Thursday, January 30, 2020

Street art

A painted cargo container in the middle of Puerto Morelos...
A colourful mural adorns a cargo container...
My wife and I spent an afternoon strolling the streets of Puerto Morelos admiring some of the local art... and trying hard to dodge the many aggressive vendors.

Colourful carpets pay tribute to Mexican painter Frida Kahlo...
If you hold your face close to the screen
she'll appear in 3D   ;)

Monday, January 27, 2020

Play ball!

The ancient ball court at Chichen Itza...
Not a game for the physically challenged...
At Mexico's Chichen Itza, you'll find the remains of the Pok-A-Tok court. Pok-A-Tok was a unique ball game in which the players manhandled a ball about the size of a basketball while trying to pass it through stone hoops set along the walls of the court. (You can see one such hoop on the upper right hand wall in this photo.)

These hoops were set quite high, and the game was made even more challenging by the fact that the players could not use their hands or feet. Not surprisingly, games could last for days before a single point was scored, leaving players exhausted.

You can watch a modern version of the game being played in this video.


The REAL downer about playing this game though is that the winners(!) were sacrificed to the gods. It was considered an honour.

The Mayans were effectively killing off their genetically superior males which perhaps goes some way to explaining why their civilization went extinct.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Cenote

A view from the top of a cenote near Cancun...
A refreshing swim...
Cenotes are a common feature of the Yucat√°n Peninsula in Mexico. They are essentially sinkholes which appear when limestone bedrock dissolves to the point it collapses to expose the river underneath.

Tourists will often go for a swim in these cenotes after a day spent doing tourist-y stuff. I'm always surprised by how clear and warm the water is. It's also surprising to see fish swimming in them.

Here on Vancouver Island we have our very own cenote. Wikipedia tells me that it is known as the Devil's Bath. I can't say I've ever heard it called that... it's difficult to get to and I don't think swimming it would be a fun experience at our latitude.

Tourists play around in a cenote...
Waterplay at the end of a hot day...

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Ornery ostrich

One of the big birds at the Oregon Wildlife Safari...
"Come at me, bro!"
At Oregon's Wildlife Safari, once we stopped feeding this guy/gal food pellets, s/he got a little bit aggressive about sticking its head in our van to look for more handouts.

I had to shoo it away from the van... which it didn't like at all. We got into a bit of a staring match and, for awhile, I wasn't sure if I was going to win.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Once Upon a Time in Mexico

A colourful street in Mexico is all shades of pastel colours...
Colourful buildings line a street in Mexico....
During a tour day, we stopped briefly at this colourful village. It featured a number of churches overlooking the village's town square.

A church overlooks the main square of a Mexican village.
Palm trees and colourful flags blow in the breeze...

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Colourful Kaua...

The colourful little village of Kaua...
Friendly Kaua...
At one point during our tour of Chichen Itza, we stopped into the village of Kaua.

I posed with a statue of one of the local deities... I hope the gods have a sense of humour.

Don't mock the local gods!
I hope I'm not cursed for this...

Thursday, January 9, 2020

An explorer is never lost...

Exploring Saturna Island...

Risk is about going beyond your comfort zone into the realm of the unknowable. That's also the very definition of exploration.

Risk is about exposing yourself, feeling uncomfortable or awkward.

Exploring is about adventure, discovering new things, opening up possibilities, boldly going where no one has gone before...

So instead of 'I'm not comfortable with the risk' it should be 'hey, let's go exploring!'

Get your Captain Kirk on and seek out those strange new worlds, baby...

Monday, January 6, 2020

The Return of an Ancient God

A three legged monster emerges from the Caribbean.
A creature from before human history...
At our resort in Mexico, there was this tall four-legged shelter that served as the altar for the many weddings that took place during our stay there.

Seen as just a silhouette against an early morning sky, it looked like some ancient god -- perhaps one as old as Cthulu -- emerging from the sea.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Critters

A large colourful beetle that collided with me at the resort...
It's not easy being green... and floundering on your back...

During our Mexico stay we encountered some animal life that was new to us. One was this huge colourful beetle who ricocheted off my head and wound up on his back. His shell had this highly polished green sheen to it... it almost look metallic.

We promptly uprighted him and sent him on his way.

Another was this iguana who was a minor celebrity as it sunned itself on one of the boardwalk loungers to the amusement of the many tourists taking photos.

An iguana poses for the touristos...