A Travellerspoint blog

Week 7 in the Yucatan

Sotuta de Peon

sunny 25 °C

I fired my editor as I was told of several mistakes, I would have asked my Mother to do it but she had gone to bed.

I am sick and wanting to roll over and send everyone away! LOL

It was very disappointing to be sick when I had planned a lovely spot to watch the parade with my parents. Driving my parents and Dara into town I was feeling like I was letting people down, but we have no control over catching a cold.
After spending time buying meds to try and help me feel better I almost returned to join them but thought it best to return home and go to bed; where I slept an hour( which is a lot for me as I don't usually nap)

Super calm day with no wind and little ripple for waves. The peacefulness of the quiet with one lonely fisherman putting out his nets for the day. The sun is currently shinning and the odd person walking one way or another on the beach. There are isolated thunder storms in the forecast but we hope they don't start until after our day at the sisal plantation. As hoped the day was perfect for the tour at Sotuta de Peon. This plantation is over 200 years old. It was originally owned by the Peon family but when it was left to the youngest son he was not interested in keeping it running since he was a lawyer and had no interest in farming. After 30 years of neglect and ruin. the Hacienda Sotuta de Peón became part of the Shangri-la Group, They acquired the Hacienda Sotuta de Peón with the dream of bringing back to life the golden years of the henequén. Over the past 25 years they have painstakingly searched abandoned haciendas for machine parts, tracks, trucks and other items of historical importance in order to save them from the complete destruction of time.
Slowly, they cut away the weeds of over-growth and neglect to resurrect the Hacienda Sotuta de Peon and present this magical place as it was in the heyday of the Green Gold era. Working everyday in the Hacienda Sotuta de Peon are more than eighty Mayan Families, living in adjacent communities who depend on the jobs they have to raise their families. The most important person is Antonio who worked here as a teenager with his father, knowing how all the machines worked he was able to bring them all back to life. Four generations of Maya are employed in the Family enterprises. They produce four bails of raw sisal every day and the Banamex Bank buys it all to distribute free to local mayans to make what ever they wish and sell to the tourists. What a lovely initiative this bank has taken on.

While walking through the house you are taken back in time to when this plantation was in operation. The antique furniture may not be original to this house but it was strategically collected from all over the Yucatan's other planatations. Each room has a theme; Spain, Italy, and France. They were closer to the European countries than they were to the rest of Mexico as traveling over land was harder than by ship to Europe. Consequently this is why there is a strong European feeling to the place.

I forgot my camera and my cell phone had enough juice to take three photos and not very good at that! My Mom's camera is dead and she forgot to bring her charger and Dara's cell phone had also run out. What a bunch of ninnies!

When it came time to try out the twisting of the henequen fibres I volunteered Dara, knowing that he would get to take the finished product home!! Watching them do the first strand brought me to thinking of how this must have been the way they spun the sari silk threads which are picked up off the floor. ( I recently purchased ten skeins of this yarn and so far have made a beautiful handbag)


My parents at Sotuta de Peon

Dispensa day always brings joy to my heart as when I see the smile on the faces of the people as I give them vitamins and lollypops after they have received their ration of food At the same time my heart aches for them being in such a situation as to need to come and get some food. I know it isn't much but every little bit helps these very poor. It was rather touching to see this one woman who had brought bags with gifts for the two families she was sponsoring. She wanted to meet them and it proved to be such a gratifying moment that I wonder as I witnessed this if I should meet with the families I have chosen to sponsor. I don't want to feel they need to show gratitude for my help but maybe they would feel better if they also met me.

While distributing the vitamins a man on his bike selling fish poses for me to take his photo

Every Friday's fish and chips at Natasha's aka Panteleon Restaurant. So we decided it would be nice for a change to go over there. Since it is such a short distance, we could all walk over. John brought his guitar as per my request and played his country music. What a nice treat for my dad! He got right in with the songs and seemed to really enjoy this. However he tired earlier than the rest of us, headed home early and was lucky enough to get a ride home with the proprietor. Unbeknownst to me, Natasha had asked her husband to give them a ride home. What a sweetheart! Dara and I stayed awhile longer and believe it or not he asked me to dance again! What has gotten into him???? John sang this one song especially for me that he found that was very very country as he knows how much I love country music (NOT!) We really enjoyed ourselves again this evening with such great people how can one not?

Saturday changed it's name to Spaday!
I offered my home to Laura and Hugo to set up a Spa day using my large patio and invite customers to come here all day long. We panicked as, unfortunately, there happened to be a Norte that day and so we had to move it into the house. No problem really as we just used Dara's den for the two beds and pedicures were done in the living-room area. It was attended by mostly just my friends but the day was fully booked. People were arriving one after the other from 9am to 4pm. The day was filled with massages; facials and pedicures. Really wonderful as Laura and Hugo have a son that was born without an outer ear. They want to get the plastic surgery done for him but since this is considered cosmetic it isn't covered by the government insurance Thus the Spa day was a fundraiser for this surgery. How rewarding it turned out for me to have been able to assist in such a simple way She managed to raise 3500pesos which is about 300$ . I will likely have one more for them before I leave, in preference to the restaurant where they usually have the spas, since the owner takes 10% of their earnings.

