we are again, back for year number 13, another Beach Reads - Alma Libre
Books & Gifts / Puerto Morelos newsletter.
Your favourite town enjoyed a quiet summer this
year. It was warm, with not too much rain and no big storms.
As usual a lot of new places sprung up and some others changed or closed. More
details about all that in our News Briefs section below.
We spent the summer as we usually do, working and
traveling. We wanted to have a memorable trip this year as it was a landmark
birthday for us ... yes 21 years old we are ... would you believe 30? In any case,
we went all the way to Asia, visiting cities in Russia, Japan, South Korea and
China. No, we did not drive this time; we took a ship from Vancouver and spent a
total of six week seeing Asia by boat, train, bus, plane and car. All this was
on top of our usual drive from Calgary to Puerto Morelos.
Highlights included The Great Wall, Tiananmen
Square, The Forbidden City, The Terra Cotta Warriors, and The Bund in China. We
saw the incredible city of Tokyo in Japan and Seoul in South Korea. In Russia we
visited a land-locked city which was an important Soviet submarine base in the
cold war. We found Russia fascinating. The people were beautiful ... but smiling
is not a big priority. We have more about our trip later in the newsletter if
you are interested.
Needless to say, we are delighted to be back in
our part of paradise, breathing the fresh air (Beijing had chunky air to say the
least) and seeing all the smiles we enjoy for free here.
We did spend a lot of our precious vacation time sourcing more unique items for
the bookstore. We will have even more food and gift items this year; as well we
collected a lot of new and used books from all over Canada and the US.
I hope you find this issue informative and
amusing. You will find this edition overflowing with news, gossip, rumours and
the usual filler. Please enjoy the issue and forward it to anyone you think
needs a little PoMo in their lives. If you enjoy the newsletter, and we hear
all the time that many of you do, please support it by making a purchase Alma
Libre Bookstore and Gifts.
Places to stay in Puerto Morelos
Two words nicely sum up what you
should do if you want to stay in an apartment, condo or house in Puerto Morelos:
We have been flooded with email
from around the world this fall with folks hoping to stay for Christmas or in
January or February. I am still getting Christmas emails daily!
Many of the most popular
properties book at least a year in advance, with many guests booking the same
block of time year after year.
To avoid disappointment, book
early or try to travel outside of our most popular times. November is a good
month to come and is usually quite easy to book, as are the first two weeks of
December, and the week right after the New Year. The last two weeks of
January/February and into March book many months in advance, but availability
gets much easier after Easter. April/May and the summer is a good time to come
and you will have your choice of places.
Your visit to Puerto Morelos just got a whole lot cheaper. As the price of oil
has fallen and Europe and China continue to slow their growth, the Mexican peso
has fallen. Last year at this time it was hovering around 12.5 to 13 pesos to
the US dollar. Now it has fallen as low as 15.
With any currency devaluation, there are always
winners and losers. Losers tend to be anyone who wants to buy imported goods,
as they are now more expensive. Winners are visitors and residents with dollars
Here is an example. That $400 peso meal you had
last December would have cost you $31.00 US. This year the same $400 peso meal is
$27.00 US. Many visitors still think of the peso/dollar exchange as 10 to 1, so
that would be $40 US, so you can see that line of thinking is way out of date.
If you think every $100 pesos is about $8 US, you will be in the ballpark. If you
go to the Oanda website you can print off a
traveler's cheat sheet that will help you convert pesos to any currency.
The peso has also fallen compared to the Canadian
dollar and other currencies, though not as dramatically. The Canadian dollar has
done some recent plunging of its own, but you will still find it goes much
further here than in the great white north. Canadians, be sure to spend pesos,
not US dollars or you will be nailed for exchange twice.
Salsa And Sun
Joanne has started a blog that celebrates the
special Mexico that we have discovered living, working and traveling here.
