A morning walk, Yucatán


Pete the pelican, Akumal, Yucatán peninsula. Dic. 2019.


A stairway to heaven. Cobá, Yucatán. (Note: Technically the eastern part of Yucatán became a full-fledged state, called Quintana Roo, in 1974. Cancún, Tulum, are in “Quintana Roo”. Yet, geographically, historically and culturally it still is Yucatán, the land of the Maya. Cobá, near Tulum, is one of the most important Maya cities, second only to Chichen-Itzá.


Pyramid, Cobá. The stairs and pyramids were just a “way to Heaven”. A base for temples to be closer to the gods. As I mentioned in an earlier post, if you go to Cobá, or Tulum, go early in high season. Both places easily get packed. Not to mention the menace of the bicycles in Cobá.


“La coqueta”, the tease. Between Tulum and Cobá.


Postcard view. Akumal.


The back of the postcard: iphone ear plug case. Was it lost? Or just dumped? Sadly, the beach is littered with plastic. Plastic is becoming a  major threat to life. Yet, one barely hears or reads about it.


Judging by the model, the earplug case is relatively new. A glimmer of hope: barnacles have already attached to the case. They should destroy it in a few thousand years.


Fairy chimney on the beach. Man-made. No plastic. A few yards away to the right, in the shallow waters and rocks, I found a small moray eel. About a foot and half long. Dressed as a leopard: yellowish with dark spots. Very elegant. I’ve only ever seen greenish moray eels.


A study in black and white. In Spanish they say White and black. In that order. Weird.


From the mangrove to the beach. There were many herons on the beach. I’d never seen that anywhere. To me they are more inland birds. Since the beach and houses were actually cut out from the mangrove and swamp I guess the birds are adapting. And eating plastic. 😔

Dr and Mrs Death. The constant obsession with Death. Akumal.


Ditto. Loos of the world series. Akumal. 2020.


Powder room, Akumal.


“Hotel art” by Emma Rubens. Tulum.


Bird on the beach.


Plastic on the beach. There was a bit of wind one night, not tempest, but a good wind. The sea got rough. The next day, the high tide left loads of plastic on the beach. As you can see, those are old plastic fragments. Have been floating for a while.


“Forky” (Toy story 4). Good news is: restaurants in the area do not serve plastic straws with drinks any more. Either no straw, or paper straws. See? It ain’t that hard…


The great Pacific garbage patch is a plastic “island” floating between Hawaï and California. It covers 600,000 sq. miles. Twice the size of Texas. Yes, Siree. The weight is estimated at 88,000 tons. (Source: USA Today) I could not find the total mass of plastic floating around the world. Traces of plastic are being found in fish in all seven seas…

Check the link here to the USA Today article:



Transforming brows since 1976. Tulum airport. 2020. Couldn’t resist this one. 😉


At the Airbn’b, Akumal. One day, I started reviewing the destinations. (See a traveller’s mind. Destinations. Not cities) Thinking, “How many am I missing?”. Quite a few, actually. What about you? Which cities haven’t you gone to that draw your attention? (Paul, you can’t play the game, you’ve seen them all, surely)


“Would you like beer…


“… or water, ma’am?”. Akumal, between Cancún and Tulum, means “Place of the turtles” in Maya.


“Let me put something on…” Art by Emma Rubens, Tulum. Yucatán peninsula. 2020. Emma Rubens is a very talented English artist settled in Tulum for some years now.


“Conversation”. Tulum Airport, 2020. Travellers N+4.

Thank you for flying Equinoxio Airlines. Hopefully airports will reopen. I hear that European flights are due to start again any time now. Though Boris Judas Johnson in a recent speech was not quite clear whether Brits could or could not actually go to the continent soon. And how? Swimming the Channel maybe?

One last word about plastic. A young Dutchman has developed a simple, yet very astute system for collecting ocean plastic. See here:



109 thoughts on “A morning walk, Yucatán

  1. I was amazed by the barnacles. The photographs were beautiful, but the plastic and trash on the beaches and other places, is so disheartening. It’s everywhere. Another fun and great post, even if the women at the end were all on their phones. 🙂

    • The plastic trash was definitely disheartening. Though the barnacles will claim back Nature’s right.
      That last one was fun, wasn’t it? All those young women who’d just shared a few days in a wonderful place, waiting for their plane, each lost in their own world. Not even time to comment on their shared adventures.
      Can you walk outside a bit? get some air?

