My little adventures to wherever life takes me.

Archive for March, 2011

Another visit to Puerto Morelos…

Before I go on to more posts about Merida, I’m going to do a little one about Puerto Morelos.  Since my plane got in after 8:00 p.m., I decided to make my first stop Puerto Morelos because it’s not that far from the Cancun airport…about a 20 minute drive.  As I’ve said before, PoMo is a quiet little place…very peaceful and laid back.  The downtown area is only one square block with a few places down some side streets.  It’s definitely nothing close to Playa del Carmen or Isla Mujeres.  But it has its group of fans.  There are many Canadians and Europeans who spend weeks to months here because of its tranquility and solitude.  Another good thing about PoMo is that it’s convenient to get to other places along the coastline.  It’s about two miles from the main highway and a 20 peso taxi ride.  The bus stops right at the highway, so it’s easy to go either direction.  The locals live on the other side of the highway and the coast side is mainly owned by foreigners who either live there or rent out their residences.

Here’s PoMo’s quaint little lighthouse…

Only small boats are allowed on the beach due to the protected coral reefs offshore.

The main pier…

This is the main lighthouse that actually works.

View from the pier…

And looking the other way…

These guys were making the rounds of the beach, but no one seemed to be bothered by them.  They’re just protecting Mexican waters…

My first breakfast was at Pelicanos with a great view…

And of course I had to get Huevos Motulenos.  These were 90 pesos…definitely the highest price I’ve paid for this dish, but I guess you have to take the view into consideration.

This is Habaneros…the only bar in town.  It gets pretty hopping at night and if you have a room at the Posada el Moro just down the street, be prepared to hear the music late into the night.  (A little warning, though…watch out for their Margaritas.)

This is el Pirata…a nice little place to eat.

Their nachos were pretty good.  The vegetarian enchiladas last time I was here were better, though.

A fisherman brought it some of his catch while I was there…blue crab and shrimp…

These guys roam the streets and beach looking for customers eager to hear a song…

Saw them again later on…

You don’t see a whole lot of little children in PoMo.  Mostly Mexican families, but few foreign children (at least the two times I was there).

Gotta love that pacifier…

PoMo tourists consist mainly of retired folks…in their 50s and 60s.  You don’t see many young people at all.

This crazy place is located right next to the Posada el Moro and they were working on it last year when I was there.  Obviously, they’re still working on it.  The desk clerk from the hotel told me they’ve been working on it for four years now…and it still doesn’t look anywhere near being finished.

Fascinating place, though.  The woodwork is incredible and every door and window is different.  I would definitely like to see it when it’s finished…which might be in ten years or so.

PoMo is definitely worth a visit in my humble opinion.  If you’re into adventure and fun, I wouldn’t recommend it, but if you’re looking for a place to kick back and relax with no agenda, PoMo will fit the bill.


Welcome to Merida…

I spent four days in Merida during Spring Break.  The biggest city I’ve ever been to so far in Mexico is Valladolid which seems pretty small compared to Merida.  According to Wikipedia, “Mérida has been nicknamed ‘The White City’, though the exact origin of this moniker is not clear. Some explanations include the common color of its old buildings painted and decorated with ‘cal’ (though anyone visiting modern Mérida can see that buildings are not all white nowadays) or the fact that the residents keep the city particularly clean. Mérida was named after the Spanish town of the same name, originally (in Latin) Augusta Emerita.”

It’s been awhile since I lived in a big city.  I’ve lived in St. Louis, Minneapolis, Dallas, New Orleans, and Washington DC.  But for the last 12 years, I’ve lived in the burbs or smaller towns.  I had forgotten how impressive old architecture can be.  Downtown Merida is extremely congested in that all the homes and businesses are connected in one continuous building along each block.  The sidewalks and streets are narrow so you can feel very enclosed when you’re walking around.  The traffic is VERY heavy in the downtown area and drivers are not pedestrian-friendly, so you have to be careful and attentive when stepping off a curb.

I took so many photos when I was in Merida, that I didn’t know where to start in posting them.  The first thing that made an impression was the architecture.  I live in a large town in Texas where the architecture is not that impressive, so when I started walking around in Merida, it was difficult not to be blown away by the details and massiveness.  This was the first church I came upon…the Iglesia Tercera Orden…


And while I was very impressed with it, it didn’t come close to the Catedral de Merida.  When you cross the street and see this, it’s just amazing.

This is the backside of the church from the block behind.

A view of one of the sides of the church…

Going on to more architecture, the details are amazing and can be seen from many vantage points…

There are so many different kinds of statues and carvings…



This is the de la Revolucion which is between the Catedral de Merida and the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo Arteneo de Yucatan.

And the Palacio Municipal de Santa Elena.  This and the Catedral de Merida are located on the main square downtown.


