Apr 23, 2010

The Mayan Effect

The potential of a total burn-out, for both my husband, Subrata and I, caused us to plan an emergency "ONLY REST & RELAXATION" vacation.  To obtain this much needed R&R, came the "stressful" process of actually finding that haven that would provide us with what we needed.  Being avid travelers and our constant hunger for exploring the new, it always becomes a challenge to find the right place to visit, given that time is short and we aren't millionaires yet!

However, after much debate we settled on the Mayan Riviera in Mexico.  Having been there once before, we knew that the R&R would be abundantly available and we could quench our thirst for exploration by going to Tulum (Mayan ruins) or Xel-Ha (natural aquarium).  So, we made our reservations and off we went, our heart and souls ready to soak in the warm Caribbean sun and the cool breeze of the sea.

Now, the word "Maya" in Sanskrit means "illusion".  Did we have any idea that the Mayan Riviera would truly prove to be an illusion/Maya for the much promised Sun and Fun at the beach?  We stayed at the gorgeous El Dorado Maroma, whose beach is fabled to be Travel Channel's #1 beach.  The location was perfect and after 1 full day of idyllic Caribbean effect, we forgot the world we left behind, almost.

After a perfect "Sky" massage in a hut above the waters of the Caribbean and being soothed by the cool breeze, it truly felt like we were getting started quite nicely on the whole R&R plan.  However, the first sign of this "Maya" or illusion of sun and fun in the sun was right there on the beach after I came out of the hut! To my surprise, the beach was empty, the sky was pitch black, and there was, RAIN!  I had been enjoying the massage so much that I didn't even notice the intensity of the breeze that had changed from a soft breeze to high wind!

And, so it went on, for 4 days.  A freak storm in April with little breaks here and there where we all almost ran to the beach with our drinks and towels and useless sunscreens!  And, promptly ran back to our rooms or the poolside restaurant when the rains started pouring again.  So, to make the most of this situation, we drank a lot of mojitos, margarita tamarindos (margarita with tamarind - highly recommended), and a few tequila shots and caught up our paperback reading. 

What this offered me was a unique opportunity to savor the true beauty that was laying all around me and capture those moments, colors, flavors and essences through my camera and my soul.  The various shades of green, the ever-changing shades of turquoise-grey-blue of the Caribbean Sea, the rapid transition of the blue to dark grey of the clouds above us, all of this was food for the creative soul.  To add to this, the colors and flavors of the cuisine of Mexico, be that on the streets of Playa del Carmen or in the fabulous restaurants of the resort.
Yes, we finally got our much needed R&R and loved watching the storm raging on the Caribbean although I can't say that the staff enjoyed cleaning up after it as much!  

And, if you are looking for one of the best massages in the world but for $27 for 1 hr and if your adventurous spirit allows you to, then look no further than the booth on 5th Ave in Playa del Carmen!  This is a top secret but the key is to be adventurous! :-)