Que pasa Puerto Morelos? May 18th, 2011

While watering the garden in this driest of months I was delighted to hear the high pitched pan pipes of the knife man. Cycling through town, calling out that he will repair your shoes and sharpen your knives, he plays a delightful few notes that call you to think of happiness and sunny days, it was a most Mexican moment and the smile that it brought still hovers around me. Life is good in Puerto Morelos, you'll be pleased to hear, we have had a bumper high season so the jump into low season this week was a little jarring however we have record rental and school bookings in June so things are looking up. The news of Dragonmart going in behind Cancunmesse near Puerto Morelos was also startling. To be operating no later than November 2012 it will be the second biggest area of exhibition and sale of Chinese goods in the world outside of China, announced Hao Feng, Chairman of Chinamex. The other Dragonmart is in Dubai where its operation caused real estate prices in the area to sky rocket. With their initial investment of $150 million dollars it will generate 5,000 direct jobs, not counting the Chinese community workers who occupy the housing complex of 4,000 homes that are included within the 840,000 square metres. On top of that the Yucatan Government gave the green light last week to the very Fast Transpeninsular Train project to start early 2012, linking Merida and Punta Venado (between Playa del Carmen and Puerto Aventuras). Progreso has announced that they are building a shipping fuel terminal and the Quintana Roo government is expecting over US300 million in private investment in the next 6 months. So now we know our future is secure lets talk about food!
Mama's Bakery has closed its doors permanently as has Hola Asia both owners are focusing their attentions elsewhere with Diane concentrating on a Pet Shelter and Lisa and Miguel on their properties. It is now run by their previous manager with the same menu. A new quesadilla place has opened next to Travel Treasure Real Estate at the side of the church, did great guns during the fishing tournament. John Gray closed La Suegra and has expanded hours of operation at John Grays Kitchen now 8am - 10pm, 7 days with a garden area and has a new full menu and set price as well, with 100p for fruit and coffee at brekky and lunch at 100p includes one dish with beer or soft drink. In 2 weeks he will move in a 200p menu for dinner!  Panza es Primero opened a Taco bar at the front of their restaurant. Where La Suegra was is now the Mercadito Pescado, a little pricey (no doubt driven by the rent) but a great location. The La Petita people opened Playitas on the beach in the same street and new management is in Petita bringing in real palapa roof and new toilets, their fish is good, beer is cold, but the botanas a disapointment.

The Little Mexican Cooking School has had an amazing second season with  over 1000 students through the door in 5 months we are really bringing the food of Mexico to the world! Chef Pablo is "awesome" and has been presenting some great new dishes and teaching us all how to present food. I have to taste test and in this picture is what I was recently forced to eat Xtabentun Chocolate ganash with berries and 'A Little Cup of Happiness'. We have been receiving good press even appearing in inflight magazines. The best press was from 2 of our students who displayed our aprons at a fund raiser for the Pet Shelter in Playa del Carmen. We had our wonderful friend an chef Alan Kerr visit for a chef's holiday and Patti Murphy was down as well helping out in the busy time as were Billy and Abby! Some of our students even remember to write reviews when they get and for that we thank them enormously!

Frank as Santa
Frank and Anna put on a fun Xmas show for

the children in the Park and the annual posada was held in the Town Square.There was lots of present giving and dances by the children. Mary and Joseph walked around the Square knocking on doors with a following of angels.

Katie, Wandjina, Gerard at Xmas lunch
Sheila and Marg with the kinder directora
It was really cold in December.
Christmas time was a joy for me this year with my niece and dear friend visiting and chef's Mum. We put together a dinner for 14 people in the school and all of us celebrated the year and being together, there's a little slideshow if you are interested to see An Australian Xmas lunch in Mexico. New Year's Eve was quickly upon us and celebrated at the House of Amber and Josh.
Shade being built for the kinder

