Before leaving Holbox, We made time for one more bike ride down too the end of the beach, we did get lucky and spotted a few flamingoes.
Good bye for now Holbox, we will miss you.
Good bye for now Holbox, we will miss you.
Back at the hotel we waited for two golf cart taxis that never came, so the staff had to pile all four of us and our backpacks into their cart and run us down to the ferry. We paid the $7.50 per person fare and made the 12:30 just in time. The ride is a short 30 minutes, sitting on the top open air deck with Latin dance music playing, it felt like a party. You can find busses at the end of the pier and we had heard there was a bus bound for Tizimin at 1:00, 1:15, 1:30.....or is it 1:45? No one knows for sure, but you can count on the taxi drivers to tell you that there isn't a bus until 4:00 and that for $50 they will take you directly to Valladolid. It's pretty tempting but taking the bus is one of the things I absolutely love about traveling in Latin America...the sights, sounds, smells, constantly changing scenery inside and outside....it's one of the only times and places in my world where I am exactly in the moment. I throughly enjoy the misery of the bus.
Sure enough room around 1:20 a 2nd class Oriente arrived and we piled in and paid the $5.00 each for the two hour ride. Per usual the bus was a cold as a meat locker and as an added bonus my window leaked cold rain water down my side the whole time....and since I had neglected to bring a long sleeve shirt, the only thing I had to cover up with was a damp sarong. But I didn't much mind, really, because I love that Sarong. I bought it on my first trip to Thailand back in the early 1990's (1993?) and it's been my trusty companion through 18 countries over 25 years. I'm pretty attached to that square of dark blue cotton fabric, it's like an old friend that's been through a lot with me, always been there when I needed it in any capacity, and has never left my side no matter what I put it through. What other travel accessory can do so much? It's has protected me from the elements, carried supplies, provided an outfit, covered ugliness and dirt...it takes all this abuse yet dries in a few hours (takes minutes in the hot sun), fold up smaller than a novel, and is ready for more.
The rain has only stopped intermittently since we arrived in Mexico. It is the rainy season, and I should have expected it, but it's still surprising. In Tizimin, you have to walk around the corner to another bus station to find a bus for Valladolid. There's no way to really know in advance how long we'd have to wait, so we felt lucky that there was a bus departing in just a few minutes. We paid the $1.50 per person for the easy one hour ride. We are staying at a special little boutique hotel, Casa Marlene. My grungy backpacks feel out of place here.
The walk from the bus stop is only a few blocks, but they are chaotic and loud Latin American blocks.....this place is like a little oasis from all that. We have two adorable rooms in this restored colonial home. Breakfast is very nice and the folks that work here are exceptional. We settled in, got cleaned up, and went out for a really nice meal at El Meson deal Marques finished off by a rainy walk around the Zocalo eating a marquesita. That's a dessert specialty in the Yucatan, and it's like a giant waffle cone rolled up around sweet or savory fillings. I prefer the banana and Nutella, but the traditional way is made with cheese.
For our first day in Valladolid we planned to rent bikes and ride out to Hacienda Oxman to swim in the Cenote and eat nachos by the pool.....but it was too dang rainy so we went to the Mexican folk art museum, Casa de los Venados for their one and only daily tour at 10:00. We went there last year, but I still managed to find interesting peices I had not seen before. We had lunch in the food stalls area for a few bucks, and spent the afternoon dogging rain drops while souvenir shopping, on the hunt for Lucha Libre ("Mexican wrestling") masks we had promised for friends at home. I can hardly wait to see what seven teenaged boys plan to do with these things.
My special birthday gift for Sophia was a trip to Zazil Tunich. The family that owns this Cenote has created a very nice Maya experience where the visitor learns about the nine levels of the Maya underworld, receives a blessing and permission from a Shaman to enter the cenote, a lovely swim in the cavern, followed by an authentic Maya meal. You might think a shaman blessing at a tourist attraction would be cheesy but it really wasn't. He prayed out loud in Maya which is a language you don't hear very often and we were blessed with smoke and water from a flowered altar.
Maya and I really like Valladolid so much. She wondered what kind of job she could do here during a gap year...secret cenote and small charming Maya village tour guide for a hostel. Sounds fun doesn't it?