Monthly Archives: November 2013

Dia de los Muertos – November 1&2

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San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas,  is where I experienced Day of the Dead.  It didnt offer the special activities found in Oaxaca or Patzcuaro; but I found it interesting enough.

Throughout the city, every restaurant, hotel, store,  public place, etc set up beautiful alters in many different forms.  They all included flowers, fruits, and other food, and a photo of the deceased person being honoured.040043 san christoble de las casas 038san christoble de las casas 064

Families take this time to visit the grave site of departed family members.  It is a time to clean the grave, freshen it up, etc.  I visited the only cemetary in San Cristobal which almost seemed like a small town with the many buildings there.  Unlike the majority of our gravesides in Canada, here there are some very elaborate structures.027014

Everywhere there were fresh flowers.022

A few families were visiting on the gravesite, sharing food, etc.031

One family even had some live Marimba music and dancing.017

In San Juan Chamula, a traditional town nearby, to commerate Day of the Dead, they keep the church bells ringing for these two days.070

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I volunteered to help pull the bells, but was told no because I was a woman.100

Halloween is celebrated almost as much as Day of the Dead in San Cristobal.  For several days prior, there were children trick or treating, parades in the main streets, etc.             san christoble de las casas 103

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Day of the Dead was a special celebration to experience and very much brought to mind my own departed family members.

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The Colonial City of Merida, Yucatan

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Merida has many beautiful colonial style buildings.  As well there are many for sale or rent, some needing upgrading.yucutan 051

The main cathedral located in a large plaza that is always busy with lots of street food, entertainment, etc.yucutan 055yucutan 052

I was fortunate to be there during the Mayan Festival, with many free cultural events in the many theatres there – art, dance, music, theatre,  I enjoyed seeing the Mexican National Ballet presentation,

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One of the highlights of my stay was the wonderful swimming pool at my hostel, Nomadas, centrally located – a great deal for ten bucks a night.

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Our pool was just as nice as the $100/night hotel next door.  The garden in the hostel was beautiful as well…a sanctuary for iguanas and gods…merida 018

The hostel offered a variety of activities…salsa lessons, yoga, trova music in the evening and a wonderful cooking class providing a dinner for only $1.50.  I learned how to make a delicious pumpkin sauce from Daniel, our chef instructor who studied cooking in Toronto.  merida 041

Even while travelling, I still have to do laundry, usually by hand…yucutan 033

and to keep the costs down, grocery shopping which offers new things to try…yucutan 043yucutan 044

I took a side trip to Sisal, a sleepy beach town on the coast about an hour from Merida.  I went to check out a beach house for rent.yucutan 066yucutan 061

Somehow it felt alittle too sleepy….but cheaper than the Mayan Rivera.yucutan 068

Valliodad and Isla Holbox, Yucatan

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From Leon, I flew to Cancun and then took a 3 hour bus ride to visit a friend, Manon, living in Valliodad – a town of approx 45,000.  A very mexican town with few tourists, I enjoyed sitting in the park around the corner from my friends house, watching the families in the cool evenings.  The children liked riding in these little cars that could be rented there.

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My friend rented a lovely little colonial house for very reasonable rent.

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We visited the San Lorenzo Cenote – sinkholes found all over the Yucatan penisula.  Some are at ground level, and others deep in the ground, with stairs to get to the water.

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From Valliodad, I went next to Isla Holbox, on the northern tip of the Yucatan penisula.  Chiquila, the place to catch the ferry was a little out of the way.  It took a bus, taxi collective, bicycle rickshaw, and another bus to reach there.

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A little boy had a good business running to the store to buy us beer while we waited for the boat to leave.

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The Tribu Hostel where I stayed had some interesting artwork on the walls.  merida 012

Unfortunately it rained and the flooded streets were difficult to navigate, so I only stayed 2 nights.

Back on the bus to Merida – 5 hours with some entertainment.

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