Can't say

That it's that hard to come home when it's 11 degrees on the last (or second last) day of February.

Or that it's that hard to come home when GLB has released all the Thrust! An IPA, including a small release with here at the Wren made with special yeast. They have already sold out of the regular variety and are almost out of the one-off, but I am still on vacation, so I stopped in for a pint.


Next time

You're taking a cab from Holbox to the airport (the right decision), may I strongly recommend that you ask your driver to stop at one of the stands that line certain portions of the road to eat beforw you descend into Cancun. You could offer to buy him lunch. There are lots of places with homemade tortillas, but if you consider tortas to be easier to deal wtih, transportation wise, I'm sure you can find those too.

The food at the Cancun airport is abysmal. Like, if not the worst, among the worst I have yet to experience. There's Dominos and Bubba Gump and TGI Friday's and the like. There is one "Mexican" place that I avoided (no way in hell was I going to override three amazing cochinita pibil tacos with some god-awful food court "Mexican.")

Instead, I went with the Wolfgang Puck Margherita pizza. I consider that to have been the lesser of any number of evils.


I will say this

"Downtown" Holbox is a hotbed of nighttime activity.


Off map

There is a very useful tourist map of Holbox that shows you where you can find a lot of things that you might need. It doesn't, however, show you everything.

It doesn't show you where the baseball team practices (or where they will play a game that you will miss on Sunday). It doesn't show you where the street vendors stake out their spots. And it doesn't show you Doña Cruz's Loncheria.

I found it yesterday and had two delicious panuchos for breakfast. Then I indulged myself with some so bad it's good chilaquiles this morning. Tomorrow, I am relocating to a B&B where I imagine I will be fed breakfast, so I will be lunching there, rather than breaking my fast.


Breakfast 8 to 12, lunch 12 to 3 (or thereabouts).

Once I had done

All of the heavy lifting required to find out that yes, indeed, there is a brand new directish bus between Chiquila and Tulum, which involved multiple calls to mutiple Mayab bus lines phine numbers, I realized I just wanted to stay put until Sunday.

Because really.

See you some other time, Tulum.


There are no paved roads

On Holbox.

This is the main road from where I'm staying into town.

La frente frío

Arrived this afternoon, but I got no complaints. Morning on the beach, afternoon in a book, then a long walk home, arms outstretched in the strong warm winds, ready for takeoff.


Island living

Approaching Holbox.

At home on Holbox.

Hammock time. Can't touch this.


Unlike tacos, are either great, or pretty terrible (IMO). I have yet to meet a taco that is anything less than good. Good to great to exceptional to Oh my god. Tamales, on the other hand, are often bland and forgettable, and if you are eating street food in Mexico, why bother?

That said, last night I thought I was going to have some mediocre tamales for dinner. Not that I know them to be medicore, just that I didn't, for some reason, expect them to be great. And so, because I am always hoping for better, I decided to roam the streets, keeping these possibly medicore (though of course possibly great) tamales in my back pocket (so to speak).

I happened across taco stands, and hamburger stands, and various places, and then I happened across a couple selling tamales on the corner. For some reason, I felt very good about these tamales. They both told me their favourite was salsa verde, so salsa verde I got. And after being pitiful and telling them that I had no home, and therefore no fork, they stuck a plastic fork and napkin in the bag for me.

Now, I can't with utter certainty discount the fact that eating said tamale on the roof with a full moon above and a lit cathedral to the south, and being pleased with myself for finding these secret tamales, may have affected my judgment, but damn.


Damn those were some tamales.

And as always, I don't like me no pretty food.

(Calle 40 and, I think, Calld 27. They are there Monday to Friday, evenings.)

The best

Is when you find a great street stall guy, serving cochinita pibil, in this case, and ask (even though you are happy to eat cochinita three times a day) why there is no lechon al horno to be found in his town for love or money.

He will tell you that it's a breakfast food. And you will ask where to find a good one. And he will explain, just down the street, thataway, and look at you, considering. And then he will say, well actually, a really great one is two blocks north and three blocks east of here.

And you will write it down and go looking for it in the morning, even though you are pressed for time because you want to catch the 8 o'clock bus to Tizimin so you can catch the 10 o'clock bus to Chiquila so you can, if you're lucky (which it turns out you are) catch the 12 o'clock ferry to Isla Holbox instead of waiting for the 2 o'clock. But it's been days since you've had lechon so you go and and you get to the corner and it's not there.

(That is not the best.)

But en route, you see a number of stands that seem interesting enough, so you head back to your hotel, but not retracing your steps, of course. Just in case.

And damned, if half a block down you don't find it.

And damned if it isn't great.

That is the best.

(Calle 37, halfway between Calle 36 and Calle 38.)

(The excellent street cochinta is an afternoon guy at Calle 41 and 44, southwest corner, possibly the Tigrillo.)


As I was sipping on one of the

Best Margaritas I have had in my life, the LCBO twitter told me it was  National Margarita Day.

Cheers to that.

Cenote Oxmal

Hire a bike. It isn't far. You do have to pass the dump, and once you turn off the main road, you do have to make it 1 km further on a rough gravelly road, and you might be confused by the enormous stadium right before you hit the cenote, but once you get here, you won't regret it.

Do come on a weekday. I had the cenote to myself for my hour-long swim meditation.

Oxman cenote really is the best of all worlds. It is totally accessible, down a series of flights of concrete stairs. It has a wide open mouth that lets in tons of sun. There are no mosquitos. It is a glorious swim, in crystal clear waters filled with black catfish that I'm sure will nibble your feet if you let them. The sunlight refracts on the jagged limestone under the water so that it seems to be a new, strange sun shining up from some subterranean world. It is magical and strange and beautiful and slightly creepy.

I'm not sure the Maya were wrong to consider them holy places. They certainly seem enchanted to me.