Lots of photos, and the fact that Joanne shares
her coveted, deceptively simple salsa recipe is worth the trip alone! Also check
out the route we take each year to get to and from Mexico, with costs. Find it at SalsaAndSun.com
Puerto Morelos Interactive Map
We've improved the interactive map on our Alma
Libre Bookstore website with the addition of dozens of new places and by making
the map easier to use. Select the location you want on the right side and the
map will show you where it is. There is also a search box. I've included
locations in Cancun too, like Costco and Walmart.
Here is a smaller version, without all the
Taxi rates have changed a little. Basic fare is
now 25 pesos, up from 20. Know your taxi fare before you get in the cab. See the new taxi fares on the big sign at the
square or see
them here. Make sure to agree with the driver on the fare before you go. You don't have to
tip, but we always do if they get us to our destination alive and well.
The taxi union has also started doing tours to
popular sites for a flat rate.
Bookstore Hours - We're open 7 days a week: NEW hours!
We're not quite open 24 hours, but we are open 7
days a week with new hours: 10:00 - 6:00 every day, even
Sunday! Come see us before the end of the month!
We can order pretty much any book
for you. Our next special order will be in January. Our
prices are low, usually two dollars over the list price to cover all the
duties, taxes and shipping.
Jungle Market / Jungle Spa
The Jungle Market will be back again this
Sandra and the girls have come up with a
completely new dance show, which celebrates Mayan culture and other cultures
across North America. Sandra says she wants to bring all the cultures together.
I have not seen the show yet, but I can guarantee it will be entertaining and a
lot of fun. It's an experience you can find nowhere else on the Mayan Riviera.
There is plenty to see and do and some unique
shopping, but be sure to come hungry, as the food is the real star of the show.
The Market starts December 28 and will run Sundays
through the season.
Jungle Spa is a real PoMo success story. Visitors to Puerto Morelos and
the giant, nearby all-inclusive hotels get a taste of real Mexico while getting the
best massage of their life.
The spa is so popular, they have expanded the days that it is open and are
requesting that people make appointments either by telephone or email. This
will ensure you don't waste any time waiting for your treatment.
To make an appointment, contact Sandra at (998) 208 9148 or Cell 044 (998)
180-5424 or by email
Appointments are available Tuesday-Saturday and limited appointments may be
available on Sunday. The spa is closed on Monday.
Many treatments are available, including a luxurious
aloe vera and banana leaf wrap and massage! (Or a chocolate massage ... does it
get any better??) For men, there is the "Mayan Macho" massage. You've never had
a massage like this! They even have special massages for young adults. How about
a 60 minute four hand massage? You will leave a different person!
Spa prices are
much lower than you will find at your resort and proceeds go directly
to the Mayan families that work at the spa and Jungle Market.
It's easy and quick to get out to the
jungle by car, taxi or collectivo. It's on Calle Dos (kie-yay dose) in the Zona
Urbana, which is right behind the Colonia.
Here's a map you can
print out. Taxi to the jungle from the town square costs $50 pesos. A taxi from nearby
hotels is $150 pesos or $12 US each way.
Tell driver you want to go to: Jungle Spa - Sandra (important to mention her
name) Zona Urbana.
Remember, when you pamper yourself at the Jungle Spa or buy a unique gift
at the Jungle Market, you are directly supporting Mayan families! This is a very
worthwhile venture and we hope you will support it.
Home and Condo Rentals
If you have not booked a home, condo or
apartment in Puerto Morelos yet, you had best get on it!
As mentioned above, prime time books early.
If you have never
stayed in a private home or condo, you are in for a wonderful experience. You
have all the comforts of home on your vacation. Just bring your
clothes and toothbrush! Everything else is included from towels and linens to
hammocks and blenders.
Many ex-pats have built their dream homes here in PM and are
willing to rent to you! Renting a place makes you feel more like a local and
offers the convenience of cooking for yourself and gives you much more privacy.
Regular Beach Readers know that we feature some of these
properties on our website. There are a gazillion property rental sites out
there, but our site is unique because these are properties we know, owned and
run by people we know and trust.
like to think we take the guesswork and risk out of renting.
We're always adding new properties to the site and new photos
This large suite can be rented as a one bedroom/one bath with a fold
out couch, or as a two bedroom two bath. Each bedroom has its own outside door
to allow entry or exit without disturbing others.
