Getting Ready for a Week in Celestun


Stephen F. Dennstedt

It has actually been an emotionally charged week here in paradise. The recent passing of my ex-wife, the mother of my son, has reignited old memories I thought were long-buried. I dropped off the grid about six years ago and have been pretty successful in eliminating stress from my life (and with it the anger that had become almost a constant companion). Thoreau’s observation that: The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation no longer applies to me. And it still doesn’t but the possibility always exists. I will not go back to that life.

I’ve been back in Merida, Yucatan for over a month (wow time really flies when you’re wasting away in Margarita-ville). The weather has been perfect with sunny days and warm temperatures (80°F to 95°F) and its been great reconnecting with old friends. Joel and I are living cheap with the peso conversion—approximately 25 Mexican pesos to every U.S. dollar. The conversion is definitely working to our advantage. Friday we leave for a quick side trip to the small coastal fishing town of Celestun.

Celestun is only about 2-hours away by local bus (200 pesos) and is situated right on the beach (the Gulf of Mexico). We’re booked into a small and relatively inexpensive local hotel ($15 usd pp per night). The town itself has very little infrastructure and you can walk almost everywhere or take a tuk-tuk if you’re really a lazy-butt (which I readily admit to). I envision a lot of beach time, a trip or two out to the nature reserve, eating local seafood (ceviche, shrimp, fish, langostino lobster tails and tacos). Cheladas (beer over ice with lemon juice and a salty rim) is the beverage of choice during the day.


Cuban (Habana Puro) PUNCH Cigars

We bought a box of Cuban (Habana Puro) PUNCH cigars this afternoon to take with us. A nasty habit to some but a relaxing mediation for others (we fall into the relaxing meditation camp). I’ve never been a cigarette smoker but I’ve enjoyed the occasional cigar since I was a young Marine Corps Sergeant in Vietnam (age 19). Buying Cuban cigars in Mexico is a crapshoot because there are so many fakes down here—but we smoked one apiece tonight and they are the real deal (you know it when you smoke it). There’s also a better than even chance we’ll take along a good bottle of Scotch whisky for the evenings.


Celestun, Yucatan, Mexico

I took the above photo at Celestun about three years ago. You can see that we will be suffering to the extreme. I can’t really say that we’ve worked particularly hard since arriving in Merida but there is something special about relaxing on the beach. Having grown up in San Diego, California being at the beach is always like going home. The cool Tradewinds gently blowing at night, the soft crash of the surf, a tumbler of Scotch whisky and a premium Cuban cigar. The only thing missing would be a good old dog—and who knows, maybe we can round one up. We have about two more months here before returning to the States for a short visit in March.


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