Monday, July 6, 2009
We had our standard breakfast with the iguana looking on as usual. We left him his melon rinds, said goodbye to the beach and the hotel, and headed off to Merida. We decided to go back up the road to Coba and hit the toll road from Valladolid instead of driving back up to Cancun. The trip was uneventful, we went past the same hammock and ceramic vendors, went over the same topes (kids say Toe – Pay! as we go over each one) and made good time. The toll road was as reported, straight and fast and boring. Lots and lots of butterflies, many of which unfortunately wound up on our car. We timed this trip poorly so were very hungry for lunch when we arrived in the hussle, bussle, traffic and one way streets of Merida. This was described as a beautiful city but the parts we were seeing sure weren’t beautiful. Definitely where the local people were shopping and living though! We found our hotel, Casa del Balam, got parked and checked in. The hotel was very nice, small boutique hotel just like we like. We went to Cafeteria Pop for lunch which was not that good at all, I don’t think any of us have had worse chicken meat. Mark and the girls were very very unhappy at the prospect of spending four nights in Merida, so we decided to rejigger our trip. We would only stay in Merida two nights and Valladolid two nights and then head back to the Akumal Beach Resort for the freed-up three nights. Once this was all settled and hotels were contacted, we grabbed up our three bags of laundry we had neglected to get washed in Tulum (the lavenderia there was closed on Sunday, the day we had planned to go) and walked the three blocks to the lavenderia. One thing about Merida, the locals all want to help you. We couldn’t step out of the building without some guy or another coming up to us “You want lunch?” “You want hammock?” “You go to lavenderia?” Ack! Dropped off the laundry, done in three hours for $15.00, what a steal! Then we walked around a bit, and got the girls some souvenirs at Miniaturas, a small shop that sold tiny Mexican figures and animals, but it was very hot so we went back to the hotel and the girls and I went swimming while Mark enjoyed the air conditioning. We had a nice dinner at a pizza place, found a store that sold these mayan headband things that were just the thing to cover up what the humidity and sea air were doing to my hair, and then watched the Mayan dancing in the zocalo. They have a free show of some sort someplace in the downtown area every night in Merida. Genevieve and I were energized by the night life but Charlotte and Mark just wanted to go back to the hotel so that is what we did.