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Adventures in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

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Posts Tagged ‘akumal’

Best of Playa Raffle & Fundraiser May 27 for the Peanut Pet Shelter

Posted by Tony & Cheri on April 24, 2011

Our friends at the Peanut Pet Shelter here in Playa del Carmen have had a rough year. A local competing charity and various individuals with personal agendas tried in a malicious and underhanded way to discredit and close them down. It was an ugly campaign that caused rifts between various individuals and businesses. Fortunately, this small group was unsuccessful in their endeavor. However, the result of their effort was a reduction in donations to the Peanut Pet Shelter, which has since then been struggling to make ends meet.

We are big supporters of the Peanut Pet Shelter. Because of them, we have our dog Roxie (the star of the poster) and, indirectly, our dog Gypsy, both of whom entertain us and make us happy on a daily basis. Many of our friends here in Mexico and also in the US and Canada have adopted dogs that were rescued by the PPS. We have seen first hand the amazing work they do in rescuing and caring for the many, many abandoned animals of Playa.

As a result, we’ve decided to join together with other local business owners and sponsor a kick-ass raffle and fundraiser to not only raise a boatload of cash for the Peanut Pet Shelter but to show them that the people of Playa del Carmen and the nearby communities care about them and see them as a valuable part of life here south of the border.

We’re calling it the “Best of Playa,” because most of Playa del Carmen’s best businesses (as well as several businesses from the surrounding communities) are donating prizes to this worthy cause.

Raffle Details

From now until the Best of Playa Raffle Party on Friday, May 27, 2011, for every $10 donation to the Peanut Pet Shelter, you will receive one raffle ticket for the Best of Playa Raffle, where Playa’s best businesses have donated dozens of cool prizes to support this worthy cause. Tickets may be purchased via the link below until 4 pm the day of the event.

Before the event, tickets will also be available at the Luna Blue Hotel & Bar and at the Peanut Pet Shelter dog & puppy washes on Saturdays & Sundays. Tickets will also be available at the event up until the drawing.

You need not be present to win…but you do need to go to paradise to redeem. 🙂

Every 10 kilos of dog food donated to the Peanut Pet Shelter will earn the donor another raffle ticket. Food may be delivered to the Peanut Pet Shelter or the Luna Blue Hotel or brought to the event.

The drawing for prizes will be at the Best of Playa Raffle party at the Luna Blue Bar on May 27. We will have live music, drink specials, and some fun surprises. AND 50% of the bar proceeds will go to the Peanut Pet Shelter!

Click Here to Make a Donation/Purchase Raffle Tickets

There are dozens of raffle prizes available, including a private sunset cruise on the Catamaya for up to 80 people(!!), a seven-night stay at the Royal Oasis condos, and a five-night stay at our own Luna Blue Hotel! Prizes will be added daily up until the date of the event, so check back often.

And please patronize the many Friends of the Peanut Pet Shelter who have so generously donated prizes:

Posted in Activities, Dining in Playa, Events & Happenings, Friends, Living the Dream, The Hotel & Bar, What's New | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

An August Day at Akumal Bay

Posted by Tony & Cheri on August 23, 2008

A sea turtle as can be seen in Akumal Bay.  Click here to read more about these creatures on Wikipedia.August means a couple of things to us down here in Caribbean Mexico. First of all, it is hot, hot, HOT. Even in the evening, it stays pretty oppressive. Usually we have a few thunderstorms to cool things off at least temporarily; however, the skies have been clear for weeks. The good news has been we’ve seen no tropical storms or hurricanes yet, although we are keeping our eyes open for the weeks ahead.

The other seasonal guarantee is that August and September are part of low season for us at the Luna Blue. That means we can actually take some time and enjoy our beautiful coastline. Today was one of those “time off” days. We used it to get in a little water time by snorkeling in Akumal Bay.

Akumal is on the coast about a 20-minute drive south of Playa Del Carmen. Akumal sits at the entrance of Akumal Bay, Half Moon Bay and Yal-ku Lagoon. The word “Akumal” means “The Place of the Turtle” in Maya, and Akumal Bay is known as a sea turtle nesting and feeding area. It has an interesting “floor” that combines sandy flat spots bordering large stretches of seas grass with active coral growth areas. As a result, the sea life which can be seen there can be pretty amazing.

As usual, we picked a spot on the beach in front of the Lol-Ha restaurant, set down our towels and sandals, and waded into the water. A boat lane marked by buoys divides the bay. We usually swim out to the right of the boat lane which takes us over some areas of seagrass, a favorite food of the sea turtle. As we snorkeled that direction we quickly ran into a large sea turtle slowly traveling along the sea floor, munching seagrass. He was three to four feet long and didn’t seem to mind our company as we floated above him. Occasionally he would rise up the 15 or 20 feet to the water’s surface to gulp some air before returning to his lunch. Sadly we had not brought our camera. The photos in this blog entry are from Wikipedia. Click on the photos to be taken to the Wikipedia page for more information on the amazing creatures pictured.

A barracuda.  Click here to read more about these sinister-looking creatures on Wikipedia. At one point a couple of tourists swam up to join the party. Unfortunately, they began to chase the turtle, diving down to grab its shell. This bothered us since we know the sea turtle is an endangered species. When they surfaced we yelled over to them, “Hey, don’t touch the turtle!” They looked quizzically at us. Then Cheri said, “No tocar!” They understood that and swam off to do damage elsewhere.

We moved along and quickly ran into an even larger turtle that had two large feeder fish clinging to his shell. These fish feed by cleaning the shell of the turtle. Again we hung around for a while watching the big guy having lunch.

We then headed for the other side of the bay to the coral area. As we swam we came upon the largest school of fish we had ever seen: It looked to be 15,000 to 20,000 identical fish packed together creating a virtual wall. The school stretched like a giant green snake, circling around and over itself as it disappeared into the distance.

Suddenly we saw what was causing the fish to pack together to appear like one large creature. We found ourselves floating only a few feet from a five-plus-foot-long barracuda. We know from experience that it is rare that a barracuda will attack a swimmer. A spotted eagle ray.  Click here to read more about these beautiful creatures on Wikipedia.They prefer smaller fish that can be easily swallowed. Still, the jutting jaw, the hooded eyes, the sharp dagger-like teeth sticking out of the mouth, and the size of the thing made us catch our breath. We watched for a while, the school parting around its enemy, as the predator floated and waited patiently for one to swim out of the protection of the group. We never saw it happen.

We crossed over into a flat sandy area and were rewarded with the sight of a number of rays. We saw several smaller eagle rays swimming gracefully a few inches above the sea floor, the motion of their beautiful “wings” occasionally causing a puff of sand to rise up beneath them. Then as we began to head back to shore we spotted something we hadn’t seen before, a spotted eagle ray also commonly known as a leopard ray. It was good sized, with a wingspan of three feet or more and with a tail about eight feet long! We finished off by swimming among several parrotfish feeding on the coral.

Later, when we were back on shore we rewarded our hard work with milkshakes and onion rings while sitting on the deck at Lol-Ha. We gazed out on the bay and marveled at a sight that never grows old. The water of the Caribbean Sea was wonderfully calm and a gorgeous blue-green in color. This, we reminded ourselves was one of the reasons we lived down here.

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