This is the walkway in front of the Palacio de Gobierno which is also on the square…

This is a side window to the Catedral de Merida…

They have little “squares” on side streets, as well.  This one was next to the Iglesia Tercera Orden…

Which is where I took this picture.  Families are very prominent here…there are many children…


There were MANY Mayan women and girls selling their wares.  I enjoyed seeing them having a moment to themselves and taking a break from their sales.

These were a couple of instrumentalists playing near the restaurant where I was eating.  One thing I didn’t like about Merida is that instrumentalists would play without asking if you wanted to hear something…then pass around a hat for tips whether you wanted them to play or not.

I liked the horse-drawn carriages although I didn’t ride in one.  This one even had a headless horse!

Haha…I kid.

I liked the contrast of the colors of the wall and the hammocks here…

And here…

You never would have guessed they’re above this…

I’ve never eaten at a Burger King even remotely like this before.  (And, no…I didn’t eat at this one, either.)

I liked the many shop windows…Mexicanisimo…haha!

Wow…

I thought this was an interesting study in reflections.  This window had a display of amethysts…but the street scene is a reflection in the window.

Ice cream shop on the square…

I saw these frequently on the square.  I wonder if it’s because Isla Mujeres needs the business??


Muy bueno guacamole dip and pico de gallo…

And cochinita pibil, of course.  The flavor was great…

This woman was begging without selling anything.  She just sat on the street with a shawl over her.  This reminded me of the begging women I saw in Nuevo Progreso.

My last picture for this post…but many more to come.  Merida has many, many photo opportunities ranging from architecture to festivals to culture, etc.  Stay tuned…



Busing through Mexico…

I love to go busing through Mexico.  It is such an inexpensive way to travel, I can’t imagine not using this wonderful resource to explore.  Most people sleep on the bus, but I look out the window to catch all the little bits of life in Mexico I can catch along the way.

Here’s the bus station in Playa del Carmen.  All the bus stations are full of activity…people waiting around to go somewhere.  The bus station in PDC is very clean and as organized as you can get in a Mexican bus station.  Even though I don’t speak much Spanish, I’ve never had a problem buying a ticket to wherever I want to go…and I’m always amazed at how cheap the tickets are.  And the buses are very comfortable…some with little TVs and bathrooms. There really is no excuse not to explore Mexico when you can take advantage of this wonderful resource.

I would say that most of the travelers are native Mexicans, but that probably also depends on the time of year.  Many of the families have small children and I have yet to experience any problems with whiny or crying babies.  All of the little ones I’ve seen on the buses have been very sweet.

Here’s the bus station in Valladolid.  It looks okay from the picture, but I would suggest that you don’t use the restroom if at all possible if you make a stop here.  Besides having to pay for your toilet paper, it is definitely not the cleanest situation you’re going to run into.  Just a little info.

But one of the definite plusses to traveling by bus is meeting the local folks…like this sweet lady and her daughter.  Of course I ended up buying something from her but that’s besides the point.

When I bus through Mexico, I love getting shots of just…well, Mexico.  When you’re riding through these small towns, you really realize how these people are just living their everyday lives.  We tourists come through and take random shots and consider it “artistic”…but these are real people…just like you and me…trying to make a living.  I wonder how I’d feel if I was just sitting on a bench here in Texas and some Mexican tourist came up and took a picture of me to capture that perfect photograph.  But then again, I think me sitting on a bench in ‘Somewhere USA’ would be pretty boring.

So I take these shots and can’t help but wonder what’s out there…over that hill…around that corner.  I wish I could win the lottery, because I would like to get off the bus and see more.

One of the longer laundry lines I’ve ever seen…


This was a jail between Valladolid and Chichen Itza…

Colorful houses everywhere…


Along the areas around Chichen Itza, people were selling goods along the street…

I wonder how successful they are…especially since very few tourists get off at these stops.  But I guess some may rent cars and drive through and stop.

This was in Valladolid.  “Super Egg!”…along with crucifixes.  Kind of strange.

Here was a cutie who let me take his picture after I bought a souvenir from his dad at Chichen Itza.  It amazes me how quiet and sweet most of the children are in Mexico.  I love their shy smiles.

There’s also many instances of seeing people just “hangin’ out” at various establishments along the way.







A couple of my favorite shots from Valladolid…

I love the huipil that the women wear…

And, finally…what is up with all the Coca-Cola and Pepsi advertisements all over the place??  They are everywhere!




I would love to do a photographic essay on the churches in Mexico.  They are truly impressive.  Not this one so much…it was in the suburbs of Valladolid…

I can’t remember the town this one was in.  I bet it’s very, very old considering its simplistic design.

This one was my favorite.  It was in Chemax where we picked up the lady shown in the picture at the beginning of this post with her daughter.

So, that’s it for this “busing” post.  Hasta luego, mis amigos!