Blogs from Yucatán, Mexico, North America

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North America » Mexico » Yucatán » Ek Balam April 5th 2014

The third set of Mayan ruins that I visited after Palenque and Tulum were at Ek' Balam situated ~30 kms north of Valladolid. The ruins don't get near the traffic of nearby Chichén Itzá which is a major part of their appeal. Ek' Balam means "Black Jaguar" and although it's been eons since any jaguar prowled the premises there is a tomb with an incredible carved doorway depicting the mouth of a jaguar-monster. US$ ≈ 13 Mexican pesos (M$) Playa del Carmen Secondary beach resort to Cancun/Cozumel but purportedly not as built up as either. I stayed a few blocks back from the beach which has a totally different ambiance than around "La Quinta" where all the schwanky hotels and restaurants are located. I really just wanted some beach time (which is beautiful all along the ... read more
Entrance Arch
Entrance Arch From Atop the Oval Palace
Atop the Oval Palace

North America » Mexico » Yucatán » Merida March 30th 2014

Hola from on board our fancy autobus with wifi. Can finally catch up on blogs. From Valladolid we had a short bus trip to Merida. We scored ourselves a sauna room at the hostel with only the noisiest fan. They had a pool but there was no way I was putting anything more than my feet in it. Merida was another colonial type town quite larger than Valladolid. The night we arrived was the start of a festival so the roads around the main square we closed off and full of makeshift restaurants and street vendors. On on street there was a band and all the oldies were dancing. There is such a great family vibe in Mexico. We organised our bus tickets to Palenque for the next day so needed another night accomodation in Merida. ... read more
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North America » Mexico » Yucatán » Valladolid March 26th 2014

Que tal! Had a shortish bus trip from Playa to Valladolid. Been very impressed with the bus service here. I had read that in Valladolid very few people spoke English so was excited to practice our spanish which I think we are both doing quite well...along with hand gestures. Valladolid is a cute colonial type town and our hostel was next to a nice square and church. In the middle of Valladolid is a square full of trees where allthe local families hang out instead sitting at home in front of a tv like we all do. The buildings are all painted diffrrent colours. From Valladolid we did a day trip out to Chichen Itza and Il-Kil, a sink hole you can swim in. We got to Chichen Itza early to beat the crowds and the ... read more
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North America » Mexico » Yucatán March 5th 2014

March 5 – Wednesday – Heading back to Tejas – I was aiming at catching the 10 AM bus to Cancun Airport this morning. I left a large pile of stuff for the maid if she wanted it plus 100 Pesos. Then I turned in my keys and as I stepped out of the gate and into the street flagged down a cab. I told him 50 pesos to Autobusses on 5th street at Benito Juarez. He said ok and off we went. I had to tell him which station as there are 2 in town. I got to the station in plenty of time and although the ticket seller had told me I could catch an earlier bus if I got here earlier the bus driver wouldn’t let me on the 9:30 bus and even ... read more
Santander ATM, Scotiabank, and Macdonalds
ADO bus to airport
ADO bus arriving at airport

North America » Mexico » Yucatán » Valladolid February 28th 2014

This morning I went on another tour - this one to the famous Mayan site of Chichén Itza. I had read about Chichén before and seen pictures, but actually viewing it in person was a never-to-be-forgotten experience. I actually got a tingle down my spine when I first saw the famous Castillo looming up ahead of me. (See photo) I had an excellent guide today who showed me the various buildings and recounted what is known or guessed at about the civilization that produced them. There are lots of stone-carved images and many examples of Mayan hieroglyphs. They apparently did do human sacrifices and one of the stone carvings shows a stylized eagle with a human heart in its upturned claw and snake glyphs above and below. (See photo) Unlike Ek Balam yesterday, one may not ... read more
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North America » Mexico » Yucatán » Valladolid February 27th 2014

Thursday February 27, 2014 This morning I was up too early for the breakfast provided by the hotel, but the nice señora who runs the place set aside some food for me after she heard about my morning tour. The people here are universally pleasant, helpful, and smiling. The tour minivan picked me up at 7:00 and there were two other people besides me. They were a retired couple who travel a lot and were nice company. The driver/guide drove us 90 minutes north to a wildlife preserve called Ria Lagartos (Alligator Water). We boarded a small motorboat and spent the next three hours moving slowly through the mangroves. We saw quite a number of different birds and even a crocodile. (Despite its name, there are no alligators here.) The ultimate destination was the salt flats ... read more
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North America » Mexico » Yucatán » Valladolid February 26th 2014

I am excited to be blogging again about my travels. Yesterday was a long travel day. I flew from Portland to Cancun, Mexico via Dallas-Fort Worth airport. I flew business class again, but neither leg of the journey was very long, so there really wasn't much difference from flying coach. I arrived at Cancun aeropuerto around 8:00pm and spent the night at an airport hotel. This morning I was up early and took a taxi to the downtown bus station. Everyone to this point - at the airport, at the hotel, the taxi driver - spoke good English, but I had to rely on my very limited Spanish to buy the bus ticket to Valladolid. I had practiced specific phrases beforehand, so it really went quite smoothly. The bus was nice. Generally I dislike bus travel, ... read more
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North America » Mexico » Yucatán » Uxmal February 22nd 2014

Tuesday morning we were out of the El Caribe (www.elreycaribe.com ) trekking across the now more familiar roads and traffic circles making our way to the ADO bus depot where we were going to catch a bus to Merida. (ever notice how unfamiliar roadways and surroundings look so much better in the light of day ? ) We had decided Monday night that for the trip to Merida we would just catch the next departing bus. It seemed that if we were to be making any decisions there would have been a choice of three types of bus. The standard, First Class, and some sort of Deluxe. When we got to the ticket counter it turned out the next bus would be leaving in about 30 minutes, and it was a First Class unit. Near the ... read more
Hotel Hallway
Pool view
the Courtyard

North America » Mexico » Yucatán » Merida February 19th 2014

I did sort of promise I would try and get some pics up. I think I may have re-discovered how to do this simple task. Bear with me if I fail again. I'm sure someone will let me know ! It looks like maybe some sucess. By the way as I type this about 8:30AM Wednesday my little thermometer says 30. Have a nice day :) !... read more
Outdoor on the beach bar
A glimpse of the courtyard below
A liberating thought

North America » Mexico » Yucatán February 17th 2014

Arrived in Cozumel this morning to bright, clear weather. A great day, topped off with Jane's first trip to 100 feet below the surface of the ocean.... read more
Over 100' Deep




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