Retired and Riding (Now in Mexico)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by danisOTR, Jan 13, 2020.

  1. Vrode

    Vrode Long. Standing. Member Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2014
    Oddometer:
    4,171
    Location:
    Vermont
    Great RR!! It’s a respite from the lousy weather we’re having. Enjoy!!
    #61
  2. Golden955

    Golden955 Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2016
    Oddometer:
    174
    Loving this report. I love hearing about the food, the people you meet and the places you see. As much as I enjoy the harrowing stories of our RTW minimalists on this forum, this would be my style and it's great hearing the prices and dos and dont's.

    Two questions:
    Where did you meet this woman?
    Does she have any sisters?

    Thanks for sharing with us.
    #62
    Davidprej likes this.
  3. danisOTR

    danisOTR GO BIG OR GO HOME Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    573
    Location:
    Vermont
    1/27/2020 Monday

    Campeche Day 2

    Later start for the day. We headed down to breakfast at the restaurant off the lobby. It is very small compared to the size of the hotel is run by 2 people. One serving and one cooking. We ordered and “American Breakfast to share. Scrambled eggs with cheese and ham toast, fruit and coffee. $6 with tip.

    We’ve been storing up laundry and took it to a laundry a few blocks from the hotel. We did a lot of pantomiming with the clerk trying to discern is they machine or hand dried the clothes as some of our stuff is merino wool and we prefer it hung to dry. Google translate was not working inside the store so I finally stepped out and got a strong of enough signal so I could show the clerk what we wanted. That resolved we paid $5 including tip with the promise that the 5 kilos of laundry would be ready tomorrow at 5:30.

    We took a stroll back out to the Malecon. It was quite warm and we quickly returned to inside the walls where we could get some shade. We walked around a bit but the midday heat had us heading back to the hotel and the shade around the pool.
    980B1593-71DF-4532-8AD3-1F64E1026E02.jpeg
    While we were out walking, we noticed a group of people with clipboards walking up and down the streets looking at building apparently grading them for need of improvement.

    This is something they are constantly working on. We found some repairmen scrapping a building applying fresh stucco where needed in preparation of a fresh coat of paint.
    7E034F90-2B92-4754-ADC2-3ED9340C9FA5.jpeg
    Today’s post is abbreviated as I came down with what my mother used to refer to as “the grip”. I spent the rest of the day in bed and had a fitful night’s sleep. I’m feeling better this morning although I may not be having pork rinds anytime soon.

    Here are some miscellaneous pictures for your viewing pleasure.

    4F04F688-0795-41A2-96BD-A95214322D04.jpeg 245BCCE8-2D9D-49A3-8E9B-7E3DF3C0B69C.jpeg 0EEBABE3-7AD3-4CDA-80E1-FEE59690F841.jpeg A882B94C-3558-4AB4-BCE5-68963F348BFE.jpeg 08C198AF-5A33-40D5-8472-8803E67FF943.jpeg 8E2249CF-A36E-49FD-A23C-6D9413ADF8DE.jpeg 980B1593-71DF-4532-8AD3-1F64E1026E02.jpeg 7E034F90-2B92-4754-ADC2-3ED9340C9FA5.jpeg 4F04F688-0795-41A2-96BD-A95214322D04.jpeg 245BCCE8-2D9D-49A3-8E9B-7E3DF3C0B69C.jpeg 0EEBABE3-7AD3-4CDA-80E1-FEE59690F841.jpeg A882B94C-3558-4AB4-BCE5-68963F348BFE.jpeg 08C198AF-5A33-40D5-8472-8803E67FF943.jpeg 8E2249CF-A36E-49FD-A23C-6D9413ADF8DE.jpeg
    #63
    Ignis, jimmex, Golden955 and 3 others like this.
  4. Cal

    Cal Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,490
    Location:
    Calgary
    Get well soon
    #64
  5. terryna

    terryna Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2018
    Oddometer:
    24
    Location:
    Luxembourg
    Thanks for sharing your experience and great photos[​IMG]
    #65
  6. danisOTR

    danisOTR GO BIG OR GO HOME Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    573
    Location:
    Vermont
    1/28/2020 Tuesday


    Campeche Day 3

    I woke up after fitful night sleep with lots of uncomfortable interruptions. Patti went out for some breakfast as I continued to recuperate. She is also taking advantage of the time and go for a run. Something she has been missing doing.

