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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Yucatan memories

I recently returned from back-to-back projects in Mexico - a week in Cancun and then we drove south to the Riviera Maya for the second shoot.

Fourteen consecutive days of 5am starts and 7pm finishes seemed like child's play when I returned and faced editing about 8000 frames. "You've got to learn to be more selective", I said to myself. As if that's going to happen, because I always say that to myself. Ah well, old dogs, new tricks and ne'er the twain shall meet. (Apologies to Kipling).

I used to live around here in the 1970's and although much has changed it still feels like home to me. At one point we were a short drive from Belize, where I also lived, but I resisted the temptation of a trip down memory lane because we were on a schedule. Cancun didn't really exist then, it was just a big spit of white sand which curved out 15 miles into the sea. Local fishermen would ferry people across to Isla Mujeres for a few pesos and Cozumel for a few pesos more. Now, huge catamarans ferry hundreds of people at a time to these islands and Cozumel even has an international airport.

Playa del Carmen is supposed to be the fastest growing town in Latin America, but it seems to decay as fast as they build. Even the building seems to be half-assed, unfinished this, unfinished that and there are more potholes than in the old part of town. Maybe they're actually constructing potholes? Hmm. Still, it has a charm that even the hordes of English louts roaming the streets can't dent.

Playa is definitely more Mexican than Cancun and although I usually go for more "authentic" myself, there's something about Cancun I really like. The Riviera Maya is completely the opposite of Cancun's large, multi-level resorts, and intimate, low-rise buildings spread over large, mangrove covered, properties prevail. If heaven on earth exists, this is it.