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Sunday, January 02, 2011

A resort vacation

This is my very first all inclusive pure resort vacation. Quite a change from the busier, sightseeing, shopping, relative visiting and activity-based (re:diving) holidays that have been my habit in the past. It was booked about three days before I left. The destination was the resort island of Cayo Largo.

There is no permanent population on this island. Only the tourists and the workers on these resorts who work for 20 days and then return to their homes on other islands. There are no other restaurants on the island off the resort. No choice, hence but to take the all-inclusive option which includes alcohol. The problem of such a vacation is hard it is to actually be idle. Slot is certainly a vice you have to work at. I had to work at it for three days.

This is not to say that I did not relax. There were many fun beach activities including participating in a baby sea turtle release. Cayo Largo is part of a natural reserve with a special breeding program for the green turtle. We combed the shallow sands of Cayo Largo to discover its many pleasures from leathery iguanas, sea stars of the gaudiest colours to living sand dollars. The requisite catamaran snorkeling cruise was made to view the rainbow of tropical fish on a reasonable well preserved reef.

Much lounging was done by the beach, in the room, by the pool, at the bar as Hippo and I filled up on our Vitamin D requirements. What a joy to be able to finish three books on vacation: Malcolm Gladwell's Tipping Point (which provided wonderful challenges to convention thinking), Ken Follett's Third Twin (popular fiction worthy of a beach vacation) and last by not least, Gabriel Garcia Marquez's A Hundred Years of Solitude which was a absolutely marvelous read. Not only is the novel worthy of the Nobel Prize for literature but definitely should be made compulsory reading for every one. Weaving his spell, Marquez created a magical world blending folklore and history, Marquez's magical realism transports the reader to his fantastical world which one wishes to visit many times over.

In the spirit of the fairy tales, Hippo and I also discovered Father Christmas and his wife, Ms. Claus were also vacationing at the Sol Cayo Largo. He came by plane with the rest of the tourists as I suspect Rudolf and his reindeer crew were also enjoying some well deserved time off after a busy Christmas season. No but seriously, there was a elderly couple who did resemble the Clauses and we discovered that they did in fact work as Santa Claus and his wife in Saskatoon during the holiday season. From November 21st, they not only worked in the malls but participate in the city`s Santa Claus parade and made visits to hospitals and nursing homes.

Just like vacation time is up!