Left Richmond on Saturday, Aug. 10, at 7:10am EST, arrived Merida 6:15pm CST. We were in a DC-9 to Miami, and will try to avoid that model plane from now on–very noisy.
Ate Saturday evening at La Bella, just appetizers.
Sunday – Fiesta
Sunday is a big day in Merida, and the morning started with street dancers in the Main Plaza. Very colorful and great recorded music. One of the numbers especially beautiful–I tried to get the name, but only got a vague reference to “way of the Maya.” I’ve tried to find it since, but no luck.
We took a carriage ride to Paseo de Montejo for $25, then visited the Governor’s Palace. We were surprised at how gorgeous the paintings were.
Had a great lunch at La Bella, on the patio. “The Ranch” made up of chicken, beef, sausage (yuck), black beans, guacamole, for $82, and it was great.
Monday – The market
Walked through the market, saw one of the original twelve Spanish gates. Read by the pool, swam, took a nap. Dinner at El Portico. Kayela had the beef Shish kabob, and I had grilled pork chops with home made apple sauce. Asked for green sauce and had some Jabanero peppers added. Lunch at the hotel, great shrimp.
Tuesday – Uxmal
I found three tapes, all sort of named “Way of the Maya,” but none were what I was looking for. Left at 1pm for Uxmal. Was not impressed with our driver–he kept going to sleep, and his English was poor. The ruins were great, and I climbed the “Pyramid of Ellipse.” Got three great books on Mayans. We stayed for the night light show, which was narrated in Spanish, unfortunately. We got back at 11pm, but were treated to Mariachis in the hotel courtyard. Finished “Strange Highways, started “A Land Called Freedom.”
Wednesday – The Zoo
The zoo had a great collection of animals, and you could get very close. Rode cable chairs. Went to the Museum of Anthropology, all about the Maya, fascinating. Actually got blizzards at a DQ on Plaza de Montejo. Had steak (so-so) and onion rings (home made, and great) at Mr. Steak.
Thursday – Down time
Did nada, ate dinner at El Portico. Kayela had eggplant, and I had grilled shrimp (so-so).
Friday – Flamingos
Took a bus trip to Celestun, a wild life preserve, which took all day. We saw the pink flamingos, and ate lunch on the beach (basic fish). We met a couple from Canada that told us we could take a bus, which runs hourly, to Merida, for $65. They stayed at Uxmal for $55 (US). The normal rate at Balam is $300-600. The exchange rate was $7.35. Dinner at La Bella.