A quick 2-day pitstop in Merida for Todd to get his implants installed. Managed to get 2 nights at the Hilton Garden Inn using points – this hotel was definitely located in US ex-pat central. Our hotel was attached to a mall with TGIFridays, and within a 2-block radius was Burger King, Domino’s pizza and Starbucks.
By Thursday morning we had stocked up at Costco, packed Polly the Polo up and headed out 30 mins north to a sand spit island area. The main town is Progreso, but we picked a house off Airbnb in Chicxulub. We learned about Chicxulub in Laredo Texas last year (https://www.wheelsonthebus.ca/a-dud-in-the-desert/) and its most famous for being near the geographic center of the Chicxulub crater, an impact crater discovered by geologists on the Yucatán Peninsula and extending into the ocean. It was created by the impact some 66 million years ago of the Chicxulub impactor, an asteroid or comet which caused the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event, which led to the extinction of all non-avian dinosaurs.
This place was da’bomb! Check it out: https://rumble.com/v2bjfcb-chicxulub-house.html
By 5 we were headed back into Merida airport to pickup Maynard and Louise…we hadn’t seen them since last year in Georgetown, TX. Our first day together was pretty chill, mostly catching up on life, and hanging out on the deck all day. We did manage to head into town for a few things.
Because this area had a cool geographical history, we opted to go to the Meteorite Museum – this should be cool! We confirmed that there was English subtitles or something English and away we went. Well, in true Mexican style, nothing really was in English. There was a guide who probably talked about the rocks (for about 10 mins) and then led us into a carpeted room, where we were instructed to sit on the floor and wait. These doors opened all around the room to display screens where they projected images of dinosaurs, with more Spanish talking and a couple English words on the screen. Then the screens stopped and lifted and exposed fake dinosaurs roaring. Then the doors opened and we shuffled into another room, with fake dinosaur exhibits and that was it. It was a lot of money, to not learn anything about meteorites…at the “meteorite museum”….
By Saturday, we were ready to head out and explore – Louise’s pick was the Uxmal Ruins. It was 1 ½ drive southeast of Merida. Arrived at the parking lot and were convinced by a local parking lot attendant that it was important to understand the Mayan heritage – Uxmal is one of the most important archaeological sites in the Yucatan and the largest ancient settlement in the PUUC region. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996. We were introduced to our amazing guide Orlando and the next 1.25 hours were so incredible – the history almost came to life with Orlando’s knowledge. Todd and I have been to many ruins in the Yucatan (this trip and previous trips) and Uxmal is by far the BEST we’ve ever seen. I remember almost nothing about the details, but here is a video I put together so you can also enjoy: https://rumble.com/v2bl87a-uxmal-pictures.html and here is a clapping video: https://rumble.com/v2bj17e-sunday-afternoon-in-merida.html
We were pretty hot after the tour – it was 34 C and lucky for us, we all brought our bathing suits to stop at a cenote on the way home. About 45 mins north, and 2 km off a dirt/sand road, we ended up at Kankirixche – this place was awesome! Maybe 10 other people there, you walk down a ladder and jump in – the water was so warm! https://rumble.com/v2bla7i-cenote-kankirixche.html
Sunday was pretty chill, until we decided to head in to Merida for the Bull fights. So that was interesting….Todd and I were the only 2 that opted to go. The arena was located just off downtown, built in 1929. There was no MC or anyone that talked during the bullfight – it was all orchestrated by the playing of a trumpet. We had to figure out the gist of the activities – since we had no idea what was going on. There were at least 4 matadors on the field – in smartly dressed outfits and they each stood behind a wooden barrier. Then there was a matador on a horse and the horsemanship was unbelievable. Once the first round was over, the horse matador would leave and then the field matadors would do their bull fight. This alternated each round. Here’s a short video: https://rumble.com/v2bjdpz-sunday-afternoon-in-merida.html I would chalk it up to an interesting cultural event and most likely not go again. (FYI: you may notice that I no longer use youtube to upload videos and am now using Rumble….I was banned from uploading videos to youtube because of this bullfight video. Not sure how everyone else in the world can upload raunchy videos but I can’t upload a cultural event?) After the bullfights, we met back up and headed out to Parque de Las Américas for some street tacos! and there was a whole plethera of activities going on here: https://rumble.com/v2biq1w-night-market-and-fun-with-flags.html
We wanted to make sure that we took time to enjoy the location of the house we were in and basically hung out at the beach and pool all day Monday. There was a group of retired Manitoban’s above our unit and we managed to see then almost daily and have some good laughs and a few drinks – shout out to Bill & Rose, Dave and Julie and Kelly and Anna – enjoy the rest of your month! (I should have got a picture of us!)
Tuesday was going to be a FUN day! Of course, the only reason I knew about this activity, was because of my fave youtubers (Dennis and Liz). We were headed to Celestun to go for a boat ride to see the flamingos in their habitat! Celestun, Mexico is a small fishing village on the Gulf Coast of Mexico, 60 miles southwest of Merida. While there are long stretches of sandy beaches. Surrounding the town is the Celestun Biosphere Reserve, unique for the flocks of flamingos that migrate to the mangroves in the winter. We arrived around 11 and had heard if you stop at the bridge and get a boat – these are the government boats and the trip out is $500 pesos and its 45 mins. But if you drive to the beach, you get it cheaper and it’s a 2 hour trip. Of course we opted for the 2 hour trip! After you go see the flamingo’s you are driven through this mangrove river tour – that was so cool! Then ended up at a fresh water cenote in the mangroves! Here is some video of our adventures: https://rumble.com/v2bio7w-sunday-afternoon-in-merida.html also some pics: https://rumble.com/v2blbrs-flam-pics.html
No one was disappointed after this tour! Of course, we were hot again and had brought our bathing suits in case we needed to jump into a cenote! The first cenote on the drive home, was closed, so we googled another one. After a 20 min drive through a small town, down a residential road, google said we reached our destination – we stopped in front of a “house” with a bunch of small kids hanging in the “yard” (yard means rocky front of the house and house is being used loosely). Anyway, one of the kids sitting on a tree root, pointed to the side yard and there was a toothless gramma and 6 grandkids looking at us all, wondering where this cenote was. A few steps forward and we see 3 steps down leading to a large hole in the ground. Check this one out: https://rumble.com/v2bl8js-grammas-hole-cenote.html Needless to say, we didn’t jump in – but we gave gramma $50 peso’s for letting us look!
What a great week we had, and was sad it came to an end. Thursday we checked in to our new flat in Progreso and drove them back to the airport.
We are really enjoying your adventure…you are bringing back to memory our past touring experiences in Quintana Roo and the Yucatan.
By the way, if you see a brown 1985 Buick LeSabre in Progresso or surrounding area, it is a car that I left there years ago. Mexican mechanics can keep things going forever.