Ah ha, you couldn’t resist that title, could you?
|White sands of North Beach|
This week’s blog is not about rude photos of nude people. It’s about the pretty beaches on Isla Mujeres, and the things you can do on a beach – legally!
Lawrie, my idea-man, tweaked the slang expression food porn – referring to the photos that travelers post to internet sites such as Trip Advisor extolling the virtues of a particular meal, at a particular restaurant. Food porn – beach porn it is all about photos and memorable moments.
|Crystal clear waters|
The sugar white beaches of Isla Mujeres lend themselves beautifully to sun-tanning, and lounging, and daydreaming for the laid-back personalities; the people who can stare at a grain of sand for hours perfectly content to let the hours slide by as they bake first one side of the body, and then rotate to bake the other side. Bake, grease, flip, and bake. A bit like a BBQ rotisserie.
|Build a sand pyramid|
And for the slightly more active beach-dweller, there is snorkeling, shell hunting, and swimming in the luminously clear water.
The sweeping sandy beaches are primarily located on the northern and western sides of the island. This is where sand sculpture contests, organized or random, take place; people expressing their creativity while working on a tan.
These beaches are also where the majority of the restaurants and bars are located, serving refreshments and meals to the thirsty and the hungry. The Sac Bajo area on the western side also has Dolphin Discovery where visitors can play, swim, and interact with dolphins, or rays, or manatees. Either the northern end, or the western side are fabulous for personal sunset celebrations; a glass of wine, a few good friends – life is good.
|Wild and rocky Punta Sur|
For the more adventurous the beaches at the south end of the island are less inhabited, and more difficult to access. Most of the area requires a hike down dangerous and friable cliffs to the pounding aquamarine surf. The turtles, and the rays, love the south end for mating during the summer months. It’s a great area for photographs; lots of sea life, and wave action. Sea glass collectors also haunt this area, searching for the perfect specimen for their collections. On the south-western side of the island is Garrafon Natural Reef Park, with zip-lines, and great snorkelling.
On the sunrise side of the island, where we have a house, the surf changes dramatically from season to season; calm and easy-going in the summer, wild and pounding in the winter. There is a thriving coral reef that is a favourite with the day-trippers. The dive boats drop snorkelers and divers into the surf to explore the long reef that runs the length of the island and continues further south to Belize. It is ranked as the second longest reef in the world. However, swimming on the eastern side is a bit trickier, not because the coral is skin-tearing-sharp but it is lumpy underfoot, making the walk out to swimming-depth challenging. But in exchange for the bother of coral underfoot, we get turtles, lots of turtles laying their eggs in my neighbours’ yard, or on the beach in front of our houses. We think it’s a good trade-off.
The one beach-oriented activity that surpasses all others is weddings.
There have been a hundreds of weddings celebrated in various beach locations around the island. Good friends Bob and Leanne Frye, and Chris and Marianne Shannon chose beaches on opposite sides of the island. This year I witnessed the communal Valentine’s Day weddings at Punta Sur.
|Going for a walk with his best friend - Dad!|
Friday evening we will be at Playa Mirada for a wedding, and Saturday our neighbours are hosting a traditional Mayan celebration on their beach. Tropical beaches and weddings: perfect.
Ah, it is another sunny day, with a light breeze, and a few fluffy clouds. It must be time to snap a few more beach-porn photographs.
Lynda and Lawrie