Isla Mujeres Mystery ~ Lynda L. Lock
Don’t forget to send a copy to my mom!

Our upper street-side deck is a fun place to relax, and to observe the rhythm of life on Isla.  The view from above can be very enjoyable.

Early this Sunday morning we heard the distinctive sounds of running feet, light and rhythmic sounds made by well-conditioned athletes.  I rested my camera on the railing of our upper deck, pointing the lens into the crowd on the street below.  

It took only a few seconds before the runners noticed me and waved, shouting greetings. “Don’t forget to send a copy to my mom!” hollered runner #0131. “Sure!  Who’s your mom?”  I quipped back, grinning.


The Rooster on the Go Challenge is a new event sponsored by the municipality and Rooster’s Cafes with entrants coming from various parts of Quintana Roo and the Yucatan.  One segment of the challenge was a race around the perimeter of the island and the second segment was a shorter run from centro to the park just south of our house and back to the starting point.  The longer race had 50 women and 77 men registered, while the shorter version had 37 women and 32 men, plus assorted baby strollers being pushed by moms and dads.  The current administration at City Hall seems to be enthusiastically promoting new events that will increase tourism on the island, hopefully filling hotels and restaurants in the slower “shoulder season” following the busy months of January, February and March.  

Vegetable vendor

A few days ago as we enjoyed our morning coffee, a vegetable vendor trundled along the sidewalk.  

His hand-cart is a converted wheel barrow, filled with what looks like small red or green tomatoes. 

People walking past, or on motos stopped to buy whatever it was that he was selling.  

Later in the day I saw him set up at the speed-bump by the entrance to the Chedraui grocery store.  That’s a pretty clever place to be as everyone must slow down to navigate the big tope, and drivers frequently stop to buy whatever is being sold that day.  

2012 juice vendor pedaling home.

Last night around sundown one of the juice vendors pedaled past, on his way home from a long day of squeezing oranges.  We have seen him before.  Sometimes he enlists the assistance of a family member or friend to pull his bicycle cart behind a moto, giving him a motorized ride home instead of pedal-power.  I can’t begin to imagine how strong his leg muscles must be to pedal that heavy cart downtown in the morning and back home later in the evening. The island is only five miles long (seven kilometers) but the neighbourhood where most people live is at least three miles south and at a slightly higher elevation, necessitating a considerable amount of effort to pedal or push a cart up the inclines.   

2009 crew repainting the wall.  (R.Bietting photo)

Other times our source of visual diversion has been to watch the happenings across the street at the Colegio de Bachilleres (high school) basketball court.  In the six and a half years that we have lived in this house we have seen the street-side concrete wall painted twice, the basketball court painted with lines and sections twice, new backboards installed twice and we have yet to see a basketball game.  

Recent work party to refurbish the basketball court

The biggest deterrent to the students using the area is the jungle surrounding the playing surface.  Every time someone misses the ball, it disappears into the foliage never to be seen again!  The players do a half-hearted search but it is a daunting task in the thick undergrowth.  The basketball court could really benefit from a surrounding fence, similar to the tennis courts.  However, as most of us know, with fencing comes other challenges: rust, corrosion and eventually the total demise of the fence.

Installing the backboards.

The next best thing to being captivated by the various activities is accomplishing a task because we happened to look out at the street. 

Just a few minutes ago, Lawrie called to me: “Did you want to ask Pepe a question? He’s outside right now.”  Correctly known as Jose Alfonso Martinez Angeles, he is the owner of Alucripepe Aluminios y Cristales.  

Pepe and his crew do a great job on replacing or repairing windows, screens and doors.  We need a patio door replaced, as well as a new screen for another door.  Pepe had stopped his truck in the street to buy a flavoured-slushy drink (he calls it a chipi chipi) from a passing vendor. “Pepe, wait a minute please.”  I shouted in Spanglish as I ran down our spiral staircase and across the street.  Five minutes later he was inside our house measuring for the two small jobs we needed done.   Perfect! Finding him on our street saved me the time and effort of driving to his place of business. 

Replacing the patio glass

At times it can be noisy living on a busy street, but the enjoyment and convenience make up for it.  

We have more time to sit with our feet on the deck railing, sipping morning coffees or an evening glass of wine.  

Ah!  Sweet!

Hasta Luego

Lynda & Lawrie


5 Replies to “The View from Above”

  1. Great Blog!!!!

    Do you have more info on The Rooster on the Go Challenge ? Just curious …if we wanted to go and participate in that event next year ( is there a website? )


    I also heard there is a triathlon on Isla?


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