Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Costa Maya

With a docking time at Costa Maya not until 1pm, we had time for some onboard fun. The first activity for the morning was Gingerbread House making. We filed into Animator’s palate and were given a “set” for every 4 persons. As soon as we divided ourselves, the competition was on! It brought out the hidden Zumbo in all of us, but none of us threatened to force our way onto MasterChef. With ugly reality dawning on our lofty aspirations we finished up in a rush and power walked over to the Walt Disney Theatre for a 3D screening of Frozen. Malcolm’s words on his house proved to be prophetic.

The man claimed that he sneezed on the way to the theatre...

...and that his creation was meant to look that way!

Frozen was a hit with everyone. The story had depth and the humour did not rely on pop culture references, but rather on silliness with warmth. Following on from the movie, we disembarked onto the port of Costa Maya, Mexico. Costa Maya was a port much like Cozumel was about 30-40 years ago. Our stop today was brief. We had a total of 4.5 hours in port! Our private tour had to be efficient. The gang was briefed prior to starting the tour. There was to be no straying off to take photos or shopping! We started off with a quick visit to the ancient Mayan ruins of Chacchoben. Our tour guide Joel, rushed us through so that we were able to take a photo before the temple ruins without the crowds. He enlightened us on all things ancient Mayan. As we left after our lightning tour and photo op, the car park which was previously empty was filled with tour buses. Joel disclosed that 23 big bus loads were scheduled to arrive today…

Let's go and learn about Mayans

The Disney Fantasy

Could it be?!?! We have the whole ruins to ourselves?!?!

Joel our guide, one of the local Mayans

The temple where human sacrifices were made

Spider monkey!

We drove a little more into a small Mayan community where we were served lunch. We were relieved to discover that they no longer practice the tradition of human sacrifice. The village was quaint and the food was delicious. I did not realise that there were Mayan communities still around. I had incorrectly assumed that they were all wiped out. They are trying hard to preserve their culture and in particular their language. Now that electricity and television are prevalent in the communities, Spanish has become the mother tongue. Joel got us back to the ship with half an hour to spare.

Excuse the photo but the road was bumpy and I had to push people out the way to get it...In seriousness, this is the tiny and mostly traffic free road that we traveled on to get to the Mayan Village

Joel, explaining how the Mayan community and families are structured and how they live

The communal dining area of the family who hosted us for lunch. This is where the whole extended family would have their meals.

The beautiful spread that they put on for us

The communal kitchen

Hibiscus juice

The Mayan ladies
Dinner at Royal Court. The napkin

Very apt bread holder

Christmas surprise!

A lithograph for us to take home!

We have joined a Fish Extender group again on this cruise. For those who have not heard of it before, it is essentially a type of gift exchange. Participating families hang up a “Fish Extender” on their message holder outside their stateroom. The message holder is shaped like a fish and thus the “bag” that hangs as an “extension” of the fish has come to be called “Fish Extenders”. Families then drop small gifts in each other’s fish extenders on the cruise. We have been awed and humbled by the generosity and creativity of the participating families. So much thought and effort has been put into these little gifts and we are so very grateful to have been a part of it. The children are always ecstatic when they find something in the bag! It has made our cruise that much more special.

Our "loot"

Mickey Bag

A rolled up pouch...

...which holds 6 cars! Jonah refused to let go of it

A tissue pack holder

Disney tiles! These ones will be going in a special place in our garden

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