It is harder then it seems to drag yourself away from hammocks, ancient temples and crazy hitchhiking trips on the back of pickup trucks in South Eastern Mexico, so bear with me as I try to catch you up on my adventures.
Having lost my wallet at the Tijuana Airport was and continues to be quite the hassle as I finally just had to head to the Merida airport and it had arrived for me that day. What luck… But as fate would have it, none of the pin codes worked. (The bank had no reason why) so I am now having to wait for a new code to be sent to me… Still waiting. In the meantime my Visa works for most non-pin requiring actions and a combination of eChecks and Western Union is taking care of my cash needs. Besides that, I think the wallet and cash problems are merely stressful and time consuming for me, but otherwise relatively uninteresting. Needless to say it is all working out, albeit slower then I would like.
So where to start…. Merida is a small city in the heart of the Yucatan Peninsula a few hours away from Cancun and about an hour from Chichen Itza. It is quiet, safe, festive, and has lots to do. Not a bad place to be stuck for a while. The hostel that I am staying at is close to the Historical Center and has a pool and hammocks all over the place.
With El Día de los Muertos coming up the city was in full festive gear. Alters to deceased loved ones were erected all over the city and in the main square. Dance, buskers, and generally lots of local involvement in making it a fun time for all.
I visited several Mayan Ruins and pyramidal sites which were all fascinating in their own ways. Some, like in Izamal were part of the towns themselves, incorporated into buildings and used as structures to hang their clothing from.
In Uxmal it was quite separate from the nearest town and as me and a few other traveling companions arrived fairly late so we had to run through the site and take photos as it started to rain. At 5pm the park closed and we went to catch the bus that was set to arrive at 5:30. By this time the rain had turned into a downpour and we were informed that the bus usually came between 5 and 5:30… We may be too late. At 5:45 it was beginning to get dark out, along with the rain at the side of a highway. At about 5:55 a truck rolled up and talked with a local woman who was sitting at the bus stop with us. She hopped in and told us that we could come too for 10 pesos — same price as the bus. Given the scenario we decided that it was better for the four of us to take the truck ride into the nearest town and wait for another bus there.
About half an hour later, standing under a tree in a small town at an intersection where a different buses might be caught heading to Merida, the bus we were supposed to originally catch pulled up to the curb.
Almost every night there is a local busker/clown show. I have made it a point to go every night and do my best to understand what he is saying and with any luck pick up some Spanish. He has a set of shows that he usually does, including getting volunteers/victims from the crowd and making them do silly things. One is an intelligence contest, one pictured above where he gets some girls to essentially hold each other up, and then wait till they all fall down, and another where he selects a girl and a couple guys to compete to kiss the girl, and vice versa, and a few others.
There is a huge market nearby where all the locals go. It’s like the Granville Island market only bigger, more hectic, fewer sanitation rules, and way more stuff. I usually will buy my produce from here and cook it up at the hostel.
Beyond waiting for my stuff, enjoying the local culture and nearby activities I have of course been enjoying the food for which there as been no lacking in good quality 🙂
I’m sure there will be more to come, so I’ll sign off for now.