It has a full kitchen with pots and pans, dishes and cutlery, plus appliances
including a coffee maker, toaster and juicer. Drinking water is included as well as
cable TV with Blu-ray and high-speed wireless internet. The suite features a huge terrace with
table and chairs and comfy hammocks. All this from $750 a week in season, $450
starting in May! Click here for more
information and pictures!
Bright, Breezy One Bedroom
A big one bedroom, two bath with a loft. The loft has a fold out couch and curtains
for privacy. The couch in the living room also folds out into a bed.
Off the bedroom and the living room is a HUGE balcony with table and chairs for
four and a comfy hammock.
Of course there is a full kitchen with pots and pans, dishes and cutlery, plus
appliances including a coffee maker, toaster and juicer. Drinking water is included as
well as cable TV with Blu-ray and wireless internet. $750 a week in season, $499
starting in May!
Contact us to get your FREE listing on our website.
Ads by Google:
The big news in town in the summer and fall was
definitely the opening of the Chedraui grocery store. This is the
first "real" supermarket PoMo has ever seen and it has been embraced by the
community. This new store means that local people and visitors will not need to
go to Cancun or Playa for some of their grocery needs.
Some folks are worried that the opening of the supermarket will hurt our local
independent businesses. While it is true it will affect us all, even some of our
coffee and food sales at the bookstore, overall this is a good news story. Most
of us who live here will continue to make our daily purchases like produce and meat
at the small independent stores we have always bought from. The grocery store
just means we will not have to leave town to get other essentials like dry goods
and personal care items.
The store is large, but not as big as a Cancun store and they employ a good
number of Puerto Morelos citizens. The store has everything you would expect to
find in a grocery store, including a small bakery, butcher, deli, wine & beer and dry
Most of us will buy much less at the large stores we had to frequent in the
big cities in favour of Chedraui, but we will continue to support the small
stores. We urge that you do the same. At Alma Libre we will keep a close eye on
their prices and we will be competitive on any similar items they carry so you
can continue to buy from us.
PLUS, we know that Chedraui is not going to go to the time, expense
and effort to publish a town newsletter like this one ... and even if they did,
the jokes would be terrible.
A new bank, CI Banco will open soon at the same location. We are all looking
forward to that though the location looks rather small.
Always lots of changes on the Puerto Morelos dining front.
The biggest change I
noticed was a complete reboot of La Terazza, which used to feature many
vegetarian and Indian options, is now a taco restaurant under the same ownership.
It is called Gusanito (or Gusano) de Maguey and they offer tacos,
hamburgers, pasta and pizza. (Gusano de Maguey is the worm you sometimes find in
Just a little south of there you will find Clandestyno Italian restaurant. They
feature grilled fish & lobster, hand-made pasta, salads and more. This is the
space that was "Mexico de mis Recuerdos" last year and "Blackout" and "Taco Avenue"
A little further south on the same street just past the Mayan Handicraft Centre
is Los Tres Marinos which features seafood.
A new restaurant with an old name opened on Rojo Gomez just north of the square.
Lau's Express has Chinese food which you can enjoy at the restaurant or
delivered. Open 2:00 - 10:00. Early reviews are good.
The restaurant and bar in Hacienda Morelos has reopened. They have resurrected
the old name, El Coyote Apache. They are offering breakfast, lunch and
dinner to the guests of the hotel and the general public. Menu is Mexican. It is
a beautiful space, with a wonderful ocean view and an amazing antique bar that
was imported directly from Guadalajara.
A couple of new beach bars have opened. Dia y Noche is right on the
beach, just south of Ojo de Agua. It's open 9-5 daily. Also on the beach, a
little further north (away from the square) is My Paradise Beach Club.
It's in a lovely palapa building and is open daily.
I found another fish restaurant open on Ninos Heroes. It is called Las
Pescadillas de Puerto and they have fish and shrimp tacos. It is a tiny
place, right next to Siempre Sano vegetarian restaurant. Have not heard any
reviews yet, but as I am a
connoisseur of shrimp tacos, they will see me soon!
