Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Crazy Easter

Over the years I have learned to go nowhere near downtown during Easter week. Especially the weekend of Easter itself. Thousands of national tourists (what Mexican tourists are called here to differentiate them from the average, run of the mill type tourist) descend on the island. The majority of them seem to come from Mexico City.

I had to go to town last Saturday on an errand so I decided to stop at Manana for a quick coffee. But only because Aluxes was closed. While I was sitting there, I noticed the building across the street was loaded with workmen on the roof. As soon as I got my camera out, they all ducked for cover. I thought it was a nice picture anyway and the sky was a lot bluer than it looks here. Being inspired then, I decided to get back on my Honda Beat and drive around and get some tourist shots for you.

This is the beach to the right of the bridge that crosses to the Avalon Reef Club. Normally you would only see a couple of people here, if that.

Same place but more of the beach.

I next ventured over to Maria del Mar where there is a public access to North Beach. This is just some of the line of golf carts parked along there. Here, as everywhere I went that day, I was lucky to find space to pull my scooter in to park.

North Beach, to the right as you enter from the road above. Everyone of those stupid dirty beds had people lounging on them. If I had had a can of Raid with me, I would have offered to let them use it. I just don't understand how people can put their bodies on these dirty things. Ewww.

People, people everywhere. Notice that the palms are coming back nicely.

I've never noticed this before. Tucked back in behind the swing bar is this massage table. I actually thought about taking a turn!

Speaking of the swing bar, here it is. One hardly ever sees a national tourist sitting at it though. Maybe too expensive? Most nationals bring coolers well stocked with beverages and botanas.

Travelling on past the swing bar is the stretch of beach I usually go to. It isn't very deep here, not that I go into the water that much anyway, so it suits me. And it is usually very quiet with not many people. Not this weekend! These next few pictures are all of this area.

The black bag in the picture below is where you can normally find me. Does that make sense??

Even though the beach is recovering nicely now, there are still plenty of sand bags waiting in reserve should they be needed.

I couldn't believe the number of umbrellas in use.

It's hard to see unless you enlarge this picture, but I was really interested in all the birds out there. They normally don't congregate like this. There must have been a large school of fish out there. Probably being herded together by a shark. (just kidding!)

Ok, I zoomed in for all of you too lazy to enlarge a picture.

Looking to the left on North Beach. That guy is not really some short, almost legless guy. I caught him as he was lowering himself to his blanket.

See those sticks going out into the water? I featured those the other day in a post about the beaches coming back. Now you can see how they fit into the scheme of things.

The old seawall along North Beach. Long since collapsed.

It may not seem like it to you, but the amount of people in the water is incredible. Even during the highest day of high season, we don't see numbers like this.

I think it is just a hoot that the local bars and restaurants along the beach get these umbrellas for free from various companies. These were furnished by Cristal Mineral Water, a subsideray of Coca-Cola. The funny part is that they turn around and charge the tourists for using them. Sweet deal.

Here's a sampling of the prices. (the best part of this sign is that there are no mispelled words!)

I've always liked this iron fish in front of the bar at Chi-chi and Charlies.

Nice to see something other than a red, white or blue umbrella.

The private pool area of condos Nautibeach as seen from the beach side.

Looking east from the western most point of North Beach.

And now west.

The view over to Cancun with the car ferry heading towards Punta Sam. They had both ferries running back to back this weekend to accomodate all of the people. It only costs 15 pesos as a passenger, compared to 35 pesos on the normal ferry. But it takes 45 minutes and the fast ferries take 20.

Scooters were out in force.

I've never eaten here but it always looks inviting.

Car ferry coming back. It is standing room only on it. Talk about packed with people!

Because of the high seas and winds we have been having lately, none of the fishing boats were out.

More crowd pictures. Well, crowded for here.

Boats trying to load up passengers for snorkeling tours.

If you couldn't afford an umbrella, the next best thing was the palm trees.

Or an overturned boat.

Fishing nets trying to keep out of the way of the crowds.

Crowd control was on hand. Both local and federal.

Remember the post on Bamboo Too? I talked about a back patio area. This is it as seen from the malecon area. Must have been a nice place to sleep one off on Saturday!

I finally just stopped taking pictures and headed for the quiet, calm, sane comfort of home!


Anonymous said...

I heard from as friend who has lived on the island for 18 years that she thinks this was the busiest Semana Santa that she remembers. She too avoids town or God forbid having to go to Cancun during this time. I heard that the ferries coming over had 2 – 3 hour waits. And forget about getting a taxi!
Thanks for posting the photos.

Anonymous said...

The photographs were just the greatest. Thanks, you made an arm-chair traveler very happy this morning. Charlie

Jeanne said...

Great photos! North beach does look like it's getting a little bigger - very nice to see.

CancunCanuck said...

Great pics Wayne, thanks for sharing the craziness of Semana Santa! (Glad I didn't try to get over there, I think Isla Blanca was the right choice). :)