Monday, May 16, 2011

Tres Cenotes

As a result of the chixelub asteroid/metior, there is unique geographical feature in the Yucatan, including limestone caves and sinkholes known as cenotes. Another unique feature of the Yucatan is that there are no rivers. The area is dry and low lying desert so wTer is at a premium. These sinkholes act as natures cisterns, collecting

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Temple of Uxmal

It sounds like a Rush song - the Temple of Uxmal, we are. Yesterday we took an organized tour booked through Jan, the owner of the hostel to the ruins of Uxmal. After another fantastic home cooked breakfast (omlets), the tour bus picked us up at our door. The drive Juan was bilingual and was very knowledgeable. Hugh and I were the only English speakers; the 7 others on the tour we're a family from Mexico city on the last day of their 5 day vacation.

Our tour rambled through a few local villages; one was being prepared for a festival and bull fight, old school, with a makeshift bull ring of material similar to bamboo; another had a great street fruit market and irate police (who only make about 80 pesos a day; I would be irate too).

The lay of the land is flat and hot with scrubby trees. The ground is made of red adobe, which the mayans used in hut making. It keeps the 100+ humidity out. But, as Juan said, it is now out of fashion.

Uxmal was great - Wikipedia can say it better than I can - go look it up.

We also hit a second ruin, that of Kabah. This was great since we were unaware that we we going to see 2. Kabah had no oth tourists but ours and another, soq. Got that ruin to ourselves. Smaller, but different and still being dug by the scientists. We could see science in action! science!

last, we had a ycatan lunch at a restaurant on the way home. Traditional lime and chicken soup, and chi en made with habenero paste - they did give us the mild version.

The family joining us consisted of Mom ( grandma), her son and daughter, their spouses, and 2 family friends. One of the doused was macho and ate a whole habenero straight - fun was had! The son tried to practice his English with me. He is a taxi driver in Mexico city, and the driving there is insane. His pregnant wife ws very cute, but she dripped soup on her white shirt- she never noticed and I did not have the heart to tell her.

We were going to go take a trip to the cents today, but my feet are swollen from the ruins, so instead we are going to tour Merida museums where there is air conditioning.

Tomorrow we will treck to pro RSI for the beach!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Merida, MX

Jon made us a fantastic breakfast of corn pockets stuffed with potatoes and beans, onion, and hot salsa, and coffee this morning. Fidel still needs a haircut - his poodle stylings are overgrown since his Mom (Jon's wife of 5 years) is in Belgium visiting her 2 adult children by her first marriage. She is to return in two days: Fidel will be so happy!

Today we took it slow: we did one of those double decker tour buses that take a circle around the city, and you can jump off and on. We only exited fir one attraction - the archeology museum. We studied Mayan culture etc, but the real interest was the early 20 century photo display of the Mexican Revolution, displayed on the second floor. Zapatista and fotos.

Aferward we walked back to our barrio, but on the way we stopped at a cafe, where I ordered a chelada - a homemade chelada, not the weird vomit thing by budweiser. It was delicious! Limon salt and beer on ice, very nice on a 100 degree day walk.

We also bought a couple guayaberas - i love Hugh in a light blue shirt. Then it was all pools and beer and ham the rest of the day. Tomorrow is pyramids!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Merida Mexico

It's Monday May 9, 2011, and we are taking a siesta at Casa Chalia, our perfect little hostel. Our host, Jon, is originally from Belfium. He fell in love with a Mexican national and now has been living here for the past 5 years, managing rental properties, with the help of a cute grey poodle named Fidel, named after Cuba's leader, after being left behind by Cuban visitors at one of the properties.

On our first day, after checking in and having a beer with Jon, we walked all over the Centro area, stopping for lunch and taking photos. In the centro square, a local man struck up a conversation about the best things to see in Merida. Great info, but... 2 blocks later we saw him again, and I am sure he had business in getting us into a friend's Panama hat shop. Another block later another guy struck up a conversation, to practice his English, and told us about the same great hat shop. And then two blocks later another guy ran up from behind me and got in front of us and pointed the way into the hat shop.

The store was not busy - it was siesta time in the off season - only a couple of guys washing the floor. We were guided up to the second floor, where there were walls of pottery and blankets. In a further room were shirs and hats. We went through the sales pitch, thismis a straw hat, thisnis a polyester hat, this, now thismis a real panama hat, you can roll it up and put it in your pocket , it wil not loose it's shape, yes girls can wear them too ( I have never seen a girl wear one).

We bought two hats - way over priced, but it was a great store.