Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Goddess Ix Chel on Cozumel

Every year there is a reenactment of the Mayan crossing from the mainland to Cozumel in order to honor the goddess Ix Chel, the goddess of fertility.  It was tradition for the Mayans to make the pilgrimage  to Cozumel to the temple of Ix Chel at least once during their lifetime, especially for women who were pregnant or wishing to become pregnant. 

After months and months of training, modern day participants rise before dawn and leaving the mainland around 5am make the long journey across the channel arriving to Cozumel mid afternoon in dugout canoes.  It's a long, arduous journey, made more difficult since participants can only wear the typical Mayan dress, so no sunglasses, hats, or sun protection except a white cloth on their head.

Waiting on their arrival, I stood under an intense sun downing free cups of water provided for everyone in order to prevent sun stroke.  I  can only imagine what it was like to row for hours under that same sun.  

I was told stories about women who had become pregnant after attending the ceremony in years past -  even one who had had her tubes tied!  So, women beware!!

The celebration continued into the evening at Chankanab and was a total delight.  Chankanab is built around a beautiful cenote with three Mayan style temples.  I only wish we could have sat closer to the temples but the setting was devine and the lighting and production values were really terrific.  It only happens once a year, which is really a shame, so plan ahead.  You can get tickets for next year here:

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Money Bar

We visited The Money Bar last October when we first moved to the island. Great place for the sunset, happy hour drinks and The Red Eye Band, the best cover band on the island.

We visit often to snorkel around the Dzul-ha reef, or to sit under the palms at the small federal park just north of the bar. The snorkeling is usually good, with two spotted eels that are usually seen around the coral heads. Last week, I saw a southern sting ray with a 6' wingspan in 8' of water, and it was swimming toward shore!

We started the Friday night happy hour habit about two months ago. The restaurant has some terrific items on the menu. I particularly like the ceviche.  However, we go for the happy hour, music, sunset and dancing. Usually in that order.

The band starts around 6:00 and the time for conversation is finished. They rock. The guitar player is the real deal on his Fender Strat, putting his spin on famous licks by Santana and Hendrix. The singer struts like Jim Morrison and usually hits the high notes he shoots for.

Another real plus is that Bohemia beer is on the menu. That is good because (I have said it in this space before and I will say it again), Bohemia is, hands down, Mexico's best tasting beer. And, yes, I would take a free supply for plugging their beer, but, no, it has yet to happen. I won't give up.

Sometimes a pro doesn't want to lug around all of their equipment, so some of these photos were shot with the Hipstamatic App for the iPhone and iTouch. With the right lens and film setting, the photos look like the ones that Mom used to take with the Kodak Brownie.

So, here are a few photos from The Money Bar, Hipstamatic and regular.

On the coastal highway, about 2 miles south of Puerto Maya
Live Music - Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Happy Hour:  5:00 pm to 7:00 pm (2 for 1)

See you on Friday!

Keep watching this space for an all new blog!

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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Festival El Cedral

The Festival at El Cedral, the small community on the southern part of Cozumel, is a popular event held every spring.

It features music, dancing, horse races, bull fights and a craft fair. We only attended the opening day festivities, but enjoyed the traditional Mayan and Yucatecan dancing.

Here are a few of our favorite photos.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Taqueria Molina

Sunday morning at the Mercado.

Jennifer's favorite place on the island - for breakfast.

After six straight days of cereal and bananas at home, a plate of sopes, tacos, gorditas or panuchos really hits the spot. You choices for toppings include, but are not limited to: chicken, carnitas, carne asado, rajas en crema, chorizo y papas or chicharron. I love the green sauce, which tastes like jalapeño and tomates verde with the perfect amount of Sunday morning heat and flavor.

Pair a plate of your favorites with a healthy agua fresca such as piña, melon or sandia. Unless it was a rough Saturday night, then you might want a sugar cane sweetened Coca-Cola. With luck, Mexico will remain a country free of high fructose corn syrup refrescos.

Chorizo y papes sope, carne asada and rajas con crema tacos and a pollo gordita