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!
This the second of two outdoor food courts here in Cancun. It is named El Deck. It features quite a few trucks each specializing in a different type of food. Many varieties from burgers and fries, Japanese, Uruguayan, and Mexican among others. A special treat was live musicans starting at 9PM. This time a local band called ¨Troya¨. We met with our long time friends and fellow CENOTE HUNTERS, Al & Louise from Canada.
Drinks are served by a wait staff. Your table is numbered, and when you choose your truck and order your food you just give them you table number and they bring it to your table when it is finished being prepared.
If you have a chance try El deck you´ll enjoy good food and service while enjoying the music.
I spotted a small restaurant a couple of days ago. It is located at the corner of Nichupte and Av. Contoy (actually it is on Contoy 3 spaces from the intersection). Parking in front is limited to about 4 vehicles but plenty of parking is available on Contoy. We pulled up and were immediately greeted by a friendly waiter. We just wanted a light lunch to try this place out. When the waiter realized that his English and our Spanish were inadequate he brought forth another person who spoke and translated for him. This person kindly explained all the menu items to us in detail and told us that their chef was very very good. So to start I ordered a Pina Colada from the extensive cocktail menu. Suzie wanted a Chelada which is a beer, and lime juice concoction with salt and pepper on the rim of the glass. Both of our drinks were ice cold and delicious. The atmosphere was just what we expected meaning a palapa style roof, colorful tables and chairs brightly painted. A large, well equipped bar was located at the rear of the open air style restaurant. There were numerous large flat screen TVs showing a golf tournament while we were there. The music being played in the background ranged from Shakira to Sade and was at just the right volume.
Weordered several small items and shared them in order to judge the taste and quality of the food. Everything was beautifully plated and the tastes were truly special.
Theambience was perfect, the service was very attentive, and the food was something very special. We will be returning soon. They are open until 11PM so our next visit will be for dinner. Sometimes I feel very lucky to come across a restaurant like this. We left feeling that we had discovered a new favorite. If you get the chance give this place a try. You won´t be sorry.