    We are thinking about staying over in Campeche for another day to assure I am up to the next ride. It will be a short one as we are planning on heading to Merida to hold up for a month or so. We intend to enroll ourselves in a language class so we can enhance the rest of the time we will be in Mexico. Our travel cost per day had been higher than we’d like and planting ourselves somewhere with a kitchen will cut that way down. We are hoping to keep our average cost per day below $100 and January we are at around $160 for the time spent in Mexico. Some of that was preliminary vehicle preparation.

    As I continued to rest through the AM Patti continued exploring. Here are some of the pictures she captured. Actually there are a couple that I must have taken as she is in the picture.
    F795D57A-66A4-44E7-99AC-ED29AA853BE3.jpeg 66BA432E-AEEC-483C-AA40-785BFF906FDF.jpeg 76183BC3-A280-4F82-80EC-FE27A26C2AC9.jpeg 30F74DEC-AE4D-4D8B-87DE-78522C89AE78.jpeg 52959B90-E235-4F85-87BB-4DECBF4F3591.jpeg DEBE2B53-98B3-459D-A3B9-0E79F7B9E6C0.jpeg
    This one shows where they have taken down a section of the wall.

    E8193232-21D8-4C9E-8BCA-90561A986B04.jpeg 9CD4509E-8436-483C-9C8B-BC8FE5E1D20F.jpeg BC1606AB-43C8-4956-AF11-88E468C324DF.jpeg

    By evening I had rallied and we went out for dinner on the main dining street a couple of blocks from our hotel. We have found most of the meals here OK. The pricing is higher than you’d expect but half what you’d pay in the US.
    97C8972C-927A-4865-8C1B-77601BA504CA.jpeg 0A3E7E35-A5FE-41F5-B679-E9360B532E3A.jpeg

    I did experience my first “get-off” this evening though. Tables a chairs are set up on the cobbled streets so they tend to be somewhat wiggly. My chair seemed to be slipping into a crack so I moved it. No better, I moved it again. I finally got it somewhat stable. All of a sudden, I found myself on the ground. The chair had totally disintegrated under me. All of the stretchers fell apart, the vertical and horizontal stays that you sit and lean back on were out of their tenons. Fortunately, Patti saved her wine from spilling! The staff made sure I was OK. I grabbed a chair from another table, made sure it was sturdy and sat myself back down. Sorry, no photos. I didn’t think about it until is too late. BTW I am not that fat!



    After dinner we followed our ears. There was music coming from a couple of blocks away. On our way for dinner we had noticed people setting up chairs in front of an old church so that is where we headed. When we arrived we saw a group of young people dancing a cultural dance accompanied by a band.

    4CF81D7B-7663-4F81-AEDB-3B1AB878B210.jpeg

    Here is a photo of the side of the church.
    E033B1C4-3709-49A0-BADA-04840B652774.jpeg

    From here it was a few short steps back to the hotel where we called it day.
    #66
    Ignis, Smidty, knight and 4 others like this.
  7. Davidprej

    Davidprej Davidprej Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2012
    Oddometer:
    673
    Location:
    Lafayette, LA
    Great pics. Glad you are feeling better. LOL at your 'get off'. Glad you mentioned your budget vs. actual. That's 'top of mind' for me as I'm a couple of years away from following you. I also want to do the language immersion thing, so looking forward to hearing about your experience with that.
    #67
  8. danisOTR

    danisOTR GO BIG OR GO HOME Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    573
    Location:
    Vermont
    1/29/2020 Wednesday

    Campeche Day 4.

    Getting a jump on today as tomorrow will be a travel day.

    We chose to stay over an extra day to make sure I was up to the next ride to Merida. At around 8:30 we left the hotel in search of coffee and some pasties. But most places don’t open up until 9 or 10. We ended up “again” on the main dining street. We had what I considered an overly priced breakfast. From there we headed out to view the battlements.

    There are seven battlements. We had already seen or been by a few of them. This time we wanted to visit them all. Also, it allowed is to stay in the shade most of the time, except when we were on top of one of them.
    21A7D570-11F1-47C4-9E64-96937DAFCE8C.jpeg

    While they are all still in place a few were not accessible. We looked through the cracks in the doors leading to them and noticed that the insides had vegetation growing in them. In fact, one had been turned into a botanical garden.

