A Travellerspoint blog



sunny 32 °C

At times I can't believe we have been here this long and other times it seems I have been here for ages. My stay on the beach is fast approaching the end. Preparations are being done by Alexis as to where and what we should see on our trip to the interior. I am pretty much leaving it up to her to do all the research and I shall go along with whatever. Richard, who knows the area well, has said to come on by with a notebook to get his input. 

I had another visit to the dentist as I had to have a root canal through his lovely new crown. He brought in a specialist to work in his office so that he could watch over. After two hours of open mouth and one dentist taking turns after the other and changing chairs back and forth I was tired. I didn't feel all that well on the way home on the bus so upon arrival instead of lunch I went straight to bed; something I rarely do. I slept for 2 hrs and yet still manage to go to bed early! My jaw was sore from being open for so long but all is done and I am please with the outcome. If I feel the need for a new crown he will do that on the house!! Let me tell you the cost for that dental visit was only 1300pesos that translated into Canadian dollars is a measly $110 yes you heard that right there are no zeros missing there. He told me I got a 50% discount because I have recommended so many people. Even if I had paid the 100% I would still have paid a fraction of what it costs at home; oh and he threw in a cleaning to the mix on the house! Now you can understand why coming here for your dental work makes sense. 

Here is the lovely shrug my Mexican friend put together with my flowers I made 20 years ago! I am so pleased I brought it down here to complete!

Friday I was invited along with some friends to Merida to watch the Pok ta Pok (the mayan ball game) first we went for dinner at Panchos (a tourist spot for Mexican food that is quite nice) I am not one to frequent these spots as I find them more expensive. They are popular with Mexicans and Tourists but I have my favourites. I have to say though that the atmosphere here is lovely and sitting on the rooftop with the view of the cathedral is really nice; not to mention the Mayan Coffee show! (my pics didn't turn out so these were found online!)


Off to the ball game after dinner; we should have left earlier as finding a decent seat wasn't easy. The one thing I find about living here is how much there is to see and do. You could be busy every night if you wanted to. In Merida it can be a overwhelmed by how much there is to see and do. There is a free cultural or family activity every day of the week, but this was one I had not seen year: the ceremonial ball game played by the ancient Mayans, Pok ta Pok. The city offers visitors and locals alike a chance to see the game played every Friday night and so I was glad to get a chance to see it before I left. I wish Dara had known about it before he left. Just another thing on my list to do with him next year! I think next year I would like to stay in Merida a few days to see more what it is like through a few of the nights. There are so many places to stay at such a reasonable price. 
Instead of the more traditional ball court seen by friends in Palenque and elsewhere; this game takes place right in the middle of Calle 60, in the Plaza Grande in front of the Cathedral, which is closed off to traffic for the evening. The event starts with Mayan rituals of prayer and incense. The game itself is pretty intense with each team using their hips and legs to try and hit the ball past the other team. For especially skillful shots, players aim to send the ball through an elevated hoop. The players definitely had no easy task, flinging themselves onto the street with only leather pads to protect their hips and legs.


The large ball is traditionally made from rubber and we enjoyed watching the players skillfully bounce it into the air and at one another. For the final match the players parted with tradition and brought in a whole new ball. We watched in awe as they lit the ball on fire and used their bare hands to pass the fireball! 


You can't visit us here without a weekend dinner out at our favourite fish restaurant; so with Bonnie and Len here from Ottawa staying with the Hums they invited me along to walk the beach to Chicxulub. There was no disappointment there. 



In the afternoon I had a lovely visit with Claudia by the pool and this lovely picture of horse riders arrived:


We were relaxing and enjoying it until the wind died and then the rain came straight down!


So when my friends Catherine and Rainer asked me to join them again on Sunday after my working at the Foodbank how could I refuse. It was certainly a lot busier than the night before as Sundays are really family day and with it being a long weekend there are that many more down on the beach! No Jaguars or Mercedes today! We ate a different fish from the usual grouper but I can't remember the name. It was slimmer but just as tasty! The line ups of people buying the fish and taking it home was probably the longest I have seen in awhile! 


