Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Faux Ruins

Our first visit to Isla Mujeres, we may have thought this structure and wall around the area were Mayan ruins -- or at least very old structures.  All I can say is not!

Recently I read a comment on a Facebook message board referring to this as a Mayan ruin, so I thought I'd further muddle the issue on this blog.

I read the explanation years ago on a message board that's been defunct since 2004 and the poster has since passed away.  He was one of the original ex-pat's to build on the south end, but it's possible his rendition from the Isla coconut telegraph could be inaccurate.  Add that my memory has also faded.  The tale went something like this:

Sometime in the not so distant past (pre-2000), an ex mayor (or former government official) decided to build his own soccer field/ball yard at Punta Sur.  This structure and the walls surrounding it were part of project.  During the process something went wrong and his dream never came to fruition. 

I snap a few photos each trip of the ever-evolving scene.  The boat blocking the path has been moved (or pushed back?), but now the plants and birds have taken over the scene. 
We thought about doing a retake of the old muscle shot from 2002 with our little canine friend, but never got around to it.  Dang!

These masks on the original walls, photographed five years ago, are mostly consumed by vines now.

The new masks in the Punta Sur parking lot mirror the masks on the other wall's pillars.

Long story short -- what's left of the Mayan ruin, Temple Ixchel, can be accessed by the Punta Sur path beyond the sculpture garden.  That is the only ruin at Punta Sur.
If any readers have the entire story or a different rendition of the failed project, I'd love to hear more!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Walking Juarez

Where is Juarez?  It's the north/south street between Medina, the dock street, and Hidalgo, the main shopping/restaurant street on Isla Mujeres.  Medina is where you'll see the most fishermen, boats, commissionistas, and daytrippers, and Hidalgo consists mainly of restaurants and shops.  Juarez is more of a local's street with a mixture of shops, loncherias, and homes.  It's a good street to walk down if you want to witness the local culture.

The island wakes up in the morning with locals walking to work on Juarez.   Notice all the crossed wiring.  I rarely look up, but it's a tangle in this photo.

Juarez is home to some of the oldest most colorful homes on the island.

This mosaic wonder is a fairly recent (within the last few years) addition to Juarez.

 La Susanita, a local loncheria on Juarez.
Juarez is peppered with these signs nailed to residences along the street.  The sign means please, no parking.  People who live there need to be able to park their vehicles.

Some blue gingerbread trim on another historic casa.
La Lomita, a small loncheria up the hill at the south end of Juarez, is known for its bean soup, enchilada suizas, and ever evolving shrine.
Another colorful address on Juarez, Galeria 13 Juarez, houses a decor store.
Poc Chuc, a well known loncheria on the corner of Juarez, has a menu board outside where you can take a photo!  Stick your head through!  I did!
Local women walking past my favorite spot at Mogagua.
 Mogagua's the best place for frappes and watching the world pass by on Juarez!