Thursday, March 25, 2010

Riviera Maya....Flora & Fauna

If you've been following my journal of our recent trip to Mexico, you've seen some of the beautiful plantings around the area.  Here, with the last post on this trip, we'll walk around the resort.

The grounds of the resort, are very well manicured.  Always clean and cleared of stray leaves.  Most of the work done by hand.  No blowers, here.  There were power lawn mowers, but most trimming was with hand shears......and, there is a lot to keep trimmed.

No plain old concrete bridges, here.

There is an area with flamingoes.

They showed off for us.

Beside the golfcourse cafe, where we usually had breakfast, is a crocodile area.  These small ones...

...and larger ones.

Iguanas are everywhere.

Look up!

And, birds we hadn't seen before.  This is a Chachalaca.  The photo doesn't really show his size.  They're about the size of a small chicken.

There were lots of these Yucatan Jays.

They swooped down to get some cookies, that we threw off the patio.
There were lots of other birds.  I'm terrible at bird photos, so didn't get any good shots. 

Another visitor, outside our condo, was this little guy.  The closest I could find, was that he's a Paca.  He doesn't have the right markings, though.  So, I'm just not sure.

He came out to drink out of a puddle, left by the water sprinkler.

Many of the plants, were ones we recognized.  Asparagus fern, coleus, Aztec grass, and purple heart.  Cordyline was used everywhere, as hedges.

I think, this is Oyster plant, or Moses in a Basket.  It was everywhere....

...used as a thick, lush groundcover.

There was even a lighter, variegated version.  At least, I think it was the same plant.  I want some of this.

Two different colors of Ixora.  These make nice hedges.

Lots of ginger, with big red spikes.

And, Plumaria.

This palm was starting out with crinkly leaves.

Some plants, I've seen before, but don't know the names. 

This is a similar shrub, with a bloom spike.

And, what kind of tree is this?

Is this a white version of our Goldenball leadtree?

This one has these flowers....

....and, these pods.

And, look at the size of these blooms.

In the rule section of the book in our room....yes, I read rule sections.....there was the warning:
'Do Not Touch the Black Poison Wood Tree'.
So, of course, we set out to find out what a Black Poison Wood Tree was.
And, we found it.  See the black sap.  That causes 'severe rash'.

So, don't touch the Black Poison Wood Tree.

There were many more plants.  More colorful foliage, than blooms.  It shows you don't have to have lots of blooms, to make a beautiful landscape. 

It was a great trip, with some great friends.  We learned new things, caught up with each other's lives...
and relaxed beside the beautiful blue sea.

Changes in latitudes....brought changes in attitudes.

We're ready to go again.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Riviera Maya...Playa del Carmen

During our recent trip to the Riviera Maya, one of our days away from the resort, was to Playa del Carmen.
Playa del Carmen, is a city of a little over 100,000 people.  Their main industry, is tourism.

It's a good place to do some shopping.

We stopped to watch these young ladies do some bead work.  This shop had beautiful textiles.

At the back of a fairly large shop, is a Tequila Museum....

....where you can hang out with these ladies.

Could this be one of their relatives?

We took a walk over to the beach.

I think for fishing, I'd want a bigger boat.

A nice lunch, and back to the resort.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Riviera Maya...La Playa

  Riviera Maya in Mexico. 

The Riviera Maya, is a line of resorts areas on the Yucatan peninsula, along the Caribbean Sea, in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo.  Our resort was part way between the airport at Cancun, and Playa del Carmen.  It's a very large resort, with two large hotel/condo complexes.  Both share the same beach.

It's a long stretch of beautiful white sand, gently lapped by the Caribbean blue water.  There is a long line of coral and rock, along the beach.  That makes it a bit tricky to get out into the water.  We knew before we left, that this was the case.  So, we made sure to take along some swim shoes.

But, this is March....and the water was COLD.  This's my friend Jann, testing the water.  She can usually stand water way below my comfort level.  But, not here.

But, it was still a nice place to hang out.

You can rent 'personal water craft', or schedule a snorkling tour.  It was interesting, to watch the snorkle tour boats come back in, through a cut in that rock and coral. 

A pier there, let's you get out over the water, and see the beach from a different direction.

From here, you can easily see the line of rock and coral.

Lots of palapas...shade structures....line the beach.

There are rows of these jar-like things, on each side of the pier.  We assumed they were for extra wave protection, but we didn't find out for sure.

Yes, the guys were with us.  They just opted to not run up and down the beach with us, taking pictures and testing the water. 

Sitting in the shade of a palapa....letting a nice young man bring cold, tropical beverages, was their idea of fun.  Ours, too...for a while.

At the end of the day, the terrace outside Havana of the many restaurants there...was a good place to relax, with a glass of good wine, and a view of the pier and the beautiful water.

Until next time.....hasta luego.