I’m Suffering in Yucatan, Mexico

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Stephen F. Dennstedt

I’m suffering in Yucatan, Mexico and nobody seems to care. To put a finer point on it I’m spending a week in Celestun only 1½ hours from Merida (the capital city of Yucatan). This is my fourth visit to the sleepy little fishing village, with its white sand beaches and quaint eateries, and it’s still one of my favorite travel destinations. Don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing to do here except visit the bio-reserve, relax on the beach, indulge in great (cheap) seafood, drink cold beer, smoke Cuban cigars and relax. So it’s tough, really tough.

You know a town is small when they shut off the electricity (to the entire village) from about 10 a.m. in the morning until 4 p.m. in the afternoon to effect repairs—like they did yesterday. Quite the flurry of excitement, or NOT. Anyway, everything is back up and running as we speak. The sun is shinning, the temperature is about 85°F and the Trade Winds are blowing gently. I actually saw two policia strolling through the mercado yesterday but unarmed, smiling and laughing as they patrolled the area and bid me a heartfelt buenos dias señor.

So yesterday I strolled up to the mercado for breakfast at 8:30 a.m. (before the electric power died) and had some ham & eggs (huevos con jamon) rice (arroz) and tortillas and coffee (café). Then I walked along the beach for a while and stopped at the pier to watch the fisherman with their lines and nets. There were none. So I laid down and promptly fell asleep. I returned to my small local hotel where my host Enrique told me about the power outage. I smoked a Cuban cigar on the verandah and continued my relaxation.

Finishing my habano puro (cigar) I went to my room and took a much deserved nap (the nap on the pier was only a short eye rest). At about 3 p.m. I headed to a thatched palapa on the beach (that had a generator going) for an early dinner: cóctel de camarón grande (large shrimp cocktail) and quesadillas con camarón (shrimp quesadillas) and cerveza (ice-cold Dos Equis XX Ambar beer). And tortilla chips and salsa of course. The evening breeze was balmy so I walked up to the central plaza and indulged in another Cuban PUNCH cigar while I people-watched the locals.

Returning to my room after an hour at the plaza I got caught up on some computer/business stuff (the electrical power was back on) and then retired for the evening. I would say plans are the same for today and tomorrow except that I will probably visit the bio-sphere tomorrow. The reserve is a short drive by tuk-tuk (a motor scooter cyclo) and the 2-hour boat excursion is only 200 Mexican pesos ($9.34 usd). I will be here until Friday and then grab the local bus for the short ride back to Merida. See, I really am suffering.

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12 responses to “I’m Suffering in Yucatan, Mexico

    • Tim, frankly I expected more support from a fellow photog. I do these things so you don’t have to. Two kinds of people in this world: givers and takers. Yep, I’m a giver. 🙂

  1. So the Canadian consulat’s advice to only travel in high-volume tourist areas to avoid the outbreak of cartel violence is unnecessary…in your opinion?

    • Well, Yucatan in general, and Merida in particular, is just about the safest place in Mexico. Cartel crime rarely involves tourists or foreigners unless you’re just in the wrong place at the wrong time. And that can happen just as easy in the USA, Canada or Europe. Again, common sense goes a long way in keeping a person safe: don’t get drunk and wander the streets alone at night, don’t do drugs and stay away from the illicit sex trade.

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