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Water dissolving, and water removing

The city of Valladolid, just inside Yucatan state with Quintana Roo to the east, had been of interest to me for some time, being as it is tropical, has colonial history, is central to many Mayan archaeological sites and is surrounded by cenotes – sinkholes formed when subterranean limestone has been dissolved in water, leaving underground caverns connected to each other across the Yucatan Peninsula. In some cases the 'rooves' have collapsed, allowing vegetable matter and other refuse in, along with sunlight and thus algae, making the water less than appealing. In other cases the rooves are intact, and the water is incredibly pure, save for minerals.

Mother, Nae and I arrived in Valladolid and found it to be much smaller and more relaxed that Campeche or Merida (and being more relaxed than Campeche is impressive). Our accommodation on the northern fringes of town, which was walking distance from the centre, was the Hacienda Sanchez. We had suspicions regarding its authenticity as an historical hacienda, but it had charms enough, including a large collection of heavily-weathered old muskets, lever-action and bold-action rifles, with which Naomi humoured me by listening to my descriptions. It had a small car museum of which the stand-out attraction was a Soviet Москвич. It was here that we saw an actual tarantula, dying though it was, and we bemused the night porter lady by standing around and staring at it.

Valladolid's beautiful Cathedral on the main square is surrounded by palm trees. Around it are yellow stuccoed colonial single story buildings, and as I think back to it now my mind plays Cuban salsa music, though clearly that was not playing at the time. Maybe it's because I was listening to Cuban salsa in the car today, and probably because I like salsa more than the $%&*ing banda music that was almost certainly playing. In any case, the whole feel is tropical. There were even ice-cream cones eaten as we lazily walked through.

East of the main square is the Cenote Zací, which is 45 metres in diameter, with water, in parts, 100 metres deep. Being of the variety with a partially collapsed ceiling, the water is quite manky, though it has fish in it and is surrounded by ferns on the open side, and the remaining ceiling has stalactites, making it somewhat visually appealing. That said, my cenote dreams were not fulfilled.

However, overlooking the cenote is a bar under a large palapa (and I congratulate myself on remembering that word) which sold various locally-made boozes called xtabentún, made with aniseed and honey. Really, it was a very stereotypical trip to tropical paradise, and I have quite fond memories of Valladolid.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Mar. 3rd, 2013 09:54 am (UTC)
Hey...
Not a bad read...

Hope life's good. :-) Sounds like you're in the right place.

Cheers,
Codes
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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