We wound up here almost by accident, again. If you recall, in the last installment we visited an enormous waterfall in Salto de Eyipanla. In an effort to avoid the spendy tourist trap at the waterfall we gambled and left an hour before sunset even though we were 45 minutes from the main road. We simply don’t drive after dark for obvious reasons. Turns out we were only five miles on the main road (Mexico 180) from Catemaco which is on, surprisingly enough, Catemaco Lake (Lago). After being stalled out by a brief and disjointed parade celebrating the good lady of Guadalupe we were easily able to pick up a bargain hotel ($15.49 US) on the water. The area is relaxing compared to some of our recent forays and we decided to camp out with cheap accommodations and do a little surf and turf exploration. A day off of the motorcycle is needed after every two or three on. We spent the afternoon exploring the town, running errands, and working the boat tour guides down from 650 pesos to 300 pesos for a sunset lake run. So very much worth it. Check out this brief video clip:
The main attraction in Catemaco and on the lake tour are the Monkey Islands. The monkeys were imported from Southeast Asia in the 1970’s as part of a now abandoned research project. There are two Islands with two different species of monkeys. Neither species can swim, which keeps them on the islands. One looks more like Keli than the other, you choose. The boat guide whistled and out came the monkeys. I’m pretty sure they must feed them when no one is looking. This is the other kind of monkey. The fat, tailless kind. Our guide Victor backing the boat out of the dock. Victor was great, he was able to capitalize on the little Spanish that we knew to get his point across. We got a few of the other guides lower than 300 pesos, but Victor’s demeanor made the sale. Not much to complain about. Life is good. We’re riding a motorcycle down the coast of Mexico in December. I think we got the gist of what’s happening here. In the middle of the lake, with nothing else around, there is a mineral water spring. They export the water from this Spring to make various mineral water based drinks in Mexico. It was tasty That happened. Apparently the locals come from all around to get mud facials and more. I was schnuckered. Not by the locals this time, but by Keli. That’s why I’m using this photo where it looks like she’s about to lick the mud off of my face. I’m a good sport. I do have to say, my skin feels amazing. Maybe I should have got the full body treatment. There was something really cool that these birds do but it’s in Spanish that they do it so I’m not exactly sure what it is. It’s cool though, really cool. I’m sure of it. Riding home at sunset. Blew the budget on the boat ride so it’s noodles and sauce and cheap wine for a few days. It’s actually very romantic if you think about it. You know, eating cheap food out of a single pot cooked on a Coleman stove with plastic utensils on a chair. Oh yeah, on the Gulf of Mexico. I’m so glad my girlfriend has the same idea of romantic that I do.