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    Greg and Beth

    the political and personal musings of two
    mountaineers living in west-central Florida
     
    Alas, No Isla, but the turtles still beckon Comment
    Gregory Morris, 10/27/05 1:37:49 pm
    Well, our highly anticipated vacation to the lovely and quaint Isla Mujeres has been trashed by the mother of all mothers. As you may or may not have seen in the news, the popular tourist destinations of Cancun and Cozumel were smashed up pretty good by Wilma. Lots of American tourists had (and are still having) a hard time getting home. Isla Mujeres is a small island off the coast of Cancun, and from the reports I've heard, was simply demolished. Their power, water, and phone lines all run in from Cancun, and none of them are functioning at the moment. The estimated time for the restoration of power is given in months. A lot of the properties remain standing with various amounts of damage, but there is a huge amount of cleanup to be done. We may or may not have lost our $250 deposit for our rental house, but many Isla locals and business owners have lost everything. Thankfully, no serious injury or death has been reported, and a most of the islanders have been accounted for.

    So what to do about a vacation? US Airways, of course, refuses to change our tickets withouth charging a fee of $100/ticket. So we're going to Mexico. Thankfully, this is the low season, so rentals are not hard to come by. We managed to find a nice little condo in Akumal (a little more than an hour south of Cancun.) They got hit by the hurricane as well, but their biggest loss seems to be a few windows and some palm trees. The power is back, the windows are being replaced as I write this, and I can imagine the palm trees will follow close behind them.

    Isla is a little more rustic than most of the resort areas on Costa Maya, which is why we chose to go there. Everyone there is laid back, and friendly. There are no mega-resorts on Isla, and the only annoying tourists are day-trippers from Cancun. So for us, Akumal is not as ideal... it is still primarily a tourist community. There are benefits, however. It is much smaller than Cancun or Playa del Carmen, and from the sounds of it, much more relaxed. It is much closer to everything than Isla, and you don't have to take a ferry to leave. There are Mayan ruins nearby, as well as two excellent water/eco-parks (Xel Ha, and Xcaret, although Xcaret may be closed until December.) The other thing that turned us on to Akumal (aside from the last-minute booking panic) is what the name means (in Mayan): Place of the turtle. Since we all know Beth gets giddy at the mention of sea-turtles, you can imagine how she feels about going to one of their primary nesting beaches. We're also renting a car (on Isla, it would have been a golf cart) so we'll be able to head down to the ruins in Tulum, various parks, and perhaps Playa del Carmen if it is back online by the time we get there.

    So if all goes well, and no more hurricanes ravage the lovely "Riviera Maya", we'll be there in a little over a week. I promise we'll take better pictures this time, and hopefully I'll get them online as soon as we get back. Until then, be jealous that we're gonna be sunning ourselves on gorgeous beaches, in 80+ degree weather, while you are stuck here in the states digging out of the latest snow storm ;)

    [Comments are closed after a month.]

    Re: Alas, No Isla, but the turtles still beckon
    monica, 11/1/05 9:09:48 pm
    that sucks that your place got ruined, but i'm glad you found a new place. i'll be back in morgantown when you get home.

    Re: Alas, No Isla, but the turtles still beckon
    ron, 11/2/05 2:21:39 pm
    My wife and I have had a home on the island for 16 years. Do not know what has happened. cannot contact anyone by phone or e mail. according to Por Esto a yucatan newspaper the island is recovering. Super mercado open in town. Elec. in center of town. Restoration in other areas within a month. We well be headed for the island on Nov. 8. I hope we still have a home. dont give up on visiting the island, everything you love will still be there.
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