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Old 12-26-2011   #1 (permalink)
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The Alux and the Shaman- Caramba’s Magical Mystery Tour 2011

A short preface
According to Wikipedia, “An alux (Mayan: [a’luʃ ], plural: aluxo'ob [aluʃoˀːb]) is the name given to a type of sprite or spirit in the mythological tradition of certain peoples from the Yucatan Peninsula and Guatemala. Aluxob are conceived of as being small, only about knee-high, and in appearance resembling miniature traditionally dressed Maya people. Tradition holds that aluxob are generally invisible but are able to assume physical form for purposes of communicating with and frightening humans as well as to congregate. They are generally associated with natural features such as forests, caves, stones, and fields but can also be enticed to move somewhere through offerings. Their description and mythological role are somewhat reminiscent of other sprite-like mythical entities in a number of other cultural traditions (such as the Celtic leprechaun), as the tricks they play are similar.”

I was intrigued at the thought of these little creatures after a conversation with our friend Steve (snappysammy) a few weeks before our trip about his neighbor’s missing kitchen knife, and he was convinced an alux was playing tricks by “misplacing” it.

I read a little further and loved this little description found on a Cozumel realtor’s website, which included mention of Aluxob taking the form of little animals as well- I’m not sure whether this is a traditional depiction of the Alux, but it amused me and I forwarded it along to Harris (Tallyho) and Paul, with a warning to keep an eye out for iguanas sporting flip flops on our upcoming trip.

“If yer serious about a shaman….”
That was the subject of a message Steve sent to me after I put feelers out on the forum for a shaman to perform a Mayan wedding ceremony on the beach. You see, my good buddy Harris had just informed me that she and Paul planned to tie the knot in Mexico. Actually, they planned to do the legal thing up here with a JP before or after our trip, but wanted to have some sort of meaningful ceremony while in Mexico. Being the consummate party and event planner that I happen to be, she dubbed me ‘wedding coordinator’ and gave me carte blanche to plan the wedding of my (ummmm, her) dreams. True, there was a tight budget involved and, true, this was after a few mai tais at the Panda Wok, but hey- I take this sort of thing very seriously, and this was going to be special.
None of us had any idea just how special it would be.
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Old 12-26-2011   #2 (permalink)
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Oh goody....
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Old 12-26-2011   #3 (permalink)
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Seat Belt Buckled and ready.....................
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Old 12-26-2011   #4 (permalink)
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Old 12-26-2011   #5 (permalink)
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Holiday goodness here in this report.

I feel it coming
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Old 12-26-2011   #6 (permalink)
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I wish that we were a little quicker, with the camera at the airport.... but I never got a picture of the Alux
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Old 12-26-2011   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallyho View Post
I wish that we were a little quicker, with the camera at the airport.... but I never got a picture of the Alux
You're jumping WAY ahead of me here, Harris.... that will be covered, way later... There are many more stories to be told before that.

I thought I'd have a whole day here to write the first real installment. We've been sorting though pics (all 1400 plus ) today, and my day got a little ahead of me.
I am going to try to post something more, soon.

EDIT; oh, man!! I just realized that our first few hundred pics didn't get loaded to photobucket, and I need a few of those to properly tell the story.
Hold on, I think it will be worth it. Although it seems to me that not too many pics, if any, were taken the first day. I think we all know how those first days... and nights.... can be. This one was classic.

Last edited by caramba; 12-26-2011 at 10:59 PM..
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Old 12-26-2011   #8 (permalink)
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ooooohh can't wait for this one.....
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Old 12-26-2011   #9 (permalink)
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oh boy!!! I am anxiously waiting....
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Old 12-27-2011   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallyho View Post
I wish that we were a little quicker, with the camera at the airport.... but I never got a picture of the Alux

i cannot believe i know nothing of this story
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Old 12-27-2011   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by snappysammy View Post
i cannot believe i know nothing of this story
And you, my friend, will have to wait as well. This incident occurred as a fitting end to our trip.
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Old 12-27-2011   #12 (permalink)
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Shhhh! I won't say another word.... thanks for writing this Anne! I think I might have a few pictures too Paul is going through them and it is taking him hours! BTW, I got a camera for Christmas, and I will never miss a picture again!
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Old 12-27-2011   #13 (permalink)
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What a great, intriguing, fascinating, and educational start to your latest report, Anne!


I will be waiting IMpatiently!
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Old 12-27-2011   #14 (permalink)
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Workin' on it. Check back later....
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Old 12-27-2011   #15 (permalink)
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Friday, December 2nd

No matter HOW much I think I’m prepared for a trip I still find myself sitting on a suitcase at 1 a.m. struggling to zip it up.