Sheila and Marg were inspired to help the town and after talking with the charity decided to assist the kinder on the beach - Francisco Madero. They co-ordinated their friends and printed a book entitled 'Sharing Recipes with Friends in Puerto Morelos' and sold 300 books between January and March. The funds were used to build shade for the children and a security wall for the school - go and have a look just down past Hacienda Morelos (yes they are back to their old name again) on the left!  Thanks also go to Les Webb of Magna Pro and Dave Shafer of Citizen Printing and El Mundo para Puerto Morelos.
The Lion Fish are here! Wrecking havoc in our reef is this beautiful Pacific fish, it apparently thrives well in this region and steps are being taken to eradicate them. Recently the National Maritime Park people worked with local fishermen and held a Lion Fish catching competition, 9 boats caught a total of 808 in one day! 1st place was Nicte Ha catching 152. We then proceeded to eat Lion Fish ceviche! I thought it very enterprising of REEF to publish The Lion Fish cookbook - The New Carribean Delicacy you can click here to order.

The 5th Annual El Rey Polo tournament is to be held 26, 27 and 28 May at the El Rey Polo Club, invitations are needed to some of the social functions and I will have them this week but it is general admission to the events which start at 2.30 in the afternoon. There will be plenty of food and drink available and whole Kids Corner to keep the little ones busy. Buses will be going from Now Jade and Now Sapphire for the hotel guests as well. I recently played in a tournament at Hacienda Andalucia and will be playing in this one as well!
It is always a delight to visit the towns of the peninsula and in the last few months I have been in the towns of Tizimin, Merida and Holbox. Next time you visit Merida, drop into Hennessy's Irish Pub on Paseo Montejo - Sean and Colum have done an incredible job of revitalising an old building and built a terrific restaurant. I had cold beer and fish and chips but they have a range of food and even a Polo Bar - that is MY horse in the picture. Holbox is now much easier to get to of course so it makes a great getaway place if you live here, so relaxing after the stress of Puerto Morelos! It is 2 hours on the road to Chiquila and then the ferry. They have a brand new French pastry shop just off the square. Sunday morning warm baguette with cheese and ham and coffee was a delight.

El Mundo para Puerto Morelos has suffered a little with my lack of time but Jill Yager is back on board
Dr Jorge with donated condoms
and working on the sponsorships for the school children for the coming school year if you would like to sponsor a child please drop Jill a line (jill.yager@gmail.com) or visit the website www.emppm.com. The little girl in the wheelchair and her family need as much help as possible. The Town Bazaar will be held at the end of November but if you have items to go in the bazaar now, I can put them in storage if you bring them over! Jody was just here with her husband and once again helped out a family in the colonia - here you can see where they are installing mosquito screens and doors.  Holly was here with 2 teenagers visiting her friend
Holly with Natalya in front
Crescent at Aquanauts, she brought with her bicycle lights to give away and donated hundreds of condoms, gifted to the public night clinic. She also inspired us to get together a group of women to discuss the problems related to teenage pregnancy, a most interesting meeting about the lack of sex education and the role of religion and schools in sex education.
A week ago was the 22nd Annual Fishing Tournament organised by the Zetina family someone from Cozumel won first prize but Kathy Loretta scored the biggest Sierra and Cappy and Andres the biggest Dorado. The next tournament is 27, 28 and 29 May with first prize winning 100,000 pesos! There'll be lots of activities in the town square that weekend.

Someone has gone sign crazy in Puerto Morelos,  firstly the huge ghastly billboard in front of Casa Martin (now covered by the town map) courtesy of Benito Juarez. The the Wall of Shame next to it with the list of people who fought against Puerto Morelos becoming a municipality. Then Zofemat posts these ugly signs at each beach entrance - did you know it is illegal to fish from the beaches and piers now? I saw a National Maritime Park sign go up on the highway one night, about caring for the reef,  at Easter, the next day Transito put a sign over the top of it about wearing seat belts and drink driving! Then some idiot put signs all over town to tell you how to get to the beach!! The town is three streets wide for goodness sakes!

Lots of construction going on lately on and off the beach, new apartments in front of Amar Inn and the new Casita del Mar condos nears completion (after the original was destroyed by Wilma in 2005) and several new houses in and around Rojo Gomez as well.

