Sunday, January 25, 2009

Remote and beautiful

Cozumel and Cayman Islands

My wife and I enjoy cruises and have been on many of them. We always have more fun when we are with people we know. For a number of years we liked to go on a cruise sponsored by a friend who worked for our National Home Mission Department. He knew how to make you have fun and was always a great host.

One of our last trips with him was a trip to the western Caribbean which included Cozumel, Mexico and the Cayman Islands.

Cozumel is 11.5 miles from the Mexican mainland and one of the largest cities along the Riviera Maya coastline. It is Mexico's largest island and has a mix of cosmopolitan restaurants, hotels and shops set around astounding natural beauty. It has become famous for its superb scuba diving, and as a cruise ship destination.

We departed from our ship on a tender and arrived at the port in Cozumel. Four national leaders all saw carnival looking horses, and like kids we hopped on them, laughing and forgetting we represented a large denomination. After a few minutes of fun we noticed our wives beckoning us to come on. We buttoned our billfold pocket, but it didn’t do much good as we saw many shops with “sell” on the owners mind and “sale” on our mates.

After a day of Cozumel we took the tender back to the ship for our meal and presentation in one of the show auditoriums.

The next morning we woke to the beautiful blue water surrounding Grand Cayman, located about 150 miles south of Cuba. The Cayman Islands are made up of three main islands. The largest and most developed, Grand Cayman, has a population close to 35,000 and is 22 miles long and 8 miles at its widest point. Grand Cayman has become a good tourist destination in recent years. George Town is by far the most modern in the gulf, with more than 500 banks and is the offshore banking center of the Caribbean. Many businesses cater to the locals even though some still stock with the tourist in mind which my wife can attest to.

Cayman has the only green sea-turtle farm of its kind in the world. Once a multitude of turtles swam in the surrounding waters of the islands, but today these creatures are few in number practically extinct elsewhere in the Caribbean and the green sea turtle has been designated an endangered species

Also Grand Cayman's west coast is where you'll find the famous Seven Mile Beach and its expanses of powdery white sand. The beach is litter-free and sans peddlers, so you can relax in an unspoiled, hassle-free atmosphere.

Due to the beauty of the island, it has become a place of retirees drawn to this British Crown Colony and is a site of major condominium development.

While these two islands are great to visit, it is better when it can be done with friends.

“On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city,”- Acts 10:9

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