    BA5F0AAD-6C6E-410D-B2F2-79858A404F4D.jpeg

    One particular feature I found interesting is this. It looked to be one of the niches that they used to fire out of. Can you guess what is it?

    A8B329FE-FF8A-40A6-A3BA-C6273090C5C0.jpeg

    Yup a toilet. It brings to mind Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail. If you’re a fan you’ll know which seen I am referring to.

    There was a particularly long section of wall leading from one of the gates north towards a battlement. It around 10:30 and the sun was shining over the wall onto the brightly painted houses opposite the wall. The way the sun was striking caused the colors to be reflected on the walls. Hopefully the below photo will come out well enough for you all to see.
    D85824EC-8CE2-4556-A21D-2DC3B425CBB4.jpeg

    We continued our counter-clockwise walk around the perimeter seeking out the remaining battlements.

    The last one we came to faces the Gulf and there was a great breeze blowing off of it. The inside was dedicated to discussing primarily pirates. I’ve attached a note discussing the current glamorization of pirates and how far from reality it is.
    94485C91-E439-4B65-A72B-EA0F738E0A7C.jpeg 5DEEA23C-D439-4138-8CA8-F8BE13451175.jpeg B69F8372-214E-4426-B880-6431E5BAEC80.jpeg
    We finished our tour of the battlement and went in search of some ice cream. When walking down the “restaurant street” I spied a sign for 2 for one Pina Colada’s. Well that’s close enough for me. We sat and waited as they prepared our drinks. I think they are 2 for one because they didn’t have any rum in them. I ordered up a couple of shots along with some water and we sat for a while enjoying our drinks and watching the people of the world walk by.
    841F66C4-4CEC-4059-9B7D-F3866F8B4213.jpeg
    #68
    Smidty, JimsBeemer, dano619 and 6 others like this.
  9. Vrode

    Vrode Long. Standing. Member Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2014
    Oddometer:
    4,171
    Location:
    Vermont
    Glad you’re feeling better. When you are situated for awhile you should be able to cut down the food expenses quite a bit by availing yourselves of the local markets.

    Enjoy! (it’s very cold here)
    #69
  10. danisOTR

    danisOTR GO BIG OR GO HOME Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    573
    Location:
    Vermont
    1/29/2020 Wednesday Continued

    We spent the afternoon relaxing by the pool staying out of the mid-day sun. I tried to chat up and English couple who had done a similar tour as we had along the battlements. I guess my version of English was not compatible with his ears and he quickly ended the conversation, not rudely but he made it obvious that he did not want to talk. Odd.
    55B21A7B-2210-4A6E-B755-4CF916A699A8.jpeg

    The 28th was our 25th Wedding Anniversary and we had planned on walking a few miles on the Malecon to where the seafood restaurants are. As I was not feeling up to snuff, we put off the meal until tonight.

    We set off from the hotel at 5:30 and started our 50-minute walk for our dinner. The entire length of the Malecon has a running path, a separate bike path that is has a clearly marked lane heading in each direction. There are different monuments along the distance as well. Also, we found an American Monument.
    A829E502-2590-4D24-9B76-91026BF3C711.jpeg 704D63D3-F4FE-4FED-9749-7710C7684AC7.jpeg 8113BC53-C544-47DB-AF16-90027BE89201.jpeg

    At the two-mile mark is where there is a jetty with controlled access to boat storage and launches. Just past that is where the local fisherman pull their boats up onto the beach after a day of fishing. Many have thatched roofed shacks under which they process their catch and in some cases were preparing their own meals. This picture was taken as we headed out of town the next day. The shack in on the left.
    Campeche fishing shack.jpeg

    None too soon we made it to the restaurant section. The attraction of the seafood restaurants is the fact that the food is VERY fresh. I had selected what turned out to be the first one of the many that line the Gulf. It had the best ratings. Again, picture taken the next day, also on the left.
    Seafood Rest in Campech.jpeg

    It was 6:30 and the place was EMPTY as usual. We really need to learn how to eat later in the evening. A holdover from our working days. My mother always said civilized people don’t eat supper until after 8:00. I guess that says a lot about me.

    We had our pick of tables, duh and selected one closest to the water. However, due to the cool breeze we retreated a bit further back where there a small windbreak created by one of the posts holding up the roof. Other than those there were no walls or windows separating the diners from the Gulf.


