Saturday, June 1, 2013

Isla Holbox

Abandoned sailboat near the Isla Holbox ferry dockThis past Monday, Nan, Mike and I traveled north to Isla Holbox to check it out as a possible nearby sailing destination. We took the ferry across to Cancun and then took a Mayab bus from the central bus terminal. It dropped us off in Chiquila about two hours later, and we took another ferry ride over to Isla Holbox. I was looking out the ferry's windows for sailboats as we approached the island, but there was only one and it was an old grounded wreck abandoned to the elements. Except for dredging to accommodate the ferry, the waters immediately around the island are too shallow for sailing. One would need to anchor out about a half-mile for safety, which would make for a long, wet dinghy ride in to the shell-covered beach.

Nan in front of the fishermen's memorial photographing an Isla Holbox sunsetMike's reason for checking out Isla Holbox was equally disappointing. In recent years, the island was a mecca for kite surfing, but we heard that local fishermen complained about the kite surfers interfering with their boat movements to and from shore, so the government banned it. Now it's allowed only on a beach about sixty miles east of Holbox.

Whale shark image stenciled on a wall in Isla HolboxWe stayed at a nice little hotel/restaurant, located next to the central plaza, called Casa Lupita. There were several similar businesses--restaurant on the ground floor, hotel rooms above--all around downtown, but none appeared to be doing much business. In addition to the loss of the kite surfing clientele, it was also off-season, so the hot, dusty, unpaved streets were very quiet. Frankly, there is not much to do there except hang out or eat and drink at the many good restaurants, at least until the whale shark viewing season picks up in a few weeks. Nan and I were ready to leave by Wednesday morning and were back on our boat by late afternoon. Mike planned to return today, but he cut his trip short by a day, having run out of reasons to stay.

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