John and Sandy's RV Adventure Journal

June 2014 Journal

June
30  
 After coffee, John needed another morning beach walk and I worked on my photos, journal and website.
Today we are headed to Akumal Bay for snorkeling.  We found a nice spot under a palm tree with some shade and some sun.  We headed into the bay with our snorkel stuff and this trip saw about 6 turtles and one stingray.  Lots of coral and tropical fish.
Now it’s break time.  Some sun, then shade and a nap, and then some reading.  Ok, we’re rested, now more snorkeling.  We went to the left this time and really no coral, but we did see a beautiful big starfish and a barracuda.  There is a lot of seagrass, so that means turtles.  We saw about 7 turtles on this outing.  After our snorkel, a little more R&R and then we stopped at LoHa beach bar for a cervaza and some chips and salsa.
Ok, we have to be domestic again.  We went across the highway to Puebla Akumal to pick up our laundry.  Whew!  Laundry is rough here.  Back at our condo, John rinsed off our gear and I made a couple boat drinks to enjoy poolside.  We moved out to beach chairs to overlook Half Moon Bay and the waves breaking on the reef.  Now its time for dinner and a relaxing evening at our condo.
29   Today is domestic day.  You have to have them sometimes.  This morning we hung around the condo and did some computer projects.  Then we headed to drop off our laundry and to the grocery store.  Ok, that done.  Now we need some pool, sun, shade, reading and relaxing time.   

28  
Today we took a time out and just spent the day between our pool and beach chairs.  John did venture out in the bay for a little snorkeling.  We took a walk to La Buena Vida for happy hour and dinner.  We ran into Carol and Steve at the bar.  Yesterday Carol had helped some hatching baby turtles make it to the sea.  We missed it but saw pictures.
The Mariachis were there and they played for us.  Chicago Sandy is chomping at the bit down here with no place to play, so she showed the Mariachis her harp and they were all excited.  We all jammed one Mexican tune and had a fun time.  After too many margaritas, we moved to a table for dinner and enjoyed looking over the bay.

Check out theses video links to see John and I with the Mariachis and Chicago Sandy jammin with them.
27   This morning we walked over to a path that leads to the lagoon where Yal-Ku is.  Jan had showed us the way a week ago.  We got in and snorkeled on over to Yal-Ku.  Since we were near the reef, there were waves and a current.  As we were snorkeling we saw multitudes of tropical fish, including parrotfish, blue tangs, angelfish, and so many more we don’t know.  We also saw a big stingray.  We took a break in the back of Yal-Ku and saw Jenn and Sahara.  The snorkel back was fine until we got closer to the reef.  The surf was up and the current stronger.
We got back, and decided to have a pool swim and then some relaxation in the sun and then the shade.  We got back to the condo and had a nice lunch and then took a time-out and did some reading. 


26  
Today we took a time-out from our vacation vacation.  We did some internet research and then headed to our beach to soak up some rays, listen to the waves, watch the clouds, beach napping, and do some reading.  We got hot, so we headed to the pool for a dip and Sue and Bruce were there.  So we hung out with them and exchanged different stories, then back to the beach for a bit.  Now it’s dinner time and relax in the condo.


25  
We have had a lot of beach days, so today is a ruin day.  We have never been to Coba which is about an hour away up into the jungle.  Coba ranks up there with Tikal in Guatemala and Chichen Itza also in the Yucatan.  We did our own self guided tour.
We walked past both excavated and unexcavated ruins and on to the main one that you can climb.  It’s very steep and the steps are uneven and narrow.  There is a rope you can hold on to.  Even though my knee is doing better, I wasn’t going to push it.  I went about half way, where I could see over the trees.  John had to go to the top.  He got some pictures of the area and the look down.  We had a nice day at Copa and was going to stop at a cenote on the way back, but decided that could be another day.
We got back, made some rum drinks and went for a swim.  Jenn and Sahara were there and Freddie was doing projects.  John really wanted a coconut and Freddie said no problem.  He picked 4 nice ones, got out a machete and chopped away.  It took him a couple minutes total for all 4 coconuts.  We added some rum and drank our coconuts.  Mine had a lot of meat, so I got it out and brought it to the condo to munch on
.
24   We were going to start at Soliman Bay, but took a wrong road and ended up at Tankah Bay.  That’s ok, we want to go here too.  We drove to the end of the road and checked out the beach, to many rocks, not much sand and big waves, so we headed back down the road.
We did stop at Casa Cenote which we past on the way.  Back in 2000 when we got certified for diving, we did some of our open water dives in one of these cenotes.  We’re almost positive it was Casa Cenote.  We headed on it and found it meanders on back through the mangroves.  We realized we were snorkeling but not getting far.  We made it on up though the mangroves and realized the water was just pouring in from underground and making a river.  That’s ok, we worked on getting up the river, now we were able to just float on back down.
After our cenote swim, we crossed the road and had a cervaza and chips at the beach restaurant.  We still want to get to Soliman Bay.  So on our way back, we looked for another road and found it.  We went to the end and found a nice beach with a little restaurant.  After soaking up some sun, we had a cervaza and then headed home.  We took a dip in the pool and then relaxed in our condo. 

