A Travellerspoint blog

March travels....

The Yucatan and Arizona

sunny 32 °C

This months blog will cover our last days in the Yucatan as well as our visit to Moorea’s mother-in-law Sharon and her husband Kent, in Phoenix, Arizona.

Well, who says boys don’t like to sew! Ismael was keen to try embroidering when he saw Janna and I at it...that look of concentration says it all.
3591E51A-D..270AA9B9D9D.jpeg502FA646-D..2DE6CF7267F.jpeg
I spent a morning with Andrea prepping for some Shibori dyeing by stitching fabric into various patterns, using thread, elastics and clothes-pegs. The image below is what her comforter cover “to be” looked like before dyeing. Also is a shot of the cream linen dress I made, ready for the dyeing process.
90_156B8DC9-3..8FA709F54E2.jpeg
90_B31BFAF4-D..C7F9665DB3F.jpeg

We took an afternoon to visit the VIP theatres in Merida....fully reclining chairs, meal and drink service...doesn’t get much better than that...95 pesos, which is approximately CAD 6.50. Dara and Andrea getting ready to enjoy The Post....very decent movie.
371C3781-4..3F908A97025.jpeg

One afternoon when I returned home the kids were excited to show me a flower pod that had fallen down from one of the coconut trees. They are huge and have a very intricate pattern inside them.
90_95D7A175-4..E53ED2976AC.jpeg90_B7FB2505-6..87C97A09CB5.jpeg
Got together with a few friends one day to do some Shibori dyeing. I had made a cream linen dress earlier this month and wanted to use indigo to create a pattern using one of the Shibori techniques called pole wrapping. The fabric is wrapped around something tubular, in this case I used a piece of pvc piipe. Then, cord or string is wrapped around it and the entire piece is scrunched (a technical term!) down again and wrapped with more cord. This goes into the dye bath for a few minutes and then comes out to dry. Very happy with the end result!
112DC8F8-B..8FA5A602C6F.jpeg

Our friend Linda, who lives year-round in Progreso has a lovely botanical collection including some incredible cacti. One of them produces huge flowers that emit a “”rotten food” smell which attracts flys...once they go in to the centre of the very large flower, they are unable to get back out! Natures fly catcher...see below
851EFE0F-F..9785F499D7D.jpeg3AC2BFF6-D..E6D7EF9E2F1.jpeg
Another great thing about Linda’s is that her neighbour, who has worked in many kitchens , opened a tiny restaurant in his home. He focuses on Italian food and homemade pasta. We went for lunch a week after her opened his venture and what a pleasant surprise. I had what was most likely the best spinach and ricotta ravioli in pomodoro sauce that I have ever had. Everyone else agreed, this guy has what it takes and we hope he makes it.
AACD0C2F-7..61948AE46BF.jpeg679001D1-7..0D29315A700.jpeg

