T. Middy and I recently had an actual nine-day vacation. Not a research trip posing as a vacation, or a trip home (though I had a very nice one of those in May, spending most of the month back in Auckland), or a road trip to someone's wedding or party, or a visit to friends. A vacation where we left our laptops at home, choosing to stay somewhere - Hemingway, an Italian-owned place on the beach at Tulum, on Mexico's Caribbean coast - without electricity apart from a few hours in the evening.
I don't want to write too much about it here, partly because I'm now writing a column for NEXT magazine, starting with the July issue, and I'm plotting something about the Mexican trip, of course. But I did want to post some pictures. We had a fantastic time. I sat on the restaurant deck most mornings, getting work done on my book (old-school, i.e. by hand). The rest of the day we read, or took walks, or slept, or went for a swim. When we weren't on the porch of our cabana or lying in a hammock, we were prone on a swinging beach bed (see below) that was completely addictive.
A few times we caught a taxi into Tulum town, to get cash out, watch Mexico play in the World Cup (there was a TV set on a table in the bus station) and swelter in the insane heat. Early each afternoon we walked along the beach to the Playa Kin-Ha Beach Club to eat guacamole and ceviche and drink a beer. Every night we walked along the beach to one of the nearby restaurants. Our favorites were both Italian - Hemingway and the chic Posada Margherita. One morning we went to the beautiful Tulum ruins, but we both managed to forget to take our cameras.Too relaxed, I guess. Or maybe our resident lizard hid them.
We also had a number of our trademark profound and intellectual conversations. Here is an example.
TM (pointing up at the evening sky): See that? It's Venus. Also known as the Evening Star. And sometimes the Morning Star as well.
PM: What's the Afternoon Star?
TM: There is no Afternoon Star.
PM: But there must be if there's a Morning and an Evening Star. Maybe the moon is the Afternoon Star.
TM: You can't see the moon during the afternoon.
PM: You can sometimes.
TM: The moon is not the Afternoon Star.
PM: What could be the Afternoon Star, then?
TM: The sun. The sun is the Afternoon Star, OK?
PM: Really? Is that what people call it?
TM: No. THERE IS NO AFTERNOON STAR.
I was also severely criticized for tracking sand in and out of our cabana, and into the bed. ("I instructed you to maintain good sand discipline," said TM, "and you did not.")
On our first night in Mexico, we stayed at Le Meridien in Cancun, which was quite flash; on our last night, we stayed at Casa Violeta, further south along the beach at Tulum. This was a lovely place too, but we were spoiled, I think, by the peace and seclusion of Hemingway. We absolutely loved it, and hope to go back to Tulum at some point. These photos are all self-explanatory, I think. The feet in the hammock belong to T. Middy. I'm the one in the Swanndri cap.