Travelling by “Collectivo” (basically a van with bench seating),  north for an hour, for a  9 day stay in Puerto Morelos. I know very little about the place, other than the beaches are supposedly, nice. Our hostesses, Isabelle & Kelly are delightful, charming and very welcoming. One is a Phd student and the other a Marine Biologist with particular focus on Coral Reef atrophy.

18.08.18 Went down to the beach and was surprised and a little disappointed to see that though, the beach was pristine, huge quantities of seaweed are piled all along the beachfront. This phenomenon has been apparent for a year or two now and has impacted tourist numbers. The incidence of “sargasso” is also exacerbated by large quantities being pushed further north by outflow from the Amazon river further south.

The Collectivo back from town today had to be the worst ride yet. I counted 22 people squeezed into a vehicle akin to a Toyota Commuter with bench seats. “Up close & personal,” outside ambient temperature was in the C30’s, however inside had to be closer to C40. Faces, misshaped, distorted, were driven up against bulkheads, arms and legs squeezed into all kinds of weird shapes and perspiration dripped from everywhere. However, everyone, good natured & polite, with “long suffering” smiles.

Sad news from the UK. A friend is quite ill. Shocked and disconcerted. Lynn has altered her existing flight back to Blighty on the 20.11.18 to 23.08.18 in order to be close to Do at her challenging time. I’ll carry on to Guatemala and wait for her there in Antigua, a suburb in Guatemala city.

23.08.18 01:30 am Mexican time (10.30 22.08.18 UK time) sad news. Our friend Do has died.

Arrived Antigua (suburb of Guatemala City) after an hour & ten minute flight down from Cancun & an hour transfer from the airport. First impression are very positive. The highways are well maintained. The topography is amazing and bowling up at El Mirador accommodation with vues out on a volcanic landscape with El Fuego and Volcàn de Agua in the distance is, nothing short of sensational! My AirBnB host is called Adam. He’s a Polish guy that came over from a stint in Cambodia following his girlfriend Anna, and is now managing this business with her, for a period of seven months.

Fuego killed 62 people on June 5th 2018. Pyroclastic flows travelling down the slopes and into the town completely outran them.

Today (Friday) I have been catching up on emails & sorting out paperwork. It has been cloudy most of the morning but warm, with the sun making an appearance late in the day. The volcanoes are swathed in cloud. There is noise of festivities filtering out from the San Jose Cathedral,so I’m guessing it’s some Saint’s day celebration or other.Went down to town late afternoon to orientate myself a little more. Saw a couple of churches devastated by either earthquake or volcanic activity. The central square (Plaça Mayor) is delightful, full of tree giving shade, the Mayors offices and administration buildings, a church, and artisan shops and cafés surrounding the gardens under a wooden canopied promenade giving shade to pedestrians.

 

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