Rochelle and Bryan arrived in Merida on March 10 and as they wanted to experience Merida in the evening they stayed two nights at a lovely boutique hotel in Santa Lucia square...we joined them for one night. They found a sweet little “Speakeasy” called Malahat...a secret place that you have to know to ask for. The staff at the restaurant escort you around back of the establishment, through a dark hallway and into a very dim, mirrored room. The dark walls were lit by candlelight, the bartender was a master mixologist...and could he make a drink! What a sweet find!
F5DB81C0-9..3D46F103DBA.jpeg
FCF9E7B1-0..7AD14B910B1.jpeg41745BF2-3..1915D820432.jpeg
We stuffed ourselves with thin crust, pizza from a wood fired oven...topped with local ingredients at Tratto...delicious.
A4F2BCFD-8..94BA4583212.jpeg
The evening wound down with a wander around Centro for a bit before heading back to Santa Lucia...below, the cathedral at night...
64E443B1-A..F022053BD13.jpeg
19DD6B50-1..76DAA007AAD.jpeg
The next morning Andy and I had a Mexican breakfast....he had Juevos Multelenos and I had Chilequiles...both yummy.
3ABEEEAE-D..12D57CDFEB1.jpegF91189DA-3..5E64A5C1D48.jpeg
R and B had designs on a road trip to Los Colorados (the pink lakes near Rio Lagartos) and invited us to join them...it is quite something to see...all pink.
667C434F-1..0F937F1A8ED.jpeg0F83BE49-7..FAC16481731.jpeg30C90163-1..BC5204ABFE3.jpeg28667A50-7..2B0FE3EDD9A.jpegF56F33CC-B..0A66B3347DA.jpeg74A884DD-B..4548C8807F7.jpeg
The region is part of the Ría Lagartos Biosphere Reserve, a protected wetlands area home to animals like flamingos, crocodiles, sea turtles, jaguars, and all kinds of sea birds. The reserve covers some 150,000 acres. Fishing isn’t the only industry here, salt is big business in Las Coloradas. It has been for thousands of years, when the ancient Maya used this area to produce highly valuable salt. How do they do it?
Salty ocean water from the mangroves nearby floods onto hard flat salt plains, creating shallow lagoons. The sun then slowly evaporates this water, leaving fresh sea salt behind. While this “solar salt” production process is a natural one, the large pink lakes of Las Coloradas we see today were constructed by a company who produces salt on a much larger scale (500,000 tons per year).
The vibrant pink color of these lakes is due to red-colored algae, plankton, and brine shrimp that thrive in the salty environment. As the water evaporates, these organisms become more concentrated, glimmering pink in the bright Mexican sunlight.
The reason flamingos are pink is because they eat these pink creatures. Normally their feathers are white, however, they change color after eating these small tidbits!
A quick stop at a beach near Los Colorados....Bryan had a go at flying his drone...and a lunch stop at Rio Lagartos topped off the morning.
DD5EA21D-1..2024C425609.jpeg0FEB82F9-B..51EC7946059.jpeg9B02F26D-4..36F2C4B802E.jpeg
We then headed to Valladolid to the Mayapan Agave Distillery eager to check out the “tequila beverage” production...it can’t be called tequila because it is not made in the state of Tequila.
E1A044DF-8..9D31CED3957.jpegDC224507-8..8620AFD87AF.jpegE23E928D-9..FADCF0C9377.jpegB7FBBE49-6..CF9F21D4010.jpeg
These last ones show the ovens where the Agave “pinas” ar baked and them mashed to a mush by a horse and a stone wheel.
39AA3E89-0..75AD16C2A71.jpeg3288FA08-F..04ABBBB3EE6.jpeg
Beach walk one morning produced these pictures including a boat with my name on it...unusual!0CCF886B-B..B645C75FBE0.jpeg6F130EA6-A..C4FC04A36B5.jpegE73B3E1D-F..C9B2D0FB1AB.jpegFF3CF527-3..2248CF2146F.jpeg
Those silly sandpipers!
3C114835-7..64D0B9E0847.jpegA6B70D4A-B..807A89B4B65.jpegE8C940B2-3..BA80A932085.jpeg
The fair is back in Chicxulub for Easter...Rochelle and Bryan...well, especially Bryan...were sorry to miss it this year!
Our time is running out here in Progreso but it wouldn’t be a proper blog unless we had pictures of Mexican dogs, which have been fairly scarce this year....so...some puppies down near Dara and Andreas.
88F3F771-5..B63B0FD7751.jpeg9BEC1E8B-2..AD985844C2A.jpeg
These three are actually Canadian dogs down for the winter with their owners...we were out for a beach walk and apparently so were they. The ocean was like glass and they looked like they were enjoying it.
264521C1-8..4417F80C644.jpeg20DFF51B-3..9E0EFE9230F.jpeg
The water was so lovely and calm on the long weekend that some of the ladies floated around for hours...until we realized we were a bit too far out and had to paddle back quickly to avoid a couple of boats! One of the weekend holiday makers had a huge flamingo that looked like a lot of fun, never seen a blow up water toy that huge. In two weeks is beach will be choc-a-block full of people, boats, jet skis etc for the Samana Santa holiday...hard to believe!
3A345FAE-1..C0BBE2F297B.jpeg
We had the usual “clean out the fridge” BBQ....here’s Andy and Andrea’s “piggy” working on bronzing those wings and not burning a pork tenderloin!
90_0DAEBA81-0..26D15674B96.jpeg

