Photographic Adventures in Paradise
We visited the Mundaca ruins recently. They now have built a huge palapa style structure at the entrance. ( Sorry no photo of it). We were showing some Isla Virgins around and stopped there on our golf cart excursion. I found it to be an interesting place. They have a small museum on the grounds with some old pictures of Isla that gave us an idea of what Isla looked like long ago. When I had time I did a little research about the pirate and this is what I found out about him:
The self proclaimed pirate Mundaca was born in 1825 in the village of Bermeo of Santa Maria, Spain. His full name was Feramin Antonio Mundaca de Marechega. During his adolescence he shipped off to seek adventure on the high seas. He eventually became a slave trader in the Caribbean, selling Mayan slaves to Cuban plantation owners. His voyages as a slaver brought him to Isla Mujeres (the Island of Women) many times. His practice of selling Myan’s into slavery did not endear him to the locals. The island got it’s name because it is where many pirates would often leave their women for safekeeping while they were at sea. In 1858 the British Royal Navy started to crack down on pirate slavers. So Mundaca now very wealthy, sailed back to Isla Mujeres to stay. He bought 40% of the island and built an estate with a hacienda in the middle of it. He named it “Vista Alegre” (Happy View.)
While building his hacienda and estate , he fell in love with a young Mayan girl the first time he laid his eyes on her. Her name was Martiniana Gomez Pantoja.(born in 1862) She had green eyes like the surf and bronze skin . He built her a beautiful garden with great stone arches where he carved her name, La Triguena, (The Brunette) above the apex. Between the arches he constructed a garden sundial, eight raised garden sections around a well in the shape of an octagon. When La Triguna shunned his advances and wed a local man her own age, Mundaca went insane. (Mundaca was 37 years her senior.) He whiled away his days planting flowers in his garden and wandering the beaches, stuffing stones in his pockets, which he tossed into his well filling it. His discontent grew with the knowledge he could never have the woman he loved. He carved himself a gravestone upon which he chiseled a Jolly Roger, and then built himself a granite tomb in the cemetery. He wallowed the days in sorrow as La Triguena continued to ignore him while she built a family. He left the island in 1880 and died later the same year in Merida of the plague. (He was 55 at the time of his death.) His estate and grave growing old together, without him.
The inscription on his empty grave reads,
“Lo que tu eres, yo fui
lo que lo soy, luego seras”
(“As you are, I was – as I am, you will be”)
The original entrance to the Mundaca Estate:
The garden pond and viewing benches:
The garden arch, and well filled with stones
The Hacienda ruin:
Small museum containing pictures of Isla & items relating to Mundaca:
Plaque on museum wall:
Before & after pictures of Isla inside the museum:
View of Mundaca’s Estate from the museum rooftop:
Mundaca’s empty tomb in the cemetery near Playa Norte on Isla Mujeres:
Mundaca’s Jolly Roger:
Current inhabitants of the Estate:
This was an interesting place to visit. The Estate is huge and there are many walking trails to explore. A large bathroom facility was available. The estate was clean and a fun place to take pictures and learn about the Legend of Mundaca the Pirate. Tip:……..bring mosquito repellent!
We came across these camels while at the Maroma Beach Club in the Rivera Maya near Playa del Carmen
Sabado, 3 DE Octubre De 2015 we were guests of our old Cenote Hunter friends Al and Louise Buis to a dinner performance of the Cirque Du Soleil “JOYA”. The complex is located at Km 48 on Carretera Federal Cancun, in the Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo.
The entire facility is new and believe me it is spectacular.
Wooden ramps and palapa’s seemingly floating on a lake surrounded by jungle and rock formations comprise the overall theme.
My wife Suzie and her GF Louise together on the entrance walkway……
Myself and Suzie excited about a highly anticipated evening.
We were seated by a private guide directly to our second row center seats and table.
Our dinner and champange was promptly served after making our choices from the edible menu ( no kidding, I ate ours and it was a wafer like you might have in church )
We were all starving so as soon as the hors d’oeuvres were served we dove in. I was half way thru mine before I realized it was too late to photograph it. SORRY!
Along with that we were served an unusual basket of a variety of breads, and a tray of condiments that even included nuts. Then came the main courses. There was a choice of 3. Salmon, Short Ribs and also a vegetarian pasta and vegies.
and the vegetarian choice….
The the dessert box, yes the mysterious box which we were told was specially prepared for each of us……
On the inside of the lid you can see the Periodic Table of Desserts…….quite clever if you ask me??? This is what mine contained.
All of this time we were entertained by a Cuban group that were wonderfully talented. Some the the instruments that they played included a harp, electronic violin, bongos, trumpet, vocals, and also included some tap dancing. It was quite the show in and of itself.
The main show started and we were treated to an amazing array of performers for the next 90 mins. The music was live and really good. The following are some pictures which I took throughout the evening. No flashes or video’s are allowed.
Then the performers all came on stage to the thunderous applause of the audience.
When the lights came up I took a picture of our waiter and the building
and finally a shot of the building after dark when everything was lit up.
All photos were taken with my iPhone 6 without a flash.
A few final comments. The service was not only very professional but also very personal. The music and the performing artists were amazing. The food was beautifully plated and delicious. The facility was architecturally breathtaking. Don’t miss going to this venue if you live in the area or are on a vacation visit. You can book you reservations on their website. https://www.cirquedusoleil.com/mexico/riviera-maya/joya/buy-tickets