by Barb Eller – October 2011
Summer is over and you know what that means—time to head back to Mahahual. During the summer months I work out of the New Wave Dive Center in Port Clinton, Ohio and we were very busy with new divers. Rod, the shop owner, even began doing Discover Scuba at Kalahari, a huge water park near the shop. I enjoy teaching but always look forward to the time we leave for Mexico.
So at the end of September Patrick and I loaded up the SUV (aka Big Red) and started driving south. Patrick loves New Orleans so we always stay an extra day there exploring. By day four we were at McAllen, Texas and crossed the border into Reynosa, Mexico. If all you have ever seen of Mexico are the resorts and beaches, you have missed so much of a beautiful country. As we drove through the northeastern part, we saw rolling hills, farm land, and grazing fields full of cattle. This area is "open range," meaning cattle have the right of way on the roads and there were times we had to stop and let a herd of cattle cross the road. Horses are used for work and transportation. You will see many riders along the highway going from ranch to ranch and working the cattle.
Each day we tried to be on the road as soon as it got light. We traveled up and down and around some fairly large hills and early in the morning we saw fog. At times we felt like we were in a cloud and other times we were above, looking down into a green valley where only the tops of trees could be seen poking through the fog.
On the second day in Mexico we were heading east towards the Gulf Coast. Most of the hills made us feel like we were on a roller coaster with a few sharp curves, and by late afternoon we arrived at Costa Esmeralda, north of Veracruz. It is a resort town known for some great seafood restaurants—and so far we haven't found anything we haven't liked. After Veracruz we headed inland toward Palenque, one of the most well-known Maya ruins. This is one of the largest Maya sites and only 10% of it has been uncovered.
After eight days and 3077.7 miles, we finally arrived in Mahahual. This year we are staying in an apartment below some friends' home. We unpacked Big Red and picked up a few things at the grocery store for tonight's meal. I sent e-mails letting everyone know we had arrived and, before we knew it, I got a reply from one of the dive shops I work with here wanting me to help out with a group arriving soon. Yippee! I get to go diving!
I'm back and ready to tell you all about what I see diving and other fun things to do and see in the Costa Maya. Every day is a new adventure and I don't want to miss anything. Please join me!
Until later ...