A Travellerspoint blog

Fifty Shades of Grey

semi-overcast 26 °C

Lake Bacalar in Southern Mexico is renowned for its multi-hued crystal waters where, it is said, a keen eye can see seven distinct blues and up to fifty shades. Unfortunately we seem to have hit a dull patch and the sea and sky looked very similar to what we see at home at this time of the year – fifty shades of grey. James was disappointed so he rented a catamaran and sailed off in search of a bluer horizon....
Luckily the sun eventually made an appearance and brightened the lakeshore palapas.
And we got a glimpse of just how beautiful the lake could be...

James is not the first member of the Hawkins clan to have sailed in this part of Caribbean. In the 16th century the English buccaneer, Admiral John Hawkins, captained a fleet of privateers that blockaded and intercepted Spanish treasure ships leaving Mexico with gold looted from the Mayans. This is one of the canons the Spaniards mounted on Fort San Felipe in Bacalar in order to stop Hawkins...
It's a great hiding place for an iguana.

At the fort's museum we discovered that pirates were the bad guys who robbed to line their own pockets, while buccaneers were good guys because they robbed to line the king's pockets. But some of the bad guys were actually bad gals. Mary Mead, a fearless English cut-throat was eventually caught and hanged in Jamaica.
There are no cut-throats here today, we hope, but there are plenty of locals out to make a few bucks from the hordes of tourists. However, the people here are poor compared to their compatriots a few hundred kilometres north in the ritzy resorts of Cancun and Playa del Carmen. The roads are bad, the sidewalks broken and meagre thatched houses are common here...
In Denmark our photos were often invaded by Biking Vikings and we've experienced similar problems here with Mounted Mexicans...
However, bikes are not a luxury or an environmental statement here – they are a major form of transport. The streets teem with entrepreneurs offering all kinds of foods and services on wheels..
Food of all kinds can be bought on the street in Mexico and the main highway through the small town of Pedro Antonio Santos is lined with stalls selling pineapples. This young woman was charging just a dollar each.
We bought a couple of pineapples but it looks like this guy couldn't resist a bargain...
Now we continue south to Panama, but we haven't finished with Mexico yet and will be back in a few weeks.

Posted by Hawkson 17:36 Archived in Mexico

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Loved the pineapples. Just finished eating a slice of upside-down pineapple and mango cake. Was with you there in the moment. Happy travelling.

by Sue Fitzwilson

Fifty shades of white here in Bayfield Ontario!
Love the history lesson re the Hawkins and glad you got a sail Jim, and pineapple!! The bicycle comparison is compelling too! Love this blog. Many thanks!

by Alison Fitzgerald

50 shades of green and beige here. Love the poetic first paragraph. Happy travels to you both. And BTW I shall have to check my ancestry now to see if Mary Mead is a relative - my maiden name is Mead.

by Janet

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