20.03.2014 29 °C
When the sea is like glass, it's wonderful to float around and watch the world go by. One afternoon, Andrea and I were doing just that when I felt something hit me in the back of the head! Andrea, who was facing me a few feet away started laughing and shrieking! A silvery school of tiny flying fish had come up behind us and were skimming over the surface of the water. They were only about two or three inches long but as soon as they appeared, the sea gulls and pelicans homed in on them. It was quite funny to watch the antics of the birds trying to catch as many as they could. At one point in the fray, there was a sea gull standing on the head of a pelican trying to and get closer to the fish. The pelicans would take to the air only to plunge down, in a very ungracefull fashion, wings awry to hit the water (with a huge kerplunk) and catch a fish with deadly accuracy. After watching this "ballet" for a bit, Andrea thought she had an air bubble in her bathing suit top....NOT....turned out that one of the little fellows had jumped right into her bathing suit and was struggling to get out!
Carnival at the "anceanos".....or the old folks home. We were invited to watch the carnival events at the local seniors home on Monday and what a treat it was. The king and queen were crowned, they danced and then the show began!
Dancing girls, much to the delight of some of the senior men, furry lions and cats, ladies with horse heads and more. It was a well put together show and afterwards there was a lunch of locally prepared foods including tamales. The king of the carnival at "anceanos" is only 56, much younger than all the others, but he is a severe diabetic, blind and is at risk of losing his foot. He has no family so he stays with the "ancianos" or old ones. The queen, looked to be about 80 or so, but the two of them managed to dance for close to half an hour which I thought was pretty good! Many of the Canadians here volunteer at the seniors home helping with exercise classes, painting and general maintenance.
The carnival parade in Progreso was held on Tuesday and was a finale to the many events of the Carnival week. Our view from the window tables in Flamingos was perfect and we managed to get some great shots of the parade.
The huge carnival in Merida (the third largest in the world) has been moved from downtown Merida to the suburbs this year and apparently was not well attended. The people who live in centro are happy about the move because , as with any big event, there is lots of damage to property , traffic snarls and garbage. It remains to be seen if the city will reverse their decision or leave the event outside the city. I've attached a few shots of the Progreso Carnival parade so you can see how crowded it was compared to the normally "sleepy" progreso.
Dara and Andrea's daughter Sheena and her boyfriend Adam arrived...with guitar and Adam (who has a band in Ottawa) has been entertaining crowds with his great renditions of Beatles songs, he has become quite the celebrity! . In the week and a half they've been here he's played at Faces in Progreso, Bamboo Beach in Chicxulub (where we ate the most delicious Chilies Nogados) and at Pantaleons (Natasha's place)....where we had everyone up dancing and singing! It was especially heartwarming to see a woman we have met, Mary Alice, up dancing and really enjoying Adams music. She is suffering from Huntingtons disease and has lost the power of speech and has difficulty with movement....but she still loves to dance. She danced the whole time Adam played and it was very obvious from the look on her face that she was delighted he was there.
The chilies nogados are traditionally eaten around the Mexican Independence Day as they show the "red, white and green" of the Mexican flag. The chiles are stuffed with a mixture of spiced meat and raisins then covered in a white sauce made from cream and ground walnuts. The dish is then topped with pomegranate seeds...in our case chopped strawberries for the little bit of red. This meal was probably the best meal we've had here and Dara dragged Charlie, the shy owner and chef of Bamboo Beach, out for a round of applause!
Adam also got to do a gig at Faces on Friday night....the whole place was up dancing and having a blast...he is in the right place for Beatles music as the average age here is around 65-70!! Many people have asked them to return next year and offered them a place to stay!
While showing "the kids" around the area, we walked along the beach into Chicxulub and had panuchos for our breakfast. These delicious morsels (only found in the Yucatan of Mexico) are freshly made corn tortillas sandwiched together with black bean puree, fried crispy then topped with shreded chicken, lettuce, tomato and avocado. These delicious morsels got washed down with a huge jug of freshly squeezed orange juice from the juice vendor beside the market. A one litre bag of fresh juice is about 1.50 Canadian!
An additional trip to el Corchito was also in order with visitors in town...we did get some cute pictures...
Many of the local restaurants are starting to host "Farewell" dinners for the Canadians. I think Sheena said it well when she stated that she and Adam found this area to be much more of a "community" rather than just a holiday destination. The people that live here for the winter really do tend to get involved and help in any way they can.
I have finished the Gansey sweater that I brought the wool down for....kindly donated by a brown sheep named Edith. The pattern is my own design, taking into account the history of the Ganseys...I'm quite happy with how it turned out, but it was hot knitting in 30 degree weather!
Also a few images from our trip into Merida with Sheena and Adam...
We had quite a surprise after our day of 37 degrees...an el norte...coming from the north west (they usually come from the north east) hit on St. Paddy's Day....the waves were so high up the beach that when I walked back from gardening at a friends, I was in water past my knees and wet to my waist...the wind was howling and our care takers small boat got buried! It took them an hour the next day to dig it back out! It was totally fun being out in such a high wind and I enjoyed getting soaked as the ocean was quite warm....yahooo!!