|Welcome to Puerto Chiapas|
|Harbor is part of the mangrove|
|Docked on the starboard side today|
|Groups getting off the ship|
|Lots of security|
|Nicer dock than yesterday|
There is not too much here in the way of things to do, unless you take a tour. Shore excursions had a total of seven today. If you wished to see ancient Mayan ruins and a museum at Izapa with a stop at Tapachula, the closest town, then you had to book a tour. Or, instead of paying $90, you could take a local bus that was taking folks to Tapachula for a round trip that only cost $10. each. Not a bad deal. There is a town square downtown with scores of souvenirs. If you were looking for regular shops or pharmacies, then this is the place to go. Been there, done that.
|Many flags decorate the pier|
|The breeze had picked up|
|A restaurant and swimming pool|
|The portal to the area|
There are coffee and banana plantations, as well as a mangrove boat ride to see birds. We have also taken this tour, which was OK, but not the best if you compared it to the same tour in Costa Rica. We do remember learning a little bit about chocolate made from the local cacao beans, and also the cultivation of cashew producing trees. Not everyone knows that the cashew is produced as a seed from a fruit that grows on trees. We did not, until our guide pointed it out to us. The raw cashews are actually inedible, even poisonous until they are leached and roasted correctly. The by-product of the fruit is used for a local alcoholic drink we understand.
Before we went to breakfast, there was an announcement that we were staying here until 5:30pm instead of leaving at 4pm. The excuse they used was that our time was extended for an operational procedure. Wonder what that was about? We would find out later in the day. The good thing was the rain had stopped, and it appeared that it would remain that way. It was warm and steamy, but no where as bad as yesterday.
We finished our job of emailing, which by the way, has been working somewhat normally since the world cruise ended. Figuring that fewer people are using it, we have had less problems with the internet shutting down. We headed off the ship around 11:30am to explore the manicured gardens around the huge palapa, or thatch-roofed hut.
|Manicured park at the pier|
|Which way to go?|
|Some locals were sleeping here earlier|
|Waiting to explore the palapa|
|The veranda around the palapa|
|Bird may be a grackle|
|Portal to town|
|One of the largest palapas on the Mexican |
|Entrance to the palapa|
|Wooden carved marimba|
|Shops inside the palapa|
The marimba is a wooden instrument similar to an xylophone. We saw five people playing a huge one yesterday as well in Guatemala. Another group of dancers were entertaining the folks at the exit to the palapa. They were dressed in local costumes, made with brightly colored fabrics.
|Local group danced for us|
|Good round trip price for a shuttle to Tapachula....$10. |
On our way to check out the restaurant/bar, we ran into Henk and Christel on their way for a run. They were taking a walk through the garden of trees planted around the grounds.
|Christel and Henk out for a run|
|Good place for tacos, nachos, and beers|
|Pool was open to all|
|Lounges by the pool|
|Not in use yet, maybe later|
|Palms do well here, but are not native|
|Decorate this park area nicely|
|You are here in red|
|A cashew fruit with the "nut" or seed underneath|
|Tree was full of fruit|
|The only way out|
|Every vehicle is checked|
|A waiting van|
|Lots of shade from the palms|
|Cashew tree blossom|
|Some were citrus|
|A cattle egret|
|A member of the heron family|
|He has peach-shaded feathering|
|They eat insects off of cattle, when not eating bugs elsewhere|
|Peach-colored feathers with the white|
If we had left the ship a bit later, we would have tried the nachos or tacos with beer at the cafe/bar. However, it seemed like we just ate breakfast (we did), and were not hungry yet. It was probably just as well, because if we had drank beer, we would not have felt like packing. Frankly, we never feel like packing, but it must be done, and the days are passing by quickly now. So that chore kept us busy for the afternoon, even though we already had two duffels packed. We even watched a movie while packing.....Ronin 47, a true, but brutal story about Japanese samuri centuries ago. Made the time go by faster for sure.
Sailaway was at 5:30pm, with the music from Darlene and the HALcats on the aft deck.
|Dancing Diane....she made the finals on Dancing with the Stars at Sea|
|Looks like we took on new passengers|
|Dropping the lines|
|A flock of pelicans|
|Pelican in flight|
|Birds on shore|
|Diving for food|
|A young bird|
|Always searching for fish|
|A dance on shore that was not announced|
|Must be warm|
Dinner was formal again tonight, or was it? There has been no enforcement of the dress code so far on this trip. The majority of the passengers we see at the 8pm dinner are dressed properly. However, at many tables near us, we see no jackets, let alone a tie, and open-collar shirts. Some fellows even wore sandals, with no socks. What gives? We asked our head dining room manager, upon leaving tonight, and he said they have not enforced the dress code, because the air-conditioning has not been working properly.
|Well-armed, so it appears|
|A shrimp boat|
|Family going fishing|
|Onlookers as we leave|
|Leaving the pier|
|Goodbye Puerto Chiapas|
|Wonder if any more ships are coming here?|
|The beginning of the mangrove|
|Very civilized set-up|
|A beach for the locals|
|The village of Puerto Chiapas|
|The pilot boat|
|The Pacific Ocean is notorious for undertow|
|Seas got rough once out of the harbor|
|That us smoking|
We did enjoy our food however. Our starter was jumbo shrimp, followed by salad and soup, then entrees of Szechuan chicken. Desserts of creme brulee and strawberry ice cream finished our meal. Showtime featured the Amsterdam singers and dancers with Sessions, tunes from Billy Joel, Carol King, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, and the Beatles to name a few. This group is really earning their money on this cruise, as they seldom did more than a weekly performance on the world voyage.
Well, we now have two days at sea to kick back or continue with the packing. Plan on doing a little of both.