Monday, November 14, 2011

Cooking Class for Cruisers

So here's the idea: you get off your cruise ship all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and are whisked away to our home, where you will have the opportunity to learn how to cook something typically Yucatecan, complete with handmade corn tortillas and plenty of wine, beer or perhaps a natural fruit 'agua'.

Interesting? Contact me and let's plan your culinary adventure!

Merida to Sotuta de Peon and on to Uxmal

While this trip has been mentioned before, I thought I would do a little write up again, since is has been a while since I have made this trip.



I picked up my victims err guests at the Fiesta Americana hotel; Mom and her two boys. Eating cookies in the back seat we drove through an awakening Sunday morning Merida to get to the periferico aka beltway and continued along that uneventfully until coming to the turn off for Sotuta de Peon (exit 4). Driving through the villages, pointing out coconut, banana and other assorted tree varieties as well as haciendas both restored and abandoned we arrived at Sotuta de Peon with enough time to visit the washrooms and have an orange tossing contest (there were oodles of freshly dropped off the tree oranges all over the ground) until our hands smelled like a Florida citrus farm.



At 10 AM, Jorge took us on the excellent as usual tour of the hacienda, the rope making machinery, the Mayan house with the world-reknowned Don Antonio and finally the refreshing cenote, always a hit with the kids and today was no exception. Luckily the other members of the tour were French and older, and did not want to swim so the cenote was all for us. Swimming here was probably the highlight of the tour, especially for the boys.



Then, lunch at the Yucatecan restaurant where there were no displays of finicky-ness so common among todays youngsters. These boys attacked the cheese empanadas, the poc chuc and the cochinita pibil with such gusto that it warmed the Yucatecan part of this foreigners heart. Also on the table were an order of queso relleno and pavo en escabeche which were very much enjoyed.



From Sotuta de Peon we drove to Uxmal via Uayalceh (an abandoned hacienda crumbling before our very eyes) as well as several other small towns. This afforded us to observe the Sunday ritual in each and every pueblo along the way: the baseball game. Some men were still playing, others had finished and were already starting on the drinking portion of the ritual, and all the ladies and young girls were watching the men and/or gossiping along the rock walls around the baseball fields.



Arriving at last at Uxmal, the sallow-faced receptionist at the Villas Arqueologicas (I have yet to see a welcoming smile and some empathetic courtesy at this hotel) did his unsmiling check-in spiel and the family was all set to have me finally leave them in the company of Chaac the rain god who was threatening to send a little love our way before the days end.



On the highway back to Merida, I noticed many black birds congregating along the roadside and thought they were just regular xkaues, or grackles. But no, when they flew up as cars passed by, I noticed they were blue! Some sort of jay perhaps?



And finally, where else but in the friendly Yucatan can you stop a man carrying a shotgun on a lonely stretch of back road and ask for directions to a hidden cenote and have him smilingly and enthusiastically give you explicit directions on how to find it?



A great day!