    We looked the menu over deciding which fresh fish we wanted to try. I had been longing for Ceviche since we’ve been in Mexico. There was Ceviche Cameron on the menu. Score 1 for me. Patti decided on Empanadas’ Cameron. Tapas were presented. One that stands out was the fresh octopus in lime juice served cold. Delicious.


    Shortly after our meals were presented. The presentation of my Ceviche was photo worthy. We settled in and dined leisurely savoring the seafood we’ve been looking forward to for almost three weeks.

    0E0C1A23-8635-4F9C-9AAC-7299B3EE25E3.jpeg
    When we finished up the place was still empty and it was now closing in on 8:00. Sorry Mom! But what time do people eat around here?

    We grabbed a taxi back to Hotel Lopez. A 10-minute cab ride cost us $4.00 including a generous tip.

    Here is when we learn a dirty little secret about being inside the wall in Campeche. You cannot buy beer or liquor in any of the stores. OXXO’s normally carry beer, not inside the walls. It must be a deal made with the restaurants to force visitors to spend their pesos at those places. This was to be our last night in Campeche and we had had our fill of the “dining” street. Oh well.
    #70
    Vrode likes this.
  11. danisOTR

    danisOTR GO BIG OR GO HOME Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    573
    Location:
    Vermont
    1/30/2020 Thursday

    Campeche to Merida

    Today was the day we would finally get to the city we’ve been aiming towards since the 11th. We have been looking at and researching Merida for months. We had chosen it because it is claimed to be the safest place in Mexico along with its access to so many cultural sites. More details on Merida will follow later.

    We got our packing done and I moved the bikes to the loading area across from the front of the hotel. We did a few trips from our room with our gear and loaded up the bikes. Even though there are more large displacement bikes present ours definitely draw a lot of attention. People stare, some give us thumbs up and others come over to talk. With the language barrier we are still able to communicate where we’ve been and where we are going.
    79D665E8-1CF2-40F2-A576-DF783E1B7C67.jpeg

    Here is a typical picture of a Mexican family on a bike. We’ve seen up to 4 people crowded on.
    6CAF3605-4BF6-42CC-B023-EB8220F0E982.jpeg

    As you may remember I had commented about the continued repair and repainting of the facades of the building. Below are the before and almost done pictures of one instance of this.

    7E034F90-2B92-4754-ADC2-3ED9340C9FA5.jpeg F8DAC7B4-7F19-4026-86AA-24B86AB0CF6B.jpeg

    This was to be the easiest exit from a city to date. It entailed 3 turns and we were back on Mex 180 running along the waterfront of Campeche. Nice as it was already hot in all of our gear.

    Overall it was going to be the easiest ride between stops so far. It was a short 2 hours and 45 minutes and besides leaving Campeche we did not encounter any small towns or the dreaded topes.

    Around the two-hour mark we crossed into the Yucatan and shortly we were entering Merida.
    Yucatan Welcome Sign.jpeg

    Welcome to Merida.jpeg
    I’d taken quite a few pictures on my Point and Shoot camera only to find out today that I had forgotten to put the memory card back in. Also, my GoPro case had fogged up with the humidity so the pictures from it are not great.

    On the way into Merida a Police Harley pulled out in front of us. Looking a few car lengths ahead there were another six or more. They appeared to be heading out for their shift. The next day I also saw another Moto Cop on a BMW R1200RTP.
    Merida Harley Cop.jpeg
    E5B5B938-4E1A-4592-BB2F-69817D92DFFC.jpeg

    We found our Hotel without too much drama. Check in was easy. I spoke at lengths with the hotel manager. We were set up in separate building with 12 recently converted rooms. There is a shared kitchen space that guests share, a dining area and outside patio inside a courtyard and a rooftop seating area.

    The manager is doing his best to have us stay for the month or two we plan on being in Merida. We are negotiating cost still.


