Home, sweet home!
Home, sweet home!
It was rather awesome that our trip started with visiting Justin’s family in Montreal and Toronto and ended seeing them in Mexico.
The townhouse complex had a beautiful large pool with hammocks and palm trees. We took full advantage of bathing in the pool, relaxing under the scorching sun and watching the birds casually dip in the water.
We visited the expansive Ixtapa beach behind the resorts, we went to several restaurants and enjoyed casually strolling through the warm nights.
We visited two close by beaches on separate days. The first beach was deserted, and we found seats at an empty cafe; we sat half-way between the rolling waves and the restaurant; it was pure bliss!
The next day, we visited Troncones and paid for premium seats. But it was worth it, we bought a boogie board/ wakeboard for cheap and we had one of the best days riding the waves.Read more
The small town of Zihau is a fishing village, and became prominent after it was mentioned in the movie ‘The Shawshank Redemption.’
In all honesty, there wasn’t much to do! So, we went on short walks, and found a fabulous Vegan cafe which we frequented often. We tried to whisk away the stray dogs, but they followed her down the beach and played with the birds. We watched pelicans swoop down beak first, attempting to catch fish. Finding a nice viewpoint from the bay, we walked over to it and passed hillside houses, an abandoned gas station, and found a secret beach. We walked to Playa la Madera, but only took photos and ventured back to Zihau.Read more
A short bus ride from Merida brought us to Campeche! Campeche is the state and the city name. Officially, the city is called ‘San Francisco de Campeche.’ But no one seems to use the full name. The name ‘Cam Pech’ is the original name from the former settlement of the Mayans.
Exiting the city walls, and braving the seawall where pirates had once plundered we watched the sunset over the Gulf of Mexico.
The next few days we visited small museums attached to the ancient garrisons, scaled the ancient walls and we visited a small mosquito infested garden. We ate pizza, tortas, drank sangria and enjoyed walking up and down ‘Calle 59’ which is a street closed off from traffic.
One day before noon, we rented bikes and headed to Fort San Miguel, after realizing the seawall had turned into a main street, we were in what looked like suburbs so we checked our map. This prompted us to discover that the fort was closed for the day! Do your research folks! Oh well, we still found the road leading up, locked our bikes and trekked up towards the fort. It was closed for renovations, but we did find invaders in the fort! At least five large iguanas were scaling the grounds, and one was looking out from the top as if it was the leader of its pack. Kind of cool! Read more
Stop over in Merida again. This town was so beautiful and affordable that we decided to spend some more time here. We stayed another few days before departing to Campeche City.
Our bus from Playa del Carmen has arrived at Chichen Itza, right in the parking lot. After buying tickets, we went into the hot, humid temple grounds and were immediately swamped with countless trinkets dancing in-front of our face. Jaguar sounds, hammocks, obsidian knives, replica temple souvenirs and more!
Chichen Itza was built by the Mayans during the Terminal Classic Period and is located in the Yucatan State of Mexico. Fun fact: After visiting the Mayan World Museum, we learned that the Yucatan Region is believed to be where the crater hit that wiped out almost all species, including the dinosaurs! They even narrowed the crater site down to a town in the Yucatan, called Chicxulub. Now we know the immense history of Yucatan, lets look at how old Chichen Itza is! It is said to have been used for almost 600 years straight starting in the year of 600 AD. The temple was beautiful, and we spent the afternoon taking lots of photos and walking the grounds. Having interest in the Mayan sport game, we were astounded at the area in which the games were held, and the stone opening that was used as a goal. Crazy fact, apparently the team captain from the losing team was sacrificed to the gods. Another favourite section of ours was a square-shaped stone surface covered with skulls on the facade of the stone.
During our two day stay, we went to the Ik-Kill Cenote twice, and were amazed at the freshwater sinkhole. The hanging vines and fresh water were spectacular, and descending down the stairs, felt like an Indiana Jones movie.Read more
We walked into Playacar (a gated community) too visit the Xaman-Ha ruins which were left over from the ancient Maya civilization. We found some animals native to Mexico that we hadn’t seen before. Big iguanas and capybaras!Read more
It wasn’t hard to pass the time as one of the most famous celebrations in Mexico was happening during our stay. The Day of the Dead, or in Spanish, ‘Dia de los Muertos.’ In Merida, and the Yucatan province they celebrate it a little differently and it is called Spirit’s Festival or ‘Paseo de las Animas.’ It replicates tradition and family life, including a procession that starts from Merida’s General Cemetery and ends at San Juan Park. The festivities are called Hanel Pixan (Feast of the Souls). There were events being held throughout our stay, and we visited at least half of them. This included the parade down central Merida, watching screaming girls and skeleton-painted faces. We visited the General Cemetery before the procession, enjoying one of the oldest cemeteries in Mexico. It was crazy busy, so luckily we scurried off a side street and walked back to our hotel after standing and waiting for almost three hours! We watched some comedy outside a catholic church, and walked by many different food stands. During this time we had lots of snacks, including churros, hamburgers and cheesy chocolate delights. A crazy combination, cheese and chocolate! But it was just okay, maybe we don’t have the taste buds for it!
Some highlights of our trip were the spectacular graffiti, giant Merida signs throughout the city centre, the hundreds of different colour doors and of course the food! We ate Papadzules, Relleno Negro tacos, both of which were Yucatan specialties. We found ourselves making fresh guacamole of course. We visited ‘Paseo de Montejo’ street, a wide colonial style avenue with big sidewalks. Read more
We took the bus and arrived before watching a short video on how to be safe and protect the bay as you snorkel and swim. The entire bay was formed from a volcanic eruption, and now it is shaped like a horseshoe with turquoise colours as far as the eye can see. We had a nice time, finally getting the hang of snorkeling as we went out again and again! Lucky us, a large seal decided to take a rest in the sand and the lifeguards had to cordon off the area.
It is sad leaving, as we always say!Read more