Day 6: History and fish
So obviously since yesterday was a "big" day, today would be an "off" day...for the most part. Nothing big planned but more exploring around the island.
I was a few minutes late in rising before the sun did, but still managed to get an awesome picture of the beautiful sky at 6:49am
Mi esposo y yo hung out on the patio and did our morning ritual: open up the house for some air flow, consume as much caffeine as we could and waited for hija to get up.
I was checking the weather and it called for rain and/or storms most of the day except for a short period between 10-12. It was somewhat cloudy, which made it a little (and I do mean "little") less hot. I wasn't quite sure what to plan for the day if it was going to rain. Should we play it by ear? Head to the beach where we would be wet anyhow? Hmmm.
Once the not-so-munchkin came down stairs, we munched on our goodies we bought from the store the night before. It was nice not to have to cook breakfast for a change and the rolls/pastries were good.
Let's add some sugar to my caffeinated body...that should do the job! I felt like a jolt of lightening ran through my body and it was ready to take on anything today!
As I sat there trying to plan the day and watching the weather, I had noticed the day before I had some mysterious bruises along the inside of both of my arms. I had no idea where they came from and had not had any injuries. This morning they had increased.
I seriously don't know where they were coming from and they would increase daily for the next few days and then fade away. So weird.
Whew, it was getting hot. The weather was saying the rain was pushing back some and this morning was going to be good, but cloudy. Ok, that gives us time to head to a place I wanted to check out on our end of the island: Punta Sur. It's not a place you spend an entire day at, involved a lot of walking and climbing stairs and it being cloudy would be the perfect day to go.
I decided to prepare a lunch for us to eat when we returned and made some pasta salad and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and put it away in the fridge for our return. It was now saying no rain until 1pm.
We gathered our gear and headed out to the end of the island...which was just a short drive down the street.
We arrived at Punta Sur and it looked like everyone else had the same idea we did about coming here before the rain. The parking lot was packed, unlike the other day when we drove over here and there was next to no one in the parking lot.
Info about Punta Sur:
Punta Sur is located at the most Southern point of the island. It is also the most Eastern part of Mexico and is the first place in Mexico to receive the sun's rays in the morning. They say this is "where Mexico awakens".
Punta Sur is the highest point in Isla Mujeres, which is 20 meters above sea level.
There is a sculpture park that has been made by artists around the world reflecting the history at Punta Sur.
You will find the remains of the Temple of Goddess Ixchel that was built by the Mayan people years ago. This goddess represents love, the moon and fertility. Couples would come to Punta Sur to honor her and bring her gifts and ask for a prosperous marriage.
The Isla Mujeres Lighthouse, also known as El Faro, overlooks the Mayan temple and was used to guide fishermen as far away as Cozumel.
It will cost you $2 US or 30 pesos (which is around $1.49) to get in. That's a pretty cheap day if you ask me!
Now there is a lot of walking involved (well, at least in my opinion since walking is a chore for someone like me with an injury and all the swelling in my leg/foot) and there are stairs involved to get down to the trails along the water. So, be prepared.
We headed off on our journey. Even though it was cloudy, it still was really hot.
There were plenty of statues showing the Mayan people coming with their offerings to the Goddess Ixchel hoping to be blessed with fertility and a prosperous marriage and life.
We were high up looking down upon the most beautiful crystal clear waters off the island of Isla Mujeres. So pretty!
The temple of Ixchel
Ok, it was time to begin our journey down the stairs and walk along the beautiful water. I really didn't realize just how many trails there were down here from the pictures I had seen prior to coming to the island. It was so pretty!
When we first checked in, I handed off my GoPro to the hubby, who took a few videos in the beginning and then somehow Sakari ended up with it. She managed to get almost all of the footage of us walking around Punta Sur and did a pretty good job of covering everything. At the end of my picture review, the video will be mostly what she did. I think she may become a second me in the future. She loves photography and has taken some classes while in middle school. I'm not sure if I mentioned it or not, but when we dive, and she usually has her own camera, she usually takes around 70-80 pictures. However, our dive yesterday she took almost 300 pictures! Now that's improvement! LOL Proud momma moment! I'll get her on the right path sooner or later. :D
Sakari was hurrying for some reason and got way ahead of us as I walked along and snapped pictures. She had spotted some wildlife and she went to check it out.
