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Old 03-15-2009   #1 (permalink)
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52 Pictures of the "New" Mahahual - a Mini Trip Report

My wonderful friend Sarah (formerly of Playa, now of Iowa), her hubby Adam, and I headed south to Mahahual yesterday to explore, relax, enjoy the culture, and see how things look since the last time Sarah had been there (3 years ago) and since I had been there a year and a half ago soon after Hurricane Dean.

We found the same wonderful little town but it now seems somewhat torn between very different worlds. Mahahual is still the same warm, friendly, welcoming place we found on our first visit there 3 years ago. It's also still (in some areas) the nearly desolate and destroyed town I saw after the hurricane. And since then, a portion of it has become a shiny new town built specifically for the tourists who see it as a cruise ship stop to the "Costa Maya." The entire place is a contradiction of itself in so many ways, yet still fascinating and inviting.

I have some pictures that I hope will show you all the sides of this special little place.

We arrived in the latish afternoon and spent some time driving through town and well beyond it, uncertain as to where, exactly, we wanted to stay for the night. After our exploration, we decided to start near the center of town and work our way out from there. We decided on the first place we stopped, dropped our bags in our room, and headed out to see the new malecón (boardwalk) that we had heard had taken the place of the beach road that had previously been next to the waterfront. Since the cruise ship folks had already returned to ship, the place (consisting almost exclusively of all-new construction) was nearly shut down, but we found some spots still open and we had numerous pleasant encounters with the folks working there.

Here are some shots from our early evening stroll:

Lots of kiddos having fun while their parents closed up shop for the day.





A little shy peek-a-boo:











(Isn't that an unusual sink in the lower left corner?!)


No swing sitters tonight!





This was a great big brother (except when he was harassing the other brother by showing Adam his butt while Dad was trying to change his clothes and laughing himself silly - along with Adam!)





But around the new buildings, the severe hurricane damage still shows through.



Had to have the sunset poses.







More to come...
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OMG I really live here... STILL!
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Old 03-15-2009   #2 (permalink)
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During our walk, I was so entertained by this adorable puppy. He was determined to dig his way to the other puppy that he could see on the other side of the mirror and, when he wasn't doing that, he was a veritible whirlwind of energy. I couldn't take my eyes off him!









Sarah met a friend along the way, too.



By this time, it was getting dark and we were getting hungry after our walking, and looking, and picture-taking, and shopping. One of our more friendly shop-keepers had recommended a restaurant behind his store, and we headed back to it.

We had some yummy food at a good price from a friendly family:

Adam's alambre de pollo:



My enchiladas verdes:



Sarah's yummy fish:



And Adam's big beer (don't worry... he shared with Sarah (:



We came back by in the morning and got a picture of the place in the light.



It was still early and Adam and Sarah wanted to take a walk, but I was chilly and just wanted to go back to the room and get warm. They weren't gone long, though, and, fun-loving folks that we are, we were all tucked in and asleep shortly after 9pm!

More to come on Day Two!

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Old 03-15-2009   #3 (permalink)
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This is great, Susie. I just love the shy smiles that the kids have - they're beautiful children, aren't they? Thanks for sharing your mini trips with us!
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Old 03-15-2009   #4 (permalink)
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Hi Susie, so happy you got to spend some time with Sarah and Adam.
What was the temp the day you were chilli? Hope it warms up before we arrive.........see you soon chica!
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Old 03-15-2009   #5 (permalink)
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Our chums, occasional poster Jaydoil (Jay & Caroline), just returned from a couple of days in Mahahual. They're in PDC a lot, and wanted to take a look at some place new to them. They couldn't say enough good things about the place. Very small, and not well developed, but a terrific spot. They went there by bus, about 4 hours from Playa, if I recall correctly.
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Old 03-15-2009   #6 (permalink)
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Just what I was looking for. Lots of people seem to be talking about Mahahual lately.

I think I'd like to take a side trip here someday.

Thanks for the pics Susie.
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Old 03-15-2009   #7 (permalink)
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Excellent camera work there Susie!!! The kids, the pup & the sunset photos are great!!!

Thanks for sharing!

Maureen
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Old 03-15-2009   #8 (permalink)
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Awesome reporting Susie...I have been waiting for this.
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Old 03-15-2009   #9 (permalink)
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11 hours later... (no kidding, we all slept 'til 8 the next morning! who says Mexican mattresses aren't comfortable?!) we got ourselves up and headed out into a perfect day. Adam and Sarah had picked up some breakfast recommendations during their walk the night before and we checked out all 3 options. We ended up at the same restaurant that had been the only one open and serving food after the hurricane, when we had eaten there with Joana and Vieve, "Marea Alta" (high tide).

Good food, good portions ('cept Adam only got 2 hotcakes ), cheap prices. Oh, and the menu board was amusing reading, too. I especially liked "Postas de Pescado = Pellets of Fishing!"



Walked back to our hotel to get some beach time before we left.

Had to wonder if this boat was still in the spot Dean put it in 2007.



Our hotel was La Posada de las Cuarenta Cañones or, more commonly, 40 Cannons. People were very friendly here, including the Italian owner. It was clean, comfortable, attractive, with a ceiling fan, A/C, and hot water and located right on the beach, (though we were a little confused because it had been on the east side of the main road before Dean and the new malecón!) and 800 pesos a night.





