What do you focus on when traveling? The culture? The food? The people?
Typically, I focus mainly on exploring and learning about the people of an area, the sights and attractions, and the natural landscapes. I am not really a huge 'foodie', nor am I a big museum person, which is odd, because I love museums. When traveling, though, I feel that time crunch and museums don't usually fit into my itinerary. I also tend to skip over the fauna of a region - I take note of the local wildlife, but don't make a huge point of searching it out.
|Visiting a Clydesdale horse outside of Red Deer, Alberta.|
When in Mexico last May, I wasn't given much of a choice. There were animals EVERYWHERE, even in our resort, and I found myself really enjoying them. We didn't go to a zoo or anything, but did have fun encountering some of these cutie-pies:
White-Nosed CoatiWhile the employees of our resort viewed these creatures as more of a rodent or pest, I myself found them to be adorable. I debated catching one and taking it home, but my husband forbade me. (He has to do that with a lot of animals...) The coati lived in the trees and forested areas that surrounded the resorts, and every now and then we'd see one crossing the trolley path on its way to forage for food. Each time, I would frantically fumble with my camera, hoping to get a good shot. I'd be frustrated when the picture turned out blurry.
Then we went to eat at one of the resort's snack shops. Apparently, this snack shop was set in an
ideal location, because all of the white-nosed coatis seemed to live there. It began with one cute little guy, boldly approaching our table at the snack shop for some tasty tidbits. At first we all oohed and aahed at his fuzzy, round body and striped tail, but politely obeyed the sign that stated we were NOT to feed the animals. Then a man at the table next to us 'accidentally on-purpose' dropped some food, and the coati was on it like white on rice.
|A brave white-nosed coati ventures into the snack shop in Mexico.|
Out of the blue, white-nosed coatis flooded from the trees - we could not believe our eyes. They just kept pouring out. Soon everyone was chucking fries and bits of hamburger bun to the animals - to heck with the signs! It was obvious we were not the first to feed the creatures, and they were ready for it! I probably could have taken one home - the resort owners probably wouldn't miss one little coati! Just kidding, customs people...
|And the coatis come rushing at the promise of food...|
ParrotsAnother fun encounter with wildlife we had at the resort occurred when we decided to take a quick dip in the pool before dinner one day. We hadn't planned on it, but it was so hot outside and my husband desperately needed to cool down. We kept our swim short, but then as we were leaving the pool area, I was drawn to a large crowd encircling a table with some toys on it.
My husband and I shuffled to the front of the crowd (I'm good at doing that without making people mad) and saw that everyone was enraptured by a man holding a trained parrot. Two other parrots waited politely for their turn to perform on wooden stands set to the side.
|These smart parrots sure put on a great show in our Mexican resort!|
The parrots were so smart! They were able to hold a conversation with the man, sort colored blocks into containers, and much more. We ended up being late for dinner, despite trying to keep the swim short, because we stayed for the whole show. Smart birds!
IguanasOf course, there were iguanas everywhere on the resort. I assumed they were wild and just were so plentiful because of the lack of predators on the resort. However, I was proved wrong when I crossed what could only be described as an 'iguana feeding station'. The resort makes sure their iguanas are well fed, apparently! About a gazillion iguanas scuttled around this station, grabbing treats, fighting with each other for morsels, and some even laying possessively in the food dishes. It was *almost* a little icky, the amount of iguanas there were. You literally had to watch your step as you moved through the area, careful not to squish one amongst the many.
|Iguanas, iguanas, everywhere!|
There were many other different species of birds and fish on the resort, but I would be unable to name them here. I know these animals do not represent all of the wildlife in Mexico, but these were the ones that I was able to have close encounters with. Maybe next time we should hit the zoo, just so I can see what else Mexico has to offer in the animal category!