04/05/2008, Isla Mujeres
Quintana Roo is a sparsely populated state that has a strong Maya heritage. The state is bordered by Guatemala and Belize on the south, by the Caribbean Sea on the east, by the Gulf of Mexico on its northern tip, and by the states of Yucatán and Campeche on the west. Quintana Roo occupies a third of the Yucatán Peninsula, which is an essentially flat limestone surface with almost no aboveground rivers and little topsoil. Quintana Roo covers an area of 39,376 sq km (15,203 sq mi). The state's capital city, Chetumal, is located in the southern portion of the state, across the border from Belize. The state's population in 2000 was 873,804. Spanish explorers made their first landing in what would become Mexico in 1517 at Cape Catoche, at the northern end of modern-day Quintana Roo. Located off the east coast of the Yucatán Peninsula, Isla Mujeres, where we are currently located, is one of the many beautiful Caribbean Islands that belongs to Mexico. The ancient Maya people built a city on the island many centuries ago. The abundance of salt found on the island supplied much of the Maya empire. Isla Mujeres got its name when explorers found the ruins and discovered large amounts of figurines shaped like women.
03/26/2008, Isla Mujures Marina
Bullfighting is a Mexican passion though less wide spread than soccer. Fights take place mainly in major cities, and mostly during celebrations. Though a lot of people think it to be cruel, and crude "sport" it is a major part of Mexican history. To the fans of bullfighting, it is as much a ritualistic dance as a fight.
There are usually six bulls in a fight, a bell is rung when the first bull leaves the pen. After the bull leaves the pen a few toreros spend a few minutes tiring the bull. Then two picadores on heavily armored horses enter the ring and jab long lances into the shoulders of the bull, to weaken it. After that the toreros come back and attempt to stab the bull with long colorful darts. The matador them comes into the ring among a thunderstorm of applause and has to attempt to kill the bull within a sixteen minute period, with a sword. If he succeeds he is awarded with honor, but if he fails the results can be bad for his career.
Our experience with the bull fight in Cancun was that the show before the bull fight was better than the fight. I don't think our family will be strong patrons of bull fighting. But, while traveling and trying to experience cultural events we try to keep an open mind.