Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Visit to Sisal

I must confess that I have never been to Sisal. Amazing but true.

Sisal is located on the western side of the Yucatan peninsula, about 55 kilometers from Merida. It was once the main port of the Yucatan, and all the henequen fiber left this port, destined for the United States and Europe. When it arrived at its destination, the containers bearing the stamp "Sisal" which referred to the port of origin, caused some confusion and people began calling the fiber sisal, a term used to this day.

What I found in Sisal is a little fishing village with a newly reconstructed pier, home to some cormorants, a pelican or two and plenty of vacationers (Easter week) enjoying a sunny albeit very windy day. Families strolling the pier, others doing some line-fishing from the leeward side of the concrete pier and still others sticking out like sore thumbs (yours truly) taking photographs. Near the beach the strong wind whipped up the sand which stings people's arms, legs and faces like thousands tiny needles, sort of like a really random acupuncturist going all out.

There is a decent beach, some restaurants serving the usual Yucatecan seafood options, a colonial building that was once a customs house (that's what the sign says) and a cannon lying on the side of the road. I didn't see any signs of a fort, but there are several colonial era buildings that are in complete ruin and beyond any hope of getting a restoration.

Here are a few photos:

The pier at Sisal

View of the beach from the pier

Fish!

The days catch, so far

It's hard keeping your hair in place with all this wind!

Families enjoying a day of fishing

Customs building from the beach

Coca Cola

The former customs building

When parking, be careful not to hit the random cannon on the side of the road.  You'd think this would be in a museum or something!