Our interest in Mexico’s Caribbean began in 1982 when a friend won a trip to some new, unheard of resort named Cancun (at least unheard of in our home state of Iowa). His tales of the beautiful destination prompted us to book a trip.
On that first trip, we stayed in Cancun, but on one of our first days we took the Caribbean Funday tour to Isla Mujeres-it was love at first sight! We ended up taking the ferry (the old Sultana del Mar) over to the island almost every day for the remainder of our trip. Isla has changed considerably since that first trip, but we’re no less in love with the island and its people.
The early years
Perry and I (Laura) published our first printed map and travel guide of Cancun in 1997, but our story began in 1994 when Perry came up with this crazy idea.
It was a time when a SLOW version of internet was just coming to households via telephone lines, (remember dial up!) Digital photography and GPS wouldn’t begin to enter the consumer market for about five more years.
Perry began making maps using a bicycle with odometer and an old-fashioned compass. He’d push the bike in a straight line as far as he could, write down the direction and distance, then make a slight adjustment and continue on. It took four trips before Perry was finally able to turn thousands of scribbled numbers into something that resembled a map.
This was an era perhaps ten years before Google maps would bring satellite imagery to the world. In order to draw hotels and shoreline accurately, Perry chartered a plane, they removed the door and he’d hang out the side shooting photographs (see photo below). When finished we had hundreds or rolls of film developed, then taped all the photos together to form our own satellite view.
This was also an era before people were comfortable making online purchases, so we would mail out our Cancun travel guide with a return envelope and a reminder to mail us their payment-amazingly, a majority of people did pay. We recently received one of those envelopes with the customer’s sincere apologies (fourteen years after the original purchase!)
Now, we’re on to a new adventure with our first app of Isla Mujeres! It’s been a long hard process, (over 2 years in the making) we hope you you enjoy it and all of the great advantages the paper map could never do!
Safe & happy travels!
Some oldies but goodies!