After a wonderful first evening in Valladolid, I returned to the hotel, taking some photos on the way (this is a view of my hotel’s interior).
I worked on that Web book for a while. I couldn’t sleep… the travel, still on Pacific Standard Time I guess, the unfamiliar sounds. Then, at 12.30am, a rooster starts! The thought that his internal clock must be all messed up, given the time, was quickly replaced by memories of Petinos (my family’s village in Greece where I grew up). Not only because “Petinos” means rooster in Greek but because of the daily sounds while I was growing up. Ah! memories. I slept really well! It’s sooo nice to be away from Seattle for a while :-)
Day 2 started with a walk around Valladolid and breakfast (at the restaurant in the photo). I discovered the town’s central plaza, part of Valladolid’s historic centre.
I then hit the road with a specific plan in mind, which didn’t really work out exactly as it was drawn during breakfast… :-( good lesson for the next few days)
First stop was the Chichen Itza ruins. Spectacular! My first exposure to the Maya civilization left me fascinated. I think I took wayyy too many photos of the site during the many hours I walked around. BTW… the iguana is real. I have lots of photos of it as it climbs the ruins.
Next planned stop was Izamal. The Convento de San Antonio was really nice. I actually spent 20-30 mins in there with those who were praying. Those who know me are aware that I don’t believe in any religion but I respect those who do and they know why they do. It was great just spending few mins in silence trying not to think (my big problem is that I always keep my mind occupied).
From here, the problems start. The reason I headed towards Izamal was because I wanted to visit the local ruins. It was then I realized that my map was not detailed at all. It was missing LOTS of roads. Result? Didn’t find the ruins and lost lots of time. At the end, I decided to head towards my final destination for the day, Progresso. There, I was going to see some more ruins (they were supposed to be different given the change in landscape… from the thick vegetation of Chichen Itza to the seafront, sandy landscape of the area) and then stay for the night. Well, it didn’t work out either. I got completely lost on the way (again, thanks to the really bad map that came with one of my travel guide books). I am not complaining though. I absolutely loved it. Lots of small villages on the way. I was stopping and taking photographs, enjoying the drive. It was amazing! I “talked” with lots of people on the way and even got directions (even though my Spanish are as good as my Russian… i.e. I don’t speak). I was rewarded to some beautiful scenery and, at the end, a breathtaking sunset.
During my drive today and the many villages I visited, I saw the small, basic houses many in which many locals live. Then, as I arrived at the north coast of the Yucatan peninsula, I was surprised by the MANY luxury villas that exist there. The divide too wide and obvious. Very sad! I do hope the locals get an opportunity to enjoy their beautiful country and it’s not just us foreigners who come and build huge villas right by the sea.
Finally, I arrived at Progresso. It’s already dark so I can’t see if this is a beautiful town or not. Tomorrow. I find a cheap hotel and go immediately for dinner. I order a local dish and taste their local beer while planning tomorrow’s trip. Then, a walk around the town (the town hall at night is pictured below). A great end to the day. Then, back to the hotel for an hour’s blog (this) and book writing before crashing to bed!
Today’s lesson: Buy a better map.