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For those of you interested, this can be done in one day.
Leaving Merida at 7:30 AM, the LawsonMobile and it's guest left Merida for Chichen Itzá where we arrived just a few minutes after 9:00 which allowed for unhampered viewing of the ruins and crowd-less photography if one is interested in taking pictures without the herds of red-faced Cancun tourists. An additional plus is that the pesky vendors are still setting up shop and are not in your face with their not-typical trinkets like they are after 11 AM or so.
A couple of hours later, back towards Merida with a stop in Izamal and a visit to the convent/monastery/church. At this time, just after Easter, notice the 3 wooden crosses still standing where presumably there was an Acanceh-style ceremony depicting the last moments of Jesus Christ. Even though it was Semana Santa and supposedly there is a lot of Mexican tourism, Izamal was quiet and the horse-drawn carriages were lined up and waiting for something to do or someone to hire them. It occurred to me that these poor horses were awfully bored and had nothing to munch on, or even water to drink. Perhaps it might behoove (no pun intended) the owners of said beasts to have a bucket of water and one of oats so the animals have something to look forward to when they are standing around in the 100 degree (F) heat. As it is, they are on the hot pavement, staring alternately at the hot pavement and the back of the calesa in front of them.
FYI, this trip took about 6 hours and we were back in Merida, passing through a brush fire just outside of Izamal, by 2:00 PM.
Well isn't this just the coolest thing! Thanks to my good friend Ellen over at YucatanLiving who mentioned my always entertaining driving service to a reporter doing a story about Merida, William Lawson got a mention in a recent article on Merida at New York Magazine online!
A young boy from nearby Cuzama, also visiting Aktun Ha cenote
I had the opportunity to take Kristin and friends to the now-famous Chunkanan cenote tour, where you have 3 cenotes in a row to visit and swim in. Of course, it's Semana Santa time in Mexico and Mexicans are traveling, meaning that there was a one and a half hour wait to get a truck to take us on the tour.
Meanwhile, the 3 brave ladies took advantage of the wait time and visited nearby and scary Aktun Ha cenote, where you descend (after paying your $) on a precarious ladder made of welded-together Decauville railway tracks, about 30 feet into a beautiful cavern filled with stalagmites and stalagtites and blue water. This is NOT for the easily-frightened or those afraid of heights (or anyone with Canadian or American sensibilities about what is safe and what is not)
Recent visitors from the Monday Carnival cruise ship, who originally planned on seeing Sotuta de Peon, found that due to the difference in US and Mexican time (here the time change occurs 3 weeks later for some illogical reason) there simply wasn't enough time to see Sotuta so we visited downtown Merida instead.
Above, a photo of the malecon in Progreso on cruise ship day. Below, some photos of the cathedral and Santa Lucia church.
The LawsonMobile is still available for private round trip wine and cheese transportation to the Elton John concert tomorrow in Chichen Itzá. Cost for up to 3 people comfortably (4 ppl with one on the hump): $495 USD. Includes chilled white wine and cheese platter so you arrive happy!
Read all about Chichen Itzá and the latest big news; that it was sold! Click here! (image from the same website)