We are heading home via Phoenix, stopping for a few days to visit with Sharon and Kent. I am keen to see gigantic cactus and do some crafty type things with Sharon ( who is very artistic) and Andy is ready to go airplane hunting with Kent.
Day one of our Phoenix (well Buckeye really) trip we headed out to the Sonoran desert around Sedona. Gorgeous vistas, a couple of nice hike/walks and lots of traffic! Sedona is popular for a reason...so beautiful in and around there. We managed to find parking and a great lunch just outside of Sedona before heading on to even more incredible views. The day concluded with a visit to see Cathedral Rock in the Coconino National Forest. A small river runs through the area and there is a lovely walking path.
B7840C6E-5..2371DD23EBF.jpeg90_B76BB519-9..271848C93DB.jpeg0543B0ED-B..D7DBDC0D425.jpeg201A600D-E..A22139313A4.jpegD27694A4-C..69B99FEEB1B.jpeg90_3AEA70CA-C..ED561DD6AFC.jpeg90_D0DB4303-2..9FC9B209395.jpegF0A3DD38-F..F97EA294A0F.jpegC908B925-C..A2A46C3CCCC.jpegC3D32238-C..CA30EB8393F.jpegC39BAED1-4..9F4AE387D3A.jpegE7F57574-A..A9A43F32130.jpeg90_30A4F7D7-B..EDE2BA1735D.jpegF9F1072F-8..1F37F92F024.jpeg8E22265E-5..DF166AAB818.jpeg90_17369056-3..3B87E02FBAB.jpegD5505592-D..BDD428D15E6.jpeg
DECC9D62-0..7735A3AAC2F.jpeg1855118C-1..438AB71098A.jpeg461BC251-4..5FF17241D3C.jpeg0947BE10-F..3FF2E0D0423.jpegD8FD278E-D..17D72A45D36.jpeg
The Botanical Gardens were next on the list of “want to see” places...and what a treat it was. I can’t put into words how beautiful the gardens are, pictures are my only hope!
F2B9701D-A..42D480066D3.jpeg431B841D-4..6E448D4D471.jpeg90_CFA21A18-7..0CFF273194C.jpeg90_4DB81AED-5..06FCBD233E1.jpegE32A3BBA-B..3FDF428208D.jpeg90_3A5787B1-3..7A95E240604.jpeg90_D30E1A96-8..54A27A7AD8E.jpeg1D0E2BC3-8..403AA2EB0A1.jpeg90_ADC1EBCD-7..1B078118A17.jpeg44CE2141-1..0E04EC9E3B8.jpegBD0DA3B7-5..2420099E489.jpeg2441FEC5-B..FCA58F8D924.jpeg609677B8-0..502CF43B44C.jpeg250177FF-F..8A117FDCC0F.jpeg4AD82CE2-E..4B6428C38F0.jpeg86D7987A-1..A2A9FEF7488.jpegC20B18F2-3..C8372100A65.jpeg2524A76C-D..E90086B723A.jpegE6ADCD56-1..010762C82A8.jpeg
01F48B99-1..7717D6A2527.jpegAB42B050-F..CBAA8EA86D3.jpegB18F9F06-8..593B033F939.jpeg18BB8C60-4..3FD9C8619BB.jpeg61D59E45-2..F731423BD2B.jpegF3CB9C98-0..474507C6BA0.jpeg
Day three Andy and Kent were off to an aviation museum to check out planes at the Arizona Wing CAF Museum while Sharon showed me around the adult resort community they live in. They have access to all kinds of workshops...woodworking, pottery and glassworks as well as an unbelievable pool, games rooms, a gym, sports of all kinds...including Pickle Ball....and all on a golf course Never a dull moment is what I think!
The pool...BA916A6E-1..AE7FE2CFBFC.jpeg
The ladies also dabbled with Alcohol Ink painting, something I had heard about but never tried. It was lots of fun and I have a tile to show...or not...my new expertise!
Below is my colourful tile....thinking a backsplash might be fun to do this way...only 100 tiles to go!
90_B6B3AD1A-D..ABEB286CD77.jpeg 90_26A50D93-0..82ACC35C29B.jpeg
In the evening, Sharon and Kent invited us to a concert in the community centre and what a treat. “One of these nights”, an Eagles tribute band played for about 11/2 hours....all the old favourites. These guys were so good that if you closed your eyes....well....it took you back!
0E59C1AA-6..3C81202EADD.jpeg At the concert!
On our fourth and last day of visiting we headed (in the Westie) to Luke Airforce Base where Andy and I were vetted” to see if we were suitable people to be on the base...we passed with flying colours. Kent (who was a Captain in the US Military) and Sharon showed us around the base trying to get near to the fighter jets, but alas the areas that used to be open were now closed to non-military personnel.
9349B11F-C..EBF65F7F6CC.jpeg90_8362D8BA-3..7B53597D400.jpeg6C3BE292-D..6EF52BE7528.jpeg896F56F3-D..08D5D533606.jpeg
ED1ED442-7..87389E40F11.jpeg
We snapped images of the planes on display then headed over to a road by the runway to see if the jet fighters were still doing practice runs. The images below show very clearly that they were, and what a thrill. The last one was so loud our chests were vibrating!
BDCACC86-5..5763466406B.jpegAEE45551-1..4FAFD3CFE5F.jpeg651CE5A2-7..78ED9F602EB.jpeg
F16 fighter jets going right over our heads....and the famous Westie Van that Kent has fine tuned into a miraculous beast!

A few shots from Sharon and Kent’s neighbourhood...the flora is outstanding...and their little casita is adorable...thanks so much guys!!!
90_0F0D5558-D..750794088AB.jpeg90_6C0AD0B4-3..BD5FA79246D.jpeg90_CB601E32-6..870106524D7.jpeg180_73F220B4-8..5575142B0CB.jpeg90_0C389722-A..BB1E08FD97B.jpeg90_7B26B868-B..6B28992435C.jpeg90_245E698D-6..F78C91A6729.jpeg90_59C96916-B..A35549CCC1E.jpeg

Sooooo, who wants to plan a trip to Phoenix now??????????

That’s it for this year folks, hope you enjoyed reading about our winter escape...time to get going and unpack some boxes!

Posted by hermanita 17:09 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

Month two or...segundo mes...

Life in the slow lane....

sunny 31 °C

I realized that I neglected to mention an exciting event from January....a power outage! The outage itself is not uncommon as once in a while the lights flicker or may even go off, but one evening mid-month...they stayed off. Andy and Edwin (the caretaker) went out to look around but couldn’t see anything out of the ordinary, other than the fact it that it only affected our tiny corner of the street...about six houses. The electricity company trucks arrived, in the pitch black and proceeded to shine flashlights up the poles and along the wires looking for a problem, but nothing. Then the larger trucks arrived with ladders and sent a man up one of the poles to check on the transformer....all this in the dark with just flashlights to see what they were doing. They decided that it needed to be replaced and advised they would be back the next day sometime. By this time it was almost midnight, so with candles in hand we went to bed. The next day we opened the freezer, filled the cooler and trucked our frozen food down the road to Austin and Lorraine’s to pop in their freezer...no idea when the electric company would be back and didn’t want to take any chances! Anyway, all was put right again by 2 in the afternoon with the new transformer installed...supervised by Andy, Ruffo and some of the neighbourhood kids!
25DB96FC-4..EE45A82875F.jpegE7864763-D..D803C5C7ED8.jpegD0356F30-9..E5F12B7C24E.jpeg

For the winter season, or the Canadian season as the locals call it (from November to April), there is an event twice a month called the Muelle Market which translates to the Pier Market. The vendors are a mix of local people and expats who offer a multitude of food, clothing and art. There is fresh sea food, hand made embroidered tops, bread, jams, honey, tamales, Indian food, cheeses, sausages, cold cuts, organic produce, leather goods, cotton clothing, jewelry, wood carving and more! It’s hard to leave there with a small bag and with company coming soon...we left with a huge cooler bag this week. Pictures below...
BF8DDC4B-1..CEE95D92D02.jpegEF13D183-2..0485C472ED1.jpeg3DCA60AA-E..776D19527BE.jpegB62FD94A-2..81A016B71A7.jpegB4476C34-6..B2C416E591D.jpeg652FB98A-B..0A50876A1BD.jpeg6B74EE2D-2..DB8AA29F806.jpeg

Our dear friends Bonnie and Len arrived in the late afternoon on February 4th ready to spend a month, do some fishing, eat some Yucatecan food...and stay warm!

