A Travellerspoint blog

OUR JOURNEY BACK TO PLAYA

sunny 35 °C

After recovering from our wedding and party, we set off for Campeche were we would overnight and then head back to Playa.

Our first stop was Champoton. It is a renowned fishing town and is situated on the Gulf of Mexico coast. We ate lunch here as we sat by the seaside, enjoyed the breeze and I enjoyed a giant prawn plate and Helen had a prawn salad which she said had at least a kilo of prawns.

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Walking into the restaurant we were amazed at the most magnificent display of Pelicans.

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After drinking and eating for most of the afternoon, we made our way to Campeche

CAMPECHE

Campeche is one of Mexico's colonial gems and as such is designated as one of Mexico's world heritage site. The modern city of Campeche was founded in the 1500's by the Spanish on the old site of a Mayan city. Because of its wealth it was a prime target of pirates. It was attacked by John Hawkins, Francis Drake and Henry Morgan and lots more. Because of the severe and brutal attacks in the late 1600's the city was walled and forts were built at each end of the bay.

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Now for lunch before we continue the journey home. Yet another seaside seafood extravaganza.

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After lunch we continue home arriving many many hours later.


Posted by keithandhelen 14:05 Archived in Mexico Comments (2)

A WEEKEND WEDDING IN ESCARCEGA

WENDING OUR WAY FROM PLAYA DEL CARMEN AND BACK AGAIN

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Helen and I were lucky to be invited to the wedding of Pedro and Bahia, relatives if our friends Eduardo and Pilar. They were married on the 29th of February which limits them to an anniversary every 4 years. This took us to a part of Mexico that we never have been before.

Our cavalcade, consisting of 2 cars with Eduardo, Pilar, and the children, Erick , Yamileth, and Elias in one car and Helen, Keith and our driver Alex in the other, got off to a 6AM start. It was a long drive and we were thankful to Pilar's mother who had lunch ready for us in her home.

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Arriving in Escarcega

Escarcega is not the greatest city in Mexico, but we managed to find a nice Hotel and checked in for two nights. Actually the Hotel was very new and looked like the best hotel in town.

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THE WEDDING

Now it is time for the purpose of our trip. We are off to the wedding in the late afternoon.

Everyone is all dressed up including me wearing my best jeans.

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The bride arrives in style.

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The local church is packed and, of course, the Catholic service is all in Spanish. We knew what to do by following the crowd. It was a nice service with the music by a small band with three vocalists. We got separated from our friends in the crowd and therefore couldn't ask any questions. The people sitting around us were very welcoming, making the service very enjoyable.

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On a very chilly evening we go to the reception. An enormous crowd was treated to an open bar, a meal, and great entertainment Helen and I left at 11 PM but most of the rest were there until 4 AM.

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Tomorrow we return home to Playa del Carmen.

Posted by keithandhelen 14:25 Archived in Mexico Comments (6)

STOPPING IN AT THE ORCHID FARM

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On the way back to Playa we decided to visit an Orchid farm. That decision was a bit hard to complete as the farm was on a bugger of a road and that was even after even finding the road. Eventually we found it as we were escorted around, I assume, by the owner. The property was quite unkempt but the plants were all very interesting.

The Orchid farm is funded by the GEF small grants programme established in 1992 to address global environmental issues . To date it has invested $450 million supporting 14500 community based environmental projects in over 125 countries. This farm is one of the first to receive the grants in Mexico.

You can see, if you look closely, orchid plants starting to grow on the trees above the car.

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We enjoyed a peaceful walk through the shaded paths as our guide pointed out the different species.

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After our peaceful sojourn we stopped to buy Valentine treats and continue our journey back to Playa.

Posted by keithandhelen 06:39 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

DOWNTOWN HOLBOX

sunny 30 °C

The town is very small and there are are nearly no motorized vehicles on the streets. If you need transportation anywhere it is all done by renting a customized golf cart taxi.

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We found a very small but beautiful art gallery. They specialized in paintings on turkey feathers of various animals and so of course, we had to buy one.

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Many murals and many juice bars.

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And then to dinner

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Posted by keithandhelen 10:19 Archived in Mexico Comments (1)

Back in Playa and off to Holbox

sunny 30 °C

We have returned at last to our home in Playa del Carmen. We have been away for quite a long time due to some medical problems with Keith. While away our garden has flourished due to the help of our friend Eduardo.

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We also purchased a new chair.

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and then for a coffee at the new coffee bar just down the street.

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WE HAVE BEEN IN PLAYA FOR ABOUT A MONTH SO WE DECIDED TO HAVE A GETAWAY AND SO WE GO TO
ISLA HOLBOX WITH OUR FRIENDS DAVE AND DIANNA.

