Last chance for Churros!

looking out from the Cliffs facing due East.
bougainvillea Flowers in bloom.
this secret beach is two blocks from where I’ve stayed this whole month.
the street off of which is my Alley, Andandor 5.
the Family having another big meal together.
a last order of Tacos!
down on the South end, the flowers bloom by the Sea.
Last chance for Churros!
Down the big hill, past la Basura Grande…
Jugo de Naranja!
a yummy Quesadilla from the Mercado!
watch out little Fishes… a mural along the walkway around the Salina Grande.
a new ARTs appeared here… I am guessing it’s a Jaguar.
Casa Rolando y Mary, brightly colored in the Island sun.

and now, I am off… back to USA, let’s see if they’ll let me back in, today! Think a thought for me as I fly. And stay tuned-in for further reports, right here!

One last day (un ultimo dia) in Mexico…

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a Mexican street scene You’ve seen before but it looks different to me, every time!
this photo-image came up by accident and is clearly an accidental photo, so I think I’ll leave in honour of the question, “divine intervention, or accident?”

It has been a stressful build-up to the relief I now feel, after having just taken my third Covid Test, this one, so I can return to my Home, in the USA. By 6:00pm I will know the result and if it is negative, I’ll fly home on Sunday afternoon… I’ll be back in Asheville, NC, before 10:00pm on Sunday, if all the rest of it goes accordion to plan (which for me just involves being in the right places at the right times and the flying machines working properly, et cetera). Taxi to Ferry to Shuttle Bus to Aeropuerto to Aeroplane to USA to next Aeroplane to Home in a ground car… it took all of nine hours to do that list in reverse on New Year’s Day.

a little bit of Island pink in the late afternoon sunlight.

I got my negative test result, this evening, as promised and so I am cleared for lift-off on Sunday afternoon, to return, at last to the USA. I rode into town early to get my Covid Test and so I got to see the sun rise out of the Caribbean, which was quite a special treat. Then I stood in line down on Avenida Benito Juárez, reading my pulp fiction novel. Finally it was my turn and so I went in to the tiny Laboratoio office, with two Ladies, one of whom was a translator, the translator also swabbed my nasal passageways and wore at least two pairs of gloves on either hand and then still peeled a sticker and attached it to my sample container. This isn’t really the most interesting thing, I know, but it happened to me and very early this morning.

Sun’s glow illumination!
sunrise over the Caribbean as I made my way to the Laboratorio.

ILast night as I was coming home from dinner, I saw the Abuelo of this household pulling up his golf-cart along the street outside of the Andador 5 alleyway that leads to it, He had a large package of meat… “¡Carnitas!” he said to me, after the usual pleasantries, “Buenos Noches.” et cetra, so I asked, “Puerco?“, “Si!“, he goes, “tomorrow, Tamales!” and already there is the smell of yummy food permeating this entire building, here, just before dawn. I rode back along the Sea’s edge, hoping to see the moonrise, I could see the glow from behind the clouds, quite spectacularly but la Luna remained hidden. She’s still up there, in the Western sky, behind the clouds, they are splotchy, so some stars do shine through.

Rolando and a Wahoo Fish that he was about to carve up for dinner.
the sun bleached Malecon of Isla Mujeres, Mexico.

Yesterday, after my afternoon swim, during which all I could think about was food, and quite often while swimming in the afternoon, my thoughts have turned to what I will eat next, trying to make my plan, I was very hungry but it had gotten chilly with the strong wind. I walked out of the shallow water and back to my towel and books, it felt like getting out of a Maine lake in Summer time. I thought of all the different places I could go for something yummy to fill my belly but instead, I went again and chose a spot to draw on the Malecon. I have drawn there four times, now, and yesterday’s time was by far the best, not the drawing itself, or how it turned out but the actual process of sitting and drawing, I got into it, the way that I always hope I will, instead of being distracted or not into it.

my latest drawing of the Malecon.
around here, You’ve got to look up when You hear barking!