    He walked us over to the building and showed us a couple of rooms to chose from. The first was the one we ended choosing. It is 20 feet square. The bath is 12 feet square. It has 12-foot ceilings. Oddly there are no window but there are 3 skylights that let in so much light you don’t even notice. It is also nearest the kitchen. But when you close the door it is dead quiet.
    40010E59-9E62-4E9E-8D21-8887D4EF0433.jpeg 5A9D20FA-FE66-4D6E-9C1B-22AE8ACF8D54.jpeg 66DE59C7-7F81-4E6B-BC5E-0BD6F6F0155F.jpeg


    We had been invited to put our bikes in front of the main hotel which has 24 hour security but there is a niche in the front of this build that the bikes fit perfectly into. The hotel car is parked in front of it so between that and our cloaks of invisibility we feel that they are pretty safe.
    82B3304F-DC01-4A85-A2AB-4FBDD3EA25D9.jpeg
    We got ourselves unpacked and headed out for supplies. Some may diss us for this but we headed to Super WalMart which is a 12-minute walk. We figured we’d be able to find everything we needed without having to go to multiple stores.

    We knew we wanted to get stuff to make dinner as we have been eating out almost every meal this month. We were ready for a change. We were able to find some decent wine, tequila and the fixings for spaghetti with meat sauce which is our go to comfort food. We also got snacks to include cheese that was not American Sliced.

    We loaded ourselves down with our collection and headed back to our room. We put our haul away, mixed a cocktail and prepared a snack plate and settled in on the patio to enjoy being settled even if just temporarily.

    After it got dark, but still not 8:00 PM we prepared our comfort dinner and opened a bottle of merlot. It was nice to be able to prepare a homemade meal.
    EB66CF35-0A28-4E06-B1FA-BE222242E43A.jpeg
    We finished our meal cleaned up and headed to our room for the evening.
    #71
    Smidty, knight, cavebiker and 7 others like this.
  12. Cal

    Cal Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,490
    Location:
    Calgary
    Hope you will share with us the price of the hotel in Merida, It looks very nice. Why did you choose it, was it in Sjoerds book?
    #72
  13. danisOTR

    danisOTR GO BIG OR GO HOME Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    573
    Location:
    Vermont
    Right now we are paying $35/night which is high. If we can get the manager down to $25/ night we will consider staying. It is not out of Sjoerd’s book but we have been referring to his book. It is a great resource well worth the in investment.

    We are also looking into an Spanish immersion class. There is an option there for housing. More on that next week.
    #73
    Cal and Davidprej like this.
  14. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,689
    Location:
    Hayward, WI
    Super. Retired and riding, perfect. Thanks for the posts. Cavegirl and I are enjoying following
    #74
  15. dano619

    dano619 Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,071
    Location:
    sunny san diego
    Congrats on Anniversary!! Lovin the Report!! Thanks!!
    #75
  16. danisOTR

    danisOTR GO BIG OR GO HOME Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    573
    Location:
    Vermont
    1/31/2020 Friday

    Merida

    This is our first full day in Merida. We went over to the main hotel around 9 to have our complimentary continental breakfast. They had the best orange juice we’ve had since getting into Mexico. It had pulp in it which other places seem to filter out. This is also the first place we’ve been that has cloth napkins and not thin paper in table top dispensers.

    After breakfast we headed down towards the main square. We walked over a couple of blocks and walked down Paseo de Montejo which is the main street around here. It has 4 lanes of traffic with a median dividing each side. There are many examples of architecture from the 1700 and 1800’s when the city was in its original heyday. There are many old mansions that were built by the sisal tycoons. Sisal was made to make rope which was in high demand especially in naval applications as this was the era of sailing ships.
    8EDE9387-66B1-4998-B91C-73A672F2C6EC.jpeg 3499AC97-E458-4244-8EAE-772A6D7717F9.jpeg
    On either side have wide sidewalks which are shaded by ancient trees. At certain places it appears you are walking through a tunnel.

    69E83A9C-A765-4459-A277-8E5C73B7BF6A.jpeg
    We walked to the end on Montejo and went a few blocks over to one of the Parque de Santa Ana. Not much going on now but apparently every evening there is some type of event.
    Flanking the square is Parroquia Santa Ana a church that was consecrated in 1733. Beautiful old architecture.

    1AFC268B-553B-4AF3-A0C1-D738F18F48EC.jpeg

    We circled back to Montejo and headed back north on the other side of the street. Basically, we are on a scouting expedition to see what is around and places to visit in the future.

    Every several blocks there is a monument in the middle of Montejo. They create a sort of traffic circle. It creates a challenge to both cars and pedestrians to cross.