Hmmm, 9 p.m.?


This year Ixchel and Caramba’s vet had given us a huge box of recently expired meds and supplies to bring to the new Playa Animal Rescue (previously known as the Peanut Pet Shelter, from which we’d adopted Ixchel last June). Aussie Gary had warned me that such supplies had not made it through customs without being confiscated as of late, but I figured we had nothing to lose- our vet would not be able to use the expired meds anyway…. We fit half in our bags with hopes of getting the rest muled down there in the coming weeks.
We also had a few toys to pass on to Heather in hopes of a toy drive, and muled a few assorted small things down for other friends.

We had Misty drive us to Logan in our Pathfinder, stopping at Harris’ mom’s to pick her and Paul up along the way. I was in vacation mode and tried to not freak a little when Harris squeezed into the back seat with a big (trash bag size), loose bag of clothes she planned to carry on and distribute in Mexico.

Luckily Misty works with a bunch of inner city kids who need clothing so Harris was easily (sort of) talked into leaving her bag there. Things were still piled around the four of us. Did I mention we are SHARING a car on this trip? Since we were a little concerned about the construction on 10th and wondered how that would affect getting in and out of Playacar Phase 1, we thought we could pretty much leave the car parked at Plantation House with Harris and Paul if need be, and since we were all travelling south together at the end of the trip we thought it made sense to share a car.

Once in Cancun, our bags were more scrutinized for the blueberry muffin I’d inadvertently attempted to smuggle into Mexico than for the antibiotics and mange meds scattered throughout our luggage.

We dashed outside, met the rep from Caribbean Car Rental (AKA America, Cancun and Tulum Car Rental among other names, I think) who brought us to pick up our Dodge Avenger (not the Caliber with the hatchback I thought we were getting that might accommodate our luggage a bit better). We crammed in and headed down the highway, with a quick Pemex and beer stop, then for a few bottles at Davina on our way into town.



Brian and I were staying at Playa Maya this first night and we were unable to get too close due to traffic diversions so we hopped out of the car as close as possible and told Harris and Paul we’d catch them around later on.



First things first. We changed into shorts and had a quick beer on our balcony while soaking in the view. It was great to finally have a chance to stay at Playa Maya. The room was really nice- we were upgraded to a deluxe room, # 202 (thanks, Ryeburg!) which was modern and nicely appointed, with a small fridge.







We didn’t waste much time before heading downstairs to have lunch with our feet in the sand. Ahhhh…. sipping Playa Maya’s grande margaritas with Miles Davis and Thievery Corporation piped in to the palapa was all I needed to feel instantly relaxed and on vacation.



We ordered guacamole, then calamari with guajillo chilis, which were even better than I remembered from last year.





Then we walked up the beach to find Mary (Mave) and Paul who had just arrived the day before and were staying in the condo just south of Playa Palms again (I can’t remember the name of the complex). It had been a couple of years since we’ve seen these dear friends, and we were excited to try and find them. They were not home, but we met their entourage (they were traveling with a few friends- Playa newbies- as well as Mary’s sister and brother-in-law). “They’re at the Beer Bucket, but we have no idea where that is!” I told them to follow me, and off we went, indeed finding Mary and Paul bellied up to the bar with a beer.







Hugs and kisses, lots of laughter and catching up ensued, especially when Harris and Paul came ambling along a short while later.







And then we saw Steve (snappy) pull up to La Ranita on his bike and called him over. Sweet! We had some catching up to do, and get up to speed on wedding plans- Steve was instrumental in helping me find a shaman and had been working hard to insure everything would be set for next week. After a little while we joined him and his friend Mike for Chope drafts across the way.

We all decided to meet up at Bad Boys a little bit later on to hear Brent Parkin play, at Steve’s suggestion. He was absolutely right on that this guy is one of the better guitar players in Playa- that guy was smokin’! He was backed by an excellent local band, too. I sat at the bar and ordered margaritas and struck up a conversation with a very friendly woman, who turned out to be Brent’s “better half”, Laura.





This was turning into a stellar first night, surrounded by good friends and flowing tequila. Uh, oh, let’s not forget to eat! Eventually we teetered up the street with Harris and Paul straight (well, not quite) to Carboncitos where I feasted on the delicious tacos al pastor I’d been dreaming about, and that famous salsa tray. I have no idea what anyone else had- I was too preoccupied…and a bit drunk. We ordered more margaritas, too, but then asked for some cups to go. We woke up the next morning with two almost full margaritas on our bedside tables…. probably a good thing.
Harris said she woke up to a little baggy of pumpkin seed salsa, but I do think it had made it into the fridge.
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