4 weeks ago, this morning, I woke up to my first morning in Mexico, that was January 2nd, 2021, it seems like a dream that that much time has gone, where has it flown off to? Away with the wind… El Viento is a BIG part of this Island Life, as far as I can tell from my short time here. The people don’t seem fazed by it, nor do they seem chilly. None of the other people at the beach were shivering in their towels after getting out in the wind, with the clouds only letting brief shafts of sunlight through. I was born in South Florida and have always craved the heat. I like a warm envelope all around me. In Western North Carolina, where I have lived for most of 40 years, it hardly ever gets hot, maybe we’ll get one week in mid-Summer but that’s it, which is why everybody wants to live there. Mexico is tricky, you’d hafta have Your own garden, I think, in order to get greens… there is plenty of fresh fruit and peppers, ’til Kingdom come but no collards or kale, not even Callaloo, like the old Jamaicans grew. I know it probably seems funny to read me complaining about a lack of greens but it is a part of a diet that is necessary, and after a month, almost without them, I really start to feel it, especially being as active as I have been here.

it took him a minute but this Guy finally got his announcements scooter properly propped.

one thing’s for sure, You cannot force inspiration to come to You, You can look for it and certainly be prepared for it but sometimes, You just hafta kind of forget about it and then it comes like a bolt, which will jolt You and if You are lucky, You can turn it into a constructive piece of Your Art, whatever that Art may be. I try to live my life in an Artful way, I am fascinated by everything, especially in a place that is not my normal place, where things are done quite differently… there are a lot of aspects of Mexico, from the little, tiny bit I could possibly know, that really fit right into my program but then there is so much more to know and to do and to see. I’ve realized during this time that it is not necessary to make sense of everything, it doesn’t even make much sense to try. of course, we need to know the basic workings of how we keep on moving forward in this World, those are important and I hope they do make sense, to me and to You!

the Northern end of the Malecon, if You keep going along these little beaches and over a rocky outcropping, You will come to the steps that lead to the Playa Mia.
la Luna llena from my roof-top spot!
in the Pink zone of the Malecon…
Panacota, the new one dessert of Da Luisa!

la Luna esta llena

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the almost full moon of Wednesday night:
the day started off beautifully, as it has been for the past nine days in a row.

I went to get mas agua, I was aiming for the Mini-Super Karen Pool, when the Abuelo of the Family that I stay with here, called out to me, “Fil! Fil!” (short for Felipe, although I once did spell my name this way), He told me to just get the water from the big stack of the bottles that the Family has, everyone here lives on the bottled water… “¡Es muy importante, el agua!” I say and they all agree and laugh… Henry, the second eldest son, carries the water up for me, 32 steps to the top, although I have done it, at least twice now… 3 more days I have here, so it won’t be empty when I go, this next 5 gallons. Also, I went to the Lavanderia but the Lavanderia was closed… it was after 9:00am (by a hair), so I thought I’d get that out of the way but they were closed. I rehearsed my line all the way there, though, “por favor lava mi ropa.” it’s only half a block away, so it’s no sweat. While I was out, I saw two of the Dogs of this compound, making their morning rounds… they looked at me as though they recognised me and wagged their tails. I told them to go home! I think I’ll do a lap or two around the Salina Grande and then try the Lavanderia, again…

the bright colours and all these wires conspire to keep me enthralled with it all…

I rode my bike around the Salina, twice. In the middle of the water, a large swirl of Frigate Birds were taking turns splashing into the water… I reckon there was a fish school there and the birds were having their breakfast. As I finished my ride, I decided to glide down by the Lavanderia and Si! it was open, at last. I ran back up, 32 steps and down again with my bundle… a tiny Niño of the compound, who is always so friendly to me and nods when I tell him something, as if He was wiser than the Abuelo. I said “a la Lavanderia!“, he nodded at me and waved. So I got to the Lavanderia and the Lady there takes a look at me, before I can even ask my question in spanish and says, “Felipe?” “Si!” says I. She weighs mi ropa, I pay her 100 pesos and She says some words that I no comprende and then she holds up 6 fingers, 6:00pm this night, “Today.” says a man in the back. Ok!

the Salina Grande.
the Man from the Paleteria pushes his freezer cart all up and down the Beach… I always get the Paleta de Oreo but the locals all seem to get the neon green and blue or hot pink icicle-pops.
Paleta de Oreo, por favoreo! This frozen pop is the color of a chocolate milk, not lavendar, as it appears here:

Tucked-in beneath the palm fronds’ cast shadow, on the beach with jugo de naranja (NJ Jugo de Naranja!) and some extremely ripe bananas. I had many thoughts on the way here, many were lost but one was that I took the Ocean route out of habit (which had been closed for paving, since Sunday) and so I just kept going and the road was freshly, stickily black-topped but it was open, ¡abierto! It’s another sunny blue sky day… quite a string of them have come my way and I am so grateful. by the afternoon we were in the shit, if You’ll pardon it… A squall had blown up from somewhere… after my second swim, I went again to the Taqueria that I also went to on Tuesday, this time I order Tacos, 2 al Pastor and 2 Arrachera, I got extra hot paste, too and boy were those good, so I ordered one more of each, they were 15 and 25 pesos each, respectively, plus another gobblet of the hibicus tea.