    At Monument A La Patria we stopped to admire all sides as we circled around it. After our morning walk we headed back to the hotel where I could write and work on our photos.
    AEEB3C5C-6F9C-4B0D-92AE-D53C1C3C015C.jpeg 12EF7CD6-574A-435F-B664-BDE7312DA589.jpeg

    On Friday evening we headed back out after 6. We strolled along Paseo de Montejo (PdM) which takes on a different character in the evening. Many of the old mansions are lit up showing off their old architecture. The traffic is still going but not as heavy as it was mid-day.

    We ended up going to a Irish Pub named Hennessey’s. It provides both outside and inside seating. We prefer outside when we are just dining and at the bar if we are going to hang out. Tonight was for dining so we sat watching the sidewalk and the street.
    70D74C77-486E-4BE3-9966-45BBA7C5C3DB.jpeg
    They offered typical Irish Pub fare. Fish and Chips, bangers and mash. They had Guinness but unfortunately not on draft. WHAT! One can was enough and I switched to a local draft.

    I ordered a burger, the first I’ve had in a month. Patti had Shrimp with garlic butter and chili’s. I made an error ordering medium rare. When I took my first bite I heard a moo.

    After our meal we headed south on PdM. We headed to Parque de Santa Ana which we thought was the Central Square. When we got there nothing seemed to be going on. I took out my phone a looking at the map realized we were a few blocks short of the real Central Square. So off we headed off and went a 4 more blocks and found ourselves in Parque de Santa Lucia. Now this place was shaking with music and people the required Catholic Church, etc. But when I looked at my map again I found we were still 4 block short. But it did have the Merida Sign.
    B23F6463-54A7-487C-A7D9-FDF19607DE82.jpeg

    9167A11B-9F8A-4582-9F9A-0A746DA69138.jpeg

    We finally arrived at the Plaza Grande. Now this was THE happening place. Street artist, vendors selling native, not made in China wares, open patio restaurants and so forth. It was already 10:00PM and this place was just coming alive.


    We scored a street side table at a restaurant and ordered some drinks. We had a front row seat to people from all over the world talking in the scene. A Mariachi Band took a position right on the street in front us and we were treated to a selection off songs.
    plaza drinks 1.31.2020.jpg

    mariachi 1.31.2020.jpg
    We ordered another drink and sat back for another 45 minutes of entertainment. We left the Plaza around 11:30 and it was showing no signs of slowing down. I imagine it is still cranking there after 1:00AM. Maybe we’ll see in the future.


    It took the better part of 30 minutes to walk up Calle 60 towards our Hotel. The street lighting was great, traffic flowing but light and we felt safe the whole way.
    #76
    Smidty, knight, Saso and 4 others like this.
  17. johnnywheels

    johnnywheels Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2016
    Oddometer:
    151
    Location:
    Jackson, MS USA
    Thanks for the RR! I’m enjoying your trip and look forward to hearing about life in Merida during an extended stay. Mrs Wheels and I have it on our list.
    #77
  18. danisOTR

    danisOTR GO BIG OR GO HOME Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    573
    Location:
    Vermont
    2/1/2020 Saturday

    Merida

    It is great being able to sleep in and not feel guilty about it. We headed over to the main hotel again for the continental breakfast. The restaurant must have been hosting some type of event as the place was packed. They had a huge buffet set up, but alas it was not for us. We’ve been craving pastries and we never seem to be able to find them on the breakfast menu. One of the waiters must have been reading our minds though. With our toast today were a few choice pieces of pastry. Now we don’t know if they were left over from the buffet but we didn’t care.

    There are a pair of women staying here in one of the other rooms. One of them had told us earlier in the week that she was here from Houston with her friend that was getting extensive dental work done. She said the work entailed her whole mouth and that the total cost was going to be $2500 versus $2500 per quadrant. She told us the dentist was on the corner, but what got Patti interested is that the dentist’s wife had a hair and nail place right next door.

    So on our way back from breakfast Patti stuck her head in the door of the shop. A few moments later the shop owner comes out the front door and goes into the door of the dentist’s office. She began by ringing the buzzer in the waiting area and when that didn’t work she came back onto the street and began rapping on one of the window’s. The window was not latched and it popped inward and she began speaking through it. Message sent she went back to the shop leaving me scratching my head. A few heart beats later our comes a man in a lab coat who heads over to the salon. She had gone to fetch her husband who could better translate for Patti.

    A few minutes pass and “Roger” and my wife reappear. With his assistance Patti had a made a nail appointment for 5:00 that afternoon. Some of you may get the importance of this event.