A day outing was organized by our friend Andrea...Mayapan ruins in the morning, followed by a visit to two cenotes and a late lunch at a hacienda. Andy and I had been to the Mayapan ruins , just an hour outside of Merida, before but this time we would have a local guide, making things really come alive. The walled city of Mayapán, is considered the last great capital of Mayan culture in the Postclassic (1200-1450 AD). It has an extension of 4 km², in which there are approximately 4,000 structures and it is believed that the city had a population of 12,000 inhabitants. I had thought that the ancient walled city was pure Mayan, turns out it was a mixture of Mayan and Toltec. The Mayans were the gentle, happy ones and the Toltec were the bloodthirsty, sacrificing ones! The guide explained that the round structure we had always thought was an observatory, like it is at Chichen Itza and Uxmal, in fact was a round temple. It has four doors, facing north, south, east and west...the western door, and the most important, looks out over the main pyramid. The guide told us that the elite of the community, the royalty etc would have lived in the centre of this walled city with the commoners spread out to the walls and beyond. There was even an escape route beside the main pyramid (it looks like a dry cenote), that the important people would have used to avoid attack. The underground tunnel came out over a kilometre away in the jungle, giving the people a chance to survive. The guide pointed out many things that we otherwise would not have noticed and even ran up the pyramid steps to help one of our group down when he saw she was a wee bit nervous.
Overall a great ruin visit, we pretty much had the place to ourselves...unlike the two other main sites near here, Chichen Itza and Uxmal which are chock -a-block full of visitors.
B79E2445-2..590756E90EF.jpegB62703CA-3..6A1F70DCCC9.jpegEA37F5C9-2..69712D733BC.jpeg7FD4479B-7..4D2D540F732.jpeg
Above....Our guide showing us where the copal (insense made from a tree resin) would have been placed for burning at the main pyramid.
99DCB646-A..97564A89946.jpegFB6042F4-7..D9D9C459615.jpeg
The “face” carving shows the elephantine nose pointing up, which was good luck, meaning lots of rain for the crops. Opposite to this mask was another one with the nose facing down...not so good! The niche that you see above the “body” in the next picture was reserved for a real human skull after a sacrifice had taken place....talk about “losing your head”!
F646607A-0..755705E9B15.jpeg03379689-7..BAB825AAAB4.jpegB9C6376D-8..58CB4DF731D.jpeg

A lovely old church in a tiny community we passed on the back roads....
90_F989CB53-4..9C8203C68B9.jpeg
Our next stop was two fairly remote Cenotes (the kind I like)! The first one was totally open and had many rickety stairs leading down to it. But, it was worth the climb down...cool, refreshing water, tree roots hanging down and wonderful rock formations.
EC116E3E-1..528DA4A5599.jpegBD193E0A-A..ECDA6BD839D.jpeg672F9B33-D..FCF68E3E877.jpeg61E5543F-2..C7F63254E26.jpeg
After another short ride we arrived at our second cenote...semi covered and so beautiful! The sun shining through the portion of rock that had given way turned the water a gorgeous blue-green. The entire cenote was full of staligmites and staligtites....heavenly to float on your back and look up at the sky through the “roof hole”. The stairs down were much better at the second cenote and we were really impressed by how the community has built and looked after this particular one.
26B74A70-7..71BEC0A4AEA.jpeg84A519B4-7..4FB7D2F9171.jpeg
On to Hacienda San Pedro Ochil and our well earned lunch...swimming always makes me hungry! The hacienda, a former henequen plantation, has been lovingly turned into a mini -museum, restaurant and event venue. After walking through the grounds (and trying out the tiny train...thanks Engineer Len), we enjoyed a delicious lunch, which was sorely needed!
54E081C5-4..417BAA7AEA6.jpeg485CF9FD-1..C07214AAF88.jpeg302A83AF-A..FFF1A32A26D.jpeg
The very large , spiked plant you see above is the henequen plant that made the Yucatán rich. The long spikes were cut, pressed between huge rollers and the resulting fibres were dried and twisted into sisal rope...which was then exported all over the world. This came crumbling to a halt when nylon was invented and man-made rope replaced sisal rope. Our friend Len is “driving” the miniature train that used to run on those narrow gauge rails to take the henequen to be processed and the smokestack (seen all over the Yucatán” would have been to burn the rubbish after processing.
FC4CABFE-1..2BB9EF1272C.jpeg
6B1F832B-E..BFE51C786FA.jpeg7E496FA5-C..04C6FD4B4AE.jpegD7D33338-D..F3A2EC53A62.jpeg737BCD7E-C..90E33CC5191.jpeg
3FDB53BA-0..4F7B7ECD86D.jpeg
DB05931B-3..D629875D6FA.jpeg90_F56DCD2C-9..82FB94D7571.jpeg
The machine above is one of the pieces that would have been used in the process of pressing and separating the henequen fibres before being twisted into rope.

