Isla Mujeres – Car ferry

To me the car ferry says “Isla“.  The sight and sound of it says to me “your back where you belong”. I have so many photos of it that I intentionally tried not to take another photo of it this last trip. Well I never took a video of it before so I said OK do it. My daughter had been to Isla three times before she asked “What is that?” I replied “come one you have to have seen the car ferry before with all the time you spent on the beach at Playa Sol.”
This video was taken on May 4th. You might notice how few people are up on top of the ferry, maybe only 1 0r 2 and how you really can’t see the vehicles on the lower level. This to me was a real visual of how the H1N1 virus was affecting Isla. People were not coming to the island either by the regular ferries or the car ferry. It was slow and from all reports remains extremely slow to this day.

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Condos Ixchel on Isla Mujeres – Love them or hate but…

you can not beat the fantastic views. These are photos that I took last month from the rooftop of penthouse 501 where friends were staying.
While I don’t necessarily believe that the condos do anything at all to enhance Playa Norte or fit in with the feel of the island I loved the views. A couple of photos that I didn’t include are ones of the tar paper roofs of a couple of nearby houses that you can see from the penthouse. So you could pay $599,000 to purchase this penthouse and you can see the local style houses with the tar paper roofs and the laundry out front in the little yards. It wouldn’t bother me but then again I wouldn’t be buying a condo at Ixchel. But if I were the type of person (if there is one)  that would spend that kind of money to buy a small condo on Isla it might bother me. I’m just saying…  😈

Isla Revisted 12/26/08 – 1/10/09

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At last – an Isla Mujeres vacation!!!

After spending the night at a hotel near the PDX airport Christmas night I am hopefully sitting on the beach at Sergio’s Playa Sol on Isla Mujeres soaking up some rays and thawing out from the freezing temps and snow back in Portland.
These are some of my favorite photos from Isla. Enjoy!

Sorry, I know that there are two slide shows with different music on this page. So you need to stop playing one of them.

Daytripping on Isla Mujeres – my dos pesos

If you Google “day trip from Cancun” or “day trip to Isla Mujeres” you find a ton of sites that have reviews or sites to book a day trip to Isla Mujeres. Depending on the trip an adult might pay anywhere from $25 – $60+. Some trips are “all inclusive” providing booze and a meal. Others might just be a boat trip with free but warm beer.

Over the years I have talked to many day trippers about their experience coming over to Isla for a day. Many of them say things like “I wish we had known we could take a ferry over for $3.00 and rented a gold cart on our own to tour the island”. Or “you mean you really stay here?” Shocked or in awe, sometimes it is hard to tell which.

One of my favorite beach hangouts is at Sergio’s Playa Sol. I usually sit on a chair in between the two boat docks. On the right is the dock where Sergio’s day tripper boats dock and to the left is Playa Caribe where the BIG boats from Cancun shuttle 100s of people over a day. A lot of people do not like the crowds, the music or the boats but to me I find it to be fascinating for people watching. The big boats that dock at Playa Caribe used to be mostly party people but I have observed over the last couple of years that the clients more often include families and as many if not more Mexican Nationals than Americans or Canadians. That is not to say that every once in awhile you don’t see someone falling down drunk trying to get back on the boat.

During the Christmas season there might be 4 or 5 boats a day. In October, November, April or May there is usually just one or two boats and you could set your watch to their arrival and departure. The first boat arrives at 10:00 AM and the second at 11:00 AM. The boats depart at 3:00 PM and 4:00 PM.

These day tripper boats and their clients are big business for Isla especially during the slower months. The good thing about most of the day trippers is they are all gone by 4:00 PM or 5:00 PM leaving the streets less crowded at night. I may not always like the behavior of these day trippers but I am happy that they do contribute in their own way to the economy of Isla.

Boat docked at Playa Caribe, day trippers already on the beach

Catamaran coming in to Sergio’s Playa Sol


Sergio walking out on the dock to greet his guests


The beach vendors line up near the dock to get the last sale of the day from the day trippers

And they are off on the cattle call back to the boat and their hotels in the hotel zone in Cancun




Hasta manana day trippers

Maui trip August 2006. Part 2 West Maui

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We drove up through Kaanapali, Napili and Kapalua. Denise wanted to see the Kapalua Golf course since it is home of many tournaments.

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The island of Lanai as seen from Napili Bay

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Fleming Beach north of Kapalua

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The oldest banyan tree in Hawaii – Lahaina courthouse square

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Another day we drove to Iao Valley. Very wet and green here

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Many local males were jumping from this bridge into the small pool below. Scared the crap out of me because I just knew someone was going to get hurt. No one did as it seems like they have been doing this since they were small children.

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Iao Needle

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Driving south from Kihei you travel through some pretty expensive real estate, condos and hotels. It is very lush with some wonderful flowers and trees.

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Then a little further south and it gets very dry and you can see cactus. This is the Big Beach which is at the end of the improved road.

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Kauai revisited – July 2007 1 of 4 posts

My friend Denise and I went to Kauai 7/29 – 8/8/2007. I first visited Kauai in 1983 so I have seen many changes on the island. I had a friend who lived on Kauai from 1995 – 2000 and I visted her and her husband every year. This was something like my 19 or 20th trip to Kauai but my Denise’s first. So I got to play tour guide and show her all great places that I love on the island.
Denise went to Maui with me last year which was her first time ever to Hawaii. On Kauai we stayed at Kauai Beach Villas which is just a couple of miles north of the airport in Lihue. We did have a peek of the ocean from the lanai. It was relaxing to sit on the lanai and have our morning tea and coffee while watching the ducks and swans. The grounds were very nicely landscaped with lots of varying palms and flowers.

South Kauai – Spouting Horn

 

Poipu Beach Park has always been one of my favorite county beaches.

View from the outdoor bar at the Hyatt in Poipu where we drank a “Red Dirt” margarita. If you have ever been to Kauai you know why this drink got its name.

9/11/92 Hurricane Iniki was not predicted to hit Kauai head on. But over night the hurricane track took a sharp turn and hit Kauai as a Cat 5. The local farmers didn’t prepare for the storm so chickens were scattered all over the island. To this day you can find chickens everywhere from the airport to the beaches.