Photographic Adventures in Paradise
Don’t wait until the rush is on to get your home or apartment prepared for the next hurricane. The season is upon us and the first tropical depression has already started in the Atlantic. Go here for a excellent posting about this subject. Click this link for another posting by Cancun Canuck including a detailed list of items you should have to be prepared. Print it out and keep it handy on your next visit to Home Depot.
A video I made shortly after Wilma 3 1/2 years ago to see how a hurricane can change your life!
I visited the Mundaca ruins about a month ago. I had always avoided it but decided to check it out this trip. 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 me 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 the 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 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.
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 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 cemetary 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!
A night out…………..at the Hacienda Sisal, which is located in the Hotel Zone between km13 & km14 on Avenue Kukulcan. This large beautiful, spotlessly clean restaurant is part of the Royal Resorts Time Share complex known as the Royal Sands. The exterior is only surpassed by the lavish interior decor. HS is one of the Royal Resorts restaurants that is open to the public. We were seated promptly in the mainl dining room next to a delightful fountain. The bright high ceiling room is surrounded by amazing cut glass windows on 3 sides. Our waiter Carlos was very good, showing us the right mixture of attention without being obtrusive. Here are a few pictures of the exterior and interior:
We ordered two of their Golden Margarita’s……………..made with the finest Tequila and Grand Marnier…so big….so delicious! WOW!
We ordered the Guacamole made table side by Carlos………..it was magnificent……the best I’ve ever tasted.
Suz had the Caesar Salad and the BBQ ribs, and I ordered the Tortilla Soup & the Caribbean Lobster tail and aged Angus Fillet .
Every single food and drink item we were served was prepared to perfection. The lobster was served with two bowls of drawn butter, one w/garlic and the one without. The steak was cooked perfectly (medium rare) and was served with a small bowl of a peppercorn brown sauce that was a perfect match to the steak. A small scoop of mashed potatoes and a vegetable melody finished out the platter. Suz ribs were just what she expected and since I’ve had them before at this restaurant I know how good they were. The food was so well presented and looked so good that I had complete brain fade and forgot to photograph our plates. We ate so much and were so filled we had to pass on desert. Our tab for the evening was $1,079 pesos + tip. Well worth it in our opinion. You just can’t beat a great facility, great service, & most of all very good properly prepared and served food. We give the Hacienda Sisal our 5 Star rating (0-5 scale w/ 5 being the best)