Posted by: lianadevine | 26 January 2008

The Last Resort

We’ve laughingly referred to our beachcamp as “Our Resort” – while ferrying friends and family to their respective resorts, all within ten kilometers of where we are, geographically.  While “Theirs” are expensive all-inclusives, “Ours” offers the quiet solitude that money can’t buy.  For 80 pesos a night, we don’t get all-the-food-you-can-eat, but neither do we get repetitive buffets of quasi-Norteamericano food.  We have no sparkling swimming pool(s),Lounging by the pool just beautiful groomed white sand beach lapped by the gentle turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea.  We have a humble little bar where the beer is cold, and it’s a local family we support by staying and entertaining here. Beer at “Our” resort bar However, we were fortunate enough to share some of the decadence while escorting friends Doug and Lisa, then Scott and Jackie on some economy excursions, Thing-style.

We had come to Playa del Carmen to meet Susan and Cal, family from Manitoba.  After spending time with them on the beach and in the shops of Tourist Mecca, we dropped them off at their resort, and went to check our email, which we had put off while doing our visiting.  There we found a message from BC friends Doug and Lisa, who were just starting their week in a resort 5 km up the road from us.  So we went to look them up, and made arrangements to meet the next day.  We enjoyed sun and relaxation with them Wednesday, and in the buffet line that evening, Calvin did a double take as he recognized his friend Scott from Alberta.  He and Jackie, friends of ours for decades, had just arrived at the same resort as Doug and Lisa for their week vacation.  It was my Manitoba life meeting my Alberta life meeting my BC life in my Mexico life.  Weird!

Our week has been filled with visiting and sightseeing, sun and fun.  Friday, we went to Tulum with Doug and Lisa, then found a cenote Snorkelling the Cenoteto swim in.  We met up with Susan and Cal and the kids again Saturday, and hung out on the beach.  Monday, we took Scott and Jackie shopping on The Strip in Playa del Carmen, then joined them for dinner at their buffet.  We saw Doug and Lisa in the dining room, so were able to say goodbye before they departed early the next day.  Scott and Jackie came for dinner at “Our Resort” Wednesday night before they flew home.   Our tradition is to make a Mexican meal for our Canadian guests (and vice versa), so we served chuletas ahumadas (smoked porkchops) and pork ribs in the marinade Yara had made in Bacalar at Christmas, with Mexican rice and a stirfry of nopales, onions and tomatoes on the side.Dinner at “Our” resort

We secretly got a kick out of driving up to the big fancy resort gates, telling the security we had friends staying there, picking up one or the other couples and driving them back to “Our Resort”.   Or taking them on a daytrip to the same Tourist Mecca they could book through the Concierge, but at a fraction of the price.  So how can they say it’s all-inclusive when each sidetrip you book costs an arm and a leg more??   Maybe the food wasn’t included in OUR tour, or the guides could use a little educating on OUR tour, but the price was right.   Besides, the company, IMHO, was better on OUR private tours.  Certainly both couples recognized this, as both Jackie and Doug commented separately that spending time with us was the highlight of their respective trips.  Well, it goes both ways, and I must say, though it was a busy time for us, it was most enjoyable and fun to share parts of everyone’s vacations.

Now that we’re between visitors, we are enjoying life on the beach at our rustic beach camp.  Since we are drycamping, without hookups to power, water or sewer, we are in conservation mode, so decided to make use of the camp washrooms. Our Beach Biffy We bought a toilet seat and a package of wipes to keep things clean.  Once Juan, the owner, realized we were using the facilities, he had his helper Joaquin scrub them all down, removing the graffiti and graphic artwork – all that is left is a single rosebud, which I swear was not there the first time I sat down.  Calvin set to work repairing the camp’s waterpump, and we’ve all filled up with wellwater.

I enjoy walks on the beach, looking for seashells, trying not to get too sunburnt.  Bob and Calvin solve the world’s problemsCalvin has made friends with Bob, a transplanted Floridian who staked out his spot in the sun here three years ago.  Meanwhile, Spike has sniffed noses with Max the dog, and shares a mutual respect with Rocky, the other camp dog.   We’re all pretty content here, taking each day as it comes, and looking forward to the next adventure.  Maybe the best things in life are pretty much free.

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