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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Back in the Hammock



Two short weeks of vacation time in Quintana Roo, the home of Cancun and Cozumel Mexico, vacation destinations for countless hordes of college students. I prefer the lesser know destination of Akumal, and the quite serenity of Half Moon Bay located 100 kilometers south of Cancun. I have my hammock on the thin edge between the tropical rain forest and the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean Sea. One attribute of a tropical rain forest is that it rains a lot. This trip has had rain every day. The application of advanced technology and modern construction allow me to thoroughly enjoy the tropical rain in relative comfort. The rain refreshes the forest, cleanses the air and makes for great sleeping at night, or at mid day if preferred, I find both to be excellent choices.

I have a history with this beach, early days of unreliable electricity and long hard trails traveled to get here. On the mainland the best road was ruts between palm trees with teeth rattling bumps, on the island of Ambergris Caye there was one vehicle, the police jeep, if you needed to go somewhere you walked, all this has changed due to the economics of tourism. We thought nature was free, if you could package and sale nature it would be pure profit, we know better now. I have watched my favorite bay degrade, eventually even to snorkel the bay brought tears, so much had died. I cannot imagine how anyone could think that humans are not changing their environment. Then the locals got smart, it was still greed, but now in became informed greed. Ecological laws were legislated, the developers now had to follow rules, and the tourist industry became a managed industry. It is far from perfect; the battle between short term interest and long term interest is bitter and hard fought. The reef is coming back, slowly coming back, with the brain coral and sea fans increasing and larger schools of fish.

There are still areas with few tourist and unreliable electricity. Pristine waters and healthy reefs with clouds of fish, all the stuff that originally brought me to the Caribbean are a 100 kilometers south of my hammock. Places where not even AARP or Google could find me. All I would need to do is rent a jeep and sleep without AC.

For now I will stay in Half Moon Bay, I will monitor the reef and write of a comeback, and I will sleep in an open air hammock or an AC bedroom. The wild and rough travels I will leave to the youth.

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