After a lovely breakfast in the atrium of the hotel
the group headed off (to the strains of Ventura Highway by America) to explore some of the haciendas surrounding Merida that had once figured so largely in the sisal production and trade. Wandering through the grandeur of an abandoned hacienda was a trip to another time.
In addition to the sisal works and plantations of algave each hacienda had its own church, store and every type of shop and convenience that it’s workers could want. This ensured that any money spent went directly back to the hacienda owners 😏
Cenotes and a swim was our next goal and a relief from the intense heat of the day.
As I mentioned yesterday cenotes are where intersections of underground rivers meet and create round shaped pools in the limestone. There are no rivers above ground in the Yucatan. Cenotes were/are highly prized – I believe our CEO said that there are two thousand of them in the area. We swam in two today – by far the most special one was in a cave reached by a long narrow stairway. An extraordinary experience that will stay with me forever. The shuffling and twittering of bats and birds living in the ceiling crevices, together with the light shimmering off the green/blue mineral stained stalactites and stalagmites decorating the pool was a truly spiritual experience. After a period of time the birds began to circle the ceiling gleaming in the sunlight near the entrance to the cenote before flying off. Bats flitted around the ceiling of the Cave during our visit and swim in the crystal clear, blue cool waters. The day was capped off by one of the best Mexican meals I have ever enjoyed. My lunch of sopa de Lima (lime chicken soup) was outstanding as was the main course of fish and vegetables.
Following our return to Merida a small group of us went on walk about to explore the city a little more and get some photos in and around the central square.
After a glass of wine in a local outdoor cafe, enjoying the cooler early evening temperatures and mosquito banishing breezes, we headed home to the hotel. A superb day.
Tomorrow we have an early start and head to Palenque with a stop to visit the Uxmal ruins. Stay tuned.
A quick note re:the photos. Due to the issues with the internet here I am having to shrink the photos and lose a lot of quality in the process to get them posted. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you are interested in a better quality copy of any of the photos in this blog.