Sunday, February 28, 2010

Beachcombing in Playa del Carmen

I've often thought that I should get up really early and go comb the beach for "treasures" before all the people are out and about.  Finally the other day we did just that and I think we picked the perfect time for doing it. Since the beach was just rebuilt by having tons of sand dredged up

and poured onto the shoreline I figured that surely there would be lots of shells and things also being dredged up. My hubby got up early with me and we headed to the beach at 6:30 in the morning. The trek to the beach took us along 5th Avenue.  It was really fun to see it at that hour of the day.  We're used to going later in the day or in the evening when there's always lots of people around.  In the early hours you see the occasional shop getting ready for the coming day - depending on how long it takes them to set everything out on display again - and lots of cats roaming along or lounging on the couches that are left out all night.  Ah but I digress!  Back to the beach.

The hard packed sand encrusted with shells of various shapes and sizes - some still in perfect shape - look like a mosaic on the beach.  The colors were incredible.  We walked along in the loose packed sand and as our feet sank into it we would feel something hard so we would dig down to find out what treasures we'd found.  More often than not it was only broken pieces of shells or coral, but sometimes even those pieces were interesting as they might be the inner spiral of the conch shells.  Others were various perfectly shaped shells.
I was actually surprised by the number of people on the beach that early in the morning.  But what a lovely time to be out enjoying the sunshine and the sound of the surf coming in.  There were all manner of people out, fishermen, families with little ones looking for treasures of their own, even party goers who look like they spent the night sleeping on the beach.

As we wandered back the way we'd come we walked through the surf rather than the new sand that had been pumped into the shoreline.  This is where my husband found our most awesome treasures - 3 close to perfect, large conch shells.  We brought all our treasures back to

display at our condo with the hopes that future visitors will enjoy their beauty as we do and will also leave them in place for others to enjoy as well.

PS:  Want to come play in Playa del Carmen?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Grass hats made to order while you wait

We finally, after years of coming down to Playa del Carmen, took the ferry over to spend the day in Cozumel.  We rented a jeep to take a spin around the island. While we were cruising around Cozumel we stopped for a bite at Carlos n' Charlies.  This guy had his stand set up right beside the restaurant and while we watched he proceeded to make a hat just like the one he is wearing.  It's made from one half of a palm leaf.  It's one complete piece and he weaves into a hat.  Takes him about 5 minutes tops. Of course once it's done he hands it to us so we can admire it and hopefully buy it.  The nice thing was that this guy didn't push it on us at all.  Just handed it to us, showed us that it was so flexible you could bunch it up into a ball - so good for putting in your suitcase to take home with you - and let us take pictures with it and then graciously took it back again.  Absolutely no selling pressure.  How nice to be able to honesty and openly enjoy his artistry without any pressure.  He then took another little piece of palm and made a big, green grasshopper with it.  That was really cool too!

PS:  Want to come play in Playa del Carmen?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Can it get any better?

For me it can't get much better than life on the beach.  How wonderful it is to live in a place as beautiful as this and have good friends close by and coming into town for a visit.

We love the time we have in Playa del Carmen and spend a lot of time at the beach.  It's wonderful - we can take a 5 minute walk from our condo, wander along 5th Avenue for a bit and then hit the beach.  We usually take the public access right beside the Blue Parrot nightclub - they have chairs available for your use - as does every business along the beach front.  We prefer to walk down the beach in the direction of the Cozumel ferry dock to our favorite seafood restaurant, La Tarraya, which is on the beach at the bottom of 2nd street.  We then rent 2 chairs and an umbrella for 100 peso for the entire day (that's less than $10 CDN).  It's great - we have comfort and a waiter close by, ready to keep us in food and drinks!   And speaking of drinks - how about a glass of wine for 10 peso (that's around 85 cents)!  You may have to have 2 glasses to equal the size you would get most places but it's still a much, much better deal!

Can life get any better??? Hmmm I think not - well actually I can improve it by making it my permanent lifestyle and that's coming - hopefully sooner rather than later.

PS:  Want to come play in Playa del Carmen?
  Click here to see our condo rental.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

5th Avenue shopping Mecca

Playa del Carmen has a pedestrian street that is wall to wall shopping, restaurants and bars.  There's lots of nightlife activity as well. But don't expect to find 5th Avenue empty like this during the day.  This shot was taken at 6:30 in the morning when everyone was still sleeping I'm sure.

There were  a couple of shops beginning to open  so  other than a few employees starting their days   there were only some joggers out and about. Early morning allows the cats lots of room to wander around or lounge on the various chairs and couches that are left out all the time.  The rest of the day this street is just bustling and anything "Mexican" you could want - this is the place to find it!
It's souvenir heaven for anyone looking for that special something to take home with them.

The great thing is it's just one block off the beach so it's very easy to make a day of it.  Wear your swimsuit and spend a good part of the day on the beach then when you've had enough sun and surf, throw on your coverup, walk a block up and shop til  you drop.  You can even have your hair braided or get a massage.  
It's all there on 5th Avenue. You can fiind all sorts of restaurants and bars to refresh you when it all gets to be just too much.  Even better the ladies can say to their men - why don't you just sit there and have a beer while I shop in this store?  Then everybody's happy! It's such a fun way to enjoy a day and I've found that the shop vendors are not all that pushy either which makes shopping fun and easy.

PS:  Want to come play in Playa del Carmen?