 23   Today is cenote day.  We decided on Cenote Cristalino which is a short distance from Akumal.  It says it has 2 cenotes.  Actually the one we went to seemed more like 3 in itself.  You could snorkel through the mangroves between cenotes.  There was a place where people could jump off into the Cenote.  We saw divers doing training.  After our swim, we found some nice chairs up top and did some reading.
When we got back to our condo, we decide to take a beach walk.  We walked along the beach down to our favorite bar/restaurant, La Buena Vida.  Along our walk we saw so many turtle nests.  At La Buena Vida we found a nice table by the beach and Victor came to help us.  It wasn’t happy hour yet, but now he knows us, so he got us drinks at happy hour rates.  We got chips and salsa and then ordered calamari.  At first we thought he made a mistake and brought us onion rings which were huge.  But nope, it’s calamari and the biggest, sweetest ones we’ve ever had.  After a couple cocktails and appetizers we walked back along the beach.
We needed a dip and Sue and Bruce were already in the pool, so we joined them for a while.  We had another really nice day and now its relax time so we watched some of our recorded shows.

 22   Yesterday we did a lot of walking, so today we are relaxing.  We moved down to our beach and took up residence on a couple of beach chairs with our books.  It’s just such a beautiful view hear and with the sound of the ocean waves.
After a while, we regrouped, had lunch and headed out to Xpu-Ha beach.  Today the beach bar has live music.  We got there and it was packed.  It was a Spanish music band (of course), and we found a nice table under a palapa on the beach.  We got a bucket of cervaza, headed for a swim and relaxed and listened to the music.  John needed another walk, so off he went for a beach walk.  I relaxed, got some rays and listened to music.  When we got home, we watched the last of the Soprano series.  Another rough day in Mexico.

21   We are taking a day off from the beach.  We headed up to Playa Del Carmen which is the biggest city around.  In one of the parks they have a Sunday Market, so we started there.  The park was nice and the vendors were just getting going when we got there.  We walked around, but it was more an art fair.  OK, done that.
Now we headed over to the main part of town along the beach.  There is one street that is only a pedestrian walkway.  Since this is also a drop off for cruise passengers and a ferry port to Cozumel there are lots of people.  The streets are loaded with vendors wanting to get you in their shop and sell you something.  All the items are very nice and pretty good prices.  However, we live in an RV and really don’t need much.  So we walked about a mile down the street and then headed to the beach.
It is a hot day and we are thirsty, so we got a bucket of beer and relaxed in the shade at a tiki bar and people watched.  In the distance you can see some of the building on Cozumel.  We continued on and ended up at WahWah for a couple more beers and some nachos.  The World Cup Soccer matches are still going on so we watched some of that.  Now its time to head home.  We still have a couple Soprano episodes left so we watched them.

20   If anyone is traveling down to the Akumal Mexico area near Cancun and wants to rent a condo, check out the one were in.  We love it.  Perfect location, comfortable 2bdrm, 2 bath.  Great owners, easy to work with.  http://www.akumalmxcondos.com/.

We found out a good friend, Jason Woody passed away yesterday.  Jason was always so respectful and always wore a smile.  R.I.P. Jason.

Today we are heading to Akumal Bay for snorkeling.  We can walk, but since we want our snorkeling stuff, we drove and parked down by the town center.  We took a walk though Akumal village which is very small and then scoped out the beach.  We grabbed our snorkel gear and found a nice shaded area under a palm tree on the beach.
There were lots of snorkelers in the water and we didn’t think it would be that good.  But were here and off we went.  We were happily surprised.  We saw almost a dozen huge stingrays, tons of tropical fish, some huge permit and other huge fish.  Oh yea, and over a dozen turtles.  One huge turtle almost swam right into John and didn’t even care.  This is our favorite snorkel place so far on this trip.  We took a time-out under the palm tree for a rest and then headed back to our condo.
Now some pool time with a couple cerveza’s and some music.  After regrouping, we walked down to Que Onde a block away for dinner.  Sue and Bruce said they have good pasta.  They had the World Cup Soccer on the TV in Spanish.  We don’t really follow soccer, but it was good to watch.  We had some cocktails, appetizers and a good pasta dinner.  Now were stuffed.  We walked home and watched a few more Soprano episodes.

