Our four friends from Kashmir are looking down the creek at the dilapidated bridge I showed you before. This little creek had lots of activity going on with fish, birds, and other wildlife grabbing our attention. The crystal clear skies here made me wonder if we would be seeing a change in the winds over the next day or two; I could surely hope. Some of the not so wild life were the cars, trucks, motorcycles, taxis, and bicycles crossing the bridge almost non-stop. Where in this little town were they all coming from and going to? We never did find out. And they never seemed to stop until the sun went down. Even then we would see the headlights until well into the evening. Our trek continued, with the sun high overhead, little breeze making it through the mangroves, and the dust from passing vehicles choking us. How did we all manage to forget those little plastic water bottles?
Even the smallest towns in Mexico seem to have clean well-maintained schools. Xcalak’s school was no exception, and we would often see the kids in their neatly pressed uniforms going to and from school as we wandered the town. Siesta is a reality here in the south with the time seeming to vary from place to place. Some towns seem to shut down around 1 PM, others closer to 2:00, but almost everyone takes time off for lunch and a break, often until around 4 in the afternoon. It was easy to join the locals as the mid-day sun is relentless, and it plain wears you out if you try to keep going. Better to take a snooze in the shade somewhere with the trade winds cooling your jets. Or, if you can find a restaurant open for lunch, cold Cervezas and light fare help as well. Here we are below, the whole gang rounded up at the one and only restaurant serving lunch, opening at, you guessed it, 2 PM!
Going around the circle from right to left are Steve, Joy, George, Marcy, Larry, Faith, Darnell, Pat, and a new addition to our group, Sparky. Sparky talked George in through the cut as he had arrived some weeks before to take charge of a sailboat that had gone up on the reefs about two months or so earlier while trying to navigate the cut in dicey conditions. Everyone will tell you to never enter the cuts when the sea is raging, and I have every reason to believe them. Apparently several boats land on the reefs at Xcalak every year, as there always those who are willing to risk it just to get out of the bad weather. Those decisions often end with results you can never undo.
We spent a lazy afternoon eating, socializing, and drinking most of the cold beer in stock at the Restaurant Xcalak Caribe. I know I had to change brands at least twice. Latin culture thrives on the social aspect of mealtime, and our group fell right into the routine finding it much easier to eat a bigger meal in the middle of the day, then relaxing with light cool fare in the evening. We certainly slept better for it, and woke up each day feeling much more refreshed than after a night sleeping on way too big a late meal. Definitely not a bad lifestyle.
So, for those of you following our travels who don’t know us, here’s a photo of Joy and me below, ready to meander back north through the town, Joy on her electric wheelchair, a Pride Go-Go, and me in my duct-taped Tevas. The Tevas finally bit the dust after thousands of ocean miles, but the Go-Go keeps on going. It truly is a marvel of modern ingenuity as it disassembles into four small sections, stows easily on our boat, and packs into waterproof bags to transport it to shore in the dinghy. Don’t ever say you can’t do something, at least not to Joy, because she will prove you wrong. We manage to find a way to make our dreams happen.