A Travellerspoint blog

Week 10 Yucatan

Dara's Birthday celebrated for three days

semi-overcast 27 °C

This should have been posted in the week before as it occurred on Sunday the 28th February; but since we thought it was just a tale we didn't investigate it further until we saw it in the paper.

Some residents helped move a beached Fin whale, Sunday in Progreso, in the state of Yucatan, Mexico, while others took pictures. This was the first incident of a beached whale in the area, though in recent weeks there have been several instances of beached dolphins. Which is why when we heard about a whale we thought it was just an exageration.
The whale measured about 12 meters long (39 feet) and weighed approximately 10 tons. We were unable to see it as by the time we heard they had already buried it. With plans to unearth it in a few years and display the bones in the museum! I would not want to be downwind from it!
It Futher reports have come out that the whale was ill.


To read more about this in Spanish go to

After another Stitch and Bitch on Dara's birthday Austin and Lorraine arrived to take us out for lunch to celebrate his 64th birthday. We went where we had been trying to go for a few years; Xanantun Hacienda for a wonderful meal. It was all exquisite and the atmosphere of peace and tranquil on their terrace was such a lovely way to spend his birthday. We didn't end the day here off we went back to Grand Chapur for more fabric. The others met us there but no one else could decide on anything. I found a lovely lightweight cotton to make a top. From here we went to B&G to pick up my sandals but unfortunately they were not quite right. I also got another pair made from an old one that was need of repair. They will be ready in a week. A stop in Alta Brisa Mall was a must to get US cash for our landlord tomorrow. This mall is huge and full of many high end shops. This was my first time there. I found a pair of Prada shoes like the canvas ones I bought last week for 300$ instead of 24$! And I think I like mine better.


Dara's birthday continues with a lovely lunch in Merida with our landlords to discuss next years plans and give them our deposit. Every year we make a few requests for improvements and they usually comply. We ate at this famous cantina called "Cantina la Mexicana" and since it was Dara's birthday we get to eat for half price. Usually it is the percentage of your birthday off with a max of 50% so.........
Around the corner from this place we spotted what looked like a Buddhist temple but, after Dara rang the door bell, it turned out to be someone's home. The temple was closeby so we headed there after our lunch.

Found a lot for sale we could buy and build a nice house. I really like this neighbourhood

Again another day of celebrating Dara's birthday by walking into Chicxulub with our friends Nancy and Lee, for Panuchos in the market along with the freshly squeezed oj and I had the one with half carrot half oj.


Then that evening we had Andy, Alexis and Phyllis for a BBQ steak dinner. It was delicious with a potato salad courtesy of Alexis and a brocoli salad! Just before they arrived our caretaker Maria came with her wonderful fried fish and so we had that as an appetizer along with the wonderful Claire de Lune cheese. We topped the dinner off with a trifle. I made this for the first time here not knowing how the ingredients found here would work. Since I brought Birds custard down with me I knew it couldn't go far wrong.

Lovely Lucy the seamstress arrived with my dress she copied and I was thrilled with how it turned out. She is making me 5 more items for a total 8 new pieces to my wardrobe.
Here is also Alexis dress that she dyed last week

Some days the humidity is so high the patio is wet and all the floors inside the house are as well. You have to be careful not to slip!


This Sunday was our last Symphony concert. We only bought 3 this year! We were joined again by our friends Ian and Sheila and it was all Mendelson today! There was a guest violinist Emanuel Salvador he played a wonderful piece called Violin concert in Mi minor Op.64. It was so wonderful he played an encore solo piece before the intermission. We always follow these concerts with a lunch in Santa Lucia square where we can watch the dancers. Today we were treated by some very good ones!

Found these earrings and pendant made of paper on the hippy square that I had to have as they were a perfect match to my dress

My wonderful turkey burger at Ryan's Burgers was delicious. Yucatecan food uses a fair bit of turkey, which has been substituted with chicken in many places.
Dara and Andy looking over their Chinese books they found in the market on the square! Go figure!
Ladies enjoying the music off the stage!
678B9986EAD5CA8C4A49C3F7DB6EE86D.jpeg90_678F91B4BC11949F80DDD6181BB28B72.jpegA couple posed for us as they were leaving. They compete and were glad to show us their collection of photos

The wall outside the bathroom of the restaurant with the traditional pasta tiles on display
As we were leaving the square we love so much!

To end the week I had a wonderful afternoon in Ada's home helping make the tamales we love so much, for the delayed party next door. (It was supposed to be on February 2nd but the host was unable to do it). I arrived as Lupe was shredding the chicken and Ada was slicing onions and tomatoes for the filling. I sat down and quickly went to work shredding the dozen chicken breasts. I felt so comfortable sitting in their home working away! Last year I felt a bit odd but this time it was like old friends gabbing in Spanish and having a few laughs. Once we were done this it was time to cook the masa. It had already been put through the blender and sived so ready to cook. She added the herb to the water and some of the corn meal.


Once it comes to almost a boil you add the rest and the pork lard. Once you have done this you have to stir it constantly. I started doing this but once it started to thicken I could no longer find the strength to continue so she took over


While this is cooling we prepare the banana leaves by washing; removing the spine; and cutting into the right size. Lupe is qualitified to wash but not cut. Ada has a particular size she must make it!


While we are splitting the spine to use for tying we set the masa on the table with a fan on it to cool. Again Ada is the only one who seems to be able to split well but we can ties up eat smaller pieces to make sure we have enough for the 30 tamales. Now we are ready to start making them. I watched carefully and did one on my own which I marked with a bone so I could be sure to identify it later!


Check out the video I posted on FaceBook. It was too large for the blog!

Later on once they are steamed for a couple of hours, my Rosie who had arranged for us to go last year and me this year, picked them up. What shocked me was the price for all this work was 9$CAD. That is 0.30 each! How can she do this for so little. 4 pesos is way too little when in the market they charge 10 pesos each for ones half the size.

We were delighted with the festivities next door. Traditionally these tamales are served with hot chocolate as it is a family event so alcohol is not consumed. The "Abuelita" hot chocolate is well known and has cinnamon flavour added to it. I showed the video of us making them to a few people as many had never eaten them or even heard of them. I must say in my 30 years of travelling to Mexico they have to be my favourites.

The delight on Marta's face says it all

The sunset last night is perfect for ending my blog

Posted by OhUiginn 12:18 Archived in Mexico

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