I really liked this artwork outside our room.



We got ourselves out to the very lovely beach across the malecón. For me, this is one of the best amenities the hotel offers. Decent beach chairs and just a beautiful view. After some fun pictures, I had to get a little artsy with the camera.













I call this... my Boat Group.















We got in a couple hours of this, then headed in to check out.



Final shots, coming up!

Last edited by Susie Q Roo; 03-15-2009 at 11:39 AM..
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Old 03-15-2009   #10 (permalink)
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So we threw our bags in the car and headed out, but Sarah wanted to return some bottles before we got out of town and we pulled off to the side of the road to wait for her.

Had to grab this photo of big hunks of meat just hanging there in the heat and open air.



While we were waiting for Sarah, I spotted this colorful little hut and wanted to get a shot of it.



As Sarah returned, she said that they were selling juice. Mmm… fresh squeezed OJ! We weren’t planning to eat for several hours, so decided to check it out. The family was sitting in the yard next door, and a man came up to wait on us. He was just the nicest! Sarah decided on a bowl of fruit. We had seen someone walking by with one earlier and it looked fantastic. My heart was set on juice though. He made the fruit first and each time we thought he was done, and the bowl full, he’d pull out a different fruit and start slicing. Again we thought he was finished and he asked, “Miel?” (honey). Sarah said yes and thought again that it was time to dig in, until he asked, “Granola?” Sure, why not! It was the prettiest fruit bowl ever!

So it was time for my juice. He pulled out a few oranges, sliced them, then pulled on his gloves. I didn’t know quite what to expect!



Turns out he’s got this way cool machine that looks like a grinder, specially configured as a juicer! It’s too cool!





In no time at all, we’re handed a frothy glass of liquid Vitamin C!



One more colorful shot on our way out of town…



…to take a quick swing past the recently reopened cruise ship port area of town (Costa Maya, as they like to call it). The port was locked up since no ships were in, so we weren’t able to see much. But we caught this after we turned back toward the main road, and we all three groaned in unison… great.



So, it was with mixed feelings that we left Mahahual. It’s obvious that the new plan is bringing money to those residents fortunate enough to be a part of it, and that money will probably then filter through the rest of the community. The “old” feel is still there, but concern exists that it will be overrun by modernization and greed. Perhaps a barrier will continue to exist between the old and the new, but I would so hate to see the warm atmosphere dissipate as the town develops more. To its advantage, I think, access is currently so limited that growth won’t happen very quickly, but that’s probably what people thought about Playa 25 years ago.

Regardless, we had a wonderful trip there and would highly recommend it as a couple night get-away from the crowds of Playa.

(Oh, and our trip wasn’t quite over but I think that will be a separate thread that I’ll link to when it’s up. )

EDIT: And I might have some extra pictures to add when I get copies of Saritas!

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Old 03-15-2009   #11 (permalink)
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very nice. thanks.
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Old 03-15-2009   #12 (permalink)
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Thanks for the photos. And boy, do I miss that fresh squeezed OJ!
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Old 03-15-2009   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trish View Post
This is great, Susie. I just love the shy smiles that the kids have - they're beautiful children, aren't they? Thanks for sharing your mini trips with us!
I love the kiddos! I can't get enough pictures of them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tesla 573 View Post
Hi Susie, so happy you got to spend some time with Sarah and Adam.
What was the temp the day you were chilli? Hope it warms up before we arrive.........see you soon chica!
I am pretty happy I got to, too!

It was probably 75F, but the breeze off the water was really chilly. It wasn't too cold by any means, but my blood is thinner these days and I would have been more comfortable in jeans if I'd had them. Plus, I'm still fighting a cough and sore throat, so that's probably part of it, too. Looking forward to spending time with you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bumper View Post
Our chums, occasional poster Jaydoil (Jay & Caroline), just returned from a couple of days in Mahahual. They're in PDC a lot, and wanted to take a look at some place new to them. They couldn't say enough good things about the place. Very small, and not well developed, but a terrific spot. They went there by bus, about 4 hours from Playa, if I recall correctly.
Count me in on that "saying good things about it" gang!

Quote:
Originally Posted by silvergirl View Post
Just what I was looking for. Lots of people seem to be talking about Mahahual lately.

I think I'd like to take a side trip here someday.

Thanks for the pics Susie.
You keep saying you want a side trip and you never take me up on any of my off-the-beaten-path ones! Next time, I'll just kidnap you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by maureena5 View Post
Excellent camera work there Susie!!! The kids, the pup & the sunset photos are great!!!

Thanks for sharing!

Maureen
Thanks, Maureen. Have you and Joe made it down there?

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Originally Posted by TAPPY View Post
Awesome reporting Susie...I have been waiting for this.
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Originally Posted by 4wheeled View Post
very nice. thanks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Playadicta View Post
Thanks for the photos. And boy, do I miss that fresh squeezed OJ!
Glad you guys enjoyed it. I'm ready to be your handy travel companion should you ever care to go there sometime!
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Old 03-15-2009   #14 (permalink)
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Great pics, Susie..Thanks! I loved the little puppy and the boat pics...nice to see Adam, Sarah and you all looking so great ....and so happy.
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Old 03-15-2009   #15 (permalink)
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yes they were really cool pictures, ill have to put that on mytodo list for next winter
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