Monday, February 09, 2009

We drove to Catemaco and settled in the unassuming RV area beside La Ceiba restaurant. We have electricity, but not water (we are using what's in our tank). We don't have wi-fi, but the restaurant itself has it, and the connection is great - so now that I've taken a taxi to the laundry and back, we're enjoying a quiet afternoon drink while we catch up on the web.

Robin took a ride on his bike and found the proper RV park in town. He says it's beautiful, and he wants to move over there tomorrow. That's fine with me, but in the meantime I don't mind this place at all. Sitting here, I can see fronds of the open-air restaurant's palm roof hanging down and, below that, the beautiful lake just across the road. Almost the first thing we did when we arrived was to take a one-hour boat ride on the lake - to see the monkeys. Well, why not? I said. I wasn't too sure about the monkeys, but I was up for a boat ride. It was great.

The first place we went was to a Marian shrine somewhere along the shore. I wasn't quite sure why Erick the guide had brought us there, but I thanked him, and then we proceeded. We tore across the lake at great speed, then slowed down at several islands and crept right up to the shore where the monkeys - Erick called them 'macacos', so I gather they are some sort of macaque - were lounging about. He said they were from Thailand, and they were part of an experiment done by the university. Here, my Spanish failed me. I don't know what sort of experiment Erick was talking about. He also pointed out a number of birds, some of which we already knew from Canada and England. It was just weird to see moorhens swimming around, cheek by jowl with some very exotic and beautiful birds that could only come from this kind of climate. There were also kingfishers, which seem to thrive anywhere, and many, many egrets. The lake was studded with very sturdy-looking floating plants, and many of the plants were serving as chairs for the egrets. About two-thirds of the way through the tour, we pulled up by an island where there was some sort of eco-tour encampment. Erick told us that for a price, we could go for a thirty-minute walk there to see the turtles and the wild pigs and I forget what else. Robin's ankles weren't feeling up to the walk, so we declined, but it did look like a beautiful place to walk.

All in all, I'm very glad we took the tour. We are surrounded by ecological preserves of one sort or another - including a volcano. I'm not so sure about getting close to that.

I don't imagine we'll be here more than two or three days, but there's lots to see, and the climate is wonderful - not too hot, not too cold.

What has been haunting me today is that our holiday is more than half over. We are very near the Yucatan, which is the outermost part of the journey. Already I'm beginning to feel nostalgic.

Photos from catemaco.info

5 comments:

John Hayes said...

Gorgeous photos-- & re your p.s. post: there can be something disconcerting about very large flocks of birds.

Sandra Leigh said...

Indeed. Just ask Hitchcock! It occurs to me that I've never seen "The Birds", and that maybe that's just as well. ;>)

Debbie said...

Oh, I am full of envy. That looks wonderful!

Sandra Leigh said...

It is. I am a very lucky lady. And hi, Debbie! Good to see you.

John Hayes said...

As someone who has seen "The Birds," I can say you'll never look at birds in quite the same way again... tho I do like bird-watching.

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