Tacos and Tea on a Thursday afternoon.

right now a gentle rain is falling, after the squall that passed overhead while I was having tacos… You shoulda seen ’em all scurry, Folks from every direction, on foot and on every known type of wheeled transportation. I rode like the wind and thankfully with the wind at my back… good old el Viento, You never know which way it’s gonna blow. I gotta go to the Lavanderia and pick up my clean and folded laundry, a lot of it will just go right in the suit-bag.

A big storm coming across the bay from the Northwest.
the Al Pastor meat is piled onto a skewer and slowy roasted before a candle until none remains.. every morning one someone goes out and puts a whole next pile of meat on there.

the rain-squall came up quickly and it’s sitting on top of us now but I figure it could be gone just as quickly… I had high hopes of seeing the Full Moon this night, it’s out right now. The rain has stopped but the wind is crazy… wind I can handle. All across the Meteorological Colony, folks are looking out their windows and doors, seeing what the weather is doing now, it’s much more interesting that TV. I feel like this maybe turns into more of a journal entry than anything else… what are the parameters of a “blog”, anyway? Web Log… We bLog. Also, it sure is fun being away from all the other responsibilities of life that allows me the time to work on this but I can’t promise I’ll keep going with it once I’m Stateside, again, and that’s just fine. All of this whole experience feels so much like a dream, I’m glad that I have taken the time to post some new entries here, just to be sure it did really happen… also I have filled up more than half of my 53rd Volume of my journal series, with drawings and writing.

they have demolished this building over the past three days, men and sledge hammers and one guy with a little wheel barrow…
all of this rubble will be shoveled up and hauled off to somewhere… it will be hammered back into sand-grain sized pieces to make new concrete.
the Southern end of the Malecon.
another yummy pasta dinner by the Seaside. Just linguini in oil and garlic with salt, pepper and the green sprinkles.
one more from the Malecon… it is one of my favorite places.

¡la Ciudad Perdida de Oro!

Caribbean…

here, again, on yet another gorgeous Caribbean Blue day, sky and sea, the sun shines so brightly El Sol! Gracias. I rode around the whole Salina on the lovely walkway around it, is that also a Malecon, or different (Esplanade) surrounding a brackish pond/lake? I got my jugo de naranja and a puerco quesadilla, I went and spoke to the English language Doctor, who filled in some huge gaps in the information I had at first gotten, from also She and I learned that Dra. Is the Spanish abbreviation for Doctor.

Salina Grande. The neighborhood where I stay is just off the Northeastern tip of the Salina.

as I begin to prepare for the process of returning to my home, far away in the Northeast and back above the chilly line, I also continue to discover new places and things, secret Arts are everywhere I look! to-day is the 26th day of Jan, it’s the first day of the International Travel Ban, for those non-negative Covid Test result havers… I know there’s gonna be some frustration, at the Aeropuerto, yo!

Carnitas.
Piggy.

Here I go for my 26th day in a row of swimming in the aquamarine sea scene, and now 8 days in a row of double swims… thank goodness it’s been so warm. After my second swim I decided to finally try the Taco place on the corner where I turn down a wrong-way street on my bicycle to go back down to the sea wall. it was really yummy, I had an Arrachera (skirt steak) Burrito and an agua de Jamaica Juice (hibiscus tea) in a fish bowl goblet…

coming home from the Panaderia:
Chocolate and Cream-filled center donuts.

Al Pastor, spit-grilled pork, carved off for Tacos, it doesn’t seem to translate further, just know that’s what it is. I called the waitress over and pointing toward a cone of meat on a stick, I asked Her, “what is this one?” and she looked where I was pointing and then looked back at me and then She pointed toward where I had pointed, then She asked me, “this one?” and assuming She was pointing at the same thing I had, I replied, “Si”, so she told me, “Al Pastor” and that’s what it was, I looked it up.

Arrachera (skirt steak) Burrito.
Jamaica (ha-mike-ah) Hibiscus Tea.

little by little we move together into the Future. The way I’ve been able to piece these reports together (has been exactly that), has been to input some text here and then go do one something and come back to it, also, I take notes, in my journal, on pieces of paper, and of course, the voice memos, when I’m on the go.

the Moon and the Sea… la luna y el mar

the last several days at the Beach have been more and more crowded, I’ve always found a little spot for solo Yo, where I can sit and read and be “safely” distanced from other Humans, the beach that I go to, I’ve realized, is the Locals Beach, these Guys that I stay with told me it’s called “Playa Mia” after that Scuba Hotel that’s over there, across the rickety bridge. I also found out that the Playa Norte ends, according to the map at the entrance, not at the end of the sand but about two-thirds of the way down, then there is more beach, which I reckon is Playa Mia, with a bridge running through the middle of the wide, shallow sea pool, there. I have swum under that bridge, where all the fishes like to swim, more and more times each day and into the place where the sea rushes out and it is deep like a big pool but then gets really shallow, again, where all the snorkel boats come in.