You would not believe how close she managed to get to this bird. Wait until you see the video. She was right up on it. Although with a beak like that, I'm sure he was not intimidated by her and knew that at any given moment he could rip a hole in her with that thing.
These amazing birds cannot swim or walk. They fly high above the lake or ocean and dive down grabbing fish with their strong legs. They spend most of their time flying around and can fly for weeks without stopping. Having the largest wing-area-to-body-weight ratio of any bird, frigatebirds are essentially aerial. This allows them to soar continuously and only rarely flap their wings. One great frigatebird, being tracked by satellite in the Indian Ocean, stayed aloft for two months.
Just when I thought we were down as far as you could go, I seen that we had a long way to go still and further down by the water.
It was most definitely a beautiful place to go and even the iguana's had a prime location to hang out at. They were everywhere.
We climbed a ton of stairs to get back up to the top and headed back down another path to see the rest of the statues in the area that we missed on the way in along the other side.
A video from today. This is a complete walk around the entire place at Punta Sur. You can get a feel for what it's like, how much walking is involved and the steps involved...in case you want to check it out. Don't forget to like and subscribe.
We had a good time checking out Punta Sur and it was most definitely a beautiful place. Although even with it being cloudy, it was still extremely HOT! If you are looking to shed off some of those taco pounds when visiting here, just visit this place a few times and you'll return home with a new bod. (Maybe I should have came here daily is all I'm saying...)
It was time to head back to the house and have lunch.
Along the way back....
There were a few houses on the island that had purple roofs (and things along their gates) and they were just so neat.
This house had grass growing on top of the roof. I imagine it was one of those houses built into the ground but I'm not sure. Every time we passed it, I was so fascinated by it and wondered what it looked like from the other side.
Awww, the shell house. How neat it would have been to stay in it and I wished that I would have planned a little better. Sakari would have loved it...especially back in her mermaid days.
Another purple roof house along the way.
This restaurant was located right at the corner that we turn onto our street. It was never open while we were there but they have excellent reviews and it was an Italian place.
There was still no sight of rain on the island and I checked my weather app and the rain had now been pushed back to 5pm. So, we hung around at the house and had lunch and cooled off in our patio pool.
We had purchased two types of chips while we were at the store. There's one thing I've noticed about eating Mexican chips, well...actually two things: 1) they are all so hard! Like everything we've bought both now and in the past in Cozumel...they are very hard! No worries, if you break a tooth I've read everywhere online that a dentist is pretty darn cheap here and people actually come from the states to get dental work done because it's so cheap. Now onto number 2) the taste is somewhat bland. Now let me clarify...when you first start eating them, they don't have much of a taste (at least to me) but the more you eat, the more you can taste it and they become addicting. LOL
Here's a funny video we made during lunch...the hubby just had to play this appropriate song for Sakari while we were eating. LOL
So we decided, since it was so hot, but when wasn't it, that we would head out and along the road to check out some of the beach front area across from our place. Then we would make our way into town and possibly go to Playa Norte Beach.
We pulled across the street and headed down. It's not really a beach that you can swim in because it is very rocky. But, I have seen locals in the water all up and down this area every day. I'm not willing to risk trying to maneuver the rocks to get into the water with my foot. I need easy entry.
Down on this beach (which was called Coco Beach) there was a couch. I have absolutely no idea why... However, the couch was facing the wrong way and I told the hubby he should turn it around to face the water. So, that's exactly what he did and now he had the perfect view of the waves.
The only issue with this area is there is NO SHADE! Even though it was very cloudy out, that sun was still managing to beam down on us (as you can tell from the picture above) and without being able to get into the water, it really wasn't the ideal place to hang out at for very long.
Funny story, after we returned from our vacation, I found someone on youtube that had made a video (and was currently in Isla Mujeres) with them on this couch. I left them a comment about how my hubby had turned that couch around the week before so that it would face the ocean and they replied "that's funny must have been right before we got here". LOL You're welcome! :D
We decided to head on down toward town. It was time to stop for some gas for the Jeep.
