Up, Up, and Away!
The month of September was very good to us. We moved into our new RV in a beautiful campground and began trying to get used to relaxing. The uncharacteristic mid-summerlike weather certainly helped, and the peace and quiet of our beautiful surroundings added to our new understanding of “stress-free”.
Although we were relaxing and enjoying our “Home Resort”, we also were in preparation mode for the next phase of our New Life.
When the campground closed on October 9th, we had learned all about what’s involved in closing up an RV for the winter, and how to handle things like mail redirections and multiple vehicle storage while we’re away. We learned to go completely paperless (a difficult thing to do when you’re a Travel Agent, or your name is Tina) and make any remaining accounts 100 % online and accessible from anywhere in the world.
We learned about using a VOIP service to avoid prohibitive roaming charges for our primary phone and using a VPN to make access to specific web accounts and other apps unrestricted and worry-free.
Phase 2-a has us on the Riviera Maya for the next 20 days. We’ve broken our stay into 2 locations. Our first 10 days are being spent in an all-inclusive resort in Playa del Carmen, and for our last 10 days, we have booked an Airbnb in Puerto Morelos. We’re currently enjoying lots of sun and daily temperatures averaging 32 degrees at the Riu Lupita. Although this resort is advertised as a 5-Star, Tina and I both give it a 4-Star rating. Although clean and immaculate both inside and out, it IS a little dated and could use a refresh. It’s also not on the beach, however there’s a free shuttle all day long and it’s only a few minutes away.
The food is fabulous, and all the staff are very friendly and helpful. There are plenty of amenities, and nightly entertainment is good.
The Malecon in any beach town is a must-do, and Playa del Carmen is no different. Soft, warm sand, beautiful blue waters, beach bars, and food carts along with other interesting cultural displays, make for a relaxing and interesting stroll on a clear, hot day.
Having been to Mexico many times, we have seen and done a lot of the usual touristy things, however, there is always something new to see or do. In this case, we found Las Coloradas, Rio Lagartos, and Ek Balam.
The “Pink Lagoon”, Las Coloradas are actually man-made salt lakes. Water from the sea is allowed to flow into these lakes where the water then evaporates leaving the pure salt behind for processing. A specific type of algae gives the very saline water its pink color.
After Las Coloradas we hopped aboard a converted fishing boat for a cruise down the Lagarto River. This was one of the most enjoyable water excursions I can remember. Crocodiles, pelicans, cormorants, and flamingos, along with a couple of stops along deserted beaches made for an enjoyable cruise.
We finished off our cruise down the river with a delicious lunch at a small local restaurant in Rio Lagartos before heading back to Riu Lupita.
If you’ve never been to Puerto Morelos, Mexico you’re missing out. Situated between Cancun and Playa del Carmen, this town has a lot to offer. West of the main artery running along the Riviera Maya coast you’ll find Puerto Morelos much like any other large city. However, the area to the east of the highway maintains the charm of a small fishing village. It has become very popular with expats who have chosen this town as their retirement home. Puerto Morelos too has a lovely Malecon with some of the best little restaurants we’ve come across. Bars and shops line the streets, and you’ll encounter lots of tourists and expats going about their day-to-day errands.
On our second last day in Mexico, we opted to visit yet another pyramid. (One of us just can’t seem to get enough pyramids)
Ek Balam is among the few remaining pyramids in Mexico that you are permitted to climb so that made the decision a no-brainer. We set off early and arrived at the archeological site a few hours later.
There’s just something about standing on ground and touching structures and objects that were alive and vibrant with another, ancient civilization that speaks to me.
After a long, hot climb in the blazing heat of October, who wouldn’t enjoy a nice cool dip in a beautiful cenote? Again, not the first time for us, however, it was a pleasant stop nonetheless and included a delicious buffet with ice-cold cervesas.
After the refreshing pause for the cause at the cenote, we headed to our next stop. This is the story of a town called Uayma (meaning “not here”) and a colonial church that had been built by the Spaniards with the stones from nearby Mayan temples. In a later war with the Mayan people, the church was burnt completely down.
A few years ago, Mexico initiated an “Embrace Your Heritage” program urging local patrons to fund restoration projects around the country. A wealthy Mexican businesswoman adopted the church as her personal project and the church was completely restored from the ground up.
Our last stop for the day was the 400+-year-old city of Valladolid. Here we visited the colonial period area of the thriving city to see the architectural wonders of that period including the cathedral a the old town square.
With our time in Mexico now at an end, we enter Phase 2-b, and the final Phase of our New Life. I hope you’ll continue to follow along with us as we move from Phase to Phase. There’s going to be lots to tell in the next segment so please stay with us and spread the word to anyone you know that might enjoy our adventures.