Happy to report that Spaghettino has re-opened for the season. When they
briefly took their sign down for a renovation, there was a measurable wave of
panic that went through the town. Now all is well again.
Not sure if we have mentioned it before, but it deserves a mention in any case.
There is a new cafe at the Casa Cultura. It is called (accurately) Cafe del
Manglar and it features coffee, desserts and smoothies.
Late last season Chulim produce store on Ninos Heroes moved almost
directly across the street to a space formerly occupied by the restaurant
Carbonero. Chulim is the best place for fresh produce and a variety of fresh
squeezed, ice cold juices.
A first for our town, we have a real Mexican sweet shop. La Dulceria del Puerto
has built its own space on Rojo Gomez, just north of the old Don Pepe's/Salon de
Fama restaurant. Mexicans love their sweets, so this place will be welcomed by
visitors and locals.
Speaking of Salon de Fama, it is closed. The space has been repainted, so we are
thinking something else is poised to move in.
Also closed is restaurant Choza del Chaman. It has been replaced by the
restaurant with the best name in town, Chicken Itza, which has a Mexican menu
and naturally, chicken. It moved from its old location on Ninos Heroes.
A couple of small, new restaurants have opened outside the Chedraui including a
pizza place owned by the same man who is the man behind the oven at "My Little
Italy". There is also a Chinese food place.
cantina called Don Mexcal has opened in the old Chianti Allegro
La Sirena now has cold beer on tap!
Al Chimichurri has a new menu, but all our favourites are still on it.
We've updated our Puerto Morelos restaurant guide with most of these changes.
Read it and print it on our website under the Puerto Morelos section.
More PoMo News:
The Art Tour is back this season. Read about it in our last issue
and contact Nadja at firstname.lastname@example.org to book.
A new nail salon has opened on Rojo Gomez near the laundromat. It is called
Salon del Puerto.
Having conquered Vegas, Cirque du Soleil has set its sights on the
Riviera Maya. As we reported in this newsletter earlier, they have opened a
completely new show called JOYÀ. A new 600 seat facility was built specifically
for them. You can see the show on its own from $65US or have dinner from $165US.
Early reviews say the dinner is outstanding and the show is good, if a little
shorter than most Cirque shows. Shows are staged at the Grand Mayan resort, just
down the road from Puerto Morelos.
If you were here in November you could have attended the Puerto Morelos Beer
Festival. It was a really big deal, attracting hundreds of folks from
Cancun. Patrons could taste food from the local restaurants and sample craft
beers. The only complaint I heard was that it was so popular, they ran out of
everything. Hopefully this will become an annual event.
Be sure to try some Noche Buena beer if you are here during the Christmas
season. It is a special beer only brewed at this time of year. Have a couple and
it will be a good night.
Santa Claus is coming to Puerto Morelos! On Saturday, December 20th at
1:00pm Santa will ride his sleigh, okay maybe it won't be a sleigh, through town
handing out candy to the children. The route will take him from the main town
square to the Colonia including Villas I, Villas la Playa and Villas II. It
should be a jolly time!
Saw blues legend Cooker John in Puerto Morelos this week. Good news is
that he is in no rush to go back north, so you will be able to hear him play
many times during the season. He will be playing Sabor de Mexico, La Sirena and
Help Needed - Many of you know Mauricio, the hammock maker, from the
Mayan Handicraft centre. Earlier this year, Mauricio's 16-year-old son Oscar suddenly needed to be
rushed to hospital
with kidney failure.
After many weeks Oscar and Mauricio had surgery with Mauricio acting as a
kidney donor. They are both recovering; Mauricio is back at work at the
While all this was going on, Mauricio's other son Jeremy also had kidney
failure, he needs a transplant as well. They are testing a potential donor right
All this is very expensive and beyond the means of
the family. They are asking for financial support. Donations can be made at the
hammock store in the Mayan Handicraft centre or you may continue
to support the family business by buying a hammock. If you have a PayPal
account, you can send money directly to Mauricio's account by using this email
If you use your PayPal balance, the fee is
There is a
Facebook page with more information here.
