After last nights thunderstorm, the day was windy and cool so we decided to take a taxi around the island. We had heard that the east coast was quite beautiful and it wasn’t a good day for swimming so a guided tour seemed like the perfect thing.
We stopped at one of the nice beach resorts on the southwest portion of Cozumel where I got this picture of some dolphin statues. I also saw some very, very overweight ladies in thong bikinis and went blind for a while but it wore off with no ill effects other than a mild headache and some vision spotting.
Back in the 70s when Jacques Cousteau “discovered” the region and popularized it with divers, the Palancar and Columbia reefs were two of the most famous. Still today they are a top dive destination and the barrier reef that stretches from Cancun 1200km down to Belize is the second longest in the world after Australia.
As we found in Spain and Portugal, the little places off the beaten track are often much more interesting and Palancar was no exception. You drive through a swamp to the lovely beach where there is a little restaurant and dive shop and hardly any people. The swamp had some interesting inhabitants.
These little birds have bright yellow under their wings and run across the lily pads.
These ducks were very alert, always keeping to the shallow areas and keeping an eye on their neighbor.
This big fellow was the reason they were so careful. Some of the locals were saying that it’s much easier for him to catch ducks when the water is higher because they can’t stay in the shallow spots so easily. I was only a few meters from him and he was definitely eyeballing me as well. Never saw a blue-eyed crocodile before.
This is the view down the beach. There’s a certain feeling when a place has too many people and this didn’t have it. Sea shells all over the beach and trees full of coconuts, it’s nice to feel like you’re in a real place rather than some sanitized, shrink-wrapped, tourist area.
The east coast was very rugged and fairly un-populated. It was quite calm today since the wind was blowing off the land but in general, it’s too rough for swimming which is part of why it isn’t developed. There isn’t even electricity on that side so the few restaurants and shops have diesel and wind generators. This hill, the highest point of Cozumel, (yeah, it’s REALLY flat) has the famous ‘Coconuts’ restaurant and this area is very popular with locals escaping the tourist crowds as well as surfers and various wind-sport people.
Our driver was kind enough to take us to the big liquor store to pick up some things for the suitcase and then back to the resort for lunch and siesta. Across the street to the mall to pick up a few things at the farmacia since most prescription things in Canada are off the shelf in Mexico and back to the room for our ‘Hallmark’ moment….aww….aren’t we a romantic couple.
And that’s another day, much like every other. Wonder what all the poor people are doing? Now it’s off to dinner and Casino Night in the lobby.