Posts Tagged ‘yucatan’

Swimming with crocodiles

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

img_20161212_105438Machito, a local fisherman, met me at the little thatch-roofed visitors hut in San Crisanto – a ramshackle itty bitty village on the long sandspit between the lagoon and the wide Gulf of Mexico. He rolled up on his bike, with a second bike in tow for me. I droppedmy beach bag and water bottle into his basket and we bounced down the sandy path to the boat launch, followed by two mexican women in a car who were also along for the 50-peso tour of los manglares.

Machito ferried us through the mangrove forest’s clear streams, pointing out trees and termite nests and giant ferns and fishes. After a dreamy half hour we docked at the cenote and I climbed down into the cool clear water, to swim with the giant tarpon fish that washed into the cenote during the hurricane of 2004, and got trapped there and bred. I asked Machito if it was OK to swim into the mangrove stream and he said sure, just try not to touch bottom and stir up the silt. I drifted through the clear shallow stream through schools of pretty little fish. No hay cocodrillos? I called. He laughed. (more…)

In the chair with Dr. Jesus

Saturday, December 10th, 2016

img_20161206_161728I am a dental tourist. This is the main reason for my 3-week residency in Mérida, in the Mexican Yucatan. I am here, like lots of gringos, to get my teeth fixed for a smidgen of what i’d pay at home as an outside-the-box Canadian. I have standard MSP of course, but dental’s not included – I guess because, as my friend Chris says, a holdover from the day when teeth were a luxury.

But i got a wee windfall lately in some long-overdue cash from my dad’s bequest, earmarked toward my genetically crappy and long-neglected chomps. So I flew to Merida, where Dr. J will do the whole shebang – 6 ceramic plus 2 metal crowns, a bridge, and several fillings, veneers, and accessories – for less than $4,000 cdn, vs. my dentist’s quote of $18-$20K. Add in a cheap flight (under $500) and three weeks at Casa ChiChi ($18/night) and it’s still a great deal, with a bonus tropical adventure.

I did two hours in the chair today w Dr Jesus and his dental tag team: wife Claudia, Gina, and the lovely Mar, whose Mayan eyes I have fallen in love with over her green paper mask. That was session number 4, with two or three more still to come. I recline in the chair to a wash of Mozart, Phil Collins videos, and easy Spanish banter. No pain, no heavy drugs.  Team Jesus are total pros.

So yeah, it’s hot here; sticky muggy hot, broken by delicious torrential rains (as I sit typing under the umbrella in the courtyard, rain slucing the cobbles through the seville orange and papaya and hibiscus trees). I am bitten all over by bastardly invisible mosquitoes, and at night, between the heat and the itching and the barking dogs, sleep comes and goes. But I’m happily ensconced at Casa Chi Chi Still, my funky little air bnb cum hostel with a it’s cool shady courtyard, tiny swimming pool and barky dog. It’s clean and cheap and relatively quiet by mex standards, ie, how many mariachi bands is too many? Between visits to Dr J I cruise Merida on my purple bici, with now and then a bus excursion to a beach or a ruins.

It is all so very far from perfect. It is absolutely perfect.


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