May 11 - 16, 2012

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We enjoyed 5 lovely days in Cozumel, Mexico in May 2012.  We stayed in a wonderful place named Condumel.  We found it via Vacation Rentals By Owner, where one of the units that is owned by some Americans is rented.  You can see their web site here which includes a bunch of pictures of the room.  This lovely spot really made the trip for us.   It was so beautiful, private, the staff is very kind, and it had great snorkeling right out the back door.  We never saw another place we would have preferred to stay over this one.
 The view from the kitchen out the back patio doors. The view from the "back yard" of the condo, looking toward town.
 The view from the condo toward the north end of the island.
Looking back at our room and the beach area.  We had the place to 
ourselves for three days, then another couple arrived.  It was so private!

Views from Kondesa - our favorite restaurant on the island.  
It was the only place we visited more than once.  

 At Mega - the Wal-Mart SuperCenter-ish store we visited often.
 It is unlike Wal-Mart in that you can buy motorcycles in the store.
Also it is on the second floor.  There are ramp-like 
escalators for driving carts up and down to the upper floor.  
 Walking around town, we captured details of this concrete job 
 to show to Eric's brothers.
This girl was all dressed up in a fancy gown and headed to this
monument-type thing to get pictures taken. 
The walking path from the condo to town.  The walk was the perfect 
distance and was very pleasant.
Another view out our back door at the condo.

 Scenes from the military base that was along the walk to town.

 Saturday afternoon we hired a cab to take us to the seaward side of the island.
We spent a few hours at Punta Morena beach club, splashing in the ocean, 
talking to other tourists, and relaxing in the sun (as Eric demonstrates above.) 
I've heard people say, "There's a beer with my name on it."
Although he doesn't drink, it turns out this is true for my Dad! 
I have a series of pictures I call, "Put your feet up."  This will join the collection.
 An iguana on the fence along the walk into town.
When walking north from the condo, we would come to the harbor which
was a nice area for walking.
There was a huge fishing tournament while we were there.  The big crowds you
can see in the distance are waiting for the weigh-in on the last day.
Monday we went to Palancar Beach to take a boat snorkel tour. 
There was some peacock romance going on in full force. 

On Sunday night we visited a wonderful little church in the non-tourist part of town.
We couldn't understand a word that was said, but it was good to be surrounded by other people who love Jesus.
We were made to feel very welcome. 


Views of Palancar

 It was a lovely beach area.
Here we are on the snorkel boat.  I think the names here were: 
Antonio, Neuella, Cello (our guide), and Julio

On the snorkel boat.
 The beautiful clear water and a reef underneath.  This area is called
 El Cielo (which I'm told means sky) because there are many star fish here.
This restaurant displays their specials from the rafters.  Our guess is the middle dish
is an old Aztec dish! :-) 
This reconstruction of a pirate ship gave different kinds of tours.  We didn't
do the tour, but enjoyed seeing the boat go by.  
The military men were always doing exercises in the area.  They would swim
long distances, or run along the beach in large groups.  

A party in town that we stopped to spy on.
  A (very short) lady was blocked by the party.  She nearly ran into something
trying to get her van out.  Eric jumped in to help and found the seating area a
bit tight! 
The only sunset we got to witness from our condo, it was lovely.


Tuesday (our last day) we rented a car and drove around the island.  
The car had seen better days about a decade ago.  It was amazingly
crappy, but it got the job done.  (As long as you didn't want to go in
reverse for more than 5 feet!)  
We named it "The Red Stallion", here Eric shows off his studliness as its driver.
 We found another eel - the 4th I saw on the trip - in the 
 shallow area on one of the beaches. 
 Happy Casazzas  There were snails on all the rocks near the ocean. 
 They had colorful shells. Eric says, "This is how you do Escargot, right?!"  
 Blow holes in the coral - they were very cool.  It sounded just like breathing. Eric getting sprayed while checking them out. 
You can tell I'm getting ready to get sprayed.  I'm sure cringing helps.  Casazza tourists
 Squinting Casazzas Lovely scenery
   A coral bridge and a hot dude.
   Stopping at Coconuts so I could try the conch ceviche.

 This parrot would do flips on his rope and would chatter at you.

 This one could say it's name, "Tequilla."    My lovely meal, cliff-side and with a bird watching intently for scraps. 

Speaking of watching for scraps, there were several dogs
that lived here who stayed nearby in case you had any
food to dispose of.  
   This was a lovely spot where you could wade in to enjoy the waves
 without getting knocked down by them. 
Warning - all the rest of the pictures are underwater pictures of questionable quality.
   This looks like a ray but I can't remember for sure.
This is a juvenile French Angelfish, one of about three who made
pests of themselves by getting right in your face and taking occasional
bites out of your limbs when you weren't looking.  
The reef just behind our condo.

A sea cucumber, one of two we saw behind the condo. 
   There were lots of sea urchins, although few of them
 displayed this level of organization.  I suspect these
 three were up to something. 
A blurry shot of the reef at the condo.
Caribbean Blue Tang.  These were one of my favorites so I took a lot
of pictures of them.  I love that color of blue. 
See how annoying this guy was?!!  I told you.  

I called those other fish my "fan club" because they always hung around.
I think this was some kind of Parrot fish but I'm not sure.
He was very pretty in real life but the pictures don't do it justice.
 Blue Tang again Conch shell - I saw one moving later with a crab-like leg 
poking out the bottom.  I guess new owners moved in. 
 I think these are Amberjack  A whole bunch of small, yellow fish.
We saw quite a few Needlefish, they are cool.


There were several Boxfish in the area behind the condo
and they would change color right before your eyes, 
depending on the background.  It was amazing to watch.

Closer view of the Boxfish.
  More coral behind the condo.
I saw two eels near the ladder at the condo, this one was yellow.


 Here Eric chases a Needlefish


He was always going to check out the bottom, but I
liked to stay on the surface. 
  French Angelfish

 Coral and blue fish at the condo


 The other eel I saw near the ladder a the condo.


All of the pictures below were taken on our boat snorkel trip to El Cielo, Columbia Shallows, Palancar Shallows, and Palancar Deep

The guide showing us a Moray Eel, but the picture didn't turn out. Starfish were everywhere there.

This one has developed an affection for a rock.
  There is a very well camouflaged fish in this picture, can you see it?!

 Pictures of a lobster the guide pointed out to us.

We saw a big Barracuda but the pictures didn't turn out.
 Don't know what these guys were.  

 This guy was awesome, he was a big sea turtle.  We also saw one from the surface too.


 Two blurry shots of a Manta Ray and a "groupie" fish 

  It was a great vacation, and was all for me.  Thank you Eric!!

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