Wednesday, July 8th, 2009
After breakfast we stopped over by the University of the Yucatan to get some money from their ATM, which was not working, but the Building was really nice, built around an open courtyard. We left Casa del Balam and Merida and headed back on the toll road to Valladolid with a stop at Izamal, the yellow city. What a cute little town! We were helped by a friendly tourist police person, and the town is very well kept up, the mission (which Pope John Paul II visited) is similar to the missions in California (I guess a Franciscan mission is a Franciscan mission no matter where it’s built) and they had swallows nesting in the eaves which was fun to watch. We stopped by their panderia for snacks, and then took a horse buggy through the town to see all of the Mayan ruins that they built the town over We stopped to climb up Kinich Kak Mo, one of the largest pyramids in the Yucatan. Charlotte was too hot to make the climb so Mark stayed with her while Genevieve and I went up. Pretty big temple, I guess this town was important and connected by a sacbe to Ake near Merida. After our buggy ride we stopped by the stalls where theMayan people were selling dresses and got the girls each a handmade dress. Spent $8.00 and $12.00 respectively, what a deal! We tipped our friendly policeman for all of his help and drove on to Valladolid. There was a huge rainstorm along the way, which was hard to drive in but did also cut down on the number of butterflies we ran into! We arrived in Valladolid and found our hotel, El Meson del Marques. We checked in and they led us past all the cool rooms around the pool to ours, next to the parking lot in a separate wing, right next to the parking guard. Great… We didn’t really have any grounds to complain because we had changed our reservations at the last minute, but it was a bit disappointing. The room was cute, at least. We rested a bit and then headed out to see Valladolid. This is described as a charming colonial town. WTF? I guess it’s not bad, but not really worth a stop in my opinion. We went to the little local museum on the Caste War, so I got to practice my Spanishreading the captions. Then we went down the most picturesque road in the town to get to the San Bernadino Convent, stopping at a little store for sodas on the corner. They had an inventory computer in this tiny place, which I thought was funny. We toured the church and monastery, where they had a cenote where things like guns and a cannon were found recently by archeologists. Next we walked back towards the hotel, stopping at a restaurant for an early dinner as we had foolishly timed everything wrong and skipped lunch. Charlotte was able to buy her tortilla warmer decorated with little flowers that she had seen in a restaurant in Merida at least. Once back at the hotel, the girls and I went swimming, then we settled in for the night. OMG. The beds were the hardest we’d had. None of the beds in Mexico (with the exception of the Marriot) were comfortable but this was ridiculous! I think the tile floor might have been softer. And the air conditioner would roar on, then shut off, then roar on. AND if that weren’t enough, a garbage truck came through the parking lot at about 1:00 AM and again at 6:00. This was probably all exacerbated by the problems I was having because apparently I had eaten something that did not at all agree with me. We were cursed!