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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Isla Mujeres

Sun, sea & snorkeling

Isla Mujeres is a small island off the coast
of Cancun, it is the easternmost part of Mexico.
From 564 to 1516AD it was a Mayan province,
called Ekab.  Originally it was a sanctuary to
Ixchel, the goddess of weaving, happiness, the
moon, abundance and medicine.
One of the legends of its name is when it was
discovered in 1517 by Cordoba's expedition, they
found the sanctuary to Ixchel and a court of women.
And that is how it was named Isla Mujeres or
the Island of Women.
It has been home to fishermen, pirates, Mayans
escaping the war of castes.  Now it is for tourists.

As it rankles us to take "the tour" we hopped
on the local bus to Puerto Juarez and took
the local ferry over to the island.

It was a beautiful morning and we
enjoyed waiting under the palms
for the ferry to arrive.

The island has a rustic charm that is a nice
contrast to the high rises of Cancun.

We headed up to Playa Norte and dropped our
stuff in the sand, geared up and jumped in the
water.  We snorkeled along the coast seeing
sting rays, sea urchins and beautiful fish.

Four hours later we surfaced and
plunked ourselves in the sand
under a palm tree.

I love this bar where you sit on swings.

We hung out under the palms enjoying
the view with a bunch of young Mexican
guys who were eating the coconuts from
the trees.

Later we headed into town, enjoying
the colorful houses.

We dined al fresco on the main street,
watching the world go by and singing
Feliz Cumpleanos to the guy at the
next table.

We headed back across the water sunburned,
exhausted and ready to do it again.

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