Choosing to take a vacation in a country that is now seen as Ground Zero for a potential pandemic may not rank among our smartest moves ever. However, we will cross our fingers and carry on. On the bright side, cases of swine flu seem to be being reported mostly in the North, and we're headed for the Yucatan. And who knows, we might even be safer there than here in New York. Watch this space for further developments ...
Mexico 2009 Archives
Another swine mess
Attack of the killer swine
The swine have struck. We were turned back at the gates of Chichen Itza at 8am this morning. According to the man at the gate, the site and all other archaeological sites in the Yucatan are closed indefinitely, by order of the Ministry of Health, as part of measures to reduce the spread of swine flu. In hindsight, this may not have been one of our better-timed vacations.
The question of the day has now changed from
“Which imposing Mayan ruin shall we see next?” to
“I wonder if our return flight has been cancelled yet?”
Rhapsody in Pink
Each year, large flocks of American Flamingos come to Ria Lagartos to breed. The birds paddle in the shallow waters in huge numbers, feeding on brine shrimp. Their unusually-shaped beaks are used to filter the muddy water and separate out silt and water from their food.
It was about seven in the morning, and we were walking along the road between Rio Lagartos and San Felipe, having given up on the bus. The motorcycle, with two men on it, passed us in the opposite direction. As it passed, the passenger smiled at us and proudly held up something long and thin and white.
“He had an alligator!” exclaimed M. Abruptly, we heard the motorcycle coming back. It pulled to a halt just a little distance away, both men grinning broadly.
“We thought you might like to take a picture.” said the passenger, holding out the reptile.
We had seen a crocodile from the boat the day before, a burly creature perhaps a metre and a half long, sunning itself on a mangrove branch. As we drew closer, it slipped into the water and disappeared. The animal we were being invited to admire was of a different kind: slender, barely forty centimetres from tip to tail, its mouth lined with tiny white pointed teeth. Its captor held it firmly by the throat and tail, and it remained motionless in his grip, looking back at us, unblinking. I snapped a couple of quick pictures, and then the trio on the motorcycle took off again. We never did find out if it was destined to be breakfast or a very small pair of shoes or if they were simply taking a family pet out for a ride.
My crocodile. Let me show you it.