Merida to Cancun

Trip Start Apr 06, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Hotel Casa Becil

Flag of Mexico  , Yucatan Peninsula,
Monday, July 19, 2010

After checking into a hotel close to the main bus station we made our way into the town centre in search of some good old fashioned mexican food (like we haven't had enough of it), and maybe a sol or two. Merida, like many colonial towns is based around a huge open square where most of the celebrations are held and every saturday and sunday here the surrounding roads are closed to traffic and the local people gather to hear live music and eat from stalls in the street. There is always so much going on in these places. When the rain came (again) we went back to the hotel and bumped into a group of 4 english people in the courtyard, 2 of whom were travelling down through central and south america along a similar route to us and 2 who had been teaching in a town north of mexico city for the last year on a sabbatical from Hackney. It was great to speak to some people from blighty and we were soon up to date with all the latest goings on at home and we all decided to go back into town to the 'mayan pub' for a few beers. We had a fun night trying some of the local draught lagers and not so local caprinhas and will hopefully see Phil and Sarah en route at some point after Ash and Carol head back to work in london.

The next day was spent wandering around the town, seeing the usual impressive architecture on the grand spanish style buildings and taking a look around the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo that had some really cool exhibitions. We spent the afternoon catching up with 101 emails and blog entries that we were so far behind with. Deciding not to take the 1st class bus to Cancun, we made our way to the east coast of Mexico on a very slow, very old bus that stopped at Chichen Itza, another mayan ruin on the way. Being so close to Cancun the carpark was literally overflowing with huge tour buses and groups following a guide around who carried a red flag above his head so they wouldn't get lost in the crowds. No thanks. After spending 20 minutes getting back out of the carpark our bus continued eastwards for the next 3 hours, picking up mayan villagers from one place and dropping them off at another. At one point a tiny mayan boy who must have been about 3 years old was standing in the aisle with his parents and falling asleep on his feet. Lou and I offered him a seat next to us and as soon as he was squeezed in he fell asleep with his head resting on my leg and didn't want to move when we got to his stop. It was also funny when we stopped at what we thought was a small market on the side of the road, only to find out that it wasn't a market at all but a single woman and her 10 year old son's shopping and that this all needed to be squeezed onto the bus as well.

We arrived in Cancun around 5 in the evening and walked a few blocks to the nearest hostel and booked ourselves into a 6 bed dorm with inflatable mattresses (wow, how we haven't missed these since America). We grabbed some food from the street stalls in the main square before chilling out at the hostel for a few hours - chatting to a couple of Danish girls that had just returned from 4 weeks in Cuba and getting some good advice on where we should spend some time while over there.
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