“The Lost World of Quintana Roo”, a must read for all newbies to Mexico’s Caribbean state, is a book written by renowned French ethnologist, explorer and author, Michael Peissel, who, on one of his first adventures, walked the beaches and jungles from what is today Cancun, to Belize City, in the mid 1950’s. It is a fascinating read on the area that gives a first hand testimony of what the area was like before modernization and tourism replaced remote, and all but uninhabited, areas of tropical jungle and shoreline. The book is no longer in print, but can still be found on the used book market from time to time, and the value, as the area’s population grows, seems to grow as well. The last one that sold in our local bookstore, I think sold for almost $100 to a local!
A few years ago, a lady named Wendy Morrill came into my Mahahual restaurant one day and introduced herself, and her Dad, as Peissel-like adventurers, inspired by his book, to do a modern trek of that same journey. She too chronicled her adventure, and although what she encountered was very different that what Peissel had a half-century prior, there were still plenty of obstacles and adventures along the way, and that is her book. The reviews are all good too so far!
The book, titled “The Found World of Quintana Roo” is a juxtaposition of the area from 50 years later. Those who have read Peissel’s book, will find the differences she described to me, as well as the similarities, very fun and interesting. Peissel’s chronicle was a fascinating look at the area, as he walked, alone having been stood up by his local guides upon arrival, the almost 500 mile trek that took him through swamps, jungles and along vast stretches of white Caribbean beaches, and all the danger and natural beauty that came with it. My guess is Wendy’s trek was similar, in that she too got stood up by lots of Mexicans along the way also, who doesn’t, (hey, they’re on Mexican time!) but there was still vast stretches of uninhabited beaches, jungles and beautiful shoreline. He met very few people along the way, proving the area was all but uninhabited. She on the other hand, met lots of people, and the contrasts of 50 years, a half century, will be fascinating to any of us who read the original.
Wendy sent me a note a while back to let me know here book is now published and out there for me to read. Naturally, being me, I immediately decided to try to figure out how to score a free copy for myself. Coincidentally, the idea of a book signing on her next visit popped up, and boom, we have set a date. Wendy and her father will be here at the Tropicante on May 31st, from 10:00 AM until 2:00 PM, and will be signing books and telling stories about their trip. It should be a fun and interesting event, and hope all those who have enjoyed Michael Peissel’s book, and are in town, will stop by.
If you are not in town right now and will miss the event, no worry, you can buy it on-line here. Cut and paste her Amazon page into your browser. https://www.amazon.com/Found-World-Quintana-Roo-beaten/dp/1540754030/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1491940512&sr=1-1&keywords=wendy+morrill Or even send her a note at her email here firstname.lastname@example.org and have her mail you an autographed copy herself!
Mark May 31st on your calendars and stop in to meet Wendy and help me get my free copy. My guess is you’re going to enjoy here book, and her adventure, as well as Wendy herself, as much as the original “Lost World of Quintana Roo” book. See you then!