Gosh, where to start?! I’ve been painfully lax in keeping the blog up-to-date this trip. Partially I guess due to the busted netbook. Thought about using a net cafe this afternoon but the couple I saw were packed so back to ye olde iPhone.

The ride from Palenque to Merida was rough. You don’t really appreciate the distances we’ve covered until you’re becoming one with a bus seat all day long.

Merida was as nice as I remembered. There’s just something about the city I like in spite of the million requests that I stop to buy a hammock or a panama hat!

We arrived in late afternoon and after putting my stuff in the room, I set out to re-orient myself. I quickly found the square. It took a bit to notice some changes. The main square has wifi and they’ve fixed up the cathedral a bit. The night lights are amazing but I couldn’t help a little nostalgia for the old look. A fence across the front replaced the rows of street peddlers and their lighted booths. No question, though, it makes a better first impression now.

Second day was a first as there are a wealth of options and the group really splintered into separate directions. For myself, I’d done the things I wanted to last time, so I spent my day wandering the city, literally walking about 5 hours! I even got myself a great farmer’s tan to show for it. Ha!

The next morning, we were on the road one last time as a group. Our first stop was Chichen Itza. I felt so close to heat stroke the time before I welcomed another chance to see the ruins and this time with a guide rather than trying to sort out what I was seeing on my own. Well worth it, but a long day.

After 5 hours at the site, we were bound for Cancun. And it was pitch black when we got there! I still can’t comment much on the place. We ate dinner near the hotel that night. The next morning I woke up with an unhappy tummy and bid adieu to my plans to join some of the others for a ferry to Isla Mujeres. I spent the day in the room but felt up to a last dinner in the hotel restaurant that night.

I have been lucky that my small group trips have all been great groups so it was a sad farewell.

The next day around noon I checked out and walked over to the bus station to head down to Playa del Carmen.

The ride here was only a couple of hours, but the cumulative effect from all these bus journeys is debilitating. I definitely bit off more than I can chew. Going on to Belize would have wiped me out.

The city of Playa del Carmen is okay. Pretty much every western amenity down to a Wal-Mart Supercenter. The town core is contrived I’m afraid. Nice but not in my opinion photogenic – unless you like photos full of western brands and logos. The beach, however, more than makes up for it – simply gorgeous.

The funny thing is I’ve never been one to lay on the beach. I watch others do it and marvel. I just don’t have it in me so far. But I love to walk the beach. I have spent hours with damp sand beneath my toes while clear cool Caribbean water washes over my feet. Just what the doctor ordered. If only that bliss could be bottled!

A few more days here with my only concrete plan to see Tulum on Thursday. Then back to Cancun a few nights before returning to winter. Brrrrrrrrr!

2 Responses

  • Those hammock salesmen can be slick! I love the guys that pretend to be interested in you, asking all sorts of questions in English, only to end the conversation 15 minutes later by recommending their favorite hammock shop. Oh, and they'll be happy to take you there themselves! 🙂

    • I have to give them their due, both trips to Mérida I encountered the guys who would chat with you for ages before they finally got to the shop they knew around the corner… Some amazing staying power, imagine how many times they must do that in a day!

      It was far preferable to what I encountered in Playa del Carmen where they were pretty much just yelling.. I rarely ever put in headphones to tune out the world in travel mode but it was that or my debatable sanity. 😉

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