Below, the boys enjoying their “dessert” in the evening!
31431A21-6..63C7AE7AC2A.jpeg
Mango season has started!!!!
ED2B88F9-6..C268CDB22BB.jpeg

Len had arranged to do five days of fishing in Campeche, so we (accompanied. by our trusty driver Carlos) headed down to meet him at the Socaire Hotel on Friday morning. It’s only about a two hour drive and by the time we arrived Len was back from fishing and ready to take us out to lunch. We enjoyed delicious, traditional food and wandered about this lovely city before heading back for a refreshing dip...it was only 33 degrees Celsius (with a real feel of fourty)..Campeche is hot! We dined at La Pigua, a kind of Chinese New Year celebration...Gung Hey Fat Choy!
A few pics of the hotel...
3800F41D-B..1A60AFE6EF4.jpeg
Bonnie checking out the view from the interior window of their room.186B3D3E-8..E62B578AF6E.jpeg90_47A69A5B-A..D8FB94E1333.jpeg
Gorgeous stonework on the walls and pasta tiles on the floors!
207932FB-6..06AB28FFDDD.jpeg46787189-3..6059EEA078D.jpeg90_3FE1DA5B-E..B28C19235CF.jpeg90_D8585884-0..C7BD7AA2B0E.jpeg90_6181B42F-B..727C572E246.jpeg
The last two are the ancient front door and the “hand” knocker.
How about Campeche at night...
B79E0249-9..43862101E2D.jpeg6E5AE3BD-5..7F927C515C5.jpegA95A4FE1-6..529EA81C76B.jpeg

Saturday was spent exploring around the wall...Campeche is a walled city and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The wall was built to keep the pirates out and is complete with canons...really quite beautiful. We also visited the tiny, triangular botanical garden, the marketplace and a few specialty shops. The government in Campeche has done a great job of restoring all the old buildings in Centro and most of them are painted lovely pastel colours...the pictures tell a better tale!
60F9620B-A..0FC5BCE46C6.jpeg6877C725-4..913272D31FD.jpeg26AD47BA-0..35B0E845629.jpeg9A0995BE-7..69B6E5B2B08.jpeg397464B4-1..222B1565F89.jpeg161C041A-E..581AACC9CEB.jpegC8A7D0CA-7..B0405A9FECC.jpeg8FA5CFE0-1..8AB7AF8707F.jpegD426A996-9..AC171B51A31.jpeg62AC6EB3-7..B52B328FE40.jpeg90_2CAD72F1-9..047612954C3.jpeg90_9BC49A93-1..20DE8ADB856.jpeg90_93453FCA-0..AF7707715CC.jpeg8ABA6AEB-C..DD6675993E7.jpeg90_B1AB6045-0..C550CAC1471.jpeg
And...the market...
90_67089691-5..58ADBDE5151.jpeg90_BB454B04-F..52E791A7F74.jpegB06DD1D1-5..8BE97121A15.jpegA29AB7D0-B..DE296C89D74.jpeg90_DEA770C3-D..AC3AE647B87.jpeg90_F81407CD-D..F5D5894E8BF.jpeg
C3CFE9B6-8..AC5AB7809ED.jpeg650A7626-A..DD6D23B22BC.jpeg
90_8663D736-1..8275EB379C2.jpeg
90_7B5B7F84-1..B0E75A3436D.jpeg
These last two are of the elaborate 15th birthday party dresses for the big celebrations that are held when a girl turns fifteen....oh my!
A quinceneara is a traditional coming-of-age party similar to American “sweet sixteen” parties in which Mexican families often throw big, costly bashes
On the way back fro Campeche we stopped to get the famous Pomuch bread in the little town of Pomuch. This bread, baked daily, is stuffed with about a pound of cheese, ham and jalapeños!! Very tasty and our driver Carlos took us right into the town so we could buy from the best bakery.
9F0B7052-7..A5EA807109F.jpeg51CD1544-F..EB682B0F4E7.jpeg

We have just been hanging around close to home, swimming and getting some nice long walks in. No fear of slipping on ice here....maybe running out of drinking water on our morning walk!
Ismael practicing his surfing moves!!! He is a cutie...
90_2AB3E06C-4..9257067C3C3.jpeg
Andy cooling off....
90_DE5FDA5A-3..EFF84595EDC.jpeg
A linen top I have made that I covered in botanical embroidery ....mostly inspired by the flora around here.
98997681-F..3360D2855C3.jpeg

