Although I have lived on the island of Cozumel for over a year now, it appears I haven’t come close to discovering all she has to offer and yesterday was a great example. It was a Sunday, gorgeous outside, and I had the opportunity to join friends at a beach club I’d not yet visited. I put out some water and treats for my two pups, as well as their friends who visit from downstairs, and packed a bag. But, as I was heading out, I noticed that, although they have a large shady area to rest, for some reason the guys had lined up along the wall. To say goodbye? Who knows, but I grabbed a shot before I headed down the stairs.
Now, the folks I was going out with had been to the club on numerous occasions, which is always a good sign. We have a lot of choices here on Cozumel, so when one becomes a favorite there must be something special going on. And I quickly discovered what that is when we pulled up to the Paradise Beach Club. It’s located south of our little town, just off the side road that meanders along the ocean, and it stands out simply because the well landscaped grounds are just lush. No other way to describe them. My friends pulled up for a second to let me get a nice location shot of the sign and then we headed into the parking lot. Excited now, as soon as we got out I pulled my camera back out to start taking more pics. I began by focusing on the entrance. A simple thatch roof with a wooden gable welcomed us. Once past that there is a bar area and it is highlighted by a large pool in a half-moon shape that is surrounded by a lot of lounge chairs. And, as if that isn’t enough, all along the path to the pool area are palms and flowers dotted over a well tended lawn on grounds that curve and dip. It really is quite beautiful.
We picked out some chairs nestled up next to palm trees (that are everywhere) to get some shade. But, once we were settled in, and our waiter had brought us some menus, I headed back out to see what else I could find. Since it was so early there were few people about, which is a favored time for me, and it made for some picturesque shots. I focused on the pool for a while and then headed towards the beach area, which looked quite large. Once there I saw chairs lined up just waiting for customers, the umbrellas hadn’t been extended yet, and the giant inflatable toys in the water sat empty. To me, there is something special about arriving a bit ahead of the crowd, there is such a sense of expectation. And, although the sun was almost straight overhead, which is not preferred for photos, there are enough trees to provide some interesting shadows no matter the time of day. It looked like a good time to take a walk on the beach.
Very quickly I came across some wonderfully painted Adirondack chairs clustered together under the palms. The middle one has “Paradise Beach” painted on it with colorful birds to help illustrate the point. They are so lovely that I’m not sure I’d want to sit on them, but that’s just me. I went on a little further and next I noticed some kayaks laid up on the beach waiting for the adventurous types. You know I had to grab a shot of those. And, then there are the brightly colored flowers that can be seen just about everywhere. Not only are they sprinkled around the pool area, but they can be found tucked away here and there on the beach too. This place really did look like my idea of paradise. But, after taking a quick photo of an example of the colorful foliage it was time to head back to see what my friends were doing.
We ordered some food and drinks and they arrived fast. Yet another advantage to getting some place before the crowds. I had a plate of nachos and they came with side dishes of guacamole, sour cream, jalapenos, and salsa. I was hungry so I didn’t think to take a photo until I’d almost finished the plate so let me assure you, they were good. We’re not talking gourmet here, but the prices are very reasonable and that’s a great compromise for me. After a while of just eating and chatting it was time for a quick dip to cool off. Then I headed back out to see what else I could discover. But, first I stopped in the restrooms and then decided to snap a shot there too. I don’t know about you, but I like clean and pretty facilities and I was not disappointed.
I headed around to the other side of the pool and bar and noticed a pathway. I started down and saw that it was taking me to the area where folks could rent snorkeling equipment. With all the choices it would be difficult to get bored in Paradise. But, not in the market for snorkeling I turned back and noticed yet another pathway through the grounds. However, this one was for staff only and it even had a feathered sentry guarding it. That was okay, I still had more of the beach to explore and off I went towards the ocean.
After a short walk I saw a little palapa on stilts with hammocks hanging underneath. It looked like a great idea, so I got in one and just relaxed for a little while. It was far enough away that I couldn’t hear much more than the breeze in the trees. Then a thought hit me, why not grab a shot of the view from the hammock? It’s nice to get a new perspective once in a while. A bit fanciful, but that’s the shot to your right where you’ll see nothing but palm leaves against a clear sky. Not a bad view, yes?
Sitting up I noticed that kids were starting to play on the giant toys in the ocean. I walked towards the shoreline and focused on a large, inflatable ball that had one rider carefully balancing while trying to help another to climb aboard. It took his buddy a handful of tries, but no-one was complaining. I could hear the laughter from where I stood. Then I grabbed a pic of another toy that had already been conquered by kids. That one is absolutely huge and, it seemed to me, would take guts to climb the slippery surface. But, in this case, youth won out. I focused. But, while grabbing the shot I saw that just in front I could see a grouping of small statues emerging from the water. They seemed to be of dolphins, but I’m just guessing at this point.
Getting a little warm under the direct sun I knew it was time to head back towards the palms. I was thinking that maybe I’d sit a while longer in the hammocks. But, they had new guests. A couple of small boys were trying to figure them out and they were having a lot of fun. So, I just sat on a lounge chair and spent a bit of time watching to see if they’d ever get to sit in one. I was there for quite a while and, when it looked as if they didn’t really care one way or the other, I got a shot of the one while he hung on with nothing but his arms. Then, as I started to head back to the pool I turned and got that one last shot of the day. Two little boys in silhouette playing happily on the beach among the hammocks. It was a great end to my day and I packed my camera away. And, as I walked back to join my friends, I realized that I was happy to have discovered there really is a paradise on earth. Salud!
p.s. I don’t intend to promote, and I never receive compensation, but I do like to share good experiences.