Calendar: There is a lot
going on in Puerto Morelos, and trust me, it is impossible to keep track of all
the events. (Didn't we used to be called Muerto Morelos?) The uber-organized
Amber from Mayan Riviera Properties has created an "all in one" events calendar
for the town, and she has allowed us to share it with you from our Alma Libre
website. Have a look
at all that is going on, and add your own event!
A little espanol goes a long way in PoMo and locals Marilu and Victor can
help you discover the language of Mexico. They will
come to you and will work with students at any level. They are currently even
trying to teach a couple of dim bulbs who work at the bookstore. Buena suerte
to them with that! Please contact us and we will pass on their contact info.
In the past we have had problems in town with bank machines being compromised
with "skimmers" being attached to the card reader. We have had fewer problems
Before using a machine, have a good look
at it to make sure nothing is unusual. Especially check the card slot and the
key pad. Is anything loose? Has anything been added to the machine, like a
camera? If it all checks out, cover your PIN carefully. Thieves need the card
info and your PIN to compromise your card. The HSBC machine outside the grocery
store on the square seems particularly easy to compromise, so I would avoid it.
The Banco Norte machine in the OXXO on the square is good, but may not work with
Canadian cards. The Santander machine by the police station has been compromised
a few times. I do not know anything about the bank machine in the other OXXO. It
does not seem to be affiliated with a large bank, so I assume its fees are
If you are particularly concerned about your card being skimmed, there is a new
private machine in the Aquanauts tour boutique on the square just east of the
bookstore. The fee will be a little higher, but the machine is carefully watched
As soon as you get home, change your PIN.
You will pay a fee to use the bank machine, likely from your bank and the
Mexican bank, but you will get a much better exchange rate from the machine
than you would at a cambio house, so that compensates for the fee.
using the machine to "think in pesos". Don't withdraw $200 pesos thinking you
are taking out $200 dollars. There are limits on the machines but you should be
able to withdraw $5000 to $6000 pesos at a time.
In an emergency, you can use the other machines by the mall, but the fees
will be much higher and the withdrawal limits much lower. One of the
machines dispenses US dollars, but I cannot imagine why anyone would use $USD as
you will get nailed twice on exchange. There are also some bank-affiliated
machines in the Colonia.
Road Warriors: Time for my "once-an-issue-whine" about the roads in Puerto
Morelos. I have less to complain about this year for sure. The road between our
town and the Crococun road is pristine after last year's flooding. They also
fixed the massive lake that sometimes popped up behind the church.
The red-haired step-child of the streets seems to be Avenue Ninos Heroes near
the cultural centre. The damage done there after the rains of two summers ago
remains. It is far beyond a patch job, and the strategy of ignoring it has not
helped much. We hope some money will be available in the new year to fix it
What news did I miss?
Please drop me a line and let me know.
you understood anything we wrote in this issue so far, credit is due to our
editor Susan Lawson of Calgary. Susan is way over-qualified as an editor
for this rag, we're just lucky she loves the town so much. She is responsible
for any proper spelling or good grammar that somehow got into this newsletter.
She is not responsible for the bad jokes. That is my fault alone.
Current Exchange Rates (At the exchange in Puerto
Morelos - December 2014) USA
This Just In!
Books & Products at Alma Libre
We love keeping you up to date with our town, but it's the
books that keep us going. We're finding all sorts of new stuff this year;
these are a few of our favourites...
There is no better souvenir of Mexico than a cookbook. We have a wider
selection than ever this year at the bookstore, including these ones that
are written in Spanish. Great gift for a local person or someone learning
Learn Spanish: This edgy CD teaches the Spanish phrases you
really want to know.
CD" is an hour-long language-learning program presented by young, native
speakers; translations and language and culture tips are included.
Topics covered include cool greetings
and goodbyes, traveling by public transportation, finding a hotel,
ordering food, partying with the locals, dating, shopping trends,
internet cafes and more.
Everything you need for a fun time in
Explore With Dora: Learn a little Spanish while having fun with
Dora the Explorer. We have a large variety of Dora books this year. Fun
for you and the kids!