Including Florencia's huge expansion which is just as well as she has just announced that she is expecting a child! She is going solo, so she has been assured there will be plenty of Aunty's around town for support.
Naty being strong at the fundraiser
Ed,  Xmas 2005
As you all know by now, we lost a great Puerto Morelos personality and our friend Ed Hoffman of Habanero's earlier this year. He is missed daily and I am sure I am not the only person who still drives past expecting to see him waving from there with a smile or a gesture to come over for a chat. The party held in his honour and to raise funds for Naty and the children was a testament to him, the street was closed and all his friends in town were there in person or in spirit. All the regular musicians donated their time and Glen did a great job of coordinating the event and helping Naty with her finances. Mary did a great job with the auction of items donated by businesses and individuals around town and raised an excellent amount. With a change in ownership of the property Naty and the children have remained secure and the business is doing well.

When are we going to become our own municipality you say? Well we are in a hiatus again. Recently there was a day of celebration organised by the Mayor for the day after we were officially supposed to become an Alcaldia (the step before becoming a full municipality), at the last minute it was rejected but we held the party anyway and there were a lot of angry speeches. Right now there are arguments about where Puerto Morelos starts and ends, the government saying they want Moon Palace which has always been Puerto Morelos, offering as bait a jump to full municipality. All crazy if you remember that Puerto was here before Cancun even existed!  But it was good day with free cochinita pibil and the fountain running for the first time!

So we shall see could be a very exciting year, I 'll try and write more frequently now that I have more time - best wishes to all.

WHATS ON IN AND AROUND PUERTO MORELOS?  just announced Mary Jordan will be screening free movies on the beach 7.30pm on Sunday nights at Manta Bar (the new manly name for Bar Ixchel at Tom's place) , last Sunday we watched, while lying on our beach beds, Pirates of the Caribbean, with a warm breeze and a full moon overhead, very pleasant. Casa Cultura is also bringing us movies this Friday night 7,30 - The Apartment, excellent film. On Sunday night in the Town Square they are also presenting a dance spectacular by Bajo Luz, great group, should be entertaining. There is a children's singing and dancing contest to be held in the Basketball stadium in the colonia on 26 and 27 May, tickets at the library.The Summer Music Festival starts 5pm June 10th in the Town Square. Coco is having the next big yogi day on Sunday May 29th in the jungle retreat www.onebreathofyoga.com or call Corinne on 998 1449944 "One day of yoga, pranayama and mantra and we finish this wonderful day with 3 services raw food lunch.  With the energy of the jungle, you will have all the elements to connect with yourself and the nature.  You rediscover yourself in a whole new way!  "

Valladolid Festival May 19 - 22 - This is the weekend to visit Valladolid  -  Il Festival de San Bernardino de Siena with events around the convent also other interesting events in the Yucatan you  can read more by clicking here.

THE  DID YOU KNOW? CORNER  This year, July has 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays. This happens once every 823 years. This year we're going to experience four unusual dates.1/1/11, 1/11/11, 11/1/11, 11/11/11 . Take the last two digits of the year in which you were born - now add
The age you will be this year, the results will be 111 for everyone in whole world.

Street party at Naty's fundraiser
The bands played for Ed

Dafne and Miki at school
Seafood lunch at school
Food court Valladolid
Students at school
Amber with Josh and his New Year's Shirt
Xmas pageant angel
Mary and Joseph in the posada
I have a strange affection for this sign


Carlos Ponce-Meléndez said...

Muy interesante. Very intersting and fun.

Carlos Ponce-Meléndez said...

Muy interesnate y estimulate. Very interesting.

Amber Pierce said...

Classic Joshua! lol

Luxury Traveler said...

Nice pictures. You really had a great time in Mexico.I hope to have a really nice time there during Mexico luxury holidays too.

johny anderson said...

What a great article and pictures these are! I have never found such interesting things. Thanks for sharing wonderful topic with us.

Fairfax VA Homes for Sale

navaneedh said...

just linked this article on my facebook account. it’s a very interesting article for all.

Beach Villas

Unknown said...

That's a good post! It enlists a lot of great reasons why we all should look for holiday rentals instead of hotels, because all the fun is outside!

Nobody said...

Totally loved your article. Looking forward to see more more from you. Meanwhile feel free to surf through my website while i give your blog a read.
Curtain in dubai