Monday, May 07, 2007

day five: dzibilchultun, street fair

Today is Cinco de Mayo, a holiday celebrating the Mexican victory over the French. Apparently it´s a bigger deal outside the country than here; the festivities we saw today are ¨Hey it´s Saturday!¨ celebrations, not Cinco de Mayo.
I woke up early, having slept very little; Heather woke up at the same time, so we decided to go for a walk. We went back to the crazy market and I introduced Heather to the taco stand where we ate the other day. Tacos make a pretty good breakfast. She also bought a mango from an old Maya women; I looked for a purse, but eventually found one for 45 pesos ($4.50) on the way back to the Flamingo.
When we got back, I went to the school to try to upload some pictures and videos, but all I accomplished was deleting a video of the lion mascot from the baseball game. Boo.
When I got back, it was time to catch a cab to Dzibilchultun. It was an optional trip; only eight of us went with Carlos, while everyone else went to the beach.
Dzibilchultun (pronounced tzee-bee-chul-TOON) was a residental site for elite Maya, and is fanous for its long occupancy and large numbers of stelae (a stele is a stone monument with inscriptions); the name means ´the place where there is writing on stones´. It was scorching hot - around 41ºC and humid - and so it took some effort to get around the site, which had very little shade. The best parts where the House of Seven Dolls, which we climbed and then sat in to cool off in the breeze, and the cenote. We got to go swimming in the cenote - yes, even me, it was shallow enough in places that I could stand on rocks - and it was full of very friendly little fish (no, not the fish from Grey´s Anatomy, Mom) and lots of lilypads. We spent about four hours at the site and I took a lot of videos.
The next stop of the day was supposed to be Progresso, the local beach on the Gulf of Mexico, but to get there we had to take a cab or bus from a bus stop on the highway that runs between Merida and Progresso. It took so long to hail a cab that we ended up just going back to Merida and saving Progresso for another day. We did meet a woman named Laura who is a traditional textile designer, and also a puppy that was adorable, so it wasn´t a wasted hour, anyway.
Kim, Fraser, Anne and myself, plus Devon whom we found sitting along at the hotel, went to a nie little place overlooking a square. I split a platter of Yucatec food with Anne; we each had a bowl of sopa de lima (still good, but not as good as the other place), a panuche, a salbute, and three rolled up taco things, with a couple glasses of limonada (not quite lemonade; it´s made from a lemon/lime cross called a limon).
The evening was difficult to plan; most people had no real idea what they wanted to do. After a few false starts, Anne and Heather and I went to the Mayan Pub for a bit, which was sort of awkward at first because they had a really loud cover band (playing, I think, Pearl Jam), but when the band left it was a good time.
After that we walked over the the streets blocked off for the street fair. We had been told there would be vendors, but the only vendors were just there to save spots for the Sunday morning street market; but there were live bands on every block, and the restaurants had all put tables out in the street for the locals to sit and chat in the air, and watched older women dancing graceful salsas to the bands. The dancing was really beautiful - I wish I could dance like that!
We headed in for an early night; it had been a long day.


Blogger dp said...

The Cenote looks amazing. What a cool experience. We are going up to 28 degrees here tomorrow... a scorcher, my our terms. I will think of you in the "30's".
thanks for the updates.

12:12 PM  

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