      • Oh, definitely. I walk everyday. It’s not that bad, where I live. I was out all day in the yard today. It’s worse for inner city people and those who are having so much difficulty. Insurance is tied to jobs, for most and without jobs, they have no insurance, no money for rent, food, or anything else. Desperate times for too many. Just terrible. Many can’t isolate in their homes, since there are more people in their homes.

        Yes, that last picture is a sign of the times. I was surprised the barnacles happened so fast. I don’t know why, but I was. Another wonderful post.

      • Glad you can go out. And yes, inner city people are facing hard times.
        I hadn’t thought about Insurance but of course. That’s double jeopardy… so to speak. Darn! All this makes me so mad. One feels so helpless right? Nothing one can do. Just hung up with our daughter after her day in the hospital. Horror stories…
        Anyway. Glad you liked the post. We all need to open our eyes to other things. Stay safe.

  2. Un endroit parfait pour pratiquer le qigong au soleil levant, surtout un matin venteux où les vagues roulent.
    Merci, Brieuc, et doux après-midi à toi.
    PS. “Noir et blanc” chez nous également, question de liaison plus que de priorité !

    • Ouiiiii. Je me suis rendu compte après que je m’étais mélangé les pinceaux avec l’espagnol qui dit bien “blanco y negro…” Y va falloir que je fasse un “update”. Pffff.
      Tout va bien chez toi? Le déconfinement se passe bien en France?

      • Super ici ! Nous sommes partiellement déconfinés. J’ai randonné 18,5 km dans le massif ardennais mardi matin (bonne reprise !) et hier nous sommes allés acheter des plantes à repiquer. Ceci écrit, le port du masque et la distance entre personnes sont inconfortables … un moindre mal.
        Je souhaite que la vie soit douce et souriante dans ton coin là-bas, outre-océan.
        Merci et belle journée, Brieuc.

  3. Great photo tour around Tulum. I like the B&W rocks. Funny, because it’s blanco y negro in Spanish too, for photos. I’ve only been to 8 of the major cities on the posted list, so far. I haven’t traveled to Asia or to Africa.

      • Unfortunately, we are nowhere near it. Gardeners and builders are the first to return back to work next week. Then it’s the small shops, followed by cafés and as for the rest of the country – we are expected to freely roam within Ireland only from 20th July. And that’s if the numbers are low. Two more long month 🙈

    • “Been to have”? 😉I’ve been to 14. Still a few to go. SA, you mean South Africa? No, not yet, though I have cousins there. Rio, yes, a long while ago. Quite the place… Worth the visit.

      • 😂 Most of my travels have been to the same places over and over again, countless times, rather than exploring new. I think I’ve been to some 35 countries or something. Obviously I don’t even remember all the places I went to pre-social media 😂 I guess it must be the same for you, except more countries? Now cities, that’s a whole other topic… who knows how many!?!? 😆

      • Interesting to concentrate. Did it give you time to learn the places better? 35 countries? Not bad. One day I will download the app to do a census of the places I’ve been to… Should be fun.
        A bientôt Lumi.

      • A definite plus. Now we live in a world of numbers: how many liles did you get? How many visits? Views? Followers? Countries? I think I will still download the App for the map. Although I have a pretty goo idea of what it would like, it would be fun. Bon Dimanche

  4. I’ve been to 11 of the cities on te poster, so (just) under a half. The places I would love to visit are: Moscow, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires and Washington DC. The places I would very much like to visit: the rest. 🙂 A very pleasant walk in Yucatán by the way!

    • Río, B.A. and DC I’ve been to. Moscow, I’m curious. We had a trip planned to Russia a few years ago, had the tickets and hotels booked, and something went wring with the visas. never really understood.
      Glad you liked Yucatán, it was a very pleasant end-of-year. Nice place.
      Are you coming out of lockdown yet?

      • Yes, we are coming out of lockdown a bit. Shops are open again, schools started, from the first of june on bars, theaters and cinema’s can open again. But very restrictive, that much that I don’t fancy making use of any of it. Yet. I hope we’ll be able to travel again soon. I have a holiday trip planned for Spain in fall. Spain is been hit by Corona severely, so, I’m curious wether it will be possible. We can’t do much else then wait and hope. But yeah, things are going in the right direction concerning Corona. What the economical damage will be, we’ll have to see. I hope you are doing oké!

