Mérida no le gustan los gatos!!!

15 Nov

Hey everybody, we are O.K.!!

Yesterday rolled out like this:

We woke up, prepared for the day and made our way out of rush hour in Villahermosa.  Normal traffic is intense but rush hour was an adrenalin junky’s dream! With driving skills forged in the depths of Mexico (and a GPS) it turned out to be no problem and within half an hour we were leaving the urban landscape behind.  We were driving through thick marshland/jungle, dotted with what seemed like a million ponds and lakes.  These bodies of water were in turn dotted by giant lily pads with beautiful lily flowers as far as you could see.  The local cattle were still grazing the land but now they had to contend with shoulder deep water, and in some fields only the backs and heads of the cattle were visible among the lilies, pelicans and white/blue herons.  We met up with the cost again as we headed for Ciudad Del Carmen and the small chain of islands along the inner gulf cost.  Our journey had taken us as far South as we were going to get and the cars compass slowly turned to North East as we rounded the gulf  headed for the Yucatán Peninsula.  We left the marsh behind us and were greeted by miles of beaches and fishing villages, connected by bridges over the ocean several kilometers long.  The locals here literally had the ocean as their back yard (see pictures below)!!  The air was filled with clouds of butterflies and giant iridescent dragonflies so thick they almost cast a shadow over the road.  The temperatures soared to the mid 30’s and the bright sun shimmered through the palms.  The bushes, trees and plants were covered in flowers and the view was one stolen from a dream.  When we started back to the mainland and towards the colonial city of Mérida, the easy laid back pace we had enjoyed turned more into a trail of patience.  As the hills and jungle surrounded us again so did the sights and sounds of over 200 km of construction zones! Literally the entire country of Mexico is under construction!  From the Government issued signs on the side of the roads we could tell that by the time we return to Canada, almost all highways we took through Mexico should be freshly paved and twined.  Great for then, sucks for now!  Somehow we had been waved through every police and military check point so far except for one right after we had crossed the border.  That scenario was no longer the case. When we rolled into Mérida at sundown we had been stopped, questioned and searched 6 times already.  We were over prepared for these potential situations and since we had all our paper work in order, the stops just turned out to be a minor annoyance.  Also our cats might have had something to do with getting through smoothly.  It was hilarious to watch several grown men, dressed in full body armour and packing automatic machine guns complete with grenade launchers, stop and swoon over our cats.  At the check stops they would tap on our back windows to get the cat’s attention then make kissy faces and talk in baby talk.  It made us feel safer that behind all the artillery bunkers and camo where a bunch of normal guys just trying to make their country safer for everyone so they could love their gatos in peace.  Mérida was a whole other story.  We weaved through the narrow stone streets between the tightly packed colonial buildings and made it to our “pet friendly” hotel to find out they only accept small dogs.  What?!  So we went from hotel to hotel and eventually found out that no Hotel or Motel in Mérida would accept gatos!  We had already been on the road over 9 hours and it had been dark for 2 already.  We were exhausted so we pulled over at Mexico’s version of Starbucks called Italian Coffee Company (very generic sounding).  There we enjoyed some coffee and used the Wi-Fi.  It was either sleep in our car our push it the rest of the 350 km to Playa del Carmen.  After the Caffeine cleared our minds we hit the roads with a vengeance.  Luckily all the construction was finished between Mérida and Playa, and the  speed limits were 110 km/hour.  We headed due East and plunged into the misty jungle of the peninsula.  The air temperature had fallen to 23 degrees as we left Mérida but quickly spiked to 28 as we forged into the canopy.  It was an amazing drive.  Huge bats swooped across the road way and the jungle fog thickened the air.  There was so much humidity that we had to use the wipers to clear the windshield as if it were raining.  We rounded the corner by Cancun airport and were suddenly in familiar territory.  The statues, signs and fountains that populate the hotel belt flew by and we made it to our destination by 10:30 pm.  I stopped at the first hotel in Playa and they were incredibly helpful.  They did not accept pets but they promptly found us a hotel that did, called ahead and gave us a map with instructions.  We left with smiles on our faces and the lure of a comfortable room in our minds.  The cars trip counter showed over 12 hours of travel when we arrived at the Hotel In Fashion and we were exhausted!  We  paid a whopping 170 USD to stay the night.  It was worth every penny because the hotel turned out to be one of the coolest ones I have every seen!   Today we head for the dock to catch the 1:30 pm boat to Cozumel.  We feel like we will need a weeks sleep at our waiting apartment to feel rested.  Im sure our cats feel the same way.

El viaje está casi terminado!

Our hotel in Villahermosa

The white things are lily flowers

Best backyard pool ever!

This bridge spanned 4 km of open ocean!

Made it!!

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One Response to “Mérida no le gustan los gatos!!!”

  1. Nicole November 15, 2011 at 10:33 pm #

    Wow sounds like you guys had a pretty great adventure, so jealous and happy you made it safe. Love the pictures! Who knows maybe we’ll actually make it out to see you and by than you’ll be locals!

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