A funny thing happened, we ran into Phil Beaudoin and his wife Kim down here, we worked at Mitel with Phil many years ago. They were “testing the waters” for a month after hearing about Progreso from family and friends. They love it and have booked a months stay for next year already! We got to meet up a few times and then went in to Merida with them on Sunday to show them around. After a great walk down Paseo Montejo (with Dara and Andrea who were on their way to the symphony) ...passing art vendors and enjoying all the bikes (Sunday is bike day) we visited Santa Lucia square, had lunch at a small Lebanese restaurant and then on to the main square...fun but sooo hot!
411209AF-8..C790ABCE42E.jpeg65FC3920-1..5218BA3D774.jpeg 9D3039DF-4..DC24897FD06.jpeg
Kim and I checking out some artwork and Andy and Kim up on the stage dancing!
2568A812-9..70B6BDF903E.jpegFC56DE98-2..A0A0E14DF6B.jpeg 8B827405-0..3081BA3E8AD.jpeg
Crazy bikes...and dog lovers...and hand made jewelry shopping.
C1A730C7-A..E3305A43C0E.jpeg79A4C0FC-A..DA7A5E828E8.jpegD0098B44-8..EF00B371730.jpeg
Near the end of the month as Bonnie and Len prepared to head back home they rented a car and we did a few day trips. One was to Dizlam de Bravo on the hunt for flamingos and we weren’t disappointed. About half way there, near Telchac Puerto we came across a flock of flamingos, some of the brightest I have ever seen, feeding in a salt flat pond by the side of the road.
689C6DFC-C..3A23BAD4289.jpeg
We had a walk around Telchac, along the pier and to their tiny but very clean market before having lunch in a sweet little place.
FF5CD9EC-A..4ACFDC60B08.jpeg2732C919-4..FBAB8B8872B.jpeg4E7816AC-4..083C5D37A2C.jpegE5406C89-A..AFCD4743FD7.jpegF687630B-4..65742A9D5A3.jpeg
Conversation chairs on the pier in Telchac Puerto.
90_2827D6FD-0..A8F43116B9C.jpeg
The cute Telchac market...
4B2D97C1-E..C372C637770.jpeg
FD26F27B-2..96FA88F5732.jpeg23D97E37-9..00336A10D0B.jpeg
A big “tiburon” we spied along the way!!
5EDA3025-E..B5C1DFB2AE7.jpegEA70BD9D-B..D20CA2BB644.jpeg23CE8FFA-7..7087463E886.jpegED7B1683-D..295022FF3CE.jpeg
The next day we headed in the opposite direction towards Chuburna and on to the Fishermen Refuge...a place we have visited before and loved the remoteness of the beach....see pics below. Unfortunately we saw a sign saying “lots for sale” and heard there are plans for an all inclusive resort....too bad....progress or not...hard to say if it’s a good thing for the area.
08963E92-0..D4D1FDE5D7B.jpeg90_859A8526-2..B2CD54E4EBD.jpeg686F3D65-0..D71827A7F46.jpeg33A75A19-9..7EA69E5EA6C.jpeg
An interesting way to recycle an old toilet....found in Chuburna!
E8850550-A..722A971C2E3.jpeg
Traffic jam ...Progreso style!

Our friends Bonnie and Len head back home today after a month in the Yucatan, we’ll miss them but they have places to go and things to do.
I’ll end this months blog with a picture that expresses how we feel.....a group shot in Andrea and Dara’s pool of our friends Debbie and Jodie (Jodie started a women’s cooperative here that sews beautiful bags, pillow covers and various other items), myself , Andrea and a friend of Andrea’s, Catherine. Last, but certainly not least....a picture of Bonnie welcoming the sun on their last day in Progreso......love from the Yucatan!
AE45C7AF-A..023FF6ED422.jpeg
C24F2E1F-2..97BFCCDF277.jpeg

Posted by hermanita 06:04 Archived in Mexico Comments (2)

Getting to Mexico and life in the slow lane....

Our first month......

As anyone who travels knows, things don’t always go according to plan and you just have to “roll with it”!
Our flights to Mexico were originally supposed to be Ottawa to Toronto, Mexico City and on to Merida, which is about 30 minutes from our destination of Progreso. Our first flight was scheduled for 8:45 pm, however, after four or five delay announcements WestJet finally told us the flight was cancelled due to lack of gates at Toronto Airport. By this time it was almost midnight and too late for our connection anyway, so we wandered upstairs to the departure area to see if any airline staff were around. The entire place was deserted except for one young man near the Air Transat counter. After telling him our sorry tale he advised that there was a flight at 6 am with a few seats left on it. I messaged a dear friend Angie, who is a travel agent, to see if she was still awake, lucky for us, she was. Angie got on the blower with Air Transat and managed to book us on the 6am flight to Cancun, which is about a four hour drive from Progreso, our final destination. By the time this was accomplished it was close to 1:30 am so we stayed at the airport for the 3 am check-in. The young fellow at Air Transat felt so sorry for us he offered us exit row seats with more leg room than I have ever had!
The flight was great and upon arrival in Cancun we had planned to hop on the ADO bus to Merida and then taxi to Progreso. However, Andrea had been working behind the scenes and had made alternate arrangements. Carlos (a very nice man from Chicxulub) drove to Cancun to collect us and Jackie, a friend flying in from Toronto...so we were able to share a ride to Progreso. Thanks to everyone who helped us get here...Angie...Andrea and the young man at Air Transat!
After being up all day, all night and all the next day with only a few hours sleep on the plane and the car on the way to Progreso, we had dinner (already prepared by Andrea with incredible brownies provided by our friend Linda) we fell into bed at Dara and Andrea’s as we can’t get into “our place” till January 02.
We woke to a message from Linda to say that she had no water in Progreso, to check the taps and be ready to conserve. Conservation is top of mind here anyway as there are no above ground bodies of fresh water in the Yucatan, just the underground rivers and cenotes. Apparently this water issue happens from time to time when the city doesn’t pay their electric bill on time. The electric company shuts off the pumps that supply water to Progreso...talk about being held hostage! We were without water for about a day and a half, then I guess the mayor paid the electric bill and water ran from the taps again.

