Two days in Akumal - We'll Follow the Sun - CycleBlaze

January 5, 2019 to January 6, 2019

Two days in Akumal

Who knew we could be such beach bunnies?

We began on Saturday with a little cycle tour of the more upscale part of Akumal - the condos for rent and purchase right on the beach.  Of course, all you can see is the street side, but it gave us enough of an idea that these would be pretty pricey places to stay.  In fact, I grabbed a  price sheet from one place and the very cheapest off-season rate was $250 US per night - yikes!  Guess we won't be indulging ourselves in one of these places anytime soon!  

This was the most colourful of the many condos we saw, so it got rewarded by making it to our blog
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Steve Miller/GrampiesWe were intrigued by the condos in this area too. You are right - we found prices from $250 to $800! But this pictured one, called "Del Sol Beachfront", claims to be budget friendly. You could stay there for just $140! However on our stay in Akumal we were like you across the highway, and paid $40.
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2 weeks ago
Sue PriceIt's funny, isn't it? We kind of felt for these folks having paid for their great view and beach and then have that massive seaweed every day! It was such a short ride up to the other side it was sure worth the difference in price!
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2 weeks ago
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Enticed by this view, we walked through to see what it was like living with the rich folk. We figured that if we just looked like we belonged, no one would question us and they didn't!
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When we saw their beach though, it was a little sad. This crop of seaweed is everywhere on the coast of the Yucatan - we saw it in Celestun. Every morning, crews come along the beach to rake up the next batch and cart it off.
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Oops! Sorry for the finger! It would sure be disappointing to pay that much money for beachfront and then have this to walk through every day!
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This is the culprit. I am not sure if it has to do with global climate change, but I'm betting it does.
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At the end of the road was the entrance to a lagoon we had seen on the map.  From what I could see on the web, it looked like maybe a nice place to wander around and not necessary swim, but when we arrived and saw the entry fee of 280 pesos each, we balked.  Plus, it turns out that it is pretty rocky here and they didn't recommend anything other than snorkelling here.  Oh well.  We cycled back to the pay beach and handed over our now very cheap looking 100 pesos each, got our wristbands and headed through to the beach area.  There were a lot of people there, but we managed to find a spot to lay our blanket down and then walked down to the water.  As expected, it was lovely!  We waded about and got ourselves wet, but didn't stray out too far as there is sea grass in the area we were and we didn't want to trample on it.  

The beach from where we were standing in the water
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Cooled off, we sat on our blanket and enjoyed just watching the people walk by, read our books for a while and even napped.  We were there for much longer than we had anticipated and even though we thought we were in shade for the whole time, we both came away with a slight sunburn - forgot to put on the sunscreen after being in the water - duh! 

So pretty! Notice the pile of seaweed waiting to be picked up
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Ah, such nice blue skies!
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And THIS is how you get sunburned! We thought we were in the shade, but we weren't!
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Our beachtime over, we gathered up our things, knowing we would be back in the morning for the promised snorkel tour, which we were both pretty pumped about.  Cycling back up to our part of town, we had some time to do laundry and have a quick snooze before we were supposed to head over to the bar and meet a friend of a friend of Jim's who just happens to live down the road - small world!  As we were getting ready to go, we looked out the window to see that we were again, experiencing a downpour.  Oh boy!  Luckily for us, the Airbnb had an umbrella (guess it does rain here sometimes) and so we were able to make the 5 minute walk without getting totally soaked.  As we awaited Wayne's arrival, the rain stopped and the sun poked out once again.  

The rains came again!
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We enjoyed our visit with Wayne who has been coming to the Yucatan for about 6 years now in the winter.  He recently purchased a property, but then ends up renting it out most of the time as he explores other parts of this big and beautiful country.  He really loves being here and we enjoyed hearing about his many adventures.  

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Turns out this place originally was owned by a Canadian! Jim was thrilled to see this!
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Jim and Wayne
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After Wayne left, we went back to our little home for some dinner, which was just leftovers, but still I got to use the microwave and put them on real dishes, so that counts as cooking, right?  My football team, the Seattle Seahawks were set to go up against Dallas in a playoff game, so at 8:00, we made our way back over to the bar to catch the first quarter, which was enough for me.  I'm very happy to be way down here in Mexico where I don't care quite so much about things like that, and now that both Jim's and my teams are out of the playoffs, we can forget about football for another year and concentrate on important things like cycling and snorkelling.

