April, 2006

The long goodbye

April 13th, 2006 by Steve Bridger filed under Cancún Beach Recovery, Cancún

Two weeks ahead of schedule, and a just a few days short of six months after Hurricane Wilma left her ugly footprint on Cancún, the resort now boasts miles of golden sand.

Gabriela Rodríguez Gálvez - photo courtesy Diario de Yucatan"Jan de Nul is getting ready to pack its bags" Gabriela Rodríguez Gálvez, Secretary of Tourism for Quintana Roo state (pictured) declared yesterday.

She added that the last recycled sand was being flushed onto a 70m stretch of beach in front of the hotel El Pueblito, the only section of the 11.7km (7-mile) strip which did not get its promised measure of 25m first time round.

While the two dredgers disappear over the horizon, Belgian maritime engineering company Jan de Nul may yet win…

In brief…

April 12th – Bloomberg journalist Thomas Black does a good job of pulling together the facts on the beach recovery in this article.

Back to the future

April 12th, 2006 by Steve Bridger filed under Cancún Beach Recovery, Cancún

Playa Delfines, April 11th - photo: Steve Just as some of us anticipated, it seems that Jan de Nul has returned to the spot where they began the beach recovery project on February 1st. Probably to sort out the issue of the sand "wall".

Many thanks to Steve Wright of CancunCare.com who took this image of the outfall pipe in position on Playa Delfines, ready (presumably) to start pumping sand today.

Here’s another photo… taken just north of El Pueblito and looking south towards the Westin and Punta Nizuc.

Heads in the sand and empty pockets

April 11th, 2006 by Steve Bridger filed under Cancún, Hotel groups, News, Sustainable tourism

Much ducking and weaving, much passing of the buck in evidence today as most of the local newspapers on sale in Cancún carried a story on the post-Wilma squabbling between hotel reps and insurers. I covered some of the background in January.

Insurance salesmen would probably squeeze their way into the top five in most polls of the least respected, least trusted professions – certainly where I come from. They are the perennial bad guys.

Now, I am not about to leap to their defence, but, all the same, while hoteliers may baulk as premiums skyrocket and insurers drag their feet to settle their dues, I believe they should share the blame as the cycle of build and…

That crazy ocean itch

April 10th, 2006 by Steve Bridger filed under News

Now is the time of year weeny stinging organisms begin to bloom in these waters, resulting in what locals call "aguas malas"; literally, ‘bad waters’.

Tulum; April 9th - photo: Chantelle TuckerThe larval form of the thimble jellyfish, or "dedalillo", is the culprit. Direct contact with skin – particularly in the friction areas of a swimsuit or bathing cap, or in body creases – can trigger the discharge of nematocysts, or ‘arrow cells’. The releasing toxins may cause skin affections, a little local pain and itching.

Around the Caribbean, the common wisdom specifically warns against ocean swimming between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day yearly, but the problem ‘window’ is often longer.

Lifeguards will usually know when the little buggers are most prevalent.…

Holy Passion

April 10th, 2006 by Steve Bridger filed under Cancún

After the season of fasting and penitence, for many in Mexico, Easter is a time for processions, altars, flagellations and realistic reenactments of the crucifixion.

Unrepentants flock to the beaches over Semana Santa (Holy Week) and Christmas, something I remember well when I lived on the Pacific coast of Michoacán.

Cancún will fill up this week, particularly from Thursday to Sunday. Many will bus in from neighbouring states, filling hotel rooms and the cinder-block rooms of friends and relatives in equal measure.

All in all, it’s an especially bankable time for taquerias and coctelerías and smaller restaurants in el centro.

Hotel occupancy and business fall off quickly the day after Easter, the end of high season.

Enchanted Isle

April 9th, 2006 by Steve Bridger filed under Isla Mujeres, News

Photo: Maria de las MercedesThere’s no question Tammy Chase is enchanted by Isla Mujeres.

Meanwhile, Maria de las Mercedes took the photo on the right… and some others of the books, beads and batiks at  "Cosmic Cosas".

The used bookstore and internet café established by Molly Fisher and Genevieve Pritchard is a popular Avenida Matamoros hang-out on Isla Mujeres.

In brief…

April 7th -  Never again will there be a Hurricane Wilma – nor Katrina, Dennis, Rita nor Stan.

The five hurricane names from last year’s devastating storms have now been officially "retired" by the ‘hurricane committee’ of the World Meteorological Organisation, and will not reappear on the list of potential storm names that is otherwise recycled every six years - NOAA

In brief…

Neil MacLean has blogged afterwilma on his Travel PR blog. Cheers, Neil.


April 5th, 2006 by Steve Bridger filed under Photos, Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen, March 26th - photo: Chantelle Tucker Come on in the water’s lovely…

Chantelle Tucker captured the turquoise-blue Caribbean Sea at Playa del Carmen on March 26th.

View the complete photo set on Flickr.

Reminded me of the crystal clear breaking wave captured by Alejandro Mejía Greene in Cancún last month. 

What a difference a day makes…

April 5th, 2006 by Steve Bridger filed under Cancún Beach Recovery, Cancún, Photos

Beach recovery, Le Blanc, April 5th - photo: Jim Wehrle24 hours later… Le Blanc now has a beach.

These guys sure work fast.

This stretch of the beach was wiped out by Hurricane Wilma. You can see what little remained in this photo taken just last week by Nancy McElroy, who is, alas, now back home in Michigan.

View a slideshow of Jim Wehrle’s before and after photos from April 4th and 5th.

Cancún beach recovery enters home straight

April 4th, 2006 by Steve Bridger filed under Cancún Beach Recovery, Cancún

Beach recovery in front of Le Blanc, April 4th - photo: Jim WehrleThe beach recovery operation has now reached the Le Blanc Spa Resort.

Approx. 1 – 1.5 km left to go (view a map).

Thanks to Jim Wehrle, who took this photo early this morning from the Royal Sunset. View a larger version.