      • Spain han? In the fall? Hopefully. Our already bought tickets to Paris in July seem in peril. The airline (Aeromexico) could easily go bakrupt as far as I know. Yes, we’ll see.
        Let’s all take it one day at a time…
        Tot ziens.

  5. The level of plastic we, as humans create is disgusting. I was conducting a personal audit of the plastic washed up at the lake near my home. this year. I have to say that during Covid, the level of plastic has dropped significantly, so we can definitely make a change to our lifestyle that would reduce the amount which ends up in waterways. I have noticed the last five years have been particularly bad.

    • Last years? Very likely. In the 90’s I had Coca-Cola as a client, and I watched as they went form mostly glass bottles to mostly plastic and cans… Cheaper. yet all of us can definitely change habits that will limit the amount of plastic that ends up in the ocean. Take care.

  6. Thank you for the morning walk!
    There are still a lot of places I would like to see, but no chance that I will still make it (too old for all that). It is o.k., I have seen a lot in my lifetime …

      • No, I guess we are one generation at least. We just can’t do so many travels per year anymore as we used to do, since we stopped working, that is a money matter.
        Ryan Air is planning their schedule for summer now … will everything just go back to old polluting normal? I am afraid so …

      • Understandable. My wife still works, so I save my earnings so we can travel. 😉 But then we’ll see how long it takes…
        Again, I think there will be changes… for the best hopefully.

  7. Love that you liked the eel’s choice of clothing. White and black, huh? Interesting. It must be hard to keep up with all of the differences in all of the languages. Do they ever get jumbled?

    Plastics yes…awful and worse depending on where you go. Thankfully I have a little boy who loves to clean up garbage everywhere he goes so we are doing our part.

    • Love Little C. He is already so responsible…
      White and black is actually in Spanish… Not in French. So yes, they do get jumbled. The closer they are the easier: Spanish and Portuguese for instance. B ut then I use my Spanish when I can’t find a word in Portuguese, so…
      Be good.

  8. Thank you for taking us along on your walk, Brian. So much to see, so much to learn. The money shot for me was Pete the Pelican against the sky. Now, the Transforming Eyebrows ad had me a bit perplexed because I didn’t know why someone would want to decorate her face in such an odd fashion. Then it dawned on me that perhaps I had transposed the “before” and “after.”

  9. I have been excited by that young man’s ingenuity for removing plastic, and now there are several other young people with a variety of ideas for removal in different contexts. Sad. The real way to solve the problem is to reduce the production, and train the users. Sigh. Laziness really irritates me. Loved the photos. The one about putting something on is another irk about movies, who on earth wraps themselves in bedding to answer the door or make coffee? Lol.

    • Prego, amico mio. 😉
      A muppet now? I just a mail conversation with old Brit friends, they call him a buffoon…
      He and a few others worry me more than the current virus.They seem to have no cure…
      Stay safe… Ciao

  10. That boom invention is very nifty. Such a shame that it’s necessary, though. 😦 You shared some really amazing images, Brian. The scariest one isn’t the ‘Death’ one, it’s the eyebrow ad. 😯

  11. I’ve watched A plastic ocean (2016) some time ago. I can only imagine how things are now.

    Earlier than that I’ve also watched another documentary called Planned obsolescence, where at some point one could see tonnes of electronic waste being dumped on the shores of Ghana by vessels coming from the “civilized” world.

    This topic of destroying the planet is way too “heavy” for this place. Mankind creates too little beauty compared to the ugliness they spit out willingly or not.

      • The second one is quite good (albeit the bad video quality – maybe you can find a different upload of a better quality) and it shows a few interesting things such as how a handful of bastards managed to get huge profit by dramatically reducing the lifetime of the light bulbs to only 1000 hours – there is a lightbulb in a fire station that has been working for one hundred years – it was manufactured before that evil agreement.

        The opening thing with the printer is real, I have stumbled into it myself years ago and just like the guy in the video I found a small application on a site, downloaded, launched it and my printer became functional again. Yes, I also had to open up the printer, remove the piece of felt full of wasted ink, wash it up and put it back, but it was a very easy task that anybody could’ve done – most certainly the guys at the repair shops everywhere. But that is so contrary to the consumer society we’re being forced to live in.

        If (almost) everything in the world would be made durable and reliable, the world would be a much much cleaner and healthier place to live in. But the rich wouldn’t be so much richer… and that, mon ami, is the goddamn problem.

