Living on the island of Cozumel offers this retiree so many morning options that I simply couldn’t fit them all into one blog. So, as promised, here are a few more examples of what one can find to do when simply sipping coffee in your kitchen isn’t enough.
Let me start by introducing the little guy on your top left. He’s an example of the wildlife that can be found on our island. I’d decided to go to the ruins of San Gervasio one morning and, while walking around, he came up to greet me. And, that was just one of the many little events of that morning while I wandered through the area. But, first let me give you a little information so you will understand why visiting these ruins is such a good choice for the mornings, or any time of the day. At one time, in what is now called the “Post Classic” period, the Maya people had built temples to worship the goddess of Ix Chel. She represented to their culture a symbol of fertility, medicine, and weaving. She was also considered the goddess of the moon and the people would make at least one trip during their lifetime to show respect and give offerings. Eventually, many lived on site and, thankfully, there are now quite a few ruins, temples, ancient roadways, and other examples of their way of life left for us to see. Now, from what I understand, later in the day there are tours with guides who know much and they are quite inexpensive, from what I’ve been told. But, being the morning person I am, I did it alone and early. There was something almost magical about wandering through such a place in the morning light when the sound of the birds and other wildlife is still untainted by modern society.
But, maybe wandering ancient ruins isn’t quite the way you imagine spending your mornings. For those of you who love coffee as much as I do, here are a few pics of just some of the choices. The first is of a terrace restaurant called “Prima” that looks out over the water from quite a distance in the air. Located on Melgar, just across from the Palacio Municipal, it is quite the spot for breakfast and has a sensational view.
Another “hot spot” is “Rock n Java” also located on Melgar. Great coffee and muffins can be had, along with full breakfasts, if you so choose. They are also open for lunch and dinner. The staff is friendly and you can sit and relax, or get yours to go. Now, you can stay on Melgar, but go just a bit further north and find the island’s most recognizable location, Starbucks. Some folks just want the option to be somewhere familiar and, well, here you go. Finally, and by no means are these even close to all the options, a personal favorite is “el coffee” on 3rd street south, which is a small street that runs perpendicular to Melgar close to the center of town. They have great lattes, yummy pastries and desserts, and are a great option if you are staying in one of the hotels in el centro.
Now, that I’ve covered one of my favorite passions, I want to touch, briefly, on a visit to the mercado, an open air market located on Salas and 25, again close to the center of town. It is a great way to spend a morning if you enjoy local cuisine, or just want to do some early morning shopping. Let me warn you though, it can get hectic, but in a good way. You will find everything from fish to hula hoops, or hammocks to silverware. They have it all and it consists of both individual stalls and wide open areas, and the whole thing covers several blocks. You can get a cup of coffee and just spend hours perusing. There isn’t much needed that can’t be found, with the possible exception of anything “high end.” This market is for the locals and tourists alike. Whether you are renting a luxury condo, or live in a small apartment, like I do, this is where you can come for just about all your needs. But, it isn’t the place to go if you are looking for that quiet morning.
And I’ll use that as a segue way to what I did this morning since my choice was to have a serene start to my day. I am fortunate to have met a yoga instructor who has lived on the island for years. Tammy Cervantes, owner of Cervantes Yoga, has a studio on calle 7 sur on the corner of avenida 65 bis. She also teaches a class on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at the Hotel B, a pretty boutique hotel on the northern end of the island. Since I’d been searching for things to do to complete “part 2,” I’d asked her if I could tag along with her to the hotel and she was nice enough to say, “of course.”
Now, to be completely honest, I don’t take her class as of yet since I have my own exercise routine, but I have wanted to explore other options. After seeing how fit these folks are, I might just have to change my mind. But, I’m getting ahead of myself. Tammy picked me up at 7:30 and off we went. Today was a bit cloudy and I was worried about pics, but it did get quite pleasant for a short while and, after all, she teaches the class on a deck overlooking the ocean. It really doesn’t get any better than that.
She introduced me to her class and asked them if anyone would mind if I took some photographs. They agreed, she started, and the camera came out. At first I was worried about being disruptive, but, gratefully, my camera is fairly quiet and has a great zoom lens. As she started to take the group through their movements I began to take some pics of the various positions. I will mention that taking photos of flexible folks requires some thought and timing. And, if you can understand this, I was also attempting to grab shots while the sun was out, and not necessarily from certain locations. For example, “downward facing dog” may not be the pose to take a pic of when standing behind the person, if you catch my meaning. But, not to worry, there were plenty of opportunities and many, many poses.
But, after about twenty minutes I decided to take a bit of a walk around the grounds to give them breathing room for a while. Since Hotel B is such a lovely hotel, it was a nice opportunity to be able to wander around enjoying the day, and the views. I noticed that they had a hot tub next to the ocean and there just happened to be a cruise ship going by. Of course I had to capture that moment. Then I walked a bit further and saw that they had a beach area complete with chairs and those little futon carriages I’ve always enjoyed. Naturally, there was another cruise ship off in the distance, maybe the same one?
I walked into the lobby area and noticed a sculpture that was nicely back lit. Just past it was a small deck with colorful chairs arranged for simply taking in the view. I pulled up a chair and sat for a few moments just feeling good about how well the morning was going. Within a few minutes, I noticed that there was a smaller boat heading to the north, so I took another quick photograph, and then just sat for a while longer. I have to admit, it was a very pleasant start to the day.
But, it was about time for the class to be coming to an end and I wanted to see if there were going to be any more photo opportunities. I walked back down to their deck and managed to grab one last shot of a rather interesting pose before Tammy had everyone simply lay down on their mats and just take in a few slow breaths to relax. Then, after a few more quiet moments, the class was over. As she spoke with various folks I was able to thank others for letting me participate through my lens. Then, Tammy and I headed back to her car and my morning came to an end. It was time to go home and write this piece.
Well, all I can do is hope that I’ve touched on enough activities in these two blogs to show just how much there is to do here and that’s just in the mornings. Whether you are a fitness enthusiast, or a shopper, a history buff, or simply a coffee afficianado, we have it here on Cozumel. And, of course, there are the days where you may not want to do much more than watch the ships come in, but you can do that as well. The choice is yours. Although there are still a few realities to face here on the island, no-one could argue that we don’t have a variety of ways to help us to start our days with a smile. Salud!
p.s. I don’t intend to promote, and never receive compensation, but I do enjoy sharing good experiences