Tuesday, July 22, 2008

43. Merida

After carefully packing up our belongings (right), we left Marina Milagro and Island Time on the 16th. 14 peso taxi from the marina. 35 peso ferry to Cancun. 5 peso taxi to the bus station. 296 peso ADO GL (gran linea) bus to Merida. The bus left around 12:30, made 3 stops (2 toll booths, 1 driver pee break) and pulled into the downtown station around 5. We walked about 5 blocks to Casa Santiago. And then I cried. I cried because the bed was so good. I cried because the pillows were down and the sheets were soft. I cried because the toilet doesn't have to be hand pumped at least 10 times. I cried because the pasta tile floors were quaint, because the bathroom stonework is really beautiful, the water hot. I cried because I was so damn happy to be on land, if not for good than at least for a good long time. I also cried because a cold glass of sauvignon blanc was waiting for me. Clearly, tears of joy.

Our B&B is perfectly situated about four blocks from the colonial centro plaza - walkable, but still quiet. Vince and David, our hosts, have been terrific. Really helpful and accommodating, but not at all intrusive. Plus, they have dogs. Felix is the mellowest Boston Terrier you'll ever meet. And Sage is a Mexican street dog with a sweet temperment and just enough street smarts to keep David on his toes. We've felt right at home. Merida is, as expected, sweltering during the day and I try to move as little as possible. Fortunately, it cools down quite a bit at night and has been quite pleasant.

One day we took an open air bus tour of the city to get some perspective. There are a number of theaters and museums scattered throughout the colonial area. There's a museum of natural history. There's a museaum of modern art. And there are also random installations on the streets.

One day we went to the zoo. It's right in the middle of town, surrounded by a cute park with lots of entertainment for the kids. The zoo was cute, sort of old school and filled with warm weather animals. They have a successful breeding program, so lots of babies. No polar bears or penguins, but there were pink flamigos.
And giraffes

And one elephant.

I also noticed that all the children were really well behaved. I didn't see a single kid crying or whining about something. The famils were just enjoying a Saturday in the park and at the free zoo. It was nice.

One other day, we took a tour of a sisal hacienda with two underground rivers, called cenotes. It's very clear, fresh water, cold. The Mr was in heaven. I liked it too until I noticed the film of dead skin and oils on the surface of the water...


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