Enchiladas verdes - Mexico 2005

Travel time: October / November 2005  |  by Daniela Dohmen

Chichen Itzá 25.10.05

Piste, Yucatán

The scenery has definitely changed. Our beloved mountains are gone and in exchange we got flat land with bushes and trees. We left Palenque on Sunday morning and drove north. Although it might sound like a cardinal sin, Silke and I stopped at Burger King by the road and had a burger and chicken fingers plus fries. I have to say that the quality of the food has most definitely changed since we arrived on the Yucatan peninsula. Everything seems to be mainstream, tourist style. Don´t get me wrong. The food is ok but the spices are gone.

We arrived in Merida in the afternoon and stopped at the hotel Dolores Abla, another rec from Silke's extraordinary travel book. As a matter of fact, right now we are staying yet again at the Hotel Dolores Alba located close to the ruins of Chichen Itza:


The price is good - 430 pesos, which is like 21 Euro per person. We also checked out the Club Med <g> but it was just not our style... the paint was red and it felt kinda strange.

I´m getting ahead of myself again. After arriving in Merida, the capital city of the state of Yucatan, we walked around the historical distrinct a bit but we both did not really like the city. Too big, too loud and dirty. So, we decided to only stay two nights. In the evening we met two women from Switzerland (one spoke French, the other German) and had a tri-lingual conversation in French, German and English. It was so much fun.

How decadent is it to dive into the swimming pool before breakfast? The air was clear, already warm and the water felt so wonderful. I swam a few rounds before we tackled the next adventure of the day: The nature park of Celestun.

The small city of Celestun is located about 92 km west of Merida and we arrived there shortly after noon. We hired a boat for one hour and the captain (a young lad named Jose) showed us the area. It was so beautiful and we saw many birds including pelicans and flamingos. The flamingos are the actul highlight of this park. Due to the recent hurricane (and the hurricane season) we only saw about 60 flamingos but in the dry season there are more than 10,000 flamingos in that area. What does that tell us? We have to come back in spring!

Our captain wasn´t in a hurry and he stopped the engine so that we could see the flamingos rather close. We even saw a baby flamingo with white/gray feathers - sleeping on one leg, of course. The water was very shallow and so it happened that we even saw a real crocodile! Just a for a very short moment but it was a croc nonetheless.

We continued our little boat tour through a mangrove (sp?) forest. They grow red mangroves there which means - so we learned - that the water is red. I took some awesome photos of the red water and the sun shining through the tree branches.

Needless to say, the tour ended too soon but ... the memories will stay.

We left Merida this morning and arrived "here" shortly afternoon. The hotel is outside the little village and has two pools and looks just relaxing and cosy. The important thing is that the village has several Internet cafes. Tonight we will go and see the light show of Chichen Itza and tomorrow we will visit the ruins for real.

We don´t know yet what will happen after that. Our plan was to go to the beach but we don´t know yet if the road to Tulum is open again after the hurricane. Tulum is about 150 km south of Cancun.

Well, that´s it for now. We´re both still enjoying this trip, which turned out to be so different than anything we´ve seen before. Different is good. It is hard to believe that next week, on Nov 4th, we will alreaday be on a plane home again.

© Daniela Dohmen, 2007
You are here : Overview The Americas Mexico Chichen Itzá 25.10.05
The trip
2 girls, 1 car, 4 weeks and 5000 kilometres
Start of journey: Oct 09, 2005
Duration: 4 weeks
End of journey: Nov 05, 2005
Travelled countries: Mexico
The Author
Daniela Dohmen is an active author on break-fresh-ground. since 14 years.