“April is the cruelest month….” Actually, here in the Pacific Northwest, make that January through May, and this year we’ve logged record rainfall and windstorms keeping us in the gloomy gray. So when Thor and I near the end of winter quarter with our teaching at Western Washington University, we are just as eager as our students to head south for Spring Break! We have our flight to Cancun booked at one of the best Cancun family resorts many months in advance, but on arrival at Party Central Cancun, we can’t wait to jump in our rental car and put as many miles as possible between us and the madding crowds. Our destination for our annual getaway also happens to be the anniversary of our “luna de miel”– our first trip here, on our honeymoon. After five hours of driving south, we wind down a very rutted dirt road past a tiny fishing village in the far southeast corner of Mexico, almost on the border with Belize. There, friends offer rental cottages on the beach, a short swim to the reef for snorkeling, and very little in the way of “connection” to the modern world. Paraiso! (Paradise)
On the way, we visit a couple of favorite spots to stock up on snacks and a possibly last internet connection.
Add a detour to visit the stunning Mayan ruins at Chacchoben.
The first thing we do on arrival is dive in for a swim in the warm, nurturing, clear Caribbean waters, watching the sun shimmer over the sandy bottom and undulating seaweed, then float on our backs to watch pelicans and frigate birds soar overhead in blue skies. Paraiso! (You might hear that again.)
Then we set our agenda for the next week-plus — yoga on the beach to greet the sunrise, breakfast with the three other couples in the open-air palapa “clubhouse,” bask in sun (with plenty of sunscreen),go kayaking or snorkeling, lunch and Tecates, siesta, more snorkeling, drinks on the rooftop while watching the golden light shimmer with breeze in the palm fronds, sunset and moonrise, dinner and sharing stories of what creatures we saw that day on the reef. It might have been spotted eagle rays, octopus, puffer fish, Queen angelfish, trunkfish, barracuda, nurse sharks, turtles…. Creatures in all shapes and colors, generously allowing us to share their ocean home. Next day and the next: repeat. Paraiso!
The view from our porch:
A ship’s sign I found floating near shore and imported to our porch:
Since Thor and I made a vow of faithfulness on our first trip, witnessed by The Great Iguana, we check in every year with his minions to assure them we are behaving.
And we brought home a reminder of the wonderful Mexico ceramics for our sauna wall:
Sigh… The gear goes into storage until next year. Hasta luego, nuestros amigos y Paraiso!
What are your favorite winter escapes?
Sara’s newest novel from Book View Cafe was recently released in print and ebook: The Ariadne Connection. It’s a near-future thriller set in the Greek islands. “Technology triggers a deadly new plague. Can a healer find the cure?” The novel has received the Cygnus Award for Speculative Fiction.