July 15 - 26. We have just spent 12 amazing days in Mexico. We travelled with Rachel, Steven, Rebecca and Joseph Hart to the Yucatan Peninsula - here a few of the highlights. We arrived in Merida to beautiful sunshine - this would be our base for the next 6 days. Our first day of touring took us to Yaxcopoil, a very quaint abandoned Hacienda town, then on to Uxmal where we toured some incredible ruins. Our driver and guide was knowledgeable and great with the kids. After spending a few hours in Uxmal, our guide took us to a local restaurant where we saw the pollo pibil being cooked in the ground. Our first flavour of Mexican cuisine was a huge hit. After lunch we had a rare privilege to visit with a Mayan family in Santa Helena. Senor Felix is a local healer and he welcomed us to his home. While is wife cooked tortillas and his grandson slept soundly in a hammock, Senor Felix explained the Mayan life and showed us around his hut and gardens. It was a moving and touching afternoon. The rest of our travels for the week took us to the Cenotes in Cuzama where we were taken deep into the forest on tracks with horse drawn trolleys and we swam in the fresh water filled cavern; the coastal town of Celestun, were we took a river tour, and saw hundreds of flamingos, pelicans and other local birds, went through a tunnel of mangroves, and swam in the Ojo de Agua, where the fresh water meets the ocean. While staying in Merida we enjoyed the colonial city and the street fair that takes place every Sunday.We ate rabbit and cochinita pibil, visited small pueblos and market places, bought local crafts from the Mayan street vendors, tried cucarachas and tequila, and, with every meal, ordered quatro frias, por favor (4 cold ones please). On Monday July 21 it was time to move on to the second part of our trip - the Mayan Riviera! Our driver was at our hotel by 8:30 to take us on our journey. En route to Playa Del Carmen, we stopped in Chichen Itza, "One of the New Seven Wonders of the World". These ruins are remarkable, but much more touristy and commercial than what we had become accustomed too. It is best to get to these ruins early (as we did) to beat the crowds. After lunch in Valladolid, we were en route to our final destination. Playa del Carmen is a picturesque beach town 60km south of Cancun. We stayed a block south of the pedestrian street La Quinta Avenida (5th Avenue). For the next 6 days, this was our base. While enjoying some down time hanging out by the pool and at the beach club with Pepe mixing up the perfect margarita while the children played in the waves and David went scuba diving in Cenotes, we also found time for some cultural experiences. We spent a morning in Coba touring the natural ruins and climbing one of the tallest ruins still open for climbing; Rachel, Steven, Tina and Taylor braved the small stone steps to the top. We had lunch in Tulum, swam in the Great Cenotes, and spent time in Xcaret, an "eco Maya" type of theme park. Playa del Carmen was a nice and relaxing way to end a wonderful, eventful, cultural trip.
Hello All. This is our outpost on the web to try and keep our far flung family and friends posted on our family happenings.
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