Friday, January 11, 2013

Express yourself - with a carrito de golf

Santa Claus parade 2012
Dozens of wrapped candies tossed by giggling children litter the roadway in front of our house.  The two visiting grandsons madly scoop up the candies, catching them mid-air, or zipping between vehicles before the goodies are squished under a wheel.  

Accompanied by many honking horns (or is it horns-a-honking?) a flotilla of vehicles passes by our house.  

In a parade there will inevitably be a number of golf carts overflowing with passengers who wave and toss treats to enthusiastic observers.  These are privately owned golf carts, painted, decorated and accessorized to express the owners’ off-beat personalities.  
Steelers fan!

Some of our friends have decorated their personal golf carts with the logos of their favourite sports teams, or flashy chrome hubcaps, or a variety of flags.  

Many locals have retrofitted their carts with plastic roll-down side curtains to protect them from tropical rainstorms.

Great decorating job!
One American friend has a very charming carrito de golf.  It is upholstered in vibrant orange and painted florescent pink, matching the exterior of her eye-catching house.  

For Christmas she added garlands, bows and ribbons, making her golf cart one of the prettiest on the island.  

Other friends were over-the-top with their holiday decorations, adding ornaments, wreaths, tinsel, strings of garland and pearls, reindeer antlers and even solar powered lights.  

We left a trail of broken ornaments around the island.

When the grandsons were visiting we borrowed a riotously decorated golf cart for a few days.  We entertained a lot of people, leaving a trail of shattering glass ornaments as we were buffeted by north winds, or we thumped over speed bumps.   

Golf carts are legal to drive on the public roadways of both Isla Mujeres and nearby Isla Holbox.  There are a number of golf car rentals outlets on the island where tourists can rent golf carts tricked out in camouflage, or as a 1957 Chevy, or a Jeep Wrangler, or even a fire truck.  

FaceBook photo - not the way to drive a golf cart
And yes, this is a tropical island, and yes, you are on holidays but letting an underage child drive a golf cart is a disaster waiting to happen.  There are ambulances, fire trucks, police vehicles, propane trucks, or tractor-trailer units, plus hundreds of taxis, golf carts, motorcycles and bicycles all vying for limited road space.  You are unnecessarily risking not only your own safety but the safety and livelihood of the other drivers. 

Quite recently licensing a personal golf cart on Isla Mujeres has become almost impossible as the taxi drivers keep up the pressure on both the state and municipal governments to restrict the number of licenses available.  But, whether you rent one for the day, or own one for your personal use the one thing the golf carts of Isla are not used for - puttering around a golf course.  There are no golf courses on Isla. 

More friends decked out for holidays!
No matter, you can still have a great time driving a carrito de golf that expresses your individual personality while circumnavigating a beautiful little Caribbean island.

No comments: