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Swings in paradise

¿Cuánto por el día? “  I asked, ignoring the price list on the chalkboard in the hope of scoring a better deal. Coyly resorting to the cheeky tactic of feigning ignorance over the stated price. But, today the cute, sloe-eyed Holbox native, in a t-shirt stating, “Rent Me”, wasn’t going for it. He had my number and I didn’t mind. Handing over a wad of pesos, to cute Senior “Rent Me”, I slid behind the wheel of the sandy golf cart and buzzed out of town… I was off to see the flamingos and I couldn’t wait!

Not that it’s hard to get out of ‘Dodge’ in Holbox.  With just a main square, ringed with several side streets, it looks like a Hollywood set: two parts hippy eco chic and one part necessity (food, booze and shopping).   Hidden off the coast of the Yucatan, this tropical, car-free, barrier islands’ sandy unpaved streets are lined with kaleidoscope colored structures and topped with palapa roofs.   The preferred mode of transportation?  Golf-cart taxis, bicycles and sandy feet – feet that stroll along to a reggae beat bouncing around in the air.   A sexy blend of eco-hotels, dreadlocked Italians, and a laid back vibe, Holbox soon gets under your skin – it’s only a matter of time before you start plotting ways to go native.

Downtown Holbox

But, besides the crazy blue of the sky, a blue that forever ruins your idea of what a sky should look like. Besides the sultry vibe that makes you want to hang onto the buzz forever.   Besides the insanely swimmable ocean surrounding your every turn, there’s the other side of Holbox.  What’s great, what’s really magical…is the wildlife.

Nosey iguanas and pelicans are as common as that reggae beat, but the visiting whale sharks, the turtles, and the flamingos – that’s the magic.   And it’s always the flamingos that get me.   Comically pink, strutting around like they’re God’s gift to the Aves class (which I think they are) they’re noble and surreally daft all rolled into one.   In a golf cart, on a bicycle or with sandy toes, you can bumble about the island all day.    Find a quiet spot on a beach, nap in a hammock staged in the sea, or pop a cold one and hang with a local.   

Today though, I’m off to the very end of the magical island of Isla Holbox.  I’ve been itching to hang with the birds.  Today it’s just me.  Just me, my golf cart, and the flamingos.   I can’t wait. 

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