Spent the rest of the day relaxing by the pool with the new grandparents; Rainer's son just had a baby girl and FaceTime was certainly in order! 
With my quiet week I managed to finish my sweater shawl and start on my complicated cardigan 


I heard from Dara and he is doing well. He has had some tough days but all good! 

Well we should finish off with HAPPY ST PATRICK'S DAY TO ALL MY IRISH FAMILY AND FRIENDS and those of you who wish you were Irish! Slante! Missing Dara! 

Posted by OhUiginn 16:16 Archived in Mexico Comments (1)



Dara left bright and early with our friendly reliable driver Gustavo! I felt mixed emotions when he departed! Believe it or not, I find it hard to express my feelings! I am not sure how I feel about him gone away for 2 months. We have this understanding of not holding one another back from doing our own thing but I feel we need to do more together!

We had a the largest group of ladies today and it was great fun. Our friend Carole came by to say hello with her sister Lucy and her son Tim and they dragged me away to El Corchito for the afternoon. I had not been there yet this year and the day was a scorcher so it was so nice to be there where the mangroves keep it pleasantly cooler. The crystal clear water of my favourite cenote was a delight to swim in. I never felt cold but pruned up a little before I got out. Unfortunately we never did see any coatis just some friendly racoons. They certainly are smaller than their Canadian cousins.


Muelle market day is always a fun day to catch up with people and buy some home made delights; but I still have way too much food to eat on my own so I restrained myself to just a chocolatin. Another hot day but the indoor marketplace stays quite nice because of the high ceilings and the fans! The crowds were a little less than last month so my help was not as much needed at the Food Bank table so I left with Alexis to go and get our bus tickets for our trip to the interior.

We are leaving a bit earlier, on the 25th as we save 20% on our ticket to Tuxla Gutierez in a sleeper bus for 12 hours (are we nuts?) From there we head to Oaxaca for another 5 days before ending up in Mexico City. From there we hope to do small day trips and overnights but where we haven't quite decided yet! Ask me in three weeks if this bus ride was a good idea!! Stay tuned for our blogs!

Alexis, Diane and I got together at our friend Linda's house to do some nuno felting on a cotton gauze (almost cheese cloth like) we were not sure how this would work. I just don't have the patience for the work that has to be done to felt it. I tried for an hour and gave up but upon further looking over my scarf I think that with a little bit of more work and patience I might be able to get a decent scarf our of it!

One of the highlights of coming here is the Merida Music festival; it is a young festival only it's fourth year but well worth it. The Hacienda, where it’s held, is well worth the entrance fee on it's own. We all said we should return and renew our vows all together. It sleeps 12 people in 6 rooms for CD$15,400. (that is for a week) LOL I could see Sheena and Adam liking this spot for a wedding !! LOL
Check out the webisites one of the Hacienda and the other of the Festival 

http://www.vrbo.com/419530#rates (in case you want to book it for a wedding!)


I was back in the Merida English Library with a few beach friends to knit or crochet hats for the kids. I was surprised to find out that it is the only hospital south of Mexico City dealing with Cancer Kids. They come from miles away including Belize; no wonder they keep seeing so many; 26 leukaemia kids just last week. Many of the hats now have a few more details to them so as to delight the children. Two ladies are working on angry bird hats and minion hats and the kids get so excited to receive them. It helps to know that all these hundreds of hats we have been making on the beach are really coming to good use.
As I sit here finishing up this blog and the sun is shinning, I suddenly hear some water and thought the water tank next door was overflowing; no it was a sun shower that came by to wet everything in just a matter of a few secs and disappear just as quickly as it arrived. A nice cool down after all of the heat.

more photos of my walks around Merida!


Posted by OhUiginn 15:22 Archived in Mexico Comments (1)



sunny 28 °C

Just as we find a nicer spot to play euchre and have it on Wednesday we find out that Elly May is closing Quinta Progreso on the weekend; but we can continue to play only we will not be able to order drinks or food. We decide that it is nicer place and will continue to come on Wednesday.

