I don't think I mentioned very much last time about the practicalities of living in Paradise. It certainly has given us mixed feelings with so many pros and cons to the remoteness. For example, food supplies and provisions. You need to plan as far ahead as possible to reduce the need for the dreaded Chetumal run. Although we have now visited most of the little tiendas in Xcalak and you can buy most things albeit a limited choice and obviously more costly. This also means we get to try and chat in our broken Spanish with the rather lovely locals and puts money into their pockets as opposed to Mr Walmart's. Talking of locals pockets, Mr. Lucia, one of the few local fruit and veg trucks that will come out to our place has done very well from us with his inflated prices on his produce. But it saves us a journey on the crappy track to town and the stuff is pretty good quality. He even sometimes has goodies like yoghurt and meat! Woohoo. There is also a truck that comes around who will fill the underground water tanks and will fill your water bottles, rare visits. In fact in two months we've only seen them once.
Another fabulous pro to this paradise is the delicious fresh coconut water and flesh that Chris does most mornings to put on our breakfast. So fresh, literally fallen from the tree the day before. Erm, there's the con. I'm terrified of walking under these damned coconut trees, especially when it's windy which at the moment is quite a lot. I am sure it would kill you if one fell on your head and they're pretty stealth and you only hear them when they hit the sand with that very final dull thud. In fact I have googled it and apparently only about 150 people a year die from falling coconuts, I am very surprised!
|Road outside the compound|
With our nearest neighbours at nearly two kilometres away and there's no one after us on this beach 'road' it means that we can not see a soul for days. Which gives us plenty of opportunity to be naked. Roll out of bed, cup of tea, walk onto the beach, along the jetty, sunrising in front of the house, fresh sea breeze and the warm sun on your skin. In fact the only white bits I have are where my flip flops have been. It unfortunately also means we haven't had many people to practice our Spanish with. But it's a small price to pay.
We have ventured into town a couple of times and met some interesting people. We had our very first Thanksgiving dinner. And before you say, I know, we're not American and we're in Mexico so why? There's a bit of an American/Canadian expat community here with a great restaurant run by a couple of Canadians and their opening night was for thanksgiving, so you know us, any excuse to eat, drink and be merry. Anyway, the Leaky Palapa was an interesting venue with Linda hosting front of house with plenty of smiles and attention, and Marla was the wizard in the kitchen delivering some unexpectedly delicious food. I say unexpected but only because we had seen downtown Xcalak... Anyway, our table was the lovely American recently converted to Canadian couple, Peter and Alexis; Shannon, a serial housesitter in Xcalak for three years; Polly, the only Brit in the village who is bonkers about anything with four legs; and finally Ivan, an IT chap who was really from Canada with a cheeky twinkle in his eye and a wicked sense of humour. We laughed from the minute we sat down to the minute we left.
I know you shouldn't do it but as we are looking for somewhere to call home I can't help but compare. And whilst it seems like paradise, the beautiful ocean that changes everyday, the white sandy beach and the off grid environmentally friendly energy I couldn't help but hanker for the vending machine on the street corner with ice cold drinks. The 7/11 open 24/7 with air conditioning, chocolate, wine and cakes. The local pub on the river bank with a glass of Aspall's cider. Dinner with family and friends. The rise and fall of hills and mountains with a freshness in the air. The change of seasons bringing different colours. The chatter of conversations around you. A roaring log fire.
Two months in paradise has been just that but in truth I don't know if either of us would want it permanently. We are grateful for the opportunity to do this and spend two months just 'being', not having anything we have to do, being able to live island life and experience the dream. It would be so easy to slide into this easy going life, possibly develop an alcohol problem and become reclusive...but not just yet