21.02.2017 - 28.02.2017 34 °C
We had ordered a car online from our trusty car rental site and found a great two day deal. We picked up the car the night before our trip to Campeche allowing us to enjoy an evening in Merida at the new Mercado 60. With it being so close to Eric's parents hotel, we asked Bernie and Kathleen to join us. It is a market of 18 High-end restaurants in one location. It resembles a food court with a wonderful atmosphere. Hot dogs and burgers, Argentinian grill to Sushi and even French Crepes. A new concept of convenience, culture and gastronomy! Since we were leaving early the next morning we left at 9, just as it started to get hopping, I enjoyed the meal and our company
Before going to this spot we stopped by to pick up my painting from Steven Lemire of Vancouver, that I bought during the "Merida Art Walk", giving Dara the opportunity to meet this lovely couple and see their magnificent simple home!
Trying to figure out where to take Val during her stay has been a difficult task as there were so many wonderful places to go. I had narrowed it to two places Valladolid or Campeche. The former won out and so off we went on a 2 1/2hrs drive along a very good highway. We returned to the same Hotel Socaire, we had stayed in, two years ago; except upon entering the lobby, I wondered if I had been dreaming this all up! With a confused look on my face I asked it there had been changes; they expanded into the mansion behind them and made this their lobby. Val was situated in the lovely new part complete with its own balcony! We were in the old part across by the lovely pool. It is a lovely boutique hotel with such a reasonable price. Valerie was in aw at the luxury as she had never stayed in such a lovely hotel before!
Check in was not until 3pm and so off we went to explore. Having been to the other fort on our last visit we went to the San Antonio one at the other end of the city
Walking around the colourful town of Campeche is always such a delight. Their sidewalks in some areas are so high you worry about falling off into the road.
Val was really gobsmacked by the history of the place both of the Mayan culture and the Pirate history of the place. Both ends of the wall are now fully renovated and open for visits. I think I prefer the one that is "City Door" rather than "Sea Door" What I mentioned the last time we were here is how you are able to see above the walls on the street of one area, is only just a facade and not a home. There are lots of trees growing inside. I never tire visiting this old walled city.
Throughout the city there are bronze statues that we love to check out
One of the streets Calle 59 is a pedestrian only and it is quite the different scene during the day vs night. It really comes alive and we were wishing we had come here for dinner. We know for next time. Upon our arrival driving along the 'Malecon' ( promenade along the waterfront) we noticed how deserted it was during the hot sunny day but it certainly comes alive at night: with Zumba classes playng their lively music made you want to join in; and joggers passing you by; we even came across the exercise machines that are clearly there for anyone's use.
Our drive back we took a detour to go through a few small towns Becal where they make the ´Panama hats´ Stopping at this one home that has it all set up nicely to see the whole process of the making of hats in the cave and the dying followed by the shaping of the hats on the heated forms was very interesting and we walked away with two hats and a colourful basket!
My memory of this small town was that all the houses were the old Mayan huts but as it turned out they are scattered around and only a few areas had several together. It is still a beautiful little town worth the trip. From here we travelled through Halacho, where we found this very old church
But this time we were famished and so drove a little further to the Hacienda Santa Rosa where we had a delightful lunch.
Back in Chicxulub and one day left with Val's visit I sent her off to see Uxmal with a couple and a driver! She was amazed at one of the great mayan ruins of the Yucatan. Exhausted after her long day we dragged her to the lovely Thai Bistro where we were meeting our old friends Rosy and Leo, (not at the Slow Food Market in Merida this time!!!).
This restaurant is worth the 30 min drive to Chuburna but we would love for them to move to Progreso. She is such a delightful person and full of piss and vinegar. I guess you have to be to run a restaurant !
The monthly IWC meeting was a busy one today with a guest speaker (Professor somebody! )Talked about the Mexican constitution very fitting since we just celebrated the 100 years on Feb 5th of the New Mexican Constitution. What I found most interesting about this Constitution was that it was considered the most socialistic one in the world and many other countries formatted theirs after the one here. The presidents at the time chose not to enforce it until much later. It was not really convenient for them as it took too much power away from them.
After the break we heard from one of our scholarship students, about her 6 month community service, putting together a manual for the schools to follow teaching the kids about their equal rights as women and men in the Yucatan. Very well presented and now she goes away and prepares her thesis presentation, hopefully in August. It is so nice to hear updates from these lovely ladies we have helped pay for their education.
This month we followed the meeting with a special event attended by 40 of the members at the Lebanese club and church where we feasted on a full plate of Lebanese food!
Once we were done we called the driver to take us to the airport where we dropped off Val and she was underway on her long flight home via Mexico City! Val came away with just a sample of what life in the Yucatan is like and wants to return longer next year and even bring other family members down too!
Every year we plan to meet up with our Landlords in Merida to discuss the following years plans and give them a deposit. We met at the lovely Olivia Enoteca Restaurant in Centro. This is one of those delightful top notch restaurants of Merida. Another delightful time spent with Carmencita and Gonzalo discussing their home and any issues we might have. They are delighted to continue with our renting their home for 3-4 months. They informed us that they will be installing Air conditioning in two of the four bedrooms, which will certainly make the hot nights more bearable.