Along the water on this side, they have a beautiful place to walk around. It's pretty long and goes along the top of the land and I did see a sign about it being a place to walk dogs. Every day and especially in the afternoons, I would see people walking dogs all over this area.
Now I will say that we had a pretty fast moving golf cart. I had read online prior to coming that Ciro's had some of the best and fastest carts on the island. I definitely found this to be true. We could pass up other golf carts just about anywhere we went. The only thing passing us was either a motorcycle or a car. I'm truly convinced it was because it was a Jeep. ;)
On our way into town there were 2 golf carts that came up behind us. We were just following another golf cart, which was putting along, and the other 2 decided they would pass us. They waved and laughed as they went by and moved their bodies back and forth like they were trying to get their cart to go fast. We laughed and waved.
By the time we made it to the airport area, we seen that they had went onto the airport strip. Hmmm, ok, we are doing it too then! We are going to show them what this thing really has in it.
They were just going along and had no clue that we were behind them. Along the way we slowed down around the generator...which was on like every day...and VERY loud. This video will give you more of an idea of just how loud it is.
When we got to the end of the runway, the other 2 golf carts noticed us and laughed and waved. They turned around and we sat there for a minute and then we were off the the races. The airport strip was no longer for landing but for taking off instead...and boy did we take off. :) We had a good time.
Ok, back on the road and heading into town again. Whew!
We had finally made it to Ciro's and time to fill up the gas in this thing. I'm sure we used the last few drops on the airport strip.
Oh how cute...it's a pink Jeep.
So now we were headed to Playa Norte Beach.
Playa Norte has been rated one of the cleanest beaches in Mexico and was awarded a Blue Flag status this year. This award is only given to the most pristine and safe beaches in the world and just a month before we arrived, Playa Norte received their Blue Flag status. In order to acquire a Blue Flag status, a beach must meet 33 specific criteria which include water quality, ecosystems, clear of wastewater or sewage and be free of harmful bacteria. Environmental status is included (level of litter and noise pollution on the beach) and safety must be monitored constantly. Also, Isla Mujeres was recently nominated for the title of "Leading Island Destination in Mexico and Central America". Isla Mujeres has also recently been named the Best Beach Destination in Mexico.
I knew there had to be a road of some type to go down toward Mia Reef Resort because I knew there was a bridge that goes over to it. But somehow, we hadn't found this road yet even though we've been all over this area. Well, we were about to find it.
It was a very crowded street and everyone was parked along the street. However, we managed to snag a parking spot right at the end before hitting the beach. We got lucky!
For those that don't know...Mia Reef is a resort that is on an island of it's own at the tip of the Isla. There is a wooden bridge that goes over to it across the water. It is an All Inclusive hotel. Some love it others do not. Many say it's not worth it and the hotel is not "luxurious". Don't forget about how you should get out and taste the Mexican food around town as well.
However, it did look like an awesome place to hang out on the beach and swim and I had read that this was the place to snorkel. Of course my idea of snorkeling and someone else's are two different things. So we will see how it goes.
We decided to put our things right by the bridge so that we could see them. It was hot out and we all just wanted in the water. Like right now!
Time to explore. You know the saying the grass is always greener on the other side? Well, we wanted to see how green that grass was over there at Mia and we all walked over in the water. There was a small place that got deeper along the way but it didn't last long. For the most part the water is fairly shallow here as you can tell in the picture above.
Once we got over to the other side, there were a lot of rocks and I assumed that was where everyone was saying there was good snorkeling at. But mostly people were just hanging out over there and not snorkeling so who knows. I did see some people being dangerous and climbing on the big rocks out there. Yea, that's gonna hurt when you fall.
We hung out for a little bit and I decided I wanted to grab the snorkel gear and have a look around. I knew there would be fish under the bridge at least so I started in that area. I wanted to get some over/under shots.
I don't even know what was going on with my colors in those pictures. I was using the GoPro 7 so that may explain it.
I headed over to the side along the rocks. Sakari decided to stay back with her dad. I just wanted to practice some over/under shots. I really didn't care if I seen anything or not as long as these turned out good.
Then something caught my eye...
And then another...and another...and another. There were 5 stingrays in that area.
As far as snorkeling...ehh, not really anything too impressive IMO. So, I headed back over to the fam to see if anything was new.
