Sunday, September 4, 2016

Merida, Mexico

Merida is a capital of Yucatan state. We decide to come here after everyone told us to avoid the super-touristic and overpriced Cancun. It was good choice. Great couchsurfing and beautiful caves where you can swim in clear water (cenotes).

Horsetrain - just in Mexico 

From airport we took public bus to center and we wanted to take another one to our couchsurfing host. Unfortunately to find it was quite hard and when we finally found the correct bus no driver wanted to take us with backpacks. We end up walking maybe 8km to our hosts house which wasn't very pleasant after short night on the airport.

Merida city

This was a bit atypical couchsurfing. Tomy our host have a big house and he is renting rooms to students. He have some rooms free so he decide to help to some travellers and invite us to come and stay. I'm saying atypical because normally we hang out with our hosts quite a lot but this time we just get keys and room for five days and we spend just very little time with Tomy. On one side it's pity but on the other we needed to relax a bit and Tomy gave us a perfect base.

The first day we spend sleeping, the second on beach in Progreso. A nearby beach resort. The beach was a bit disappointment because of the huge amount of seagrass on it. It seems like the seagrass which appear on the beach some two years ago changed everything here. From pristine water into dirty one, from clean beach into quite ugly one and from alive resort into sleepy town.

Progreso beach

Another day was for sightseeing the colonial city center. Its beautiful, clean and safe. Nice churches and plenty of palaces with small free museums or historical interiors. Most of them are build from white stones taken from ruins of Mayan pyramids. All Merida was build on place of ancient Mayan city. But there is nothing left now. There are Mayan pyramids and ruins on many places around but we kept ruins for later and we went to visit another Yucatan attraction. The Cenotes.

Main square of Merida city

Tomy recommended us to visit cenotes in Cuzama. There is a group of three cenotes connected old mule powered railway. It's quite touristic place but most of people is coming on organized tours. We just took colectivo from center of Merida. In the minibus we met thow german girls and aranged to share the horse cart with them. It's slightly overpriced but if shared by four people it's not so bad. The minibus took us quite in the center of Cuzuma town from where we decide to walk about three km to beginning of the railway. The girls took mototaxi and promised to wait for us but they didn't. 

Houses on the way to centoes

The mule guys were pretty strict  They didn't let us to share the mule-cart with locals. And they also didn't let us walk to cenotes. Mexicans pay much less and can share the cart in 6 or 7 people but gringos have to pay much more and can't share. We are quite used to but still those things making us angry. So we decided to find another way. No one realy wanted to help us to find another entrance. There was just a small chance that two another tourists come so we just walked further to next village where we found another mule carts and negotiated slightly better price. 

the only possibility of transport to cenotes - horsetrain

The first cenote was quite boring, more like a cave with lake but the second one was really amazing. And the water was nicely warm so we stayed maybe an hour swimming in.


In Yucatan state we had one more couchsurfing invitation, it was from the town 100km from Merida. Nice Argentinian girl living there on ranch was attracting us for exploring Mayan ruins on her quad. But it wasn't on our way and we had too much comfort in Tomy place that we decided to make one more lazy day instead. 

Tomy's place was perfect :)

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