      • Yep. So I was told a few years back at a coffe shop in Covent garden. The owner, Paul, a Scotsman after a pleasant conversation told me: “The main prrroblem is grrrreed.” I didn’t quite believe him then. Now I do… 😔

      • True, I realized it too quite some time ago.
        And I know that scot story, you’ve told it around a few times to other people (you know I always read all comments 😉 ). Always picture it vividly in my mind, with that unmistakable accent. 🙂

      • LOL. I know you are very thorough. (And read all comments)
        I’m beginning to repeat myself. Need to strike that story down. Tell another. or invent one? 😉
        Be good Dragos.

      • Nah, it’s a good story, I like it – even reminded to me every now and then. But you can always come up with others as true. 😉

  12. Smashing photos, Mister B.
    The whole plastic thing freaks me out somewhat. Be something to look forward to when all packaging in biodegradable .

    But that still leaves a helluva lot of plastic used in almost every aspect of our lives.

    • Thank you Mate. 😉
      Freaking out it is. Totally. It’s only a matter of money. If plastic is made more costly to the producers, they will switch to something else. But our world politicos are too dumb…
      (I still remember as a kid in West Africa, the first plastic objects. Weird…)
      Hope all is well with you?

      • All fine and reasonably dandy, thank you, Brian.
        Business is beginning to return to normal(ish) now some of the restrictions have been relaxed a little, but immediately there was a spike in new infections.
        We’ll have to see how this pans out.

  13. So needed to get out and about today, after a week-long intensive training course (online), especially if I can go via a stairway to the sky. Thank you.

  14. Emma Rubens work is fabulous!
    I was in Tulum many years ago, but there was no plastic on the beach. Covid 19 is not the only thing making the world sick.
    I used to adore to adore travelling in Mexico, but that was before the Cartel(s) took over. I have NO desire to go there anymore.
    I really enjoyed this trip with you, thank you!

  15. Great that you conclude with the good news. To eliminate one half of this largest plastic island in five years is not a bad prognosis. I hope it’s a success.

    As for my destinations, I’ve only got four: London, Rome, San Francisco and Paris. For me the world is still an oyster.

  16. I remember traveling all over the Yucatan Peninsula in 1971 when I was a kid with my parents and brother. It was so different then. We had all the pyramids to ourselves. I was the only Spanish speaker, but I couldn’t remember left from right in Spanish so this caused confusion when we were driving off in the empty jungle! I crawled all the way through the astronomy ruin in Chicen Itza. My daughter went back when she studied in Mexico for a year. It is a small world.

    • It is a small world. I first went to Yucatán in ’78, in an on-site maya anthropology summer course. (Crazy, I have an MBA!) But we ended up settling here. Must have been a great experience in ’71. Plus, as a kid. Treasure hunting in the jungle. When was your daughter here? What did she study?

  17. It’s a tragedy to see so much plastic on the beach in Tulum, Brian. I have fantastic memories from a visit twenty years ago when there were hardly any hotels (and there were more pelicans than people) along the potholed track that leads to the national park. Where we stayed had no electricity after a certain point and you could sit on the beach with beers and watch the stars roll out across the sky in complete darkness. The only downside were the Mexican military Humvees that also rolled out at night. Thanks for the memories, but not sure I should ever go back.

    • I “Knowing how way leads on to way I doubted I should ever come back”? 😉
      It is still is pleasant if you stick to your own beach. Tulum proper is to be avoided at all cost. Place is packed. And the plastic on the beach is probably anywhere in the world. Didn’t see it in Koh Lanta in Thailand, probably because the hotels and residence staff most likely swept the beach after each tide…

      • It seems plastic will be one of our enduring legacies. We had a lovely time in the Yucatan, so many good memories. Now would be an interesting time for a repeat visit if it were possible to get a flight any time in the near future.

      • It seems some European flights are resuming? Transatlantinc flights seem to be postponed forever. I just don’t know how the airlines will survive. Air France has just received a 7 billion Euros rescue plan. Will it be enough?

  18. gorgeous journey you have taken us on as always!
    On the subject of plastic garbage there is a company here in Australia called ZeroCo and they are harvesting plastic from the ocean and making reusable containers for cleaning products etc and creating zero waste cleaning products to put in them. I hope Covid didn’t slow them down too much! We should have our delivery by now but I’m guessing they’ll take a little longer.

    • Thank you Christine. Glad you liked the “virtual” trip. Glad to learn about ZeroCo. Those are the initiatives that will help solve the plastic issue. We certainly need more. Take care. (And have a nice Sunday)

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