The sun had obviously gone to my head as we emerged from Akumal beach after a blissful day of lazing on the powdery white sand and snorkelling with turtles in the turquoise sea. “Is that a real person?” I exclaimed as we walked past the souvenir shops, a slender yellow-clad figure in a golf cart coming into focus through my sun-induced haze.
Ahem. Definitely too much sun.
I don’t think there’s anywhere else in the world you could find a gaudily dressed, grinning skeleton sitting inside a golf cart. Golf carts are the transport de rigueur in the resorts of the Riviera Maya, and the skeleton or calaca must be left over from the Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations back in November when Mexicans remember the loved ones they have lost. The calacas like this one are depicted as joyous rather than mournful, wearing festive clothing to indicate a happy afterlife.
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