Thursday, 22 March 2018

Crazy Dog Lady from Bulvania Doing Nothing

Holbox Island, Mexico, February 1st–8th 2018

Holbox is an island and a village in the north shore of Yucatan, approximately two hours west from Cancun. It's pretty perfect place for a not so active holiday. Sportsters and other pervs, go somewhere else!

Art meets life

The melangé of population of Holbox is nicely evened out between locals, local tourists and tourists. No nationality of visitors is overwhelming as to change the place to, let's say, Little Monaco. Once in the hotel breakfast room I realised I was the only non-Swedish there, though, but being a Finn, I didn't join in the merry chat in Swedish (which I do speak quarter fluently), but as usual, let everyone believe I'm from Bulvania.

In addition to overwhelming turistica, Holbox also lacks cars, except some maintenance vehicles. The village is easily walked from one end to another and motorized transport is taken care of by golf carts, available both as taxis and for rent – and in oh so many customized incarnations! Bicycle is a viable transport option, too, especially if your lodging is off center.

Being accustomed to the Nordic price of things, the restaurants were not  at all too expensive. Still, as a rule of thumb: the less designed the interior, the better money for value ratio – not that the food is actually bad anywhere. Especially if you appreciate the healthy diet of flour, salt and fat, as I do. For example, the empanadas with cheese in La Sirenita, quesadillas with an overwhelming dose of my favourite spice, carsinogen, in Abominable Maria and anything with chorizo in it at La Chilanguita are highly recommended. 

What's there to see? Luckily, not much. I hear there a flamingos around, but not close enough to walk or bike to. I preferred Google Images and Oh My Gobernador the flamingos are beautiful! There is also a famous-for-some-reason beach called Punta Coco nearby and if you like sunlight with no trees for shadow and lying in ankle deep water, you should go.

I found the electrical boards of Holbox quite interesting
Holbox has its share of lovely bright coloured houses

I think the main thing here is just to be, and for that, there are plenty of places. The beach and its cafés and restaurants are the easiest choice. If you enjoy hammocking as much as I do, I recommend staying in one of the beachfront hotels, even if they are a bit pricey. Most of them have hammocks available and/or trees or poles to hang your own to. Yes, it's perfectly normal to travel with one's own hammock.

The central square is sprinkled with benches and just enough folks for people watching. There's a stage, too, if you feel a sudden strike of thespianism. Note the murals of the stage and their night time lighting, too! There must be a light artists in the village, since the trees of the square are lit quite psychedelically in the evenings. The hysterically yelling birds give a Bad Trip by Hitchcock -soundtrack to the whole thing. Quite otherworldly, to say the least.

There are plenty of roof top and terrace bars and restaurants around the square, too. I had my morning coffees in Amaranta, a small terrace cafe in the corner of the square. It's vegetarian, too, which is proved by all the chorizos in the menu, hidden in haste with black pencil strokes. 

The highest location must be Arena hotel's bar, where I was lured to by a yellow, glowing trash bin. Obviously. Just as obviously there was a swimming pool on roof top, with a gigantic rubber duck. How could I not love the place? I went there spending my last night in Holbox and it was pretty hard to leave, but I'm sure it was just because my chair was really comfortable and low.

Observing the rush hour from Amaranta
Observing the central square from the terrace of Arena hotel
The duck in the pool observing other customers

Holbox has a superb population of stray dogs. Or, maybe, they're just running free. I'd like to believe that, since most of them seem quite well taken care of. On the other hand, there is a dog rescue center, too. Anyhow, there are a lot of them and they are the cutest, best behaving and most varied bunch of running free dogs I've seen. When I mentioned to my friends in Finland about the cutest canines, they demanded pictures. I obeyed to the detail and now I might be known in Holbox as the Crazy Green Haired Dog Stalking Lady.

The closest I got to flamingos.
Pieces of information

• A lot of useful information about hotels, restaurants and and getting to and from Holbox is found in
• Holbox in Wikitravel

The ferry from Chicuila runs once or twice per hour and the trip takes about half an hour. Check the last ferry before booking an evening flight. There are two ferry companies which are pretty similar. 

There is a shuttle bus from Cancun airport to Chicuila port, see Holboxeno above for details. A lot of hotels offer a ready set transportation, including taxi from airport, ferry ticket and a golf cart taxi from the ferry to the hotel, but that is a tad expensive, at least when travelling alone.

In case you continue with a bus from Holbox: the stop is about 50 m to the right from the pier. There is not a ticket booth, but a person selling tickets for the next bus, starting as soon as  the previous bus has left. You can't buy tickets from ADO bus company's website with an foreign credit card. 

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