Friday, September 3, 2010

Izamal, the Yellow City of the Yucatan

If anyone is out there reading this, now comes the boring stuff.  I need to chronicle this trip for my family, so we remember how we spent our time in Mexico.

June 26: Drove to Mexico City and caught a flight to Merida.  Rented a car and headed one hour east to this beautiful little town of Izamal, supposedly the only place a pope ever touched down (in 1983).  In his honor the town was painted egg-yolk yellow (at least the Mexican shade of egg yolks.  The eggs are so vivid down here.  And are never refrigerated.  Peanut butter?  Goes in the fridge.  Eggs? Right on the counter for days, next to the stove.  

We spent four nights here at the Macan Che B&B, where the dining palapa was so hot and still that Sam turned into Sweaty.  Never seen him perspire so much in my life.  We were warned about the heat in the Yucatan in the heart of summer, but what can you do when you've got kids and they've got school and all you've got are those hot seven weeks.  The inn had a cool little rock-bottom pool amidst an acre of very lush gardens so the boys spent most of their time there.  Unless we were frog-marching them around the town to see the convent (see below), climb the pyramid, and watch Mexico play in the World Cup from a tiny hot restaurant called ?

We did get some great guayabera shirts from neighboring Kimbali, and drove along the Gulf Coast an hour north to towns like Telchac Puerto and Santa Catarina, which were oddly deserted and looked completely abandoned.  When we stopped to swim on a driftwood-strewn beach, there was not a soul in town until a couple came down to the shore to see what we were doing.  We asked where all the people were and they told us, "Only ten families live here."  And the tourists?  "The season begins in July."  This was June 29.  Boats were still stranded on shore.  Beachfront snacks shops were shuttered up.  The town had a long way to go to get ready for anyone in two days' time.  The only thing open was the Servefrio (the cold beer stand) so we bought a few cans and some Gatorade and Doritos for the boys.  And went in search of our first cenote.

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