Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sol Zorro

One reason we love to visit Isla is because we've made so many friends there over the years. It's fun to walk down the street and see someone you know and to catch up on their lives from the past year. This trip was no exception. We found our friend Ariel working at one of his many jobs. In the evenings he works at a restaurant. He's the guy that tries to convince you that he has the best menu on the street. Kinda like the host in a restaurant that you would visit here in the states except he has to work at convincing customers to check out his menu. There is a lot of competition on Hidalgo (the main street in town) because July is low season and between swine flu and the ailing economy tourisim is down. Lots of restaurants and not as many tourists. We've known Ariel for years, he was the dive master that took us on our first SCUBA dive.

Ariel and Rosie on Sol Zorro
The restaurant gig is only one of Ariel's jobs. He arranged the whale shark tour for us and he also told us that he just bought a boat. The other news was that he got married since we had seen him last. He invited us to take a little ride around the island on his boat and we jumped on the chance to take a relaxed tour of Isla by water. The knowledge that we gained will be helpful when we finally get to sail there.

A couple of views of the south end of Isla (Punta Sur) from the water.

Ariel picked us up at about 4:30 in the afternoon and we loaded up our cameras and gear on his boat, Sol Zorro, for a boat ride around Isla Mujeres. Ariel brought his wife Rosie and plenty of cerveza for us. He also brought fishing gear. We fished all the way around the island and on a couple of reefs. I was the lucky pescadora that managed to snag a barracuda.

Troy tries his luck as Ted (known to some as Sweet T) looks on

Steve looks a little worried about what might be on the other end of the line.

My barracuda!

We caught a glimpse of a school of flying fish. They were an awesome sight, about the size of small birds and they spring out of the water and it's cool to see them disappear just as quickly back into the waves.

Colleen and Steve enjoying the afternoon

We also saw several very large sea turtles and they were all mating! We probably saw about 5 or 6 mating pairs. We thought this was a really a fantastic thing to be privileged to see. This is the best picture that I could get. As you can imagine, they didn't wait around to pose. After all, we were interrupting their sex life!!!

We stopped at a restaurant for dinner and really had a blast eating ceviche and crab with Ariel and Rosie. I was brave and ordered ceviche mixto with octopus and conch - mmmm good. Also, there were plenty of margaritas to go around! This was one of my most memorable meals of this trip. Lots of fun.

Ted drank all the margaritas, he wouldn't share!! LOL

Patrick didn't have any margaritas!!

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