Our first day in Progreso Andy and I took a stroll along the beach to town, it was heavenly to be back. Errands run, we stopped to visit our friend Linda and to play with our buddy Pascual (formerly known as Studly....”don’t touch my toys...but I do want a belly rub”) and found some new artwork along the way...
69F4C021-A..B428756C048.jpeg90_93D344CE-D..60A21BB230B.jpeg
We made it!!!
49DEB233-F..15EA28DAE77.jpeg727A1CA7-4..6C12F6C8C5F.jpegDC9761AC-C..86C5F855A05.jpeg
A lovely old home that friends of Linda’s (from Courtney BC) have restored to its former glory...
9ED1BC43-B..ADA2E4CABC9.jpeg

2017 finished with a New Years Eve party at Lorraine and Austin’s, looks like this piñata grew some legs...Andy whatever were you doing?
90_CE41E4B9-1..7D87F0157EF.jpeg

New Years Day lunch in Chicxulub included our favourite whole fried fish and “fillets de coco”...mmmmm. A before and after shot of Andy’s lunch!
831C4890-5..4FAEDCC4C5E.jpegEDC0D21F-3..CA8C9A32642.jpeg
Couldn’t resist a picture with this wonderful bougainvillea....looking kind of “matchy-matchy”!
10C24567-C..F17092E0769.jpeg

Uber is available now in Merida and Progreso, so a trip in to Costco in Merida is much more enjoyable. You can request an Uber back home with all your purchases instead of hauling heavy bags on the bus. The cenote, that was uncovered when building the parking lot at Costco, is looking great and the vegetation has filled in nicely.
49C0E6A6-5..77DA477807B.jpeg
We spent a day in Merida starting with the dentist, then strolled along Paseo Montejo (kind of like the “Champ de Lysee” of Merida) and came across these sweeties on a overhanging sun shade. I think “mum” is keeping a sharp eye on things!
BBEACFB9-5..D13C7B8125F.jpeg9CDFB38B-E..ECB70B2AFD5.jpeg
An entrance to a restaurant we passed , this is very typical of Merida, which is a lovely colonial city celebrating its 474th Anniversary... it reminds us that Canada is so young. “Merida was founded on January 6, 1542 by Don Francisco Montejo "El Mozo" and was built in the northern part of the Yucatan Peninsula on the ruins of an ancient Mayan settlement known in the region as Ichcaanziho, meaning "Five hills”.
03E2C437-6..EC9DE355674.jpeg
We enjoyed a great Lebanese lunch at a new cafe called Pita. There are quite a few Lebanese restaurants in Merida as many Lebanese came to the Yucatan years ago to work in the henequen fields and just stayed.
Thinking about food, another great lunch..or breakfast we enjoy here is the Yucatecan dish called Panuchos. This consists of two freshly made corn tortillas with black beans sandwiched in between them , then fried. This is topped with shredded meat, avocado, tomato, pickled onions (if you are not Andy) cucumber, shredded cabbage and salsa, they are so delicious.
7E9D1D2D-8..6DD904492F5.jpeg
There have been a few “el nortes “ so far this year, probably due to the below normal temperatures up north pushing the cooler air south. These lower temperatures are accompanied by strong winds and make walking on the beach interesting....tie that hat on!
Some of our beach friends...
4318A718-1..C37551D09F9.jpeg

It is the everyday experiences here that make Progreso and Chicxulub so special to us...like chatting with the hairdresser Gabby (who has only one chair) while she grooms us...her door open for all who pass by to call in and say hi, or strolling on a street we normally don’t take and finding gems like wall murals, tiny, rustic houses, or seeing a young boy and his “abuelo” riding their horses down one of the main streets. Here are a few shots of our everyday visual treats.
4F4EA9D1-3..F9397B23B66.jpeg321E7014-F..30FD9A1ACC4.jpeg9FB4841F-5..B421605BC0E.jpeg08D5539B-2..6301E8344B4.jpeg
Andy after his hair appointment with Gabby....so spiffy.....and showing off his new linen guayabera.
90_54E233C4-1..57639028B88.jpeg
90_48056D4A-3..680CC69DE22.jpeg
The double crowned pineapple that I purchased from the vendor at the end of our road, it weighed about ten pounds and was “muy dulce “ (very sweet)!
396E8BCC-E..548D7F83933.jpeg
The next shots are from a Sunday walk when we turned down an unfamiliar street. A sweet rustic stone house and two old but somewhat typical Progreso houses..
647F2E74-3..36A2EC39A6A.jpeg368D7578-5..FE52E75BD59.jpeg7E8B07CF-8..B95F4AB6E64.jpeg

We headed to Mexico City January 18 -23 for the wedding of our dear friend Jorge., more below. Andy, Dara and a friend Alfredo plan to attend a bull flight...not for me, but I am sure it will be an interesting cultural experience.
Our Airbnb was delightful, three bedrooms plus private courtyard in the Condesa neighbourhood, which is historic and quite lovely... see below.
90_1B8B1377-E..9D3A19C6958.jpeg90_8230C642-A..597D8067312.jpeg90_6CD2BB18-9..AF2FAAE464D.jpeg4A3CBC6E-6..3C450B589BE.jpeg90_84128F99-F..FEFA6DA5044.jpeg

Our first of many events was a dinner at Los Alemendros, a Yucatecan restaurant. We had a ton of fun and the evening ended with a Mexican four piece band...the boys joined in...later followed by almost everyone!
6E205074-8..711FAC90B2E.jpeg98913ADD-7..F11E54CCAC3.jpegB5724327-3..9B395DDAF2A.jpegB4D9EDC2-9..66A5A733203.jpegDE17FAA7-5..85D86A113C3.jpeg