Playa Mia.

very near to where I stay, they’ve decided to knock a hole in the roof of a one-story concrete building, in between two taller buildings… everything here is concrete and they are either knocking it apart with sledge hammers, or building up new structures. Remember, the Mayans are concrete masters. Well, it turns out, they’ve knocked the whole roof out of that building. Also, just about every street has a Guy who cleans up the concrete chunks and makes little piles or hauls it off in a wheel barrow, bit by bit. It doesn’t happen quickly but before You know it, he’s done the job. I’ve also watched a crew build a small, tiled cool pool (bigger than a hot tub size and deeper but not a swimming pool), by the sea, along the Malecon, when I first got here, the Guys were knocking a hole in the ground and from there they built up the new square of concrete, I saw it yesterday with the water running in it, beautifully glistening on the gradations of blue tiles inside!

the creation of a cool water pool has happened during my time, here.
“and then the roof caved-in…” caused by several men with hammers banging on there all day.

the title of this blurbage is “the Lost City of Gold” and I wrote, earlier, that looking for the Laboratorio was like searching for that fabled “Lost City” which probably never existed, except in some Spaniard’s hallucinatory dream-state… well, yesterday, thanks to the wonderful Dra. Shorey, I did, at last locate the correct Laboratorio and will go there on Friday AM for my next Covid test, to get the negative result needed to get onboard the airliner home… the third time is the charm, as They say and You know those They!

another Malecon drawing by Yours Truly… truly, I do!

¿Puedo bombear los neumáticos?

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the Sun sets on Fire!

admittedly, I have very little Spanish and when I have tried to say that to People in the past it has brought great laughter, as the subtleties of the language do get lost in translation. I have been relying heavily on the dang google translator, which really doesn’t get the subtleties, either… Yesterday day morning I cam down, all set to get to the Playa Norte early and as I reached my bicycle, I saw that the read tire was flat… I stood sadly in the gateway with the bike and the Momma of the family, Mary, who was on the phone, saw me and quickly called Rolando over, He and his two eldest Sons quickly came to where I was and assessed the situation. All doing a similar action, looking at the tire, shaking their heads while simultaneously scratching their chins… They all explain at once in Spanish and with gestures, that, for some reason, it cannot be easily fixed and so they will give me another bike… quickly the next bike is brought out, one son on the front tire, one on the back, Rolando with the pump, little tire caps unscrewed and pump attached, tires pumped, can of grease, sprayed on all moving parts… “¡Listo!” Rolando calls, proudly! I am thankful this didn’t take very long as I could see the Women setting the table for the first of at least three Sunday meals, all of which have the table completely broken down and put away and then set back up in between, plus cooking all the food and taking care of all the people.

Pollo on the wall grill at the little Restaurant around the corner.

I’m gonna put something here about the middle part of the day or the time-frame between Sunday morning and Monday night. Searching for the Laboratorio is like searching for the Lost City of Gold… I am convinced it’s out there… but where? And then frustratingly finally finding it, exactly where the directions said it would be, except that the road it’s on isn’t called what it’s called on the computer, in real life… So, tomorrow I go again to see if any actual Humans are there… there is supposedly also a Doctor So-and-So at a Hotel that can administer a test for even more pesos.

in the morning at the Beach. A combination of elements conspired to create this beard style…

if my records are accurate (counting on fingers), I have now swam 7 days in a row of twice on each of those. I have also been swimming 25 straight days in a row, which is certainly an all-time record for me. I would swim every next day from here on out if it were a possibility. I had to take a new route to the beach and back this day, the eastern road is being paved, which starts with a giant mound of tar in the middle of the route and they smooth it out in both directions, on top of some sprayed down stuff, which goes on first, of course.

