Felipe Carrillo Puerto

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  • Day6

    Felipe Carrillo Puerto

    January 23, 2017 in Mexico ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    We arrived in Felipe Carrillo Puerto in the late afternoon and found a hotel for 500 pesos. It was definitely an upscale place too, air conditioner and lovely space to spend a night. Though we are multi method travelers and I for one typically prefer camping, we certainly enjoy the luxury Mexico affords us. It's hot here, I don't know if you've noticed? 😜

    We ditched our stuff and confirmed there was no bus to Viage Chico, had some dinner and decided to wander around until the sun went down. We were enjoying our walk around Felipe, and stopped at the Mayan Church of the Talking Cross. There were four men there, all priests, one particularly friendly that told us a bit about the church. It is a blend of traditional Mayan worship and Catholic influence, and the priests rotate between pueblos every week. He showed us his beautifully carved stick with a bird at the end, and even joked with us that it was used to whip those who came in with shoes on or were disrespectful somehow. He had sleepy, soft eyes and was truly a kind man. It was lovely to feel so welcome there. Religion isn't really our thing but spiritually, the Mayan people have such a gentle, kind vibe, it's hard not to feel drawn to their culture and themselves as individuals. They still maintain the teaching of their native language and much of their traditions have continued to be passed down. The older women still wear beautifully stitched white dresses with floral patterns at the collar and hem, and have lace flowing from the bottom. You're hard pressed to find two people who look closely alike; there is a tremendous amount of diversity here.
    From the church, we wandered some more and found a bar where a man was singing and playing keyboard. We started to walk right by, dancing in the street, but as we waved to the man playing keyboard, we decided we should go in. So we did!
    Once we sat down, of course the ten or so people inside all stared at us as we ordered two Sol's (Mexican lager) and we giggled as we wondered what we had gotten ourselves into. We enjoyed the music and the beers with a plate of salt and lime, and the waitress even brought us some snacks: chicken wings and some other chicken chunks with a sweet sauce, all complimentary. Finally the guy playing music asked where we were from after he played some English language songs and we got up to dance... We answered and a couple came over to invite us to dance more and welcome us to their town. It was loud and hard to understand at times but hilarious and truly an excellent experience. We danced some more and laughed and drank more Sol's. There was a bit of a rustle when the alleged owner who was very, very drunk wanted to dance but didn't like how we were dancing without him, and the couple we were dancing with had words with each other... Then the alleged owner came to sit and talk with us but being as intoxicated as he was, got a bit silly and eventually we had to put our foot down to leave but he insisted on paying for all of our beers! All in all, we felt welcome and genuinely accepted there and truly enjoyed ourselves.
    We had some delicious snow cone like slushy mixed with ice cream on the way back to the hotel and slept like babies.
    The next day, we found a slightly cheaper hotel with a big, beautiful courtyard for 450 pesos right next to the square. We went to the museum and had a lovely, albeit forced tour from a sweet old man named Pedro who patiently showed us all the artifacts and inspired art from mayan history. We learned that the Mayans were beekeepers and also had an amazing array of musical instruments which we got to play with. Lots of flutes and drums. Pedro showed us some old games the kids still play to this day and patiently repeated things when we needed him to.
    Afterwards we had lunch and relaxed until it was time to go to the feria!!!! Tony had messaged a couchsurfer about things to do in Felipe and she told us the weekend was fair time. We made our way there and ogled all the food (lots of cut up hot dogs mixed with French fries and fried plantains), games, and people. Lots of stuff for sale too; everything from Tupperware to artwork. When we got to the end of the fairgrounds, we came upon a rodeo! It was free to enter so we went up to catch the last hour or so of the action. We sat up on the wall with the niños and watched the young men and rodeo clowns harass a young calf and be chased by a bull in that order. We chatted a bit with a man who sat next to us about how this place, this tranquility in Felipe is what Mexico is really like: the happenings at the border, the violence there, it simply does not exist away from that place. He welcomed us and of course, we talked a little about Trump. The whole world is simply watching and wondering what it all means. We have met quite a few Mexicanos who went to the USA to live for awhile and decided to come back home. They prefer it here. Other than intense heat, the quality of life is quite nice really. Relaxed, community/family oriented, friendly, great food.... What else is there?
    We went back to the fair and I convinced Tony to go on the Twister ride... Definitely not regulated like other countries! Hahaha... We may have both suffered a bit of whiplash but it was fun anyways and we really liked how much fun everyone was having. 😝
    We turned in for the night and left the next morning for Bacalar, still working on a plan to get to Punta Allen but starting to surrender to the road's plan for us. 😄
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