31.03.2014 40 °C
An image to start out the week....
Road Trip...yipee, ten of us ladies decided that a trip to the town of Kimbala was in order. This town, about 1 1/2 hours from Chicxulub, is renowned for the embroidered clothing that is sold in Merida and the area. Carlos, our trusty driver and his white steed....really his 12 seater white van...picked us up at 8:15 and we were on the way to Kimbala...kind of sounds like a movie title! There were four or five shops in the main square and more scattered around the town. We were invited into the back of one of he shops to see how the embroidery was done and it gave us a whole new appreciation for this type of work! The embroidered patterns are not done by computerized machines, but by hand using embroidery hoops on regular sewing machines. The sewers worked so fast it was hard to see the pattern as they went along. We all managed to find a few items to add to our collection of clothes from the Yucatan before heading off to a hacienda for our lunch.
The hacienda was a lovely old one with peacocks wandering around the yard. One of them seemed to be totally enamoured by a large starling and spent our entire lunch shaking his tail feathers and making "lovie dove" eyes at it!
Our friends John and Mary volunteer at one of the local schools and teach an English class once a week, on Friday they invited me to join them. What fun it was to play English memory games with the students. We concentrated on "family" words which is what they asked to learn...mother, father son, daughter etc. All the children received a small prize for trying and cookies when they left as it was the last English lesson of the winter. The schools are in dire need of pretty much everything from books and balls to skipping ropes and pens. I will have to keep my eyes peeled for items that might be easy to bring down next year, perhaps I will be able to volunteer for the entire winter....yes , we have rented our own house for the winter!
In the evening, we were invited to attend a chocolate workshop at our friend Linda's. We learned Mayan mythology about chocolate, where the cocoa beans are grown and how chocolate is made. Then, we roasted the beans and ground them with a bit of cinnamon and sugar before "infusing" some spiritual thoughts into each ball of chocolate.
Saturday is the slow food market in Merida so Andrea and I headed in with our friend Linda. We should have taken into account that the temperature for the day was to be 37 in Merida, but we really wanted to visit the market and also a Oaxaca Fair that was going on. Needless to say, by the time we we getting on the bus for Progreso, we were exhausted and overheated! The bus to Progreso is normally air conditioned but we ended up on an old bus that "spat" out semi cool air every five minutes or so......and as it left Merida it picked up more and more passengers till the entire aisle and front steps were jam packed. It was a great time to practice "putting" my mind elsewhere and forgetting about someones purse digging into my head and the perspiration running rivers down my back! We did get more great shots on our walkabout in Merida....
As everyone says here TIM........(no, not what you're thinking...not Timmies)......"This is Mexico".....about three out of every five things here work as we think they should...perhaps we need to change the way we think!
We arrived back at the house to our now usual "return from Merida" routine......head for the pool or the ocean on the double and jump in!!
Managed to get a few nice sunset shots this evening and Andrea took some great ones of Liam flying their kite.
Progreso was home to the 2nd National Kite Surfing Competition his week......See shot below...however, they were moving so fast, this is the only shot of the kites minus the surfers!
Midweek, Andrea and I wandered into Progreso to do a bit of souvenier/gift shopping and stopped for a limonada on the beach. As it was cruise ship day, it was "interesting" as always. Below are a couple of images from our day....one man sporting a humongous sombrero whilst drinking a beer in the sea and a woman who had just gotten a fake tattoo on her behind. Apparently she wanted it to dry so she proceeded to waltz around town with her bathing suit bottom pulled half way down her bum with most of her "crack" showing! We were half laughing and half disgusted when Francisco, the owner of the restaurant we were sitting at, came by and said with a very straight face "She wants to be a piggy bank".....it sent us into fits of laughter ..or should I say it "cracked" us right up.....oh, the things we see on cruise ship day!
It's almost the end of March and the snowbirds are starting to head home...who knew that it would still be snowing!
We don't leave until the 12th, so have almost another two weeks. It has been very warm with the winds from the south instead of the north, so spring has come to the Yucatan. Our thermometer, on the patio today read 40 degrees...yes, it was a float in the ocean and pool kind of day.
If Dara and I do our power walks into Progreso, they have to be done by 8:00 otherwise it is just too hot....not that I'm complaining...for me it can rarely be too hot!
We bought tickets to go to the third annual Merida music festival at a hacienda outside of Merida on Saturday....what a good decision that turned out to be. The venue was Hacienda Dzbikak, approximately one hour outside of Merida and the organizers had provided bus transportation from Merida and also a bus from Progreso. We were delighted when we arrived at this incredible hacienda...lush grounds, tables and chairs set up underneath tents for shade...it was so beautiful.
The organizers had arranged for various food vendors (none the same) to be on site and there were also some vendors of artisan products. The organizers are a British fellow and an Irish man...who owns an Irish pub in Merida...they did a super job!
There was a Carlos Santana tribute band,. some incredible female singers (including one from Cuba) and a couple of other bands that had people up dancing. Children under 12 were admitted free and they were having a blast running around on the grass, dancing and just enjoying the general merriment....even though it was 38 degrees...there was a bit of a breeze! If anyone is interested...www.meridamusicfestival.com
Below are pictures of the drum group Batucada Do Fogo...they were great fun.
A fun market day with our neighbour Louisette with the caretaker Antonio at the controls!
Sunsets here are often fantastic and you will often see people running out to catch a good shot...one of our neighbours takes a few every night..he must have a huge collection by now!