A kid screams from the window of the first car that zooms past. I stand at that spot for 15 minutes, making a sign at every soul that drives past, determined to catch a ride. A dozen cars and pickup trucks pass but other than some enthusiastic waves, some shrugging, some fishy looks and a mandarin peel, I get nothing.
Other than sunglasses and a backpack, there is nothing quite touristy about my attire and while I have some golden coloured hair, I certainly don’t have a white-guy look at all. I quickly put my shades away, put the backpack on the ground and resume the wait with a bright smile and sparkle in my eyes (the sun is strong).
There is nothing more disappointing to an independent traveller than arriving at a popular tourist site and finding it filled with busloads of tour groups. I like to have the vastness and emptiness of archeological ruins all to myself and don’t mind sharing it with a select few who, just like me, have worked hard to get there first thing in the morning.
Autorickshaws, also known as tuk-tuks in the west, are quite ubiquitous on Indian streets. I saw lots of made-in-India Bajaj auto rickshaws in the villages in Yucatan. It was kinda funny
I packed before going to bed last night so that I could wake up early and leave without disturbing other people in my dorm. I hate to be the guy who wakes everyone up at 5am in the morning. Merida was beautiful at dawn, a bit foggy, with birds flying around and women sweeping the streets and raising a cloud of dust. I hurriedly made my way to the bus station.
While walking in Mérida’s tourist centre, I saw a bunch of such plaques at street intersections. Along with street names, there were these signs with pictures of animals, people and other subjects and their Spanish names.
Most streets in Merida’s downtown core were pedestrian-only, so there were lots of food carts, performers and tourists. I ate lot of yummy greasy street food.
It was getting late and I didn’t have a place to stay. That’s when I heard it. Gentle rumbling sounds from my tummy; sounds that I feared. I checked hostel #1 – it was full. I kept walking while the activity in my stomach intensified. Now it sounded like ferocious ocean waves hitting rocks on the seashore, except that it was nowhere as pleasant. I needed to find a place
From the central highlands of Mexico, I reached Yucatan and checked out some cities and ruins between Merida and Cancun.
Chichen Itza and Valladolid were my biggest surprises. The former is one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, which I thought was just okay and the later is a small town with nothing particularly exciting, yet I felt drawn to it