November of a different kind
We’re well into our second week of camping here at Yax Ha, a campsite in the village of Calderitas, in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula. This is a very tranquil place, like paradise on earth! There’s no wind at all, so the Caribbean ocean lays still like a millpond, reflecting white fluffy clouds off it’s surface. Even the palm trees on the beach are standing still and silent, only rattled by a few fluttering hummingbirds in search for nectar, and the odd sprinting match between a couple of yellowish warblers. The great kiskadees seem to prefer sitting on rocks at the shoreline, basking in the sun and stalking schools of little fish that swim about in the shallow water. A reef, sat a few dozen metres away, appears to be a popular spot with pelicans, cormorants and snowy egrets. Besides the birds, we’ve been the only guests at the site since our arrival and we’re making the most of our time here; Pekka is napping away in his hammock and I’m observing the antics of the birds, from behind a camera lens.
All of the sudden, there’s a splash! I catch a glimpse of a couple of dark brown figures briefly coming up to the surface before diving back down again. Our hostess knows them to be manatees; aquatic mammals also known as sea cows, weighing up to 300kg each. They don’t stay close to the beach for long though, but head out to the deep blue seas instead, quickly disappearing out of our sight. While we’re looking out for the last traces of the manatees, the site gardener comes by, bringing us fresh coconuts. He has just hand picked them from a tree and even made holes for straws! We sit back down to enjoy the refreshing coconut milk and to take in the beautiful pastels created by the setting sun in the horizon.
We couldn’t feel safer or more relaxed. The violence and corruption that Mexico is known for seem very distant to us right now, and we’re not affected by them any more here, in this sleepy village, than we were back at home. Our only point of contact with the drug wars raging in this country, comes from the action films we watch on Netflix in the evenings. At the moment, our biggest threat is the swarms of bloodthirsty mosquitoes that come out to feed after the sun goes down. They’re aggressive enough for us to lock ourselves inside the car for the evenings, taking extra care to make sure that all doors and windows are shut properly.
Amidst such summery scenery, devoid of Novembers usual sleet, slush and grayness, I can’t quite believe that Christmas is fast approaching. To me, it’s not really Christmas without snow and candles at least, and most importantly of all, getting together with family. I’ve got to admit that thinking about it does make me feel a bit down and homesick, but thankfully that’ll soon be eased by our youngest daughters much anticipated arrival. Jenniina is coming to spend a couple of weeks with us here in Mexico, and I can’t wait to see her!