The Contrasts of Cozumel

We have been here almost three weeks now and have seen and experienced many contrasts of Cozumel.

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This is a beautiful island with beautiful people. We have enjoyed getting to know a few and learning what makes this island so appealing.

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First of all its the sunshine and the warm breezes. The ocean is a playground of fun activities. Then there is getting to know this town of San Miguel on foot which we did every day.

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Let’s start with the waterfront.

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Its amazing Main Street has a  long whitewall with seating on the ocean side and places to stop and watch the business of your surroundings; the cruise ships,

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the ferries, the tour boats and the fishermen. The other side of the street is lined with a shoppers paradise of jewelery, souvenir and many other shops and intertwined with a large array of restaurants and bars. The view of the street and port is amazing both day and night. People watching is fun here. This is what cruise ship passengers see on their day in port.

But walk a little further on up the road from the tourist district and you will find the real Cozumel.

 

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On every street you find the contrasts  the new and the old, the refurbished and the forgotten, the clean and tidy and the rubbish.

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The smiles of the little children

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and the strain and the pain of the elderly. To live here one must accept it all. You will want to make a difference in the lives of these beautiful people whose faces just light up when you make eye contact and say hola.

We will be sad to leave but on to the next adventure on Tuesday.Heading on up the road to Tulum and a turtle sanctuary. Stay tuned!

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Who let the dogs out?

imageimageWe have been in Mexico for a little over three weeks.  Five nights in Cancún and two + weeks in San Miguel on the island of Cozumel.  Time is getting fuzzy.  Both are very touristy introductions to the Caribbean coast of Mexico.  Cancún has the international airport so it’s hard to avoid.  Cozumel has the cruise ships and the scuba diving, without which the economy here would struggle.

Our home has been a comfy bed and breakfast called Los Alcatraces.  Our hosts are Greg, Silvia and Rosa, a cute little dog they rescued.  Pretty much everything is within walking distance including the restaurants, grocery stores, ATMs, and the sea.

There’s usually a symphony of barking dogs in this neighbourhood.  The rooster next door is reasonably accurate calling for day around 7:00am and sometimes again during the afternoon.  Maybe that’s for happy hour.

This past Sunday, we attended (in inglesis) a nondenominational church service.  We met several expats from both the US and Canada.  Two couples were actually from Fernie, BC.  Most raved about Cozumel and since they live here part of the year it’s a community they are quite comfortable with.  Others have lived here year round for many years.

However, Cozumel is still an island.  The mainland is a 45 minute ferry ride to Playa Del Carmen.  PDC is another touristy spot with beautiful beaches and all the typical shopping anyone could want.  There’s even a few Starbucks (surprise, surprise) if you feel inclined.   We may explore more of PDC in a couple of weeks after we move on to Tulum.

 

 

It’s a brand new year – 2016

image It was a cold, clear morning as we drove to the Calgary Airport on December 15.  The day we began our adventure.  All the goodbyes were said, the packing was done.  The preparations were all done.  It was time to go.

The flight was called and we headed to our seats.   Destination Cancún.

Jody and I are calling it retirement.  Not a lottery winnings retirement, nor one methodically planned with the support of years of dedicated pension contributions.  No ours is a “let’s go for it”.  I’m calling it our reconnaissance mission.

Phase One is six months, give or take a few, of wandering through Latin America.  Starting in Mexico where we’ll struggle to learn Spanish, live in shorts, t-shirts and no socks.

 

 

Can 2 Canadians really retire in South America?