We decide to go on a road trip to Campeche by the local bus ADOgel . Well talk of luxury and this isn't the top of the line. Platino is where the seats recline completely flat for sleeping. We shall be taking one of those for our trip to Chiapas and Oaxaca. I could not reach the foot rest in front of me. We are given a drink and headphones to listen to the movie or TV program. The very smooth ride took 2:30 hrs. Once we found our hotel we headed to the pedestrian street for lunch where Alexis, Linda and I enjoyed a fabulous salad last year. A small salad could feed a family! Dara opted for a baguette sandwich.


This street is where some beautiful bronze statues are on display. I realized that they were different from last year so upon inquiring they told me they change them every year.


We were able to check in to our lovely quaint 8 room hotel around 3pm in time for us to take a bit of a rest before heading out to explore more of this beautiful clean and colourful city


We came upon the gate to the city and this kind gentleman asked if we wanted to go on the wall. It was still under renovations but very close to completion; all we had to do when we finished was ring the bell


this guard I think has been here a bit too long!

views from the wall of the city were interesting. Some of the painted walls and doors had nothing behind them!


We went looking for an interesting place for dinner and came upon this lovely little chocolate restaurant; for a change in food it was nice to share a ham and cheese crepe followed by a spicy mango one for dessert along with a mokaccino.


Once we finished it was still quite early so I wasn't ready to retire so I suggested we look for a place to have a beer. We stumbled upon a new place that hasn't been open very long. The selection of beers is the largest I have ever seen in mexico. Check out just the Mexican artisan beer list.


walking around town after dark was a whole different site. I just love the lite up cathedral


The next morning I had to take a few photos of our hotel as the light displayed the beauty of this delightful little inn Socaire


There are two forts that protected this walled city but only one has a museum which makes it more worthwhile. We could have easily taken a taxi but how boring is that; we ventured over to the market area and asked for a 'colectivo' to ride for a fraction of the cost.


Check out this reflection of me taking the photo of this lovely mask!

Before leaving I had to take a few more photos of this spectacular walled city. You can see why UNESCO chose it to their list.


We only spent one night as we were heading back to join Andy and Alexis for a meal in Merida and take in the Paseo Montejo Fiesta Mexicana .
We found a great little restaurant Rescoldos. which apparently means. "burning ember". run by a Canadian for the past 6 years. Alexis ordered a pizza that was cooked in a pizza oven they created from an old water cistern and produce some of the best wood oven fired pizza she has had. My ravioli was unique as it was a crusty pasta and my desert must be repeated on another trip to Merida. I chose passion fruit gelato that was one for the memory stick! I think there is another visit to this place soon!


To end the week we celebrated Dara's birthday with friends and a lovely meal in our home. Andy was in charge of the BBQ as that is his specialty. Dara could learn a few lessons from him. Everyone brought some food to share and we finished it off with probably the best "tres leches" cake we have eaten that we ate outside on our patio enjoying light evening breeze while our friend John played the guitar and we all sang along.


our piggy BBQ is so adorable

Suddenly I remembered I had put two chicken breast on the BBQ pig to use up the coals that were there so as to have cold grilled chicken. I went out to find that someone has stolen one of the pieces; and it was the bigger of the two of course!

Dara will leave here tomorrow to head home before he starts his pilgrimage in Sukoku Japan for the next two months.

Posted by OhUiginn 13:12 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)



sunny 29 °C

Another week in Paradise! I am not sure what we shall do with ourselves now that it is so quiet. After the last departure of Sheena and Adam we got the news from Toronto that they were approved for the apartment they wanted and were moving right away.


We are thrilled with her taking on her new life in Toronto with Adam but she will be missed as we can't just get together on the deck this summer as we did in the past few years! It was so nice having her back home after being out in Vancouver for years. I know that this is what she needs to do for herself and we wish her and Adam well in the big city!

It has been a quiet week. I didn't win at Bingo; The * "Muelle Market" was hopping but not quite as much as two weeks ago; and even Euchre had the smallest group only 3 tables compared to 5 or 6 in the past weeks. Maybe the cooler weather has kept people in their homes! (22C)

Finally another evening to sit outside with only a slight breeze and 22C in the evening. The moon is a sliver slightly larger than last night but too hard to take a photo. This is more like it.

