The Rambling Writer Revisits Southern Mexico

Just in time to escape the gray gloom and record-breaking rainfall here in Bellingham, WA, the “far corner” of the Pacific Northwest, Thor and I celebrated our anniversary with another trip to sunny southeast Mexico, where we enjoyed our “luna de miel” (honeymoon). Thor terms these trips mental-health prescriptions; we are so grateful for the privilege of these vacations!

First night, recovery from university finals grading for Thor (no longer for me, as I’m now retired from teaching!), a stay at the gracious Marriott Courtyard in Cancun, built around a garden of native plants alive with birdsong.

Next day, a 5-hour drive south to our favorite secret beach getaway. Our traditional stop for supplies at the “Super San Francisco de Assisi,” where six-and-a-half foot Thor towers over the Mayan checkout gals.

We tend to lose track of dates on vacation, so consult a recreated image of the round Mayan calendar, which consisted of 52-year cycles involving a 365-day “vague solar year” or Haab’ in juxtaposition with a 260-day Divine year or Tzolkin, each day associated with an animal image, so no exact day would repeat throughout the 52 years. (I think I got that right.) We decide our heads are not up to the task.

On a more sober note, as we drive through the Yucatan Peninsula past vine-covered Mayan temple ruins, we’re reminded how much of the complex cultures in Mesoamerica was lost to the Spanish conquest and its mission to eradicate the native knowledge and belief systems. For example, in 1562 the Mayan library of ancient manuscripts was torched, and in the same year the Franciscan monk Diego de Landa burned piles of Mayan manuscripts and idols in the public squares of Mani. These books held priceless information on ancient history, mythology, medicine, astronomy, science, religion, and philosophy. The natives who were unwilling to give up their faith even after torture were burned to death. Just another page in the human history of intolerance and greed, which our current U.S. regime seems eager to perpetuate.

But I promised Thor I wouldn’t talk politics on vacation, so:

We finally reach a very rutted “jungle road” to our getaway on the shores of a protected marine preserve:

Far from the madding crowd:

Sunrise over the barrier reef and lagoon:

View from our patio deck:

We can’t wait to grab our snorkeling gear and swim out to the reef once or twice a day to float in blissful weightlessness and visit our underwater friends. Here, a 5-foot spotted Eagle Ray circles to check us out.

This year we were blessed with mostly calm, clear seas shimmering with light. After snorkeling, we (cautiously, with winter-pale skin) soak up some sun beneath the palm trees.

A bumpy, dusty drive takes us to a nearby fishing village for fresh-caught hogfish at Toby’s café.

View from the roof of our casita over the back garden and flat forest stretching inland:

And more snorkeling among elkhorn coral. (Our camera doesn’t capture the colors and the schools of fish well.)

Lots of birdlife, too, including Caspian terns, frigate birds, and pelicans:

Until next year: Hasta luego!


You will find The Rambling Writer’s blog posts here on alternate Saturdays. Sara’s newest novel from Book View Cafe was recently released in print and ebook: The Ariadne Connection.  It’s a near-future thriller set in the Greek islands. “Technology triggers a deadly new plague. Can a healer find the cure?”  The novel has received the Cygnus Award twice, once for Speculative Fiction and once for Science Fiction.

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