Starting our two and a half hour trip we soon hit some very good but deserted roads. Along the way there were several monkey
bridges to help them across the road. We saw lots of bridges but no monkeys.

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Arriving, we find that we have to leave our vehicles in Chiquila and catch a ferry to the island of Holbox. Dave and I line up for tickets.

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We arrive on the island of Holbox after a 30 minute ferry ride.

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We were very happy with our hotel (except for the price of a room) which was located right on the beach. Most of the tourists were either Canadian
or European which included a very large number of Swedish gay ladies.

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Helen wanted to save sea shells until she discovered what most of the beach looked like.

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Posted by keithandhelen 09:54 Archived in Mexico Comments (3)

Back to our home in Playa del Carmen

We take a look at whats new.

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The first big change for us is our friends Eduardo and Pilar and their two children Yami and Erick with a new addition to their family--ELIAS.

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Elias at 4 months old.

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Finally a swim in very warm water at our favorite beach.

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After 2 hours in the sun and the sea we are quite exhausted

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How do you like our new kitchen. Eduardo supervised while we were away.

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The flame tree in the park across the street is in full bloom. We rarely see them in flower.

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Our garden has grown hugely and is looking wonderful. We are even getting coconuts on our palm (which we planted 5 years ago).

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Keith is thrilled with a new BBQ.

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Keith is also thrilled with the new car. It is a new Honda.

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This car will be perfect to find new pictures for our next blog. Helen told me to say this.

Posted by keithandhelen 14:16 Archived in Mexico Comments (1)

BARCELONA-----A VISITORS PARADISE

semi-overcast 25 °C

Helen and I spent four nights in Barcelona and exhausted ourselves with the many sights and the city itself. On top of that we were in the middle of a huge protest by the Barcelonans searching for their independence from Spain by having an illegal vote and then a one day general strike. This took up half our visit to this city and stopped us from seeing many of the things we had planned on seeing.

This blog on Barcelona will be in two parts. Pictures of around the city and then pictures of the days of protest with lots of evidence of the Catalan flag.

AROUND THE CITY

The birth place of Christopher Columbus

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PART 2, DAYS OF PROTEST

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That's it Folks----We are now back to Mexico

Posted by keithandhelen 19:13 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

BANDOL & SANARY SUR MER

TWO SEASIDE TOWNS IN THE SOUTH OF FRANCE

sunny 28 °C

We docked in Toulons, France, and we immediately went by bus to Bandol. This town is very famous for its red wine, and we went through fields of grapes to this quaint seaside town. The beaches looked inviting and we saw several people in swimming which told us that the water was still warm in the early Fall or that they were crazy.

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Our next stop was Sanary sur Mer. This was obviously a resort town mostly of the wealthy judging by the large numbers of yachts that lined the seaside. Also, there were many fishing boats with the owners selling the daily catch. All in all, a beautiful little town with a wonderful seaside market.

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Tomorrow we say goodbye to the Royal Princess and hello to Barcelona.

Posted by keithandhelen 17:24 Archived in France Comments (1)

CORSICA --- NAPOLEON AND OTHER STUFF

sunny 27 °C

Corsica has been a Greek and Roman colony since about 800 BC. Ajaccio is the capital and is where we spent the day before moving on. Its most famous claim to fame being the birthplace of Napoleon and the proof of his existence is still everywhere.

Statue of Napoleon dressed as a Roman Emperor.

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Napoleon and his brothers are found in Place de Gaulle which is the cities main square.

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Ajaccio is a beautiful city and a place where visitors come from all over the world to enjoy its climate and beaches.

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We loved the farmers market full of local produce of which we were great samplers

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Tomorrow we will be in the south of France----join us

Posted by keithandhelen 16:28 Archived in France Comments (1)

KOTOR (MONTENEGRO) AND CORFU (GREECE)

2 interesting but quite quick stops

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Both Kotor and Corfu started as Greek colonies in 10th century BC; then came the Romans; then came the Byzantines; and then in the 14th century the Venetians began their rule. In modern history the Austrians Russians, French and British took their turn at the helm.


KOTOR

Kotor, a walled city, is nestled into a hillside at the head of the southernmost fiord in Europe.

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Similar with all walled cities we have visited in Europe it is a maze of winding roads and alleys that wind into squares where we discover ornate churches.

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CORFU

We begin our visit at the old fortress, originally built during the Byzantine empire. When the Venetians began their rule they strengthened and expanded the fort as it was an important military base.

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We wander around the old town before we head back to the ship. And yes, we find some more churches.

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And time to sail away to Corsica

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Posted by keithandhelen 07:45 Archived in Montenegro Comments (2)

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