Tagged: Yucatan

The lure of small towns

Valladolid took me by surprise. A really simple town with nothing much to do but it had a certain vibe that kept you there. I got off the bus and while it the terminal was in the middle of the town, there were hardly any people lurking around. Get out of the bus terminal, walk across the street and buy a glass of sugarcane juice while asking the guy for recommendations for places to stay and go and find the place. Then head over to the mercado central, buy a couple of bananas, eat the greasiest tacos ever and finish off the evening with a leisurely stroll in the park until its dark and the church bells ring.

Ek Balam: Hindu Gods in Maya territory?

In addition to the fact that the Acropolis is a structure with 108 steps (108 is a spiritually significant number for eastern religions) and a temple at the top, the surfaces of the acropolis has a number of rooms with stucco statues that look like winged gods. There are some more statues showing divine figures standing or sitting in mudras that are commonly seen in Hindu/Buddhist temples

Chichén Itzá: Run over by tour groups, yet enjoyable

Due to its proximity to Cancun and Mexico’s party zone, this place attracts a huge amount of tourists. Most tourists visit Chichen Itza get picked up from their resorts, driven to this site by luxury buses and get dropped back in the evening after some souvenir shopping, in a very insular form of tourism.

I think it’s really difficult to NOT like Chichen Itza if you can ignore the crowds esp

Hitchhiking disappointments in Yucatan

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).

Slithering in the Rain: Uxmal’s Maya ruins

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.

Mexican tuk-tuks made-in-India

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

When the bus breaks down

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.

Photo Friday 02.08: Learning Spanish

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.

Montezuma’s revenge in Yucatan’s capital

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