Friday, April 6, 2012

Photo Friday: Plants of the Yucatan

I was jumping up and down excited
to see aloe in bloom. I use this plant
extensively for myself and with clients for
cold sores to fertility to ulcers. This was the
first bloom I saw in real life!

In February I traveld to the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico to spend some time with my dad who has lived there for the past six years. 

Since my valley is still locked into the winter months with plenty of snow and no green things I was pretty excited to see the jungle of the tropics! This photo Friday will be in at least two parts and I hope it gives you a glimpse of this beautiful world down south. 

Hibiscus was in bloom every where we went! It is called jamaica (with a soft j like "haa"). Hibiscus tea is served at practically every restaurant however they add what tastes like an equal amount of sugar to water.
After visiting my dad's home in Campeche we headed to Celestun,  a beach in the north of the Yucatan. It was beautiful! Our hotel, which was located right on the beach, was $30 a night. Here's my dad walking off into the sunset.

A reminder of toilet manners. 

This area is home to flamingos! I'd never seen one in real life before, much less hundreds at a time. These birds are busy eating shrimp from this river.

In flight. 

The Yucatan peninsula is all limestone. This creates these sinkholes, called cenotes which fill with beautiful clear clean water. The best swimming holes ever! This particular cenote was incredible. It was half salt water and it also had a lot of sulphur water. It's especially touted as a health benefit to swim here. Which I did.

I admit that I was a little hesitant to eat raw seafood, ceviche, in Mexico. I've heard enough horror stories. But the waiter said it was the house specialty, so I went for it. Absolutely delicious! And yes, that is octopus.

This beach was covered in shells. In some places the shells were at least a foot thick.

In the smaller towns this was a very common means of transportation - both bike and motorcycle.

Here's an orchid I found growing randomly in a hotel entrance. Beautiful!

Here's another cenote in the middle of a rather large city, Valladolid. We were there early in the morning. Later in the day it will be full of swimmers and people jumping in from the top!

Another common scene in the Yucatan.

This photo is just to brag. I did sit in one of those chairs for two glorious days. I read the book 1491 (I highly recommend it) and swam in the water several times a hour.
Tropical beaches are one of my favorite things on this earth.