Thursday, January 22, 2009

An evening stroll

When we're down in Mexico it's inevitable that we go for a stroll along the beach in the evening. This definitely happens after we've had our seafood feast at La Tarraya restaurant. I'm always amazed at how quiet it is at night on the beach. There's almost no one there. As you walk along with your toes and hem lines in the surf, enjoying the moon reflecting off the ocean, you can see into the resort areas along the beach. Sometimes they have special performances going on so we'll stand and watch for a while until the urge to move sets us in motion once again. It's so peaceful and calming to wander along listening to the sounds of the surf but we must not let our minds wander too far or we will trip over the ropes tied along the shore holding the many small boats bobbing in the ocean.

But during the day it's a whole different atmosphere. It's starts early in the morning with employees from the beach side resorts out grooming the beach in anticipation of all the tourists. The beach is especially beautiful first thing in the morning after the employees have raked the sand to level it out nicely and to clean up any seaweed that washed up over night. Later in the morning everyone begins to arrive and if you want a lounge chair under an umbrella you shouldn't wait too late into the day or they may all be taken up. Some of the beach side locations even have hammocks and beach beds you can rent. As the beach fills up the boats get busy and are coming and going all day, taking people snorkeling, diving, parasailing or on other activities.

It's interesting that in Playa del Carmen we have not had vendors approaching us on the beach. Perhaps it is an enforced law that they are not allowed on the beach, but I don't know that for a fact. I remember being at another beach a few years ago, perhaps it was in Puerto Vallarta, and there was a constant flow of vendors coming by with their wares.

PS:  Want to come play in Playa del Carmen?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Seafood, anyone?

I seem to have had seafood on my mind a lot lately. I think I'm craving a big seafood feast! There's a couple places in Playa del Carmen that I really love for seafood. One is a little taco restaurant on the highway where you can get 3 fish tacos and a drink for $5 U.S. A nice afternoon snack!

Another place is a restaurant that is quite literally on the beach. Every time we are in Playa we visit this restuarant. I think it's at the bottom of 2nd street off of 5th Avenue and I believe the name is La Tarraya. You can choose to sit in the restaurant if you like but we always prefer to sit outside in the sand under the palm trees listening to the quiet sounds of the ocean while we enjoy a wonderful seafood dinner. Sometimes the mariachi bands even wander by while we're eating.

We went into the local grocery store there and were thrilled with all the fresh seafood they have to offer. I think we saw over 6 different types of fresh octopus and so many types of fish that we've never tried yet. I can't wait til we're down there in April so we can sample all the varieties of fish available.

PS:  Want to come play in Playa del Carmen?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

5th Avenue - shop til you drop! Then eat, drink and be merry!

I really enjoy 5th Avenue in downtown Playa del Carmen. The street runs parallel to the beach and is closed to vehicles. It runs for many, many blocks and has all the shopping you could want. It is a wonderful street to stroll along, popping into stores as they strike your fancy, or as you get too hot and need an air conditioned break. The entire street from end to end is shops, restaurants and a few convenience stores! You might find vendors at the entrances to some shops trying to get you talking and to come into their stores but I don't find them to be overly pushy. I just smile and say no thanks and keep walking - that's the main thing if you're not interested - keep walking.

It's not unusual to see people walking along 5th Avenue with their luggage rolling along behind them. I don't know for sure but I've always supposed that they got dropped off at the closest adjacent street that allows taxis then they have to walk down to their condo or motel or the other little hostels etc. along the beach.

There are a few dive shops on the streets intersecting with 5th Avenue so you will also see people walking along in wetsuits and carrying their flippers on their way to the boat for a dive or coming back to the shop afterwards.

You just never know what you might see on 5th Avenue - that's why it never gets old going for a stroll, having a snoop and stopping for a drink or even an ice cream.

PS:  Want to come play in Playa del Carmen?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

An eclectic blend

The beach in Playa del Carmen is an eclectic blend of people from all parts of the world. I have noticed that on one end of 5th Avenue there definitely seems to be sort of an Italian district. So in keeping with that it seems that the beach at that end follows suit. Therefore don't be surprised to see topless sunbathing on some parts of the beach, for as I understand it, it is a common happening on European beaches. I didn't know it happened until I was down at the beach one day and happened to choose this particular area to relax in for the day. It certainly wasn't offensive in any way and no one made a big deal about it. Thinking back on this I can't remember noticing this on other parts of the beach.

PS:  Want to come play in Playa del Carmen?

Saturday, January 3, 2009

"Road Kill Chicken"

When you spend enough time in Playa del Carmen you begin to know some of the more local places to eat and things to do that maybe most tourists don't get a chance to do. I'm lucky that my brother and his family live in Playa so they have taught us about what they affectionately call "road kill chicken". It's a little hole in the wall type of place that serves the best chicken you can get. For $5 U.S. you get a whole chicken, some rice, beans, and tortillas and plenty of it. We bought 2 of them and easily fed 4 adults and 4 teenagers. Then there's the pina (pineapple) truck that drives around the neighbourhoods selling fresh, really big pineapples for around $2! You can't find pineapples that big up in Canada and if you know how to talk to them they'll give you a nice, ripe one ready for eating and like nothing you'd get back home.

PS:  Want to come play in Playa del Carmen?

Beautiful, clean beaches

We've been spending a lot of time in Playa del Carmen over the past few years. The warm weather, friendly people and beautiful, clean beaches make it a wonderful getaway for us. Everything is so relaxed and there's always smiling faces around you and people having a good time everywhere.

PS:  Want to come play in Playa del Carmen?