19   Today we took a time out and had a beach day at our Akumal Bay.  First we soaked up some rays, and then headed out for some snorkeling.  Next some beach chair reading, a nap, listen to the ocean waves, watch the paddleboarders and other snorkelers, and talk to our buddy iguanas.  A rough day, so now to our balcony for a wind down boat drink.  Maybe a couple.  A nice dinner and then watch a few more Soprano episodes.

18  
This morning we hung around the condo and did some travel research and then headed to Xpu-Ha beach.  Nine years ago we stayed at the Copacabana which is now Catalonia Beach Resort along Xpu-Ha beach.  We drove into the beach at the RV park entrance.
We took a nice beach walk and scoped out where we want to snorkel.  We grabbed our gear and walked back down the beach.  We saw lots of small tropical fish and some coral.  Then we took a time out and relaxed on our towels and soaked up some rays.
When we dropped off our gear we met Chris.  He is from South Africa and is currently staying at this park in a Class C RV.  We are still so glad we didn’t bring our rig down.  This park has a beautiful view and location, but only electric and that doesn’t work all the time.  We had been talking to Oscar at the bar and decided to go have a few Corona moments overlooking the beach.  When we got home, we headed to our pool for a while and then had a nice dinner and watched more Sopranos. 

17   Even in Mexico you have to be domestic sometimes.  Down here laundry day is nice.  We drove to Akumal Pueblo across the road and dropped off our laundry.  We’ll pick it up tomorrow.  Cost 5.00us.  OK, laundry done, on to the grocery store.
Domestic stuff done, now beach time.  On our way we saw Jan and she showed us a path to enter into Yal Ku, so we will use that in the future.  We went out to our bay and did some snorkeling.  We saw 2 huge blue rays in very shallow about 4 feet of water.  After snorkeling, it’s been a rough day, so we relaxed by the pool and did some reading.
I got a audio cable at the store today, so tonight we watched a few episodes from the last season of Sopranos on the laptop. 

16   We packed up our snorkel and beach stuff and walked the block over to Yal Kul Lagoon.  This is a really nice area where the ocean feeds into a fresh water lagoon.  We found a nice area for our stuff and off we went.  Sometimes the water in the lagoons seems oily, but really it’s not.  That’s where the fresh water is mixing in with the salt water.  It’s a nice sunny day so the visibility is good.  We saw a big ray, some huge parrot fish, barracuda, tons of blue tangs and angel fish of all sizes and colors.  I really like Yal Kul because its shelters so nice and calm and tons of fish.  After a few hours, we walked home and relaxed in the pool.  Sue and Bruce joined us and it’s another rough afternoon.  Tonight we are hanging around the condo, watching movies and just relaxing.
 15   Today took us to Dos Ojos (Two Eyes) Cenote.  Its about a 3 mile drive into the jungle off the highway.  We headed first to we snorkeled both eyes and there were divers that went through the underwater caves from one eye to the other.  We could see there lights coming through the cave.  After our snorkels we found some hammocks and relaxed and did some reading.
When we got home, we ran into Jan and Antonio.  They are really considering the fulltime RV lifestyle and wanted to chat.  So we met at the pool with some cocktails and talked about RV’ing.  Soon Sue and Bruce showed up and we were all just hanging out.  Now John and I regrouped and walked down to La Buena Vida Beach restaurant.  We had some happy hour drinks and a really good dinner overlooking the bay.  Walking back we saw another Agouti and a Raccoon.
     
 14   John needed some exploration, so he walked down the road and looked for a path to take him back in the jungle to a cenote.  He found one path but it wasn’t really a path so he ended his exploration.
We both need a break from the sun today, so we did our own exploration.  We checked out Pueblo Akumal across the bridge, but didn’t find much there, so we continued on.  We noted where the cenotes we want to visit are and our next stop was Puerto Adventuras.  We stayed here back in 2001.  We walked around the town and watched the people that were doing the dolphin encounter.  We watched two trainers work with a 6 month old baby dolphin training him.  It was pretty cool.  We stopped for gelato and then headed back on the road.
Next stop is Palmul.  If we brought our RV down, this is where we were going to stay.  The permanent RV’s have palapas built around them.  It’s a nice park with a pool on the beach and a restaurant.  However, we really like were we are and we are so glad we did not bring our RV down here.  We had a beer overlooking the beach and then we decided to head home.
We went down to the pool and then the beach and relaxed under a palapa and did some reading.  We had a nice dinner and then watched a movie.  We don’t have any TV, but our condo has around 50 or so movies.   