Dara's departure day was an early morning drive to Merida airport. I was sad to see him go as I think he enjoyed his time here and I wont see him now till May 6th as he will be off to Japan on his pilgrimage mid March. This will be the longest we have been apart (12 weeks) At least some of this time is down here where I have some good friends to keep me busy. Once we bid our farewell to Dara my mom and I went into Merida for the "Sunday's in Merida". Since riding a bicycle around the boulevards really isn't my mothers thing we walked around instead. I took my mom to our favourite Mayan restaurant for breakfast; Chaya Maya. I have never had Mayan breakfast before and I must say I much prefer it over Huevos Rancheros. Have you ever heard of huevos motuleños? Think seriously over-the-top huevos rancheros—fried eggs over refried black beans on a fried tortilla, topped with salsa, and served with fried plantains, chorizo pork sausage, and crumbled Mexican queso fresco. They are a specialty of the Yucatan and originated in the town of Motul, a city rich with Mayan and colonial history. They’re not an everyday breakfast, more like a Sunday brunch.

large_4F5D26DE2219AC6817B5BE16AB2090E8.jpgChaya drink

Chaya drink

our breakfast of huevos motuleno and chaya drink

here is a video of how they make this chaya drink

Once we finished our delicious meal we headed to the lovely Plaza Grande. I love Merida on Sundays as it is so animated with so many people on bikes in the morning and
the children being entertained by clowns on the stage. How delightful watching them dance and sing. This pleased mom and I so much That we sat and watched them for quite a while enjoying themselves.
( This time I remembered my camera so took a few photos)


into one of the stores along our walk we came across this chair and hammock making

It was a lovely sunny day with not too much heat and so taking a gentle stroll around the square checking out the vendors' wears was not a chore.
As my mom was looking for an embroidered top we made several stops looking at what they were offering. There are so many to choose from; some machine sewn and others made by hand. After a few looks she found one she liked. I wasn't sure she was ever going to find one that suited her. I finally purchased this dress I had been eyeing over the past several visits. I also placed another order for a dozen buttons with my coconut guy. My friend Lupita was there today and so I introduced my mom to her. She sells crochet tops that I have also been eyeing for quite some time, but they are just a bit too tight. I asked her to get her friend to make it two rows of squares wider and I will buy it. She also makes handbags our of the hammock 'silk' but I don't like hers as they are not my style. Last year I tried to get her to make bags that roll up and snap called 'envirosacs" at home and lent her one to copy but she decided she didn't want to do it. I will see her on Thursday she is in Progreso and will let me know. I went home last year wishing I had asked her to make me the top bigger and so this time I wasn't going to miss out. One more row would probably work too but I want it loose. I hope she will come through this year.

around the Plaza Grande

Here is photos of the new hotel I mentioned last week

On Sundays from noon to 3pm they have live bands and dancing in the Santa Lucia square. (as I have mentioned so many times before) My mom had not been before and thought she might like it and I was not wrong. We had a few laughs at one couple who were so awkward up on the stage. He was about 6'5" and his partner in the traditional huipil dress, was barely 5' tall, with them both looking like they were chewing their cud and no teeth! Her little old face was stuck in his bellybutton!! Happy as larks without a care in the world. It was fun to see "Pocket pal" (as Alexis called him last year) back today and enjoying himself as always. He hasn't a rhythmic bone in his body! One couple that moved around quite a bit last year are not as mobile this year. I guess age creeps up on us all. Power to them to continue coming back every Sunday. Last year they told me they had been coming there every Sunday for 30 years to dance. Also a couple of women were really 'cutting the rug' today! How nice to see them.

The dancing in Santa Lucia square

My Mom watching the dancers

our old friend "Pocket Pal" from last year

taking a break from dancing

After leaving the dancing we stopped by the other Chaya restaurant to have a look. What struck me most was the original restaurant was full of Mexicans and this other one with all its decor and atmosphere was full of tourists.

the other Chaya Restaurant

My Dad had stayed home alone and seemed to have coped. We found him sitting on the patio in the sun, happy and relaxed, although wearing a sweater since the temperature was not quite as high as it had been last week. T Thank goodness the Norte we had yesterday has gone as we couldn't even go outside; and the whistling is no more.We were starting to go crazy with the noise!!

We seem to be returning to normal with very little wind this morning and a clear blue sky but the temperature is cooler than we have experienced in the past few weeks but this made the walk a long the beach a little more pleasant.

This afternoon, I took my parents for a bit of a drive towards Chelem passing through the other side of Progreso to where the very large marina is. On the way we hunted for this new restaurant on that side of Progreso, that I heard had opened and wanted to see what was on offer. Before going there we had to first check out the restaurants along the Malecon for shell fish, as my father got it into his head that he had to have mussels or oysters. Since I don't eat them I had no idea which ones served them. So we painstakingly drove by the ones I thought were good and stopped so he could look at the menu. Not sure why he has this sudden obsession with finding a Mariscos restaurant, but once we he had satisfied his curiosity, we continued on our merry way! Driving over the large lagoon by this lovely bridge you can see all the big yachts moored in the marina along side a fleet of fishing boats that serve the very large fishing community here in Progreso. How astonishing to see such large fleet.

That's it for this week. Stay tuned for the last week of my parents visit.

Posted by OhUiginn 17:54 Archived in Mexico

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The Mayan breakfast looks very yummy indeed! Loved the pictures of the dancers in Santa Lucia Parque...the tiny Mayan lady really did only reach her partners belly button!I think kt's wonderful that they continue this long standing tradition.

by hermanita

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