Casa Rolando!
Rana painting
next Rana painting.

tonight I tried a next Italian place, down south of here… I started out under an amazing sunset, riding to the edge of the cliffs and watching the Sea, which was an incredible sea-foam color, that seemed to be lit from beneath… there was a Guy on a bench there, near where I stood, he was missing all of it, looking at his phone… I had forgotten my camera-phone, which could only take a picture, anyway, so I just had to soak in that moment, the sky was on fire, the Moon was up over the glowing sea and a warm, warm breeze was blowing all around me, it made me feel electric, like I could float up and ride on a current, like those Frigata Birds, overhead. So I go over to a place that my Dad and I ate at a lot, last year, Basto’s Grill but Basto is closed, I decided to ride back along that wide road that goes around the Salina and see what was there. I came to an Italian Mexican place that had an open table outside (there were two tables but only one was set and because of the pandemic, that was it) and had a look at the menu. It looked good so I sat and took out my booklet. A waiter approached me with a menu and I ordered an espresso, it was delicioso, so I asked the waiter if I could have an American-style coffee (because Mexican-style isn’t available) and then put another shot of espresso inside, he repeated the instruction back to me in a wonderful Italian accent and disappeared. I was surrounded by four Gatos for a while and then a Lady came up and the Cats encircled her and then they all left for somewhere and after a while, the Lady came back. I ordered grilled Calamari and the waiter brought out warm bread and pickled eggplant in olive oil… now, some of You may know of my aversion to eggplant but this was really yummy, in conjunction with the warm bread and olive oil, so I ate all of that. The waiter brought my American-style “shot in the dark” which was also delicioso, the best coffee on this whole island, so far, hands down, down on the ground, supporting my whole self sticking straight up in the air! I ate the Calamari, which was ever-so-slightly breaded and then grilled, it had some anonymous colored shapes under it but I did not ever eat them. Then the waiter came again and told me about a special dessert, the Pineapple crumble with Passionfruit ice cream, which was a lot like Gelatato with watermelon-esque seeds in it… that’s distracting to me, as if it’s trying to prove it’s something unique… I don’t want a seed in my ice cream but what-the-heck? I ate them and the warm pineapple crumble… it was quite yummy. Afterward, I rode back home in this very warm night, under Moonlight with a ring, it was only about 4 blocks away from where I stay.

la Luna.

the Mexican night is thick and deep and filled with delights, fragrant and unknown scents float by upon this buoyant air stream.

el altar de la Virgen resplandeciente.

the wind blew all night long, el viento, and I went out about 6:20am but the clouds clouded the horizon area all along the east and southeastern edges, so no Southern Cross, again. Other strange shapes were up there, connect-the-dots Star formations I never even knew, there are two or three others that are kite-like but the Southern Cross really stands out when You see it, all right? The sun has finally come up but it’s just too windy to write outside, I put some coffee on the stove, although I am still full from last night’s two espressos and the american-style coffee. I think that it must be all American-style, as we are in North America, they don’t really mean “American” like USA, do they? And besides, black coffee in a cup can’t possibly be so unique to just one country… it must be drip-coffee, maybe that’s it, although that was very hot for a dripper…

a well-worn mural I saw as I searched for the Laboratorio…

If I ever get back to El Lago del Mar…

panoramic Playa Norte:

I have a tune I’ve been working on, ever since I’ve been gone down to Mexico for the first time, back in 2016, even then I wondered why it had taken me so long to get there. The tune has lyrics, too about that place, which is not really called El Lago del Mar, the Lake of the Sea, or Sea Lake, whichever You please:

If I ever get back to El Lago del Mar,

I’ll be gliding along on the breeze,

I’ll be flying along on the wind and the waves,

I’ll be hopin’ for yourSelf to see!

(it goes on to describe how Our small group made its way across time and space to reach the (now famous) Bar-be-Que Chicken Joint, currently known as Pollo Pollo!

the song includes details of the group’s journey to reach their destination:

You will come to a wide-open country,

You will travel ‘cross the river and back.

You will come to a wide-open country,

it was there that You’ll open Your pack!

Today has been the day for stopping along the way…

Sometimes I take voice memos during my bike ride, an audio note, if You will, that helps me remember my thought-process (even better than the previous way I mentioned, which I still can’t remember, yet), as I glide along beside that sparkly Caribbean. Here are some ones from this day: Today has been the day for stopping along the way, to see what I can say, from certain vantage points… (which is true, I do) I use my own terms, in Ology, which is where terms come from, if You wait and see, in Ology, the place where terms come from… they are made there… unfortunately in Isla Mujeres, there are only three songs in heavy rotation, “YMCA” by the Village People, “Staying Alive!” by… whoever that was and what sounds like the Gypsy Kings, doing their version of the most over-played song of all-times… “Hotel California”.

a sign of the times:

this morning, I confirmed something that I have been thinking about for a while, there is an easy way down to the little beach at the end of my street and on a calm day like this, I will be able to get into a sandy spot in the shallow water and have a dip… I am also looking forward to this. I love my bike rides to the Playa Norte and those are bookends of my day but in between, there will be other items, that cold cuts that make up the sandwich meats!

somewhere along that Northeastern coastline…

it’s a clear blue Caribbean day like I haven’t seen my entire stay, there are usually clouds lurking somewhere and I do enjoy all the types of weather, I love when it rains and swimming in the rain is something I hope to do again. The sun adds sparkles and I know I talk a lot about those but they indicate and/or incite enchantment and that is usually filed right next to delight!