Dara headed out the door to join Rainer and Catherine for a walk towards Chalem and I sat there wondering why I wasn't going with them just as Dara called to ask me the same. I headed out by bus to catch up with them in Progreso. I am a slow walker but I didn't do too badly and enjoyed the beach walk on the other side of the pier. I came across these pots on someones doorstep that I would love to have in my home.



A trip into Merida was in order this Sunday and asked Alexis to join us for a stroll around without anything specific; leaving Andy at home to work. Catherine and Rainer joined us after mass and we showed them around some of our back streets and the market. Alexis and I had a terrific find of two stings of Mayan jade at quite the bargain; such a good deal that Alexis thought he was asking per bead and not. I also found a pendant I can use together with the beads to make a really lovely creation.


The market is quite a bit quieter on a Sunday which was good when introducing your friends to it as it can be a little overwhelming.


The obligatory stop to watch the locals dancing in Santa Lucia while sipping a cool beer was cut short today for some reason! Alexis and I abandoned Dara and the Wenzls as Alexis wanted to introduce me to the gelato shop she had found on a previous trip to town; but first we made a stop at the chocolate shop for some goodies to send home with Dara. I will have to load up as much as I can part with as I don't want too much while I am trekking around in the interior of Mexico. I need to have room for all the goodies I will be buying from all the wonderful markets we shall be seeing.

I did get back into Merida to knit more hats and get back to buy more hammock cotton for hats to send back in Dara's bags. I found some even nicer quality that I think will also make interesting garments.


What a way to end my blog week, but with a lovely morning learning to make wire-wrap jewelry using the bits of glass and tiles found on the beach! A friend came over with all her equipment and copper wire to show us how it is done.


While making our treasures we heard this loud noise and suddenly there they were; looks like fun! Not sure what you call one of these "parachute gliders??"

  • Muelle Market: meaning pier market where we foreigners can sell our wares along side a few locals

Posted by OhUiginn 16:39 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)



sunny 32 °C

Wednesdays are jam session day at Faces Restaurant, and what a crowd there was today. I am glad we arrived early. We got a great table close to the front. The musicians were glad to see Adam but not enough to start with him right away. There was a bit of a territorial feeling going on; even when this great drummer arrived he wasn't even included. It was not quite happening the way we had hoped it would and ended up leaving early.

We made up for it with a jam night to remember with 23 people in attendance. I just love impromptu events; I think they are what make me the happiest, especially when they are such a big success as it was. To see the mix of generations enjoying themselves equally was such a delight. I am really really glad that Faces didn't take him away from this setting.


I returned home after helping with the bagging of food for the foodbank, too late to say goodbye to Liam and Eric as they went off to a cenote before catching the bus to Cancun. I think they had a wonderful time but perhaps a bit too short. I think you need to stay at least 10 days but preferably 2 weeks.

We all expedited Sarah at the ADO bus station near the Fiesta Americana,
it was fun having her around with the rest of the gang. Once the bus got underway we made our way along the Paseo Montejo, a boulevard which is designed to look like the "Champs Elyssee", for a leisure stroll. We then topped the day off with a lovely leisure lunch in the terrace restaurant of Cafe Creme.


Finally it was warm enough and not windy to sit outside and play a fun game of Rummykub. I didn't win this time, much to my chagrin! But at least I enjoyed my last bottle of Noche Buena (the mexican end of year Bock Beer) with our chilli dinner! Oh how I wish Dara had bought a couple of cases before the stores ran out of them! It is my favourite!


As I sit here in the early morning with the sun rising behind the house and lighting up the wall a cruise ship is on the horizon approaching the port of Progreso. It will be crazy time in town today as there is the Mardi gras parade when all the locals come out to play, and with the cruise ship a shit load of passengers are to add to the mix. We have a table booked at our usual spot at Flamingos restaurant. Let the fun begin! It is always a fun time in Progreso during the parade.


This is Sheena and Adam's last day here it will be an exciting one for sure! Next week will be so quiet I won't know what to do with myself!

Posted by OhUiginn 20:43 Archived in Mexico Tagged beaches parties mardigras Comments (0)

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