Friday, November 30, 2012

Slumming (and riding) on the Riviera Maya

The Ritchey loves Mexico, and so do I
It's that time of year, once again, when I set sights on my timeshare in Mexico and escape the first hints of winter in Lubbock for a week. Why I don't stay for the three weeks that I own, I don't know—probably that sense of "having to do stuff at home." Oh well. Let me know if you want to use one week during the final month of the year, and maybe we can work something out.
Orange-monger by the side of the road, outside of Cancun
Anyhow, here I am, just about 2 miles up the coast from Puerto Morelos. The Ritchey and I arrived three nights ago, and together we've already explored 99 miles of Mexican roadway. Of course, since this is an all-inclusive I know that I will add poundage to the midriff, but at least the 99 miles will lessen the effect a little bit, or so I hope.
Beware of the reptiles ...
... and don't t-bone the mammals
My daily routine is that of a Man of Leisure: Get up with the sun (oh, around 6:30 a.m. or so, listening to the sound of the waves coming through the window and the doors to the terrace that I leave open overnight), read a bit, have a leisurely breakfast, and then mount the Ritchey. When we get back around noon, the pool and the swim-up bar beckon, and it doesn't take long for the calories that I burned to be replenished. A light lunch (great salads and fruit and fish in various forms!) around 2 p.m. is followed by reading and lounging on the beach or around one of the pools. The sun sets shortly after 5 p.m., and by 5:30 p.m. it is pitch-black dark. The other slummers recede to their respective hovels, like I do, to do whatever one does during that time. I check e-mail and then gussy up for the evening. This is a classy place where men are expected to wear real shoes, slacks, and a nice, collared shirt. And so I start the evening with a few civilized drinks in the lounge and then progress to a meal in one of the five or six specialty restaurants that are part of this resort—I leave the big buffet to the Brits and Italians who are here on a package deal and don't "own" the place (and generally don't dress up). Man, it is nice.
This morning, as seen from my terrace, before going for a ride
I think that without the bike I wouldn't enjoy myself as much. For one thing, I'd really have the feeling of ballooning too quickly. Also, riding is such a big part of my life that not doing so induces a serious emotional and even physical response—I'm not a moody person, given to gloomy days, but I do know that I simply feel better after a good ride. And finally, traveling to a place like this by yourself, surrounded by couples (and a few families) even a gregarious guy like I misses small talk other than that with the occasional drunk Brit at the swim-up bar. Nothing like a bike and a good book (Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient right now).
Still life with blue-and-white skiff
Well, I just had a nice drink from my mini-bar; the waves continue to wash ashore, and I'm listening to some fine Coltrane. Dang, life is good, so good that I have to keep pinching myself. And yes, I am serious about that extra week for the remainder of 2012, either here or in the DR—only X-mas week might be problematic. Even those of us who live in the slums like to share. (Thank you, Carol C., for the inspiration on that word!).


1 comment:

  1. I am glad this year's trip is less emotionally taxing than that of 2010. The holiday season holds, for me, many conflicting emotions; some happy, some not so much, but the most prevalent is that of remembering my friends and holding dear what it is I like about them. Count yourself among those friends, Jurgen.

    Going to have another epic cioppino at Collin's house on Dec 8th. I will be thinking of you as I chronicle the entire procedure and try to get it down correctly so that in the eventuality of Collin's shuffling off of the mortal coil, it will be preserved for future generations.

    I hope your holiday season is all you expect from it, whatever that may be. Enjoy the remainder of your trip.

    BTW-I have a great crab recipe I have posted on FB, maybe you've seen it. Highly recommended!