Mexico Day 9

Hi Everyone

Of course our day started at 7 AM. I was so sad to leave Campeche. A real jewel and special place. I would have loved to have spent a few more days there. It is now off to Merida.

Merida is in the Yucatan and the capital city of the province of the Yucatan Peninsula. We spent about two hours driving to the archaeological site of “Uxmal”. Uxmal is a Mayan site where only about 5% has been excavated and exposed. We met our local tour guide at the entrance. He speaks Mayan and told us that he proposed to his wife at the top of the main pyramid of Uxmal. Very knowledgeable and spoke great English. We entered the site and the first thing you see is this huge pyramid. He showed us a picture from the early nineteenth century of what the pyramid looked like before it was fully exposed and excavated. The pyramid was built in five stages and there are five small pyramids within this one. The entire site was close together so there was not much of long walk, but quite a lot of climbing. We need entered a quadrangle of four large buildings. Iguana’s were sunning themselves as we walked around and up and down. The four rectangular buildings all faced a large courtyard. We then climbed another area called the “Governors Palace”. There were many carved stones lining around this large pyramid. The guide told us some stories about some of the carvings. As I was walking and climbing around, I thought of the structures that have not been excavated nor uncovered yet. Looking at a mound that is covered with grass you have to envision a large pyramid that is just under the jungle cover. It was getting very hot and humid as we left the site. Vendors were selling local things outside. I bought some nice cotton shirts for 200 pesos or $10 each. Everything is so cheap here.

We then walked to a local restaurant for lunch. We served ourselves to all sorts of local dishes. A woman was cooking corn bread in the corner on the floor. Her fire was enclosed by bricks. Very unique.

It was then back to the bus for our drive to Merida. of course, I fell asleep after having two strong cups of coffee.

We arrived in Merida and drove to our hotel. The name of our hotel is the “Hotel Casa del Balam”. It is the former home of a plantation owner that was converted to a sort of bed and breakfast. There is a beautiful central courtyard and the rooms face the courtyard. What I first noticed about Merida is that there are so many plazas and parks. Olivia and myself took a walk to stretch our legs and we all met in the lobby at 6 PM for dinner.

We were all driven to a local family for dinner. Dinner was made up of local dishes that were cooked by the family. The beverages served were hibiscus water and pineapple water with chia. Chia is a plant. The pineapple water with chia was very good. We were shown around the house and one of the women gave us a demonstration of how to sleep in a Mexican hammock without falling out. Olivia tried it and was successful. I passed and took some great pictures of her wrapping herself up in this huge hammock.

It was then back to the hotel for an evening walk to the plaza. There were so many people enjoying themselves. Almost every restaurant had a local band serenading the patrons. Bands would roam the streets and play for tips. There were two stages set up. One on each side of the plaza for two performances of singers and bands. We stayed for one performance. Very different and colorful. Mexican people love to be outside and party. As I am writing this I could hear bands still playing in the background and its 11:30 PM.

It was then back to the hotel. I had my evening cappuccino and we decided to call it a night.

Whats on for tomorrow? Tomorrow I get to do something I have always wanted to do. Don’t tell me they have bungie jumping here? No. I’ve already done that. What crazy thing is next? I will be diving into a cenote. We are going to visit a local plantation, have lunch there and then jump into a cenote. What is a cenote? You can google it or what until tomorrow.