I did go to the beach at the end of the street, it’s at the bottom of some small cliffs and the pathway to the bottom is quite smooth, once I found it. The sand of the beach is the same ultra soft sand of the other beaches and the water, while much more sea-like, is the same lovely blue-green, as a sea should be! I got right out there and an older man came out, too, there were some big corals popping out of the waves but I only stayed where the water was the lightest color, which means sandy bottom. I was out there for a while, then came back in and walked to home and grabbed my beach bag to ride down to the Playa Norte for another Paleta de Oreo, then reading and swimming after that.

a tiny beach at the end of my street…

When I got back to here, I saw some of the Family down in the main outside part of the compound, the Grandfather had his golf cart loaded up with what I would describe as a catering service, tureens and stacks of platters, et cetera. We exchanged a greeting which changes depending on what time of day, of course, so everyone is always looking around and then saying the appropriate one… “Buenas Tardes” this time. Something was cooking and Rolando was in the back by the grills, I could see his silhouette and then he laughed his big, hearty laugh and a barrage of positive terminologies. I made a gesture to show the fumes from what he was cooking coming to me and I said, “¡muy delicioso!“, Rolando smiled and laughed and nodded from his grilling zone, which is no joke, by the way… he has two of those metal half barrels on legs that are wood or charcoal grills, here He was grilling the fish..

Rolando came up the stairs with a platter for me... He had a BIG smile and a plate with tortillas, rice and corn and salsa fresca (onions, tomatoes and jalapeños) and, "¡Pescado!" He announced... I said, "Gracias, muy bueno!", he laughed again, "¡muy bien! ¡muy bien!" I always get that mixed up, for something like food, it's "muy bien" not "bueno", si? Cooked Fish is what it was, pescado cocinado
grilled Pescado, arroz and salsa fresca with tortillas to make fish tacos.

			

Nadar en el Mar (el océano) para vientidós dias. (1.22.21)

the other side of the wide shallow sea pool where I swim, the current flows right through the middle from the sea!
there are some sea plants that grow along the edge of the water and also, a whole lot of seaweed that comes up into this area.
I am looking forward to swimming on this day, I am optimistic that it will be my Twenty-second day in a row to swim. I pulled it off, once again, and I’ve also been able to swim twice a day now, the past four days in a row! This day it was no problem to swim as it is absolutely idyllic... the perfect sunny pure blue, everything seems suspended in time and as I pull my arms back to either side and glide through the cool blue water with the impossible sparkles shimmering along the rippled, soft, sandy bottom, I thought of a cosmic turtle's shell, the patterns are of light, that refracts all around me, as in pure delight!
This Goddess of the Sea watches over Isla Mujeres as She emerges from Her conch shell home!
this plaque is displayed on the base of the statue (above).
Here is a painting of Mayans on a wall near my area:
It is late now, this whole day has been a whirlwind, coming and going, drawing, reading, swimming and writing, communicating with Friends and Family, I am grateful for it all. Also for the Sun and Moon and all the Stars, the Sea and the fact that el Viento has chilled out for a few hours, after blowing pretty much non-stop.

Yesterday as I was swimming in the afternoon, I suddenly had a craving for a Ham and Cheese sandwich... I've seen one on the menu at the Mercado but that closes at 1:00pm (Uno hora), so I went back to swimming and walking in the sand. On my way back to home, I circled the lovely Lady of the Sea, who is there on the Malecon, I like to do that and say some blessings as I roll around her. I saw the Food Truck that is always there, so I pulled up and got off my bike, some Guys came out with menus and explained to me what food they had... I order a puerco torta (pork sandwich) and a cappuccino.

I wish I could share the smell of food cooking that is pouring into my space, right now, at almost 10:00pm on a Friday night and the cheering of a crowd somewhere that seems to go on almost all of the waking hours of the day but so far, I have found no source of these multitudes of celebratory sound makers. I went again to the Panaderia, which is open randomly and when it is You'd better queue up quick, it's just two at time inside with Your tray and tongs. The Lady in front of me had each of her 10 pastries tied up in individual bags, when my turn came, I told the Lady behind the counter, "todo en una bolsa, ¡por favor!" please put all of this in one bag.


with each passing day, one less remains before I am to fly home, if all goes according to plan, I will do so on the 31st of this month, if not, then I will make a new plan, it seems pretty straight forward from here but there are new travel rules and I am in an unfamiliar place.

