We spent the last 11 days of our time in Mexico in Playa Del Carmen. During that time at least five of the days were gorgeous and sunny but the beach was covered with stinky sargassum. We were glad to have our rooftop soaking pool for cooling off and relaxing. One day we started off at the public beach at the end of Calle 88 and walked ALL the way down to 4th without finding sand that was free of this ugly brown weed.
This hole is being dug in front of one of the big hotels. They bury the sargassum or make huge piles and truck it away.
These pelicans were a big annoyance to the fishermen who were baiting hooks.
This was the cleanest spot we could find and as you can see the water is brown with the yucky stuff it churns up.
See how relaxing the rooftop soaking pool is!
In years past I took lots of photos of the beautiful tile floors. Not so many pictures of them this year but this one was just so lovely in its randomness I couldn't resist.
Yes, we've become THOSE people who look at their phone in restaurants. This is taken in the restaurant Casa Toucan, one of our favorite places to eat.
I'm bringing back drinking chocolate! It is a habit I am not ready to leave behind! See the umbrella? Yes, we have had three days of gushing rainstorms in this last week. For the most part the rain doesn't last long but it is HARD. Skull art is everywhere, on ceramics, jewelry, shirts...the ones in the photo are mosaics of seeds and beans!
Aren't these trays of ice-cream tempting as they await the first customers of the day?
This is the chapel where I went to mass two Sundays in a row. The pastor is Mexican but he has only preached in Mexico for three years. He learned his English while serving a parish in Ireland...makes for an interesting accent!
And after mass Chris met me on the beach for another day of sunshine (although it did rain in the evening). There was too much sargassum to enjoy swimming but reading under our umbrella was very pleasant.
Closer to our apartment in Ejidal Colonial:
The mural on the wall of this book swap store is what drew me in. Yes, they do have a wall of English books. It is near the Parque La Ceiba, where I went for yoga.
On a couple days it did rain hard and longer than I would have liked and I got very restless so I went on a walk, umbrella in hand and saw these whimsical and fierce murals.
Many of the neighborhood streets look like what you see below. There is a lot of building both of houses and apartments going on but plenty of empty lots too. The empty lots have a jungly look and yes, I see more garbage, especially plastic, than I would like amongst the greenery. Plastic use is so much higher than at home: straws in every drink you order (unless you say "No poppote.") and plastic bags in grocery stores and all the water and beverage bottles! Do I feel safe? Yes absolutely! But I use common sense; I take my phone and I'm home before dark.
On the rainiest day with the biggest puddles, we went out to eat but our ideas of where to eat did not agree at all! Fortunately they were not too far apart in terms of distance. I went to La Ceiba de 30 and Chris went to Las Tabernacos; I had chilaquiles, with chaya, a plant similar to spinach and Chris had that beloved Canadian food, poutine.
This is the health food market adjacent to the restaurant. It is as neat as pin and has fabulous deli counter that I would have used if I had found this place earlier in our trip.
If it wasn't a packing impossibility I would take one of the hand made rocking chairs on the left back home to Seattle.
On a rainy walk late yesterday (3-12) afternoon, before the lightning and thunder made me take refuge in a small cafe, I spotted this tall bush with these amazing flowers that looked like clusters of orchids.
This morning we took a cab to the bus station to buy our tickets for tomorrow's trip to the airport. Then we walked down La Quinta Avenida to Chez Celine for fancy French scrambled eggs and a crepe.
I loved the eggs but the Dulche de Leche crepe I left half eaten. I don't think it is the restaurant's fault. Crepes just don't appeal to me like pancakes or a chocolate croissant. The funny thing is I want to like them. They look pretty and the fillings are so varied but, "Nope, not the sweet for me."
Last night's storm blew most of the sargassum out to sea but the skies look like Seattle's. Although it is a breezy 70 degrees.
Somehow seems fitting that we leave when the weather looks like this. It's a good last day in Playa.