    We chatted with Roger and he told us he had a sister in the Dallas Fort Worth Area that he missed. He had taught at the dental college as well. I need to have some minor work done so he gave me his card with his personal cell phone number on it. Nice resource.

    We went back to the room to find that the maid that maintains our building had already snuck in and changed our bed and towels. Come to find out later she also moved all my charging cables and iPad into my side stand drawer. We had made an arrangement with Tony that she would only come in once a week to do the bed and we’d get fresh towels every other day. Saves him on labor and us on tips.

    Patti ended up striking up a conversation with “Alex”. She found out that she works 6 days a week with Wednesday off. Tough schedule but I think 6 days is a norm around here. Patti also found out that no paper at all goes in the toilet. This is the first place in Mexico we’ve run into that.

    We needed to get back to cooking more meals for ourselves to save some cost. We headed back to WalMart as it was simple. We walked through and made a couple of meat selections, some fresh vegetables and some instant coffee. There were also some cleaning supplies, paper towels and such that we needed for the kitchen area. Re-provisioned we headed back the few blocks to our room.

    We stashed our food and other items and headed back out for another walk. Merida is very walking friendly. Paseo de Montejo is especially so with it’s wide sidewalks. Being a Saturday you’d expect it to be busy with pedestrians but that was not to be. We virtually had the whole street to ourselves. Patti did end up talking with one of the wandering woman vendors that carries here wears on her back. Today was a day for taking pictures of flowers.
    92B4A6AD-DC6F-4253-8F7E-61F63B2E4AD0.jpeg E1C09CD1-67D4-4D32-BFF9-920EFBB06A98.jpeg 57BE5725-16FD-492D-98AA-E06BC843BA1C.jpeg 2C256E7B-BDEF-49D0-92FF-1A80F49849BF.jpeg

    After about six blocks we noticed that all the southbound traffic was routed off to a parallel street. The last few blocks had been stanchioned off for what we later learned was a bike race which occurs the first Saturday of the month.

    We walked by the mansions again to find which ones were opened for tours. We also walked through the lower levels of one of the Fiesta American Merida, which is one of the grand hotels here. It was approaching the time for Patti’s nail appointment so we headed back north.

    I’ve been fighting with the Android TV in our room. I’ve been trying to log into our Netflix account but can’t seem to get to the log on screen. So, I spent a fruitless hour messing with it. I’ll have to admit defeat and get one of the hotel staff to set it up for me. In the meantime, I’ll have to continue to use my iPad.

    When Patti returned ecstatic about having her nails back to the way she’s been keeping them for years we started to make our dinner.
    F5853B6B-8842-4CA5-8898-EA73CC1CEC5F.jpeg
    02366CC1-CAE6-4F62-B4F3-867311D3A21B.jpeg
    We had picked up a couple of thin NY Strips because we only have a small frypan to use. We seared those and then sautéed some onions and peppers. We set that aside and started a Knorr package with spices and quinoa. We sliced the steak up and put it into the mixture along with the vegetables. Another $30 saved.

    We’ve been looking for a place to watch the Super Bowl. Hennessy’s, where we were the other night is one choice. The other is “Mercado 60” which, surprise is on Calle 60 around 12 blocks south. So around 8 we headed down in that direction to check it out. We’d walked by it before but it had been shuttered.
    27A014B5-F7C7-4AC5-83A3-E8A1B554A326.jpeg

    This place is very cool. It opens wide onto the street but goes back around 200 feet. It is open to the sky almost the entire length. There are a couple of bars, one down front where we perched ourselves and one a third of the way in. There was a band setting up on the stage which is around half way down the opposite side as the bars. What makes this place really unique is there are twelve different “kitchen” creating their own unique food choices. When you sit down your waiter presents you with menus from each place. Very cool.
    8987F85C-1899-4B47-8C0F-E2257FB07D5D.jpeg 26021D6E-AAB4-4254-98D5-01911B8D45A4.jpeg BB9EBE09-8B7D-47D5-A7F9-58DDCE256766.jpeg 7920226A-5336-4145-926A-D254671B7ECE.jpeg
    The place was packed. Couples, groups, families, singles, etc. A few minutes after we had our drinks the band started up. People immediately were up dancing. Not just shaking their bodies but really dancing very intricate steps that did not seem to repeat. It was a site. Patti asked if I’d get up to dance and I said not in that group, I’d look like a total ass. You know in movies when everyone clears the floor to watch a couple really putting on a show, this would be just the opposite, all the good dancers would clear the floor to watch the American make a fool of himself.