I have managed to publish this before I was ready, so bear with me, as I sort this out, por favor.

Stay tuned for SOON a report on So Many Mini-Supers (one about every half block)!
fresh Baked Items at the Panaderia, around the corner from my apArtamento:
Cappuccino by the sea… I was skeptical when I saw a Guy with a milk and a strange device, similar to a milkshake mixer… #cappuccinoparfait

Do You look for the Spider Starfish?

this is the other side of the wide shallow sea pool, protected from the wild Caribbean side by a coral rock breaker and the SCUBA Hotel, which looks like a pink spaceship ocean liner.

when I was out for my second swim of the day, I popped up for air and there was a man with a mask and snorkel, pulled back casually, on his head (I found out later that he was leading the snorkeling school students across the Playa Norte), He asked me, “do You speak Spanish?”, I said “poquito”, he nodded and then asked, “do You look for the spider starfish?” the words rolled around in my brain, in the choppy saltwater and sparkling sun of late afternoon… “ummm” I was able to say, then He pulled two spider starfish out from below the surface of the water, they were both the size of his palm and were quite wiggly and ready to go back to their ocean home. He was taking them to show the estudiantes but had run into me about half way across the wide shallow sea pool where I was swimming. Also, previous to going in the water, I had finally purchased a popsicle from the Mexican Ice Cream Man, who slugs his dang freezer cart up and down the beach… I asked if He had chocolate? He listed off about 5 different ones, choco-de-coconut, choco-de-mocho, et cetera… I stopped him at oreo (oreos inside of a chocolate pop)… it was muy delicioso and only 25 pesos, which is approximately $1.25 US. After him came a small man, who looked like he had been high, high up in the Mountains for many, many years, before returning to the Sea, wrapped in a brightly colored blanket and well worn Cowboy Hat and he was carrying a large covered tray of unusual pastries, and a folding legs set, over his shoulder, that he would put down and set the tray on to display the items for any interested parties… I have wanted to try these but was full on my choco-de-oreo pop. Choc-pop chocked full of oreos!

this photo was taken by using a timer and no selfie-sticks were used, I just propped up my camera-phone on a concrete and ran back, then walked up.

Walkin’ barefoot down these dusty streets, with sandy feet, just can’t be beat! It was sunny and warm at the beach, so I walked around and back. I swam extra far, also, under the bridge and on… carried by the current to the spit and I keep smelling bacon… or churros, something yummy frying, close by and it is wafting out over the water. I ain’t got no selfie stick but I am Jungle “Jimbo” Ronzini, so look out! With a belly full of spicy quesadilla de carne asada, I am by the seaside for my swimming time… I reckon I’ll find out about my characters, first… As soon as I got out and dried off, the bright sun was shining, that cloud it was just behind seemed like it never would pass and then, at last, it’s gone. It doesn’t mean darkness is forever banished, however, darkness is always lurking and like the old saying goes, “where You least expect it…”

the Spit, that I mentioned above, is in the middle of a very wide shallow section that the current from the sea on the other side of the wide shallow sea pool comes across and deposits sand, just like a river delta, I reckon.

Today, after my second swim, with my white towel wrapped around me, a sign of no frills type of style, I flagged down the small, sun-darkened man with the assorted pastries, he set up his little stand and explained them to me, I settled on the first item he listed, Cannoli de Sweet Potato but I let him list all of what he had there. Everything was 30 pesos, including spicy tamarindo and sweet tamarindo. I met a Brazilian Couple, on the beach, they are here on a bathing holiday, the Man said that the diving around Cancun was some of the best in all the World… I said well, isn’t Brasil the most beautiful of all? and He chuckled. As we parted ways, I said, “adiós” and they both said something in Portuguese, and then the Man said to me, “Very good, Your vacation!” I said the same to them and was once again on my way.

I rode on back toward the South, stopping along the Malecon to draw another picture of it, I wanna get a few different takes before I go back to USA, I’ll have enough sketches, I believe, to keep me busy for quite a while, mixed with all that will surely come upon my return… with any luck, it’s gonna be a BIG year! Returning to my balcony, looking out across the neighbor toward the sea, everything was glowing in the late afternoon sun light. I stayed up top until just after dark and then went down to do a walk around and see what’s what along the streets near my apartment. I went into a little restaurant and the prices were so low that I knew it wasn’t gonna work with the 500 peso note I had in my pocket. Feeling like a big jerk, I showed it to the little Lady in there and She shook her head when I asked. “too mucho?” Ok, adiós, so I cruised on and turned up at Mike’s Pizza and Pasta, where I pass the guy sitting out there, at least twice every day. There was no sign of that guy and they were playing a McMerican news channel I didn’t want to hear, so I moved along. I finally reach a pricey Seafood and Steaks place that is frequented by the Golf Cart set. I figured I could find something on the menu and I did, I order Bohemia dark beer and a Pulpo Ceviche, which was way more than I expected, by which I mean, the amount of food… I thought I wouldn’t be able to eat it all but I did not want to waste it, so I powered through and finished it. The little waiter gave me a special discount for some reason, and I thanked him, paid my bill and was gone, it was only a zig-zag block or two back to home from there.