The Well-Filled Tortilla: Like a blank canvas but much tastier, the
tortilla is the perfect start to any meal.
There is an art to tortillas and this
cookbook has dozens of zesty and unexpected concoctions that turn the
ordinary into the irresistible.
Featuring everything from Fiesta
Ground Beef, Chicken Mole, Spicy Shrimp Salad, Green Olive Cilantro
Salsa Ancho Chili Sauce, Pear Lime Salsa, and much more.
The Well Filled Tortilla features over
Mexico - Michael Coe: Michael D.
Coe’s Mexico has long been recognized as the most readable and
authoritative introduction to the region’s ancient civilizations. This
book covers the entire history of Mexico before the Spanish arrived,
from the Olmecs to the Aztecs.
This is a fascinating read with lots of photos and illustrations. We
have this book at a special low price.
Coe also wrote The Maya and
Breaking the Maya Code which we also have in stock at the bookstore.
The Painted Fish and other Mayan Feasts
This book written by Sonja Lillvik, who
founded theCuzan Guest
Housein Punta Allen is
memoir of life in the land of the Maya told with food! This is a
gorgeous book with more than 100 recipes (perfected in the Mayan Riviera
and tested up north) and lots of glossy pictures of food and fun.
Secrets of the Talking Jaguar is the
story of Martin Prechtel's physical and spiritual journey from the
Southwestern US to the highlands of central America. There he becomes
apprenticed to a local shaman who teaches Pretchel much about indigenous
Mayan life, and about life in general.
We sold out of these last year in
hardcover. This year we were lucky enough to get some soft cover
editions. If you missed this book last year, don’t miss it this time.
Reader's Review: "Reading this book
is a fascinating and up to now unavailable look at a culture that sees
itself as an integral, unseparable part of nature and the universe."
Crocodile Goes Out
A wonderful way to introduce children to the facinating
world of the Maya. This book is tri-lingual, with English, Spanish and
The book tells the story of the Maya calendar.
SPECIAL OFFER for Alma Libre Bookstore Customers
Cenotes of the Riviera Maya
is the best book ever written about the cenotes in our area. Beautifully
photographed, it could easily be called a coffee table book, but it is
also has all the practical information you need to explore the cenotes
whether you are swimming or diving. Many have drooled over this book, but
the hefty (500 peso) price tag kept some people away. Now author Steve
Gerrard has authorized us to lower the price. At 300 pesos, this book
is an incredible bargain and it has been flying off our shelves.
If you drive in our area, you need a map! We have excellent and detailed
maps of the Yucatan, the country of Mexico, Cancun city, Merida as well as
Belize, Guatemala, Cuba and Central America. We also have souvenir-quality
maps you can hang on the wall.
We also carry the famous "Map Chick" Riviera Maya, Puerto
Morelos and new Mayan Adventure maps.
Gourmet Sea Salt:
Made in central Mexico, these gourmet sea salts are available in four
very Mexican flavours: Cilantro, Vanilla, Chipotle and Habanero.
We've added a lot of new postcards to our collection, including more
underwater shots by "Dive
Diva." We have the largest selection of Puerto Morelos postcards, and they
are all exclusive to Alma Libre. We know because we make 'em! We also have blank
greeting cards to cover any occasion you may wish to celebrate while you are in
Gift Certificates! A nice gift idea for someone who lives here is an Alma Libre Gift
certificate. Available in any amount and can be used for new or used
merchandise. We can accept payments from up north via Paypal.
The groups have grown very quickly! Friends of Puerto
Morelos just passed 3160 members!If
you are on Facebook, please join our groups. We'll use them to keep you up to
date with town news between newsletters.Check
out the group for new photos of Puerto Morelos, taken by fellow visitors!
Sandy Christmas - A sand artist, Jose Gonzalez
decided to make Puerto Morelos his canvas for the last couple of
weeks. After creating an ocean-themed sculpture, he set his sights
on Christmas and is creating this Nativity scene, still under
construction obviously. We assume the baby Jesus will appear by
December 24. - Photo courtesy of the Casa Cultura
Santa in Paradise -
Saw Santa's sleigh parked in Cancun on a recent visit. I can only assume he
was doing a few shots to steel himself for the busy night later this month.
