Friday, January 25, 2013

Chan Chemuyil--Yucatan Pennisula, Mexico

mxbackroads-Chan Chemuyil, Mexico

This was home for three weeks in the Yucatan Pennisula.  We did this as a trade for our home in the Wenatchee Valley.  They came last March and we decided to spend Christmas and New Years at the Yucatan.  Only later did we find out the we were ground zero for the end of the world!!

This is an North American style subdivision originally built by the Fox administration to house the workers in the tourist industry in the Yucatan.  There are various stories that the houses were too expensive for the workers and some hints of corruption (in Mexico??).   I suspect the design of the subdivision did not work with the Mexican culture.  Very few public places for mingling and definitely a design for privacy and little social mixing.

Anyway the entire subdivision was sold for dirt cheap by the government and promptly bought mostly by Canadians and a few Americans.  The "early pioneers" called it Little Beirut given the condition of the subdivision.

All the homes are little boxes completely similar so residents have painted and landscaped to set them apart from the neighbors.

We thought the location was closer to the beach and more undeveloped, however, by the time I closely checked google earth we were committed to the journey.  Here is the google earth picture:

If you zoom in on the image you can see the grid pattern.  So it is just a subdivision carved out of the jungle.   Just to the north is the Mexican village of Chemuyil.  We walked there for grocery shopping, beer, ATM, and other needed services.  No grid pattern in the village.

And where the subdivision ends the jungle starts right away.  I still have the welts from where a very short trip into the jungle resulted in a plant touching my calf.  The locals said that the cure for the welts was another plant growing close to the first plant.  I think I will just go with Cort-Aid.

But the good news is that it is also a community.  We got to attend the end of the world party as well as New Years party.

And there were even Christmas carolers on Christmas eve.

Those Canadians will not miss the caroling season for anything.  Of course, all the residents were giving the singers shots of tequila to ward off the cold I suppose.  It was definitely a party bunch and staying sober was a difficult task.

Staying in one place for three weeks does have its advantages.  You become a "part" of the community, but outside enough to not be involved in all the drama.  On a first day we decided to walk the jungle road to the Mexican community of Chemuyil which is less than 1/4 mile up the road.  As we were walking we were picked up by a couple of residents of Chan Chemuyil and that turned into an afternoon of beer drinking, touring, and a lobster dinner.

Every community has its characters and Chan Chemuyil proved no exception.  Alex did help print lost dog posters for Bella the Italian dog that probably ran off  in response to the fireworks being set off for Christmas.  The good news was that after a week, Bella was dropped off without a word at her residence.  She's not talking about what she did that week.  Maybe she just needed some quality time by herself.

For my part I really enjoyed drinking coffee and sitting by the cenote connected to the outside world through wi-fi.  It was a great place to check e-mail and watch the iguana's.

Carlos, John, Katharine and Paul and others may the stay much more enjoyable.  And I suppose in the end the best part about traveling is the people that you end up meeting.

Book Read--The Ernesto Che Guevara School for Wayward Girls by William F. Gavin.  This is a hysterical political satire.  Susie got it as a fiction book.  She said it started fast and then slowed, but I would probably like it since it was a political satire.  It is a very funny book and if you like politics you will just not stop laughing.   Does not matter if you are left or right on the political spectrum, there are enough laughs on both sides.  However, if you are one of the political elite then this book might not be so funny.

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