This morning, we woke up early as we wanted to get down to the dive centre for 9:00 when they started taking people out.  We had read that it is better to get out early when the water is clear and not muddied by all the people coming through.  We ended up in a small group with just one other couple.  Stephanie, like me, had never snorkelled before and we were happy with the care our guide took with getting us set up and showing us how to use the snorkel.  It did take a bit of getting used to and at first I was unsure that I would enjoy the experience, but once I started putting my face down and seeing all the fish swimming about so clearly, I was hooked.  Our guide took us out into the area that has been designated for beginners and we happily followed along as he showed us some beautiful schools of fish and then our first turtle!  It was so hard, because every time we saw a turtle or something I was excited about, I would start laughing or breathing heavily and ended up with a mouthful of saltwater - ugh!  However, this did not disuade me and we all spend our wonderful 45 minutes seeing turtles (5), a stingray and a whole lot of fish.  It is such a different thing to swim with these beautiful creatures, I just can't even express it!  By the time we were done, both Jim and I were hooked.  Now we have to get our own gear and snorkel our way up the coast and on to Cuba!  I am so sorry that I don't have any pics for you of this part of the day - as you know, our computer issues have precluded getting any GoPro video up and we don't have underwater cases for our phones - something we will be looking for in Cozumel, our next stop. Note: we took extreme measures by creating a screen shot of some of the video and then taking a pic of it with Jim's phone to give you these very unsatisfactory pictures, but at least you can see something!

A turtle!
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Sting Ray!
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Another turtle!
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Annie! It's a Puffer Fish!
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Annie HeppLove it, so cute!
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1 week ago

With our gear returned, we happily sat on the beach, making sure this time that we were, indeed, in the shade.  It is just so fun to people watch when you are at the beach and there are so many different things to see.  

Yep, we are sure following the sun!
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Eventually we put our things away and went up to the restaurant to have lunch.  As we were passing through, we saw a special bread out on a table and one of the staff members encouraged me to cut off a slice for us to share with the warning that if we got the toy that was baked in, we would have to make the tortillas for the day!  I laughed and said I was pretty sure they wouldn't want me to make them, but we didn't end up with the toy anyways so all was good.  The bread is to celebrate Three Kings Day, which is part of the Christmas celebration here, making Christmas last a very very long time indeed!  This day marks the visit of the three kings to baby Jesus and it is commemorated with gifts, a special dinner and dance, and of course, this special break which is baked for this day.

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After enjoying our bread, we sat under a large palapa with a view of the beach and enjoyed a light lunch.  I'm including a picture for you, Dodie!

Ah, lunch with a view!
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Sopas - very tasty!
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And beef empanadas - also yummy!
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As we finished up our lunch, we noticed that people were walking along to a point we had seen off in the distance.  We had previously thought this was a private walkway, but it looked like this was not the case, so we decided to take a peek and were so glad we did!  We were able to walk out onto the very rocky point to where the waves were crashing up, a sight that I am always drawn to.  It was pretty tricky walking though as the rocks here are razor sharp and any misstep would have resulted in a pretty bad cut.  It is interesting that this is the case, as where we live on the West Coast, all of the rocks along the water have been worn smooth by the waves.  I don't know why these ones are still so sharp - anyone care to enlighten me?

Some very old cannons along the way - check out the cool rocks it is mounted on!
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Bill ShaneyfeltCool rocks are brain coral skeletons.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain_coral
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2 weeks ago
Sue PriceTo Bill ShaneyfeltYou're pretty quick! there were pieces of this all over the beach too!
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2 weeks ago
Bill ShaneyfeltTo Sue PriceJust something I learned as a kid. Only took a minute to look up a good website reference. That rarely happens!
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2 weeks ago
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Those are some sharp rocks!!!
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Checking out the life in a tide pool
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Bill ShaneyfeltTide pools are so interesting! All kinds of shore critters like anemone, crabs, fish, starfish, urchins, and on and on. Once in college, a friend and I visited tide pools at Cabrillo Beach in CA and found an octopus!
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2 weeks ago
Sue PriceTo Bill ShaneyfeltI love them! So much life in such a small space. I love to look at them with the grandkids up in BC
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2 weeks ago
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Finished with our beach time here in Akumal, we stopped briefly for a coffee and headed home for a much needed nap.  Well, Jim napped and I looked up all the places we can snorkel while we are here, which turns out to be a lot, so yay!  It is now officially a bike/snorkel tour from here on in!

Tonight we will again get ourselves ready to move on up the road a bit.  We are headed to Cozumel, so will have to ride into Playa Del Carmen where we can stock up on some much needed items at Walmart (oh joy) before catching the ferry over to Cozumel.  We have another Airbnb there for 3 more nights, and hope we can get in some more cycling and snorkelling while there.  

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