13   This morning I made egg tortillas using the stove and a pan.  In the RV we don’t have pans and we don’t use our stove, so this was different.  We headed down to the pool and our beach area and enjoyed some sun, reading and relaxing.  We found a couple of hibiscus flowers and fed them to our iguana buddies.  Later we regrouped and walked down our road.
We stopped at La Buena Vida for happy hour for a couple beers.  Our neighbor, Antonia stopped by and talked to us about fulltime RV’ing.  Then we continued on into the Akumal town area.  We stopped at Lo-Ha Restaurant to listen to David and Natalie playing some good music.  While we were at the bar, Jessica introduced herself and told us she’s our neighbor at La Iguana.  We walked home and along the way we saw Agoutis and Raccoons.

12   After coffee on our balcony, we took a walk down our beach and did some snorkeling in Half Moon Bay.  We saw some nice size blue angelfish.  That was rough, so we came back to our place and took a dip in the pool, had some homemade guacamole, salsa and chips and then retired to the beach chairs with palapas to do some reading.  After more pool time, we had some rum drinks on our verandah listening to trop rock music.
We took a walk down the road and along the way saw some Agoutis and Coatimundi’s.  We made it to La Buena Vida for happy hour and enjoyed a few cerveza’s overlooking our condos and Half Moon Bay while listening to Mariachis.  On our walk home, we saw more Agouti’s, Coatimundi’s and some baby raccoons with mom and dad.  We relaxed at the condo and watched a movie.
11   We were up early and headed out of OM Resort to our condo in Akumal.  We got checked in and are set for the next 5 weeks at La Igauna.  It’s a beautiful garden view 2 bedroom condo.  We are not used to this much room so it’s a nice change of pace.  We overlook one of the pools and were about 25 yards to the beach.  We headed to Puerto Adventures for groceries and got stocked up and made a nice dinner with rum drinks.
10   Today is our last day at OM Resort in Tulum.  We found a couple of beach chairs under a palapa, got some sun, took a nice walk along the beach and did some reading.  After regrouping, we went to our bar overlooking the beach for a bucket of cervaza and then walked down the street for a nice dinner.
9   This morning we had coffee at our restaurant overlooking the beach.  We regrouped and headed to the town of Tulum.  We needed a car wash bad, and do laundry.  In Mexico everyone is an entrepreneur, so forget washing your own vehicle or doing your own laundry.  Kinda nice.  So we dropped off the laundry and had 4 people power and hand washing Big Red up, down and inside.
Now that our projects are done, we headed to Muyil Ruins. We had stopped for sandwiches so we enjoyed our lunch next to a Mayan Ruin.  We took a nice hike around the grounds and down a elevated walkway to a tower and then on to the lagoon.  Now its time for a swim.  Not at the lagoon, but at the Crystal Cenote on the way back to Tulum.  We watched some divers going down into the cave system that leads through a tunnel under the road and to another cenote across the street.  We just snorkeled and then relaxed in a hammock and took a time-out.
When we got home, we regrouped and went to our bar to have a bucket of corona’s and overlook the beach at sunset.
8   We are always up shortly after sunrise.  They turn all the power off between 5am and 7am to conserve energy.  So we have to wait until 730am for coffee in the restaurant overlooking the beach.  After coffee we got our beach stuff together and moved down to a couple chairs on our beach.  We took a long walk and found a fenced off area.  We talked to a lifeguard and he told us it was protecting turtle eggs until they hatched in a couple months.
After our walk we lounged on the beach, went swimming, had lunch, did some reading and more lounging.  John needed another long walk, so I found a hammock and did some reading while he walked the beach.  We had a nice easy relaxing day.
7   We were up and out for coffee overlooking the beach early.  Today we are heading into Sian Kaan Biosphere Reserve and the town of Port Allen.  The reserve is on the UNESCO list and is pretty much jungle.  The road to Port Allen is only 36 miles but took about 3 hours to drive.  Dirt road with lots of potholes.  We stopped for a couple photo shots and saw lots of Iguanas but not much else.  When we got to the town, there really wasn’t much there so we stopped at a little store for snacks and headed back.
We regrouped and went to our bar for happy beers and to overlook the beach.  We walked down the road to a little restaurant and got shrimp pizza.  With every pizza order you got 2 free margaritas and 2 extra shots of tequila.  We had seen a sign for live music, so we stopped and had a couple drinks.  There was one guy playing a 20 string guitar.  We stayed for a few songs then walked back to our place along the beach.
