Monday, September 21, 2015

The Eldest, The Only And Company Come For A Respite

The Eldest, being our daughter Burklin, and The Only, being our granddaughter Jocelyn and the Company being Kory and his daughter Reese; have arrived in Isla Mujeres, Mexico.

Ferry ride from Cancun to Isla Mujeres
First row - Karen and Jocelyn, Second row - Burklin, Third row - Kory and Reese

Kory and the Girls winding down on the foredeck after a long day of travel by car, plane, taxi, ferry, and last taxi to El Milagro on Isla Mujeres.

Off for their first snorkel trip out to the Lighthouse.

                               Fun in the sun on the north end of Isla Mujeres


Time for Fishing

                         Fishing poles are out and everyone is patiently waiting to see what bites.

Watching for dolphin

Murals and Street Scenes in Isla Mujeres
Photos by Burklin

Street Scenes

The Cemetery

Beautiful blossoming tree

Little odd house with the ever prevalent wiring nightmare

Endless supply of trinkets

Fisherman Sculpture

The girls last day together as Reese and Kory fly home tomorrow.

Reese and Jocelyn and a funky wall.

Day at Punta Sur Sculpture Garden and Ixchel Temple Ruin

Most Photos by Burklin

A previous visitors offering tucked in along the path

Jocelyn wants to follow the iguana just ahead of her on the path.

The iguana decides otherwise

Fresa Helado Tiempo - Strawberry Ice Cream Time

Sailing Day - Looking for dolphin and fishing.

Snapper for dinner. Jocelyn is happy she caught a fish but doesn't want to hold it. Grandpa's Job

Heading into the anchorage through a different cut

Peaceful Eve

Isla Blanca and Isla Contoy

A Parasol for Portable Shade

Watching Butterflies

 Burklin and Charlie

Sargasso piled on the beach here too.

There were a few turtle nests on this beach surrounded by the footprints of critters -  one shown below next to my foot. Most likely from a coatimundi known in Mexico as tejon, cholugo or moncun;  a member of the raccoon family. We presume the tejon had turtle eggs for their midnight snack.

Hitching a dinghy ride

                                          Jocelyn relaxing

Burk's Barracuda - we do not eat barracuda but the staff at El Milagro will love it.

Big Chompers

Back on the ferry and heading to Valladolid, Chichen Itza
and Rio Largatos

Hotel Marques Mesones in Valladolid - located on the square around Parque Centro

Time for Lunch

Pool Time

Off to Dinner

Performers in Parque Centro

An unusual site in Mexico; minimalism in decorating. This is the corridor leading from the front of the restaurant through to the courtyard.

A beautiful courtyard. 
Serving refreshing flavors in Mojitos and ethnic Maya dishes that were delicious. 

After dinner stroll to the cathedral

Dancing in the Street

Chichen Itza

Visiting Mayan Temples and Ruins is enthralling and daunting. Enthralling due to the beauty and majesty of what you are seeing. Daunting, in that it is hard to remember everything your tour guide told you. Therefore we have attached three links that can tell you more about this ancient city and its life than we can.

Should you decide to visit Chichen Itza it is advisable to arrive early, being one of the first through the gate at 8am. You will have nearly two hours of quiet before the tour buses arrive bringing an average of 50,000 visitors per day. However, most importantly you will be through the gate before the 750 vendors arrive to set their tables up along every path. According to our tour guide, Chichen Itza is the only site that allows vendors inside.

In the meantime you can meander through our photographs and live vicariously as we stroll through this fascinating World of Maya.

Temple of Kukulkan or El Castillo

Structures along the path to the Ball Court

Chaac Mool

The Wall of Skulls, a burial mound.

The Ball Court

The murals of the players - hard to make out all the carvings in this picture

The carvings throughout Chichen Itza were painted.

