It was day four in the Yucatan and we finally felt like we were getting the hang of things. We successfully got gas without being ripped off, and we getting used to the roads. We left Santa Elena pretty early in the morning after another big breakfast and headed to Bacalar. When I first started researching Mexico, one of the places that really caught my attention was Bacalar. It was a little town located just north of the Belize border, on the eastern part of the Yucatan Peninsula. It was right on a freshwater lagoon, or lake called Lagunas Bacalar. It looked beautiful, and it sure was.
We easily found the eco-lodge that we reserved a cabana at. It was at a place called Villas Ecotucan. The lodge was located on a big piece of land on the lake. When we arrived, we were met by Jacqueline, a German who spoke great English. She showed us around and was very helpful. The cabana was gorgeous and very similar to the last hut that we stayed in. It was made of mud and had a straw roof. This cabana had a bugnet both over the ceiling and the beds also, which we found to be helpful with keeping the bugs out. But they still got in, so we covered our things with the nets on the beds and it worked well. The electricity and hot water was all solar powered, so that was cool. Nic went down to the lake and jumped off the dock right after we go there because it was so hot.
Day three was…..
- One of the most frightening days of my life.
- The day that Nic said he was very proud of me.
- The day that made me really appreciate sunlight.
Let’s see why.
We started the day with a huge breakfast, full of fruit and homemade bread with local honey at The Pickled Onion. Then we went to Uxmal, which was less than 15 minutes down the road from Santa Elena, where we were staying. Uxmal was pretty cool. I had heard a lot about it because it is one of the more popular Mayan ruin sites in the Yucatan. It costs 177 pesos a person and then another 22 pesos to park. We expected there to be a lot of tourists, and indeed there was, but the place was so huge that you could escape to quiet places if you wanted. We opted to explore without a map or a guide. It took about 2 hours to see the whole place (who knows if we saw it all). The views from the top of the pyramids were great. You could see for miles. It was so hot there and the sun was really strong. We kept picturing scenes from Apocalypto while walking around (It is a must see before you check out the Mayan ruins). It is amazing to think that such an ancient culture could build these huge buildings.
It was day two of the trip and Nic and I actually woke up very well rested. We got dressed and decided to skip breakfast at the hotel and walked into town instead. We went to the main square and found a convenience store. We stocked up on supplies (coke, water, juice, cookies, chips, sandwiches, pudding :)…the necessities of course). Everything was so cheap, we couldn’t believe it. It was under 6 US dollars for everything! I feel like I spend that at a gas station in the US when I only get a bag of chips and a pop.
There were a lot of street vendors out and we bought some cheese empanadas with salsa and crema (sour cream) for breakfast. 3 for 10 pesos…what a steal! I thought they were great. Nic wasn’t impressed. Either way, they filled us up.
- Note: 100 pesos equals around 8 dollars and 1 dollar equals 13 pesos.
After we had breakfast, we packed up and left the hotel early. We had some miles (correction – kilometers) to cover today. The plan was to drive from Merida to Santa Elena, near the ruins of Uxmal.
The flight from Cleveland to Cancun went fine. We were very excited and I was hoping to sleep but that didn’t happen. As soon as we got off the plane, it was hot and sunny. Going through customs took over an hour. There were so many spring breakers. Once we took the shuttle to the car rental company, our day started going downhill… Continue reading
Nic and I have been planning to take a vacation since last summer. The first plan was to drive out west for two weeks; snowboarding, biking, climbing, and camping. Since I only have 2 weeks of vacation time a year, that plan fell through fast. I didn’t want to use all of my vacation days on one trip. So Mexico just kind of came up and we stuck with it. The reason that we picked Mexico was because a) it was warm and b) it was cheap!
We left Guaco (our cat) in Marquette and had some great friends look after him for the 13 days we were gone. Then we stopped off in Boyne City to drop the dogs off at my parents. After that, we drove down to Kalamazoo to put together Nic’s moms surprise 50th birthday party. The party went really well and his mom seemed happy about everything.
Then, we drove to Cleveland to visit Oliver. Neither Nic or I have ever been to Cleveland and Oliver is living there for the next 5-6 years for school. So we thought that it would be nice to visit. We ate at a really good Indian restaurant and saw Oliver’s podiatry school. Oliver even took us into the lab to see a cadaver leg! It was kind of strange (even had nail polish still on). Oliver had to study for exams, so Nic and I went to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. It was a really nice day and there were a lot of families there. The zoo was very nice. The rainforest area was my favorite. Zoos make me kind of sad though, because the animals look so unhappy in the small habitats that they make for them. After the zoo, we packed up for Mexico. We were leaving bright and early in the morning from the airport in Cleveland.
I know, I know. I haven’t posted any blogs in a really long time. Nic and I just got back from Mexico and I cannot wait to share our adventure with all of you. We will be posting day-by-day blogs of our vacation very soon. I am still editing hundreds of pictures!!! It is also hard for me to commit time to do this because the weather in Marquette is incredible right now. 80 degrees and sunny…I just can’t sit inside in front of the computer. So, let’s hope for some crappy weather soon, so I can get this blog going.