There are plenty of vendors pushing their carts along the beach and ringing bells. Street food at it's finest. We weren't really hungry yet, but what's better on a hot day then...melting ice cream and popsicle goodness right? You gotta be quick in this heat! Popsicles will cost you 25 pesos (or $1.24). Try to beat that price back home off the over inflated ice cream truck in the neighborhood!
Sakari had taken on a new project...making a sand sculpture and what better thing to make other than a whale shark right?
While she was busy working on her sand sculpture, I headed back out under the bridge for a few more pictures.
She finished her whale and I took a picture and she said "Ok, can we please leave now?" Um, ok...why all of a sudden? She said can we at least move over to the other side of the bridge? I looked at her and seen her watching all the little kids running around on the beach and they were coming up to see her sand sculpture and I knew right away why she was saying this and said "You're afraid one of the little kids are going to stop all over it aren't you?" She said "Yep, and I'd rather not be here to see it when it happens after all that work". LOL
We packed our things up and headed over to the other side where she wouldn't have to witness any destruction.
We were standing out in the water just talking and Sakari had grabbed some Pringles. Well just a few crumbs escaped her mouth and she all of a sudden had an audience.
These Palmetto fish were like dogs. They kept rubbing on her legs and going through her legs and they'd do this little swoop thing to let her know they were there. She was laughing and they wouldn't stop...like forever. She said it was as bad as being home with 4 huskies begging for food. She says "What, I don't have anything!" LOL
They still followed her around everywhere she went. She got a big kick out of it.
We stayed for quite some time over here. The rain never did come and the sun was going down. It was still cloudy out and it finally felt "nice".
Here's a short video of our day here at Playa Norte. You'll see all the fish surrounding us and how funny it was to watch them swim by and rub up against Sakari over and over. She said "They are my fish friends now".
Hubby left at some point to go get pop and it would be 65 pesos (or around $3.23).
As we headed out another vendor showed up. This was the Esquites vendor and this is something I just KNEW I had to try while here. It seems to be everyone's favorite "snack" for the youtube couples I watch that have moved to Mexico to travel around. They absolutely love this stuff and I wanted to experience it as well. Well now is my chance!
Check out what I thought of it below:
Time to head home. It was getting late and we wanted to get ready for dinner. However, Sakari had different plans. She obviously didn't get enough water time and headed for the pool when we arrived. She was equipped with a new ball we brought with us this time. It would light up with movement and since it was dark...what better way to play ball right?
After awhile, I gave up and went inside to do dishes. She was still swimming. Once i got the dishes done, I went outside to tell her to come in and get ready for us to go eat. She was nowhere to be found. I yelled her name over and over. No answer. I started to panic. I walked all around the pool. I looked around the grounds to the condo's. Nothing! OMG...did someone kidnap her? I know she didn't wander off. She never does that and she would surely be answering me when I called her name.
I started searching the house...I found her in her room just getting out of the shower. How the heck did she get past me while I was doing dishes? I told her I was in a panic state when I couldn't find her out by the pool. She said "I'm right here and fine mom". Whew!
So after we all had our showers and was ready to head out to find some place to eat...I start to see lightening. Ugh! I think we were finally going to get the rain they predicted earlier today. I checked the weather app and it did say rain within the hour. We had to weigh our options...did we really want to go out and chance getting stuck in the rain and having to drive the golf cart home in the rain? Eh, I made the executive decision to just stay home and make spaghetti instead.
Well, the rain never did come and it was still lightening. We hung out on the patio for awhile and I talked to my oldest son back home. Then we were ready for bed. Sakari and I had decided to do something special tomorrow, so it was going to be another big day.
Recap of Punta Sur: An absolutely gorgeous place to visit. Walking down by the water was so pretty and something you won't see anywhere else on the island. There is a lot of walking both on the grounds, stairs and around the water. So, if this is on your list of things to do, just know that. It can get super hot because there are no trees around for shade and it is out in the open.
Recap of Playa Norte: Absolutely gorgeous beach! This beach expands pretty far on the other side of the bridge to Mia Reef Resort. Lot's of friendly fish and fish under the bridge. It's a great place for families to take children because for the most part, you can walk way out and it's still not deep. It's a Blue Flag beach so you know it is a great place to visit.