The next day we explored the Condesa neighbourhood, had breakfast and wandered some more enjoying the wonderful architecture. Some of the buildings suffered damage during the last earthquake, but construction all over is slowly restoring the city.
One Uber driver told us that the government is helping people but many of them don’t want to leave their homes, a difficult situation.
A674308F-9..71C95076C9B.jpeg5F995B2D-8..633DE982767.jpeg5AD6BE33-2..B43B7744B45.jpeg7C6CD1EA-8..E81268EDF9D.jpegE1E32EDD-5..236B9F86D2F.jpeg190AC547-A..B6753752061.jpeg8E55F5A2-B..1691402946D.jpegE1CCF129-E..1BFB201EAED.jpegBA9C2C36-3..B7406CAE781.jpeg22841920-2..DB1084674C2.jpegAEDAD140-7..379AFB5E3F3.jpeg
In the evening the brides parents hosted dinner at a beautiful Hacienda. The buildings were incredible as was the food and the service, we really have been spoiled!
69D02F92-5..FFB33330D97.jpeg235B837B-9..A76F5B3BD73.jpeg25A57911-D..A88692100B8.jpeg68B0B7BA-D..62268961214.jpeg7079535B-4..16BEE786B0E.jpeg
The “boys”.....

The wedding, the reason for our visit to Mexico City, was great fun. The party included a nine piece band, stilt walkers, a mariachi band and lots of drinking games!
85C8EE1A-8..531B78A2A97.jpeg612902BB-3..9F88954273D.jpeg69AD5974-2..ADA0A48E2E5.jpeg
The day after the wedding we visited an incredible market, Mercado de Lagunas where we found vintage clothes, jewelry, crafts, antiques and just about everything else! We had to cut short our market wandering as the boys had a bull fight to go to with Alfredo and Andrea and I were expected at the home of Jorge’s parents for a taco party in the back garden. They provided a delicious bbq for about 40 of us, beef and chicken tacos, grilled on the spot...and tacos al Pastor with pineapple...my favourite. The boys had a great time at the bull fights and then went back to Alfredo’s for dinner....they were quite “happy” when they got back to our apartment...but not so happy the next morning!

Our last full day in Mexico City we visited the main square...or Zócalo...the cathedral and the Aztec ruins (Templo major) that were unearthed beside the cathedral when the city was digging to extend the subway. The area has been protected and you are able to view the remnants of the temple. Many of the temples stones would have been taken by the early Spaniards to build the cathedral.
10703AF2-A..40F2767C305.jpeg
I love this idea....take a coat or donate a coat....wonderful!
DEB2A71C-8..4FA0205CC83.jpeg78FFE4BA-8..6D82EBE63C8.jpegECBE8D2D-0..AA418A27850.jpegF58AC2CE-1..85C3BC8302B.jpegBC3084E6-2..DA5E7FF5816.jpeg8F27ED64-4..2932D256812.jpeg
You don’t want to park where you aren’t supposed to....now that’s a “clamp”.
4FD69C44-1..71276C8636A.jpeg7B71ED0B-0..1D33558DE7E.jpegA80EB6C9-7..4E68C7568C9.jpeg
Below, some fun street art and the cafe in the Blue Tile House where we had a quick coffee.
3EE61BF0-6..A4A99F22014.jpegD6142519-E..24C424F57C2.jpegE39D7B80-B..8ABD26E834B.jpeg
Above is the gorgeous Palacio de Bellas Artes.

The next day Alfredo graciously invited us to a private club he belongs to, El Club de Industrialese, where we had a wonderful lunch. Three of us had one of their specialties...fish baked in a salt crust...it was so tender and moist, a lovely way to end our visit to Mexico City! A few photos below show our table and an incredible “fire” painting by Tamayo.
43D10C2D-E..C1EF5455E57.jpeg6E11B7B7-B..B49885805D2.jpeg90_743FDA9E-5..4E9F9B474DA.jpeg
The flight from Merida to Mexico City was only one hour and forty-five minutes and we travelled with a new airline for us...Interjet. We were quite impressed with the service and the condition of the planes.
Settling back into our rented home in Progreso, we gear up for the arrival of our good friends Bonnie and Len on February 4th. The weather has been a bit cooler than normal but it seems to be warming up and last Friday was “Pool day” with Janna, Ismail (our caretakers children) and their cousin Lewis.
B361DEB9-3..E4A967777CA.jpeg51E59945-0..5D619024B77.jpegD91EFF2F-F..E8ABC117C4E.jpeg
The kids love to play on the “tableta”....the gang having tech time with Andy...including the smiling Ruffo!
F43FE5A7-E..51E631631F5.jpeg
One day last week I thought I heard bagpipes, but shook my head thinking that was impossible....however, after strolling down to the beach...I came across this “beach treasure”! He is staying at the Playa Chaca condos nearby and says he will be on the beach playing most days around 4 or 5 o’clock....it is an amazing world!
DC5598EA-7..7BEB63FBDA4.jpeg

We have a few trips planned for when Bonnie and Len are here, so the next instalment will take you to Campeche, Mayapan ruins and some new Cenotes...stay tuned!

Posted by hermanita 18:01 Archived in Mexico Comments (1)

(Entries 1 - 3 of 3) Page [1]