Everything Christmas-related looks better to me with palm trees in the
Colonial Christmas -
Valladolid, a city in the state of Yucatan just a couple of hours
drive from Puerto Morelos is one of our favourite places to go. They
take great pride in their town square, which they have given the
full Navidad treatment to celebrate the season.
Love It Two Times -
Caught this full double rainbow over Puerto Morelos on a recent
Those who know us know that we like to travel...a lot. There is a big world
out there and we want to see as much of it as possible. We have travelled
extensively in Mexico and the US, places that we can reach with a vehicle, but
we have been sadly lacking in overseas travel in the last few years.
We decided to remedy that this year with a trip to Asia. Since we couldn't
drive, we literally took a slow boat to China. In September we boarded a
Celebrity cruise ship which slowly made its way across the Pacific landing first
in a land-locked town which supported a very important Soviet submarine station
back in the cold war days. Now they "welcome" tourists as only Russians can. Not
a smiley bunch, but the visit was a thrill. The square featured a statue of
We sailed on to several ports in Japan, where we were overwhelmed by the
kindness of the Japanese people and tired out by the sheer number of Japanese
temples. We also visited two ports in South Korea, including Seoul, which is a
vibrant and very successful city.
We then got off the ship in China and explored for two weeks. China is a
vast country with many sites, so we travelled by train, plane, automobile and
ship. It was fascinating.
Seeing the Great Wall, the Terra Cotta Warriors and Tiananmen Square were
highlights, but the country itself is challenging. Obviously, the number of
people everywhere was overwhelming. There was a crush of humanity a lot of the
time. The other big challenge was the air. We saw blue sky only once in two
weeks. In Beijing the air was so bad, you could taste it. They measure the air
quality on a scale of 0-300. On the day we left Beijing it was over 500. They
need a new scale.
We did most of the trip on our own, but we had private guides in all the
cities we visited in China. If you go, I highly recommend this approach. It is
not expensive and saves you a lot of time and frustration.
After all this we drove down to
Puerto Morelos as usual. For details on the drive north and south, check out
Joanne's Salsa & Sun Blog. She has
detailed our trip north through Mexico down to the last peso, and covered some
of the sights we saw on the way.
We lost two great ladies in Puerto Morelos over the summer.
Martha Richard-Uscanga passed away August 5 following
complications after surgery for cancer. Martha was well known in
town as the co-owner of Marand Travel with her husband Andres Uscanga.
She lived in Puerto Morelos since 1992. Martha was originally from
Quebec, but moved to Mexico in 1980. She will be missed.
Mary Navorro passed away in October. She was probably best
known in town as the "La Suegra" of the restaurant "La Suegra de John
Gray" which operated on the beach for several years. In recent years
she was catering for Villas Shanti. Valorie from John Gray's Kitchen
says she was one of the sweetest people you could ever meet and that
she had wonderful stories.
a reminder that we are open 7 days a week for the season. Our hours are
10:00am to 6:00pm EVERY DAY of the week. (Including Sunday)
We take trades every day, so our
selection is constantly changing. If you are planning a trip down, please leave
your e-reader at home and plan to buy all
your reading material at Alma Libre. We've got you covered!
Beach Reads is the official newsletter of Alma Libre Bookstore in Puerto
Morelos Mexico. It is mailed directly to your mailbox if you request it. Beach
Reads is published on a sporadic, seemingly random basis...but it is supposed
to be approximately monthly during the season at Puerto Morelos. The season is
November until after Easter. We do our best to publish it regularly...but we
are easily distracted...
To subscribe or make comments or suggestions or advertise your local event,
Retransmission & Redistribution of this newsletter without express written
consent is just fine by us! Send this newsletter to a friend! (or get them to
sign up for their own copy) If you like the newsletter, please support it by
buying a book at Alma Libre Bookstore. Please do not copy our content for
your site without our permission.