A palapa has a thatched roof that lets rain run off it like water runs off a duck’s back. The shape and structure of these traditional island buildings is functional, not complicated to build, and uses local materials. In a big wind the whole thing creaks and moves because wood and thatch are flexible. High ceilings catch cool breezes and hold them. You can see this well known San Pedro Town palapa at the end of its own pier from land, water, or sky and it is always a crowd favorite. On Sunday afternoon, on a road trip north driving our borrowed golf cart, Rabbit and I visit the Palapa Bar and Grill for a look even though we have beer in our cooler for emergencies. The Grill has been here as long as most can remember but it has been recently sold and the old owner is opening a smaller place in town. The new owner has already been labeled “aggressive.”. Apparently the right price was paid, and it must have been good, because this place is packed this balmy Sunday afternoon. The Palapa Bar and Grill incentives are cool breezes, no mosquitoes, inner tubes to float on, good food and plenty of drinks. The place looks and feels like a great location for a beer commercial for a postseason NFL football game. When you are in San Pedro Town longer than a few days, you grow tantalized by gossip, rumor and speculation.  It is the quantity and quality of gossip that keeps glasses filled, entertainment flowing, and customers sitting on their bar stools. The ladies in inner tubes are combining the best of drinking, tanning, socializing, and gossiping. Civilization is out there somewhere. We all wave as it sails past.
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