6   We headed out early from Bacalar to Tulum.  I’m feeling much better today.  We made it around noon and checked out a few hotels and cabans.  We found OM Cabanas right on the beach.  We checked in, regrouped and headed for a relaxing afternoon on beach chairs with a few cervazas and a siesta.  We went for happy hour and dinner at our place.
5   This morning I’m a little under the weather I think from the ice I had last night.  John headed out in the lake with a kayak to check it out.  We headed into town and then to the cenote for lunch.  I’m still not doing well, so we headed back to our cabana and I took a time-out and John did some reading. 
4   We were up early and on the road by 6am.  We have a long day today about 500 miles.  We are traveling from Minatitlan to Bacalar near Chetumal.  There is tropical storm Boris coming and we want to get out of the area.  We did have rain most of the way, but we really didn’t encounter any problems.  We made it to Bacalar and to Casa China bed and breakfast.  We have a room that is no windows just screens with a beautiful view of the lake.  We went and picked up some cervaza and ice and enjoyed beer and wine overlooking the lake from our room. 
3   We were on the road by7am.  We made it 300 miles to Minatitlan Mexico.  We got checked into the Grand Minatitlan downtown near the river.  After taking a break, we walked along the waterfront, through the market and around the area.  We found a little place for dinner.  Picked up some fruit for tomorrows drive and took a time-out this evening.
2   It’s great we are staying 2 nights here.  We got up and I worked on my journal and John researched our next stop.  We walked across the street to the pyramid with the church on top.  Today we climbed to the top and took in the beautiful view of the city and the active volcano with smoke coming from the top.  We entered the church and no services were going on so we took some pics.
Then we headed down and on the way we stopped at a couple vendors for some nuts, and John had some grasshoppers.  We walked around the city looking for a restaurant for lunch.  We found this really cool market and checked it out.  It had everything.  There were some ladies making tortillas so we stopped for lunch.  We had a couple cervaza’s, and 2 huge tortillas loaded with stuff.  Total for lunch was 100 pesos, about 8.00 US.  After lunch we walked back to the room to relax and regroup.
1   We were on the road by 8am.  We didn’t plan it this way, but it worked out perfect.  It’s Sunday morning and the roads are empty.  We are traveling about 250 miles.  We got around Mexico City with no traffic whatsoever.  Between Mexico City and Cholula (Puebla) we had to cross the snow capped mountains.  As we got closer to Cholula we saw the snow capped active volcano.  We are still doing our own Amazing Race.  We got to the town ok, now we wanted to find this hotel and even though we had a little map, we drove around for a while.  It’s not easy to turn around so we almost got lost during getting lost.  We made it back to where we were and saw a sign.  Luckily, they had signs right to the hotel.  We checked it out and they had rooms and allowed cats.
We had one more place to check out, big mistake.  We found it pretty easily, but it was rough getting Big Red into the parking.  After deciding to stay, we found out they don’t accept cats.  So off we went back to Villa Arqueologicas Cholula.  We got checked in and had our stuff in the room, and then they told us they didn’t accept cats.  After some crazy discussion where I had a hard time in Spanish and same for them in English, they agreed to let us stay and have Magic in the room.
OK, after regrouping and relaxing a bit, we headed across the street to the Mayan ruins where before they excavated it, they built a church on top.  So there are ruins all over with this beautiful church way up on top.  Since today is Sunday its like a carnival all over the streets, with vendors, dancers and kids with kites.  John took a walk partway up the hill in order to get to the Mayan staircase.  He climbed the stairs which are very narrow.  Tomorrow we are climbing all the way up to the church.
We continued though the city and stopped at a vendor for some hot nuts.  Every way you look there are beautiful churches and cathedrals.  We stopped for a cervaza at a little restaurant that looked over the park and activity going on.  There was about 8 musicians playing and we had a relaxing time listening to them.
We stopped at this little restaurant on the walk back and was going to have dinner.  We got a grande cervaza to share and wanted to see a menu.  All of a sudden fish soup showed up.  Then small tosadas showed up.  We didn’t know what else was coming or what the cost was and we had had enough and no longer wanted dinner.  We asked for our bill and it was only 60 pesos which is about 5 dollars.  We walked back to our hotel, watched the only English station on TV while I worked on pictures.  Another really nice day in Mexico.