Strolling along - Venus Platform

Another section that has retained some of the colors

 Templo de los Guerreros - Temple of the Warriors


                                    The Osario Staircase

El Caracol - The Observatory

Las Monjas Complex

Pictured Below - The House of the Grinding Stones

Archway along the path

The Cenote - the road leading to the cenote is the original path. Worn by time and thousands of footfalls the resulting hard surface lets runoff empty into the cenote turning it green. When Charlie was here in 1973 the cenote was blue and clear. 

Returning to the gate and breakfast. Note the vendors setting up.

Rio Largatos 

We stopped here in Nov 2014 and thoroughly enjoyed our day of sightseeing. 
 Even more fun this trip sharing with Burklin and Jocelyn.

Off we go 

Black Eagle - We saw several today. 

The white and partially pink flamingos are the young ones, not yet having eaten enough shrimp to turn them fully pink.

Resting her eyes

The Crocodile does not want to come out today preferring the shade

Horseshoe Crab - truly pre-historic looking.

Salt flats - sea salt produced here

The sandy clay along the shore ........ good for the skin and provides a natural sun screen

Valladolid Stroll

Photos by Burklin

The gentleman below carved this massive sculpture out of one piece of wood. The sculpture depicts the Mayans' Sacred Animals and Sites

Turtle is the Foundation

                                          Jaguar at the top

Table base in process by the same woodcarver.

The Murals below are located in the Cultural Center

Valladolid Parque Centro - Last night 

Jocelyn with Burklin seated in a Courting Settee. Burklin is wearing her Happy Birthday Maya Dress from Chichen Itza



Most of the cenotes are too commercial with too many people. Our taxi driver was willing to help us find a suitable remote cenote while on the way from Valladolid back to Cancun. On the roadside was  hand-painted sign saying, Cenote. We turned off the highway and followed the dirt road winding through the jungle......

until we reached a very large impassable mudhole. Charlie, Burklin, Jocelyn and the taxi driver went exploring on foot.

 This is the spot and the entrance is further down the road. So back to the taxi to gather up swimsuits and towels.

Yes, this is the entrance to the underground cenote

A long winding staircase leads us down to the water

The Stalactite and Stalagmite formations are impressive. The clear water a refreshing 82 degrees.

Heading back to Isla Mujeres

Whale Sharks and Turtles

Charlie and Burklin set out for the day with one of the many whale shark tour guide boats to snorkel with the whale sharks. 

Waiting to board and head out.

The guide was successful at locating two, each approximately 40 ft. long. Soon it became crowded with too many people. Charlie did his best to capture a few photos and some video clips. 

Charlie was able to shoot some video footage. At one point in film two he was trying to get Burklin positioned for a frame or two and she was pushed out of the way by other divers. 
Here are links to our youtube videos:

Meanwhile Jocelyn and I went to visit the Turtle Sanctuary - Tortugranja

Jocelyn with her  bag of turtle food pellets. 

On display in surrounding aquariums and photographed by Jocelyn

Dreaded Lion Fish


Stonefish - the most venomous fish on the planet

A pair of Clown Fish - Nemo's



Located outside the aquarium is the fenced and shaded corral housing the protected turtle eggs. The eggs are rescued from the beaches to protect them from poachers and prey. Each nest is labeled with the date, time and location of where it was found. 

New hatchling dug its way out while we watched

A staff member collects the hatchlings...

and took the time to let Jocelyn and I hold it for a few moments....

before taking hatchling indoors to a tank to await its day for an ocean release.

These hatchlings are gaining strength and their day is soon coming to be released into the ocean.

The turtles enjoying the pellets from Jocelyn

This turtle would fold back its flippers before entering the feeding fray.

Last night in Isla Mujeres for Burklin and Jocelyn

Watching the sunset

Ferry ride to Cancun and taxi to the airport. 

Back in Wisconsin - Kory picked Burklin and Jocelyn up at the Milwaukee Airport. They took some time to have dinner with Bryna and John and have a photo session along the lakefront before heading home.

               We miss them all and anxiously await their next visit!