    We hung out for around 90 minutes. We each had two drinks, me Mordelo Patti Chardonnay. $13 with tip. I think these were the least expensive drinks we’ve had when we’ve been out. We’ll be back. Unfortunately, they will not be doing anything for the Super Bowl.

    It was a twenty-minute walk back up Calle 60. Even though it was a little late the road was packed with cars and busses. The busses don’t seem to have mufflers and their brakes all seem to squeal to the point we block our ears when they pass. Also, traffic seems to fly at what I consider an unsafe speed. Keep in mind the streets are narrow and on all the side streets so are the sidewalks. So, there is almost no lateral visibility when you come to an intersection yet they fly right through trusting that the cars on the cross streets are going to yield. As a pedestrian your head needs to on a swivel and you need to make sure which direction the cross traffic is coming from remembering every once awhile there is a two-way street. Give me a mountain road with switchbacks please.

    Attached Files:

    #78
  19. danisOTR

    danisOTR GO BIG OR GO HOME Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    573
    Location:
    Vermont
    2/2/2020 Sunday

    Merida

    When I woke up this morning, I was looking at Google maps trying to figure out where some Airbnb’s I’ve been checking out were. I noted that Paseo de Montejo was all shut down.
    0162B92A-FD15-42D1-A022-7561ECD78DB5.png
    After breakfast we struck out to see what was going on. It was a biathlon or cycling and running. It had started at 8:00 and when we arrived they were already a few hours into it. The southbound side of PDM was being used as the bicycle portion and the northbound was being used for the running portion.

    All the side streets leading up to PDM had been blocked off with police at every corner. This is one well organized event. There were race marshals on the course, the water stations and the “bagged” water stations so people could grab a bag and squirt it on themselves. Some of that was going on on the sidelines as well.
    18C3C485-DAD7-4800-9FBB-94C9582AFA16.jpeg 46A88704-1AE3-4D4A-BB89-E11C4083BDFE.jpeg E21836E0-F435-4012-8A56-2A3C5EA03C62.jpeg B292DD9A-3046-4B19-9FA1-9DE998BCAF70.jpeg 20AB0409-A9F1-45F3-8397-DEBE08C4A657.jpeg

    The sidewalks were flanked with vendors selling homemade art as well as ice cream and in one case deep sea fishing tours. The place was the center of activity.


    A little update from the beginning of this post. It was actually the Merida 2020 Tri Athlon. The swim portion was held in Progreso which is a beach town around 3 minutes north of Merida.


    We walked back north on PDM watching the last of the racers finishing up the race. The southbound side of the route where the bicycle portion was set up was already being rolled up and traffic allowed to pass at least part way down PDM.


    We finished our morning walk and headed back to the hotel to hang out until we went out to Hennessy’s to watch the Super Bowl.

    We headed back out around 5 to walk the half mile to Hennessy’s. The temperature had dropped to the low 70’s and it was very dry. It was almost cool. Hennessy’s was packed. They had set up a TV on the front patio and we were fortunate enough to grab the last table furthest from the set.
    F5EE2568-5715-4D42-89C0-4F1C1228F19C.jpeg
    9B05B68C-9233-4E87-B5F3-0BC4BE68FDC3.jpeg

    The crowd was diverse and you could tell pretty easily who was from the states from other tourists and locals. There was a lot of rooting going on for both teams but there was no trash talk.

    We ordered a couple of beers and a pizza and sat back to enjoy the game. It’s funny that the first several plays were being announced in Spanish. But 15 or so minutes in it switched to English. I’m not sure if someone asked to have it switched to an American broadcast but it did make it more enjoyable.
    281F7AFC-0DF7-4501-90F1-22660B7DA1CC.jpeg
    We stayed through halftime and were trying to order more food and drinks but I think they were understaffed for the event. I finally was able to flag our waiter down and got the bill. $21.12 for 4 beers and a pizza.


    We made the walk back and tried to find the game on-line but couldn’t make it happen.

    Attached Files:

    #79
  20. Smidty

    Smidty Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    148
    Location:
    South Africa
    Really enjoying your report, thank you.
    #80
    Golden955 likes this.