Oh, those VIP seats in the cinema!
We love the VIP seats in the Mexican cinemas!! For years our friend Jorge has told us about the Mexican cinemas where you can purchase a ticket for seats in a special VIP theatre. These seats are huge leather lazy boy type chairs to which you can have food delivered and ....even get a beer! The ladies finally took an afternoon in Merida to check this out.....and yes, it's all true! We watched "Wolf of Wall Street" in the comfort of huge leather recliners, whilst sipping cold beverages all for a measly 49 pesos or about $4...as it was half price day on Wednesday. The movie was loaded with colourful language, naked women and all sorts of shenanigans ...but we all enjoyed it , including 84 year old Janet!
Having the car for a few weeks gives us the opportunity to do a few impromptu road trips, so on Saturday we set out towards Chelem, which is a small town west of Progreso, to explore. The drive took us past the huge marina at Progreso and through the sleepy town of Chelem, which has more American snowbirds and expats than Chicxulub and Progreso, which is mostly Canadians. We took some small sand roads into the shore to explore the deserted beaches before heading to the fishermen's sanctuary (of which we knew nothing).
At the end of the road, there was a lovely protected inlet, packed full of fishing boats leading into a lovely estuary. I was dying to rent a kayak and explore further but the kayak rental place was closed.
From the fishing sancturay we took a road that ran through the middle of the estuary. Keeping an eye out for bird life of which there was plenty. We managed to get shots of this green heron perched on a stump, there were lots of grey herons, beautiful white egrets and in the distance, some flamingos.
We followed the road, not really knowing where we were going, through small pueblas till we came across an old henequen hacienda. This area was the top producer of sisal for manufacturing rope...before nylon rope came into existence. In years past, the henequen plantations were dotted all over the Yucatan but there are only a few left in existance today. The hacienda we came across had the ruins of the enormous stone smoke stacks that announced a plantation, but not much else other than the hacienda and some out buildings. We drove through the entrance, as it looked like it may have been turned into a B and B, but we found out it was a private home from talking with two men who we sitting taking a break from cutting the grass. The home is now a weekend get-a-way for a family from Merida! The gentlemen told us to go ahead in and look around in the house if we wanted.....no further prompting needed! It was gorgeous.....antique furniture, high beamed ceilings, four poster beds...be happy to have it as my little refuge!
After our self-made tour we chatted again with the groundskeepers who told us of a nearby cenote that was quite pretty. Well, you know what happens next....off to find this cenote. We hadn't brought bathing suits, but this didn’t stop Andrea and I when we reached the cenote we stripped down to undies and climbed down the ladders and into the clear,fairly warm water. It was wonderful and we were tickled by tiny black fish swimming around us as we floated. There are over 6,000 cenotes throughout the Yucatan (there are no rivers above ground)...they are sink holes leading to underground rivers winding through the limestone. If you would like to learn more about these wonderous underground pools go to.....
On our way back to the house, we stopped in a small puebla that specializes in wood work. They carried the usual tourist type stuff, but I spied a box of hand rubbed wooden slabs and spreading "knives" in the work shop. When we asked about them we were told it was a special order for a restaurant in Merida. They did sell us a few of the wooden spreaders but also allowed us to order a few of the wooden "cheese boards" that were so unique....we canick them up sometime next week. The Yucatanians are so accommodating! Andy and Dara watched one of the workers demonstrate an old fashioned lathe powered by foot power. See the embedded video..
It's quite amusing to see a macho man walking around in a sports shirt sponsored by Bimbo....with the huge word "BIMBO" on the front and back!
Below are just a few pictures from our wanderings...
Most of this area of the Yucatan only comes "alive" when Easter week hits (Santa Samana) and in the summer months when the rich Meridians come to stay in their "cottages" for the summer to get away from the oppressive heat inland. This whole area then morphs from a sleepy fishing community to a disco pounding, jet ski whining, restaurant and beach filled world....thank goodness we'll be gone by then!
A few pictures of the shells found on the beaches here....