The first thing we noticed was how busy the island seemed. In the spring and fall, most of the tourists are Americans, Canadians and Europeans, but most of the tourists we saw were Mexicans. They packed the beaches, the streets and the restaurants. It was good to see them vacationing in one of their own resort areas, and the island appeared to be prospering as a result. There were new shops and restaurants, and a new Walmart-type store, Chedraui, that carries just about everything. Our local friend, Juan Gomez, who lives in one of the mid-island colonias near the new store, told us he goes there almost every day. No more shopping trips to Cancun for those difficult-to-find items!
Most mornings, we went for long walks either around the north end of the island or south along the street that fronts Playa Sol, as far as the Soggy Peso bar. One morning, we visited Isla Animals, the local dog rescue facility, to play with the puppies. There were probably close to thirty of them, ranging in age from about eight weeks to four months, chasing each other around the yard and falling asleep in spontaneous piles.
sailboat refit project. In addition to fixing some of the inherited damage, he has designed and built some ingenious interior features, like a beautiful Mexican teak table that folds down and out from a forward bulkhead. We look forward to forming a sailing flotilla with the two of them once we get our own boat down there.
The highlight of our trip was the time we spent with Juan and his family. We met Juan, his wife Paula and his daughter Paulina in the plaza downtown for New Year's Eve, which the island goes all out for. There was a huge stage set up in front of the Palacio Municipal. The plaza in front of the stage was filled with formal tables featuring flowers and white tablecloths, which were all reserved, so we sat on the steps of the Catholic church to watch the festivities, along with hundreds of other people. The entire area was packed.
¡Feliz y Prospero Año Nuevo!