a view of the Malecon from where I sat to draw it.
this may be too dark to see, it’s the sketch I was working on this afternoon.
Pulpo Ceviche.
a second pencil outlining, captured in sunlight.

El Camino de Lago del Mar

(*** Author’s notification, sometimes these blog posts unfold over multiple days)

Frigate Birds forever! (¡Fragatas para siempre!)


Here I am on Sunday, just after noon, I’ve had my quesadilla, read a chapter and the Sun has still refused to make its presence truly known. The wind (el viento) blows a little less forcefully than yesterday. I gotta get in the water if I wanna maintain my streak, see, today will be seventeen in a row, if I go… I’ve passed the center point, so it has to be yes, not no. I did it, I swam and I really swam, until I popped up finally, from that oxygen rich, briny water, breathing heavily from the working out of my whole body at once.

On the Malecon, as my Mom pointed out, it’s a wonder it ever got built…


I have ways I try to remember the ideas I have when I can’t write them down, which at this point aren’t many. Trudging along in the traffic upon my bicicleta, is certainly one such time, so I developed a way to remember the thoughts, which for the life of me, I cannot now remember! I spilled most of my quesadilla sauce on my lap when that mischievous wind whipped up and blew away the catchment tray… if only that sauce could be captured and rechanneled into, well, my brain! Spicey goodness, come again! Today I began speaking with the Juice Lady (la Agua Fresca) told me that the place where I was awaiting the completion of my quesadilla, was the best of the best, which is mad props from the Juice Lady, also She told me that I need to try the Panuchos… it’s a little thing that seems to be diamond shaped, from her gestured description, and inside goes frijoles and then You put puerco… She rubbed her belly. I could just drink that orange juice all dang day… I crave it, the way I crave churros, or swimming in the sea.

We’re gonna need some more wires, down here and an electrical engineer…


One problem here, a first world problem in a… well, a not exactly first world scenario (and as time continues, we’ll surely meet in the middle somewhere), is that the bank machines give out all 500 peso notes but all the small vendors really need the small currency, they don’t have endless change for 500 pesos. So, one must navigate this situation by sticking it to the BIG Box joints like the Chedraui Grocery Store, which I really dislike but it’s the only place I can get something to cook in my apArtment, that I have figured out, so far… even still, the Chedraui check-out Ladies, ask, as everyone, “Do You have any change?” nobody has change. There is no communication, just like in the USA, between the automated and the actual humans. How long will this go on? As long as a company can save money with automated systems, is this what I want to think about on a Monday morning? Hell no!

a cross between BiLo and Best Buy and Big Lots, Chedraui!

these words are really just filler for in between the pictures… just like the Taco place back home uses cauliflower filler in its beans dip… they seem like such an endless vat of beans. Using the word “vat” makes me experience the slightest Deja Vu, and recently I’ve had a few. I’m thinking about these People I see and the different Holidays that they are on and also about my own limited and unique perspective, and specifically my Bathing Holiday, going on right now. I think the Airlines anticipated this janky no-frills status… they must have. What I lack in physical weight, I do make up for it in pieces of Seaglass, stashed inside my suit bag, which carries no suits, save for the two bathing pairs that I brought down here. Some beach girls go by with their boys in their opposing bathing attire, their parfum and cologne scents the air momentarily… I’ve never been really fond of parfum since I knew better.

My Island Transportation, only one speed

All the big birds have gone now, back to the Southwest for supper, or either that, or over to Isla Contoy, the sea island preserve where they stay. Just a routine emergency trip to the surface (in Submariner speak). The perpetual storm of the Sea has caused me to miss yet another afternoon swim… it’s too chilly and hard to get dry once again, with the rain and naturally, no sun in sight. I’ve gotten my bike rides in, though and I sit on the beach, now, to type these words for You. The warm night wind is blowing, the clouds cover stars and then move away, I search and search the night sky… it is mysterious, especially where the dark, limitless spots appear with their twinkling pinpoint stars.