Friday, June 15, 2018

Gaining a Reputation as Bad Guests

We loaded up on the short bus and took the trip over to Lake Bacalar. While it isn't a major tourist destination for Americans, it is gaining popularity amongst those wandering the beautiful Riviera Maya east coast and have the time to travel inland. Mostly backpackers and European tourists. We had booked an airbnb stay prior to leaving Mahahual. When we arrived at our destination we discovered it sat high up on a hill overlooking the lake just one block away from public access. We were greeted by a small, 60ish Mexican woman. She and her husband were hanging out in an area that looked like a full structure from the front, but was open air in the back. A walkway to the back of the property took you to our room. Inside their structure, there were sofas, chairs, hammocks, a washing machine, a bathroom, and several beer cans sitting on the table and next to the chairs. It was quite "livable" although this isn't where they lived. At least not most of the time. We learned later on that the man whom we don't have a name for, spent the night in the hamaca when they had guests. He was somewhat of a security guy. And we also found out he was a very light sleeper and liked to drink beer with Teresa. We also found out later that we didn't follow Teresa's instructions given to us in rapid Spanish. 
AirBnb - Teresa's Place

We received a very warm welcome along with all kinds of information and instructions in rapid Spanish. We did what any person does that knows some Spanish but not long strings of rapid Spanish - we listened for key words and repeatedly said "Si, si, si" as we nodded our heads and smiled.  

The lagoon is fed by freshwater cenotes and is known for it's seven shades of blue color. The clarity of the water is breathtaking
Seven Shades of Blue

One small piece of advice I would give is if you want to visit Bacalar I would suggest not going in May which is known as the most stifling month of the year down here. You don't get the ocean breezes and it gets downright stifling in the month of May. 

Besides the cool, refreshing, crystal clear water there is the Fort of San Felipe and a small, but interesting and informative museum. It seems the town was devastated by pirates in the 1600's. They entered the lagoon through a small canal off the coast now referred to as Pirates Canal. The fort was completed in 1733 and the Spanish could rest easy at night. There are also nearby cenotes and Mayan ruins to explore but we decided to leave that for next trip.

Our first afternoon in Bacalar we visited the fort and museum. We spent our days in Bacalar taking long walks in the downtown area, and along the waterfront. We swam. And we celebrated our 31st anniversary in Bacalar...well, sort of. On the eve of our anniversary we went out for dinner at a wonderful and authentic Italian food restaurant and had a great meal of appetizers, pizza and pasta dishes and a great bottle of wine. It was a relaxing, romantic evening to remember.

The next morning we took a long walk down towards one of the cenotes before going for breakfast followed by a swim. After this, I got a little queasy so we walked back to our place. We had a nice chat with Teresa, her sister and their mama. They were leaving shortly to go on a bus tour to view some ruins further inland. It was a pleasant conversation and we understood most of what was said and felt honored to be invited into their space for a chat. The one dilemma was I really needed to go to the bathroom and Mama kept telling me to sit down. I tried to explain to her that my swimsuit was wet and I didn't want to sit on the chair, but the truth was I was scared what might end up in the chair. I didn't want to be disrespectful by not sitting down when told nor by well, you know. However, before we headed to our digs we got a little bit of a chewing out. It seems we didn't follow instructions on the use of the coffee machine and she had to clean up grounds inside the machine. So we hoped our graciousness with her and her family would override our foul up and we wouldn't gain the reputation on airbnb as being bad guests. (We didn't!) 

I spent the evening of our anniversary drinking lots of water, eating no more food after breakfast, taking Treda, and watching Terry drink cold beer on our little porch as we looked out over the azure blue lake. Terry ate cold, leftover pizza for dinner. Not too bad but certainly not the best. 
HappyAnniversary, Darling! Enjoy your cold pizza.

I was feeling fine the following morning and we were ready to move on. So we sat at the bus station just a few minutes and then headed out going back to the northern Mx. Riviera Maya coast.

Mennonites at the Bus Station

Stay tuned - 

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