!!

After you’ve gone- Oats update!

 

So it goes

So it goes

 

I think a vacation was great for the both of us. I hopped on Oats Sunday after flying back from NYC Saturday night, getting in at midnight…3am NYC time…So wasn’t expecting greatness but he was great!

I felt a little rusty, but we worked in the indoor because I was able to ride with a friend, and she wanted to put the radio on when we rode (pls it was pretty hot!).

Oats was so cute, so agreeable. We hopped over some poles, did some trot work, some canter and some collected trot-ish.

We also trotted over a ‘skinny’ fence with no standards set up in the middle of the ring just for fun. Oats was so game!

And then yesterday, I had ANOTHER great ride. Rode in the outdoor, and Oats just SO ON! Yeah!!!! I was just really feeling his vibe, and we were clicking really well.

Hmm…maybe a vacation was needed?

I ended up cutting my ride short yesterday because I wanted to save some of his energy for tonight’s lesson – he gets Wed off- and quite frankly, because I was so happy with his attitude. Yes ma’am! It rocked!

Oats does dressage

Oats does dressage

I’m feeling very thankful that I can come back after a week and have Mr. Oaty-pony be so agreeable with me. Love that little dude. Now, if only my rotten little mutt Gidget would behave so well at her grandparent’s place, instead of taking the opportunity to become a tyrant and boss the other dogs around the yard.

Oh well. Animals- can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em.

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A tale of two beaches

A tale of two beaches

So, as I mentioned we stayed on San Blas.

Our tour was run by Coco Blanco, and you know? I wouldn’t return. It was too busy! An endless stream of tourists, which surprised the hell out of me.

An otherwise perfectly serene environment was ruined by like 40+ people, creating a sort of weird refugee atmosphere on an already-crowded island. That was the bummer part.

So, I enjoyed my time, but really didn’t enjoy having to wait forever for meals, or for a trip to go to another island.

Our itinerary went like this:

Camp on Stingray island- lousy little island with tents and that’s it–numbers here reached like..20+ people.

Meals and hang out on main island- nice enough, except when it got crowded…

Head out daily to a variety of different islands

Back to main island for lunch and dinner- lunch at 3pm and dinner at 10pm maybe?

Back to Stingray island to sleep.

So…I would have enjoyed it much more if we weren’t literally swarmed with people on the main island, and if we weren’t kept sitting around waiting for meals and trips off.

Oh well, live and learn! the food was good when we had it, the trips off were fun when we went!

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Finally have a win!

Finally have a win!

That’s right, now I have something to celebrate. Yeehaw! In exactly 1 week, I will be headed to this fabulous locale, without cell phones, internet, electricity…

This is the San Blas islands in Panama. An archipelago run by the indigenous population (the Kuna people) who don’t really speak much Spanish OR English–instead having a dialect of their own.

They own and run tourism businesses operating out of the San Blas islands and for a rather princely sum, you can camp (we are) or stay in a hut (we’re not) on basically a deserted island to yourself for a few days. Food is brought in 3X a day, and you can go snorkeling and visit other islands too.

I can’t wait! This will be my first trip to Panama. Yeah!!