Wednesday, January 9, 2013

usbackroads destination--Yucatan Pennisula

 usbackroads destination--Yucatan Pennisula

At one time, not so long ago this was a backroads destination.  Then in 1970 the Mexican government decided to develop the sleepy village of Cancun with its 177 residents into a major tourist destination.
Tourist development really got going in the 1980's and 90's with development spreading all the way down the coast to Tulumn and beyond.

We got here by trading homes.  I will post additional information in a future blog on how this works.  There are advantages to living in areas where people come for vacations.  One of those benefits of being a professional Forester that I just missed in my early years!

Mexico is one of those places that we have visited often in the past, but as Alexandra got to her teen-age years travel with her parents was not a priority.  However, now that she is 24 she did come down for 10 days on this trip.

Drugs, guns, and a government that is slightly sketchy is Mexico's current reputation.  It has had an impact on American travel to Mexico.  On this trip, American's were definitely seldom seen.  Lots of middle class Mexican families, Canadians, Europeans, and people from Latin America.

As near as I can tell tourism is the ONLY industry on the Yucatan and the local government does an excellent job of protecting and managing the industry.  We were warned about some scams and I noticed that the government posted signs about these scams and said they wanted to hear about it.   We did not encounter any of these scams and the business people were polite and friendly.  Somehow, the government even got the timeshare salesmen to ramp down their sales pitch.

We enjoyed eating the local food at the small restaurants.  I am not sure what this fish is called, but we bought several pounds from the back of a pick-up truck.  The fisherman lived in Reno for over 25 years and had moved back to Mexico in his retirement years.  The fish was excellent and we also found it at a very small beachfront restaurant where nobody spoke English.

The local Mexican and Mayan people were friendly and gracious.  Speaking Spanish does help quite a bit once you get outside the tourist zone.   The backroads on the Yucatan are out in the jungle rather than along the shore.  To be fair, the Yucatan has never been a backroads destination except for a few hundred years after the Spanish invasion.

For a very long period of time the Mayan civilization was the most advanced on earth.  Yes, aliens would have gone to the Yucatan before dealing with those savages from Europe.  Almost forgot we were there for the end of the world, which just turned out to be the end of one sequence of the Mayan calender.

The beaches and Mayan ruins are the draw in the Yucatan.  The weather was hot and humid.  I am fine with hot, but the humid part does not sit well with me.  However, if you found the right beach spot those breezes kept you cool and calm.  This spot is where we had the fish shown above.  The Corona beer commercial was filmed just a 1/4 mile from this spot.  They did not sell Corona's so we had a Sol beer instead with the fish.

It was the best, most perfect day on the Yucatan.

Books Read--1491 New Revelations of the America's before Columbus by Charles C. Mann.  I have always been interested on the ecological impact of native American's on the landscape.  The fire landscape of the Sierra Nevada's was shaped by Indian burning and there is evidence that the impact extended throughout the America's.  This book covers the Inca's and Mayans and other civilizations that existed prior to the visit by Columbus in 1492.   It seems that smallpox and measles introduced by Columbus reduced the Indian populations by 95%.   Good book to read while exploring the Yucatan.


Wandering Mike said...

You should visit Mexico in an RV. It is great. Lots of folks go to the Yucatan, as well as the central highlands and the west coast. A great blog is travel with Kevin and Ruth

niko the wolf said...

I would be interested if you could give some information about crossing the border. Is it a hassle, are there recommended places to cross, anything interesting that came up, any advise for a first-timer crossing into Mexico,

Thanks, I really enjoyed your blog

Vladimir Steblina said...

We crossed into the Yucatan on a 757.

The few times I have crossed into Mexico via vehicle the issue revolves around guns. I hunt, so therefore, always make sure I do not have shells or anything firearms in the vehicle.

Other than that I have had a harder time getting BACK into the US than entering Mexico.