So we’ve been here a week and it’s time for a report on El Cuyo. The trip started out stressfully when we got to Harlingen and found our flight was delayed by 3 hours because of bad storms in Houston. We barely made the connection to Cancun in Houston and then waited on the tarmac for almost an hour waiting for takeoff since so many planes were diverted to Houston after the storm passed. We got to the Cancun airport later than expected to find that the car rental (just like Costa Rica) had some “mandatory” insurances not listed on the website. In the end,, because we didn’t want to leave a $12000 deposit, we took a cab to our hotel and arranged for a transport to El Cuyo for the next day. It’s about a 2 ½ ride through the jungle of the Yucatan to get to ElCuyo. Doug and Sue rented a car and followed us.
You approach El Cuyo via a causeway over a laguna where pink flamingos wade. The paved road ends in the center of town and there is one road heading east that has the rental houses for the turistas. Ours is across the street from the beach and about a 10 minute walk to town. At first look, we thought that we should have bought twice as many groceries in Cancun; there seemed to be small little tiendas on every block, but little in the way of fresh food.
It took a few walks to town and some laughing and trying out my very basic Spanish, but we found the vegetables (sold by the Mayan ladies who get off the bus at 7), the chicken lady, the bakeries, the carneceria and about 5 restaurants. We’ve tried three of the five and the food is good, very inexpensive (four of us ate for $13.00) and authentic. Our accommodations are nice-basic but clean and sufficient. We’re on the second floor which gives us a view of the ocean and fewer bugs. There are some mosquitos and sand fleas, mostly at dawn and dusk, but it is the jungle. And we have two sweet little green iguanas that eat bugs!
The beach goes on for miles. At the most we may have seen 20 people on the beach all day. We have met locals and Americans. One neighbor for the month is John, a wildlife manager from Colorado who has been coming here since the 90s. Yesterday he mentioned that the beach was the busiest he has ever seen it here—there were four kites up! John brought over a bag of shrimp for dinner and we got a lot of information about the town.
When we arrived, Enrique was here to help us with moving in. He is a young man who lives in a cabana at the back of the property. He rakes the yard, turns the night yard lights on and off and speaks no English! This stretch of the Yucatan coast used to be coconut plantations so there are tons of coconuts. Enrique used his machete to open the green ones for us for fresh coconut water. I have gathered some yellow coconuts and opened them up for the meat—yum.
The wind—we got here late in the day last Wednesday and the sea was calm and the wind light. Thursday the wind was light (Paula got out on the 13 for one slow ride) and we got to know the town and talk to folks around. Friday looked light with an El Norte coming for Saturday, so we hopped in Doug and Sue’s car and took a tour looking for a cenote and the town of Tizimin. We found a cenote in Kikil and the town of Tizimin was really busy getting ready for the Festival of the Three Kings. We’ve got some funny stories, but we’ll wait till we see you all to tell them.
Saturday the El Norte came in with a fury—34 mph winds and huge waves. Sunday, the wind died so we could try to put up a kite, but the waves were still big and scary. We practiced getting the board on and trying to negotiate the waves. Monday was better- the waves were a bit smaller and the wind good. We did a bit better—Butch had two great sessions. Tuesday and Wednesday we got out on 12s, and 10 and were much more successful. We figure if we could learn in these waves, we’ll be good for the ocean in Padre. Here there were five or six rows of breaking waves and many broke over our heads while kiting!