Sunday, December 10, 2023

 Celestun, Yucatán, Mexico      December 10, 2023

Today was hard and long.  I was up about 5 - slept in! and checked out of my hotel by 7:30.  I walked to the Santa Maria to leave my backpack because I couldn’t check in until 3 pm.  I then walked another mile to the bus depot and waited for half an hour until departure for Celestun-

It was a nice bus but no bathroom which is good and bad.  During a three hour trip, a person needs a toilet but they become smelly and I feel badly for the people sitting closest to them because sometimes you can even smell them towards the front.  

I got a front single seat and watched the road-

Mérida is 82 km from Celestun-

How on earth can it take 3 hours?  Topes, topes  and more topes as well as people flagging us down constantly and others wanting to get off.  I spoke with the bus driver and he said a friend of his would be at the depot in Celestun to take me to see the flamingoes.  Sure enough he was and said it was truly better to go in a tuk- tuk rather than a boat because I would see more from the shore and the tide was high so I believed him and away we went. The bus driver agreed.  Why I trusted these guys I don't know but it turned out ok.

First, I wanted to eat so Enrique took me to a restaurant on the beach-

Looking back at the restaurant-

I had fish which was fine but nothing special although I did enjoy the fried plantains.  I usually don’t-

We headed to the boat area and I couldn’t get over the filth-

This is by far the dirtiest place I’ve seen in Mexico!  We drove to see the pink/red water, which is natural, not pollution-

Foliage along the way-

They pull salt out of the water-

Initially it is pink-

But after about 2 weeks because of the elements it changes to white-


By this time the mosquitoes had shown up so Enrique sprayed me with some “all natural” product that was good for nothing.  

We went to what he called the petrified forest but I call it drowned trees.  He knew the bugs would be bad so he smudged using an egg carton-

We went to a hacienda that was destroyed by hurricane Alberto in 1986-

Enrique said until that time, the water was 600 meters from shore.  It hasn’t been the same since-

We drove back through the boats-

He said they all go out everyday.  That’s a lot of fish!  He took me to the main square so I could take a collectivo home instead of the bus because the trip is half the time but because it’s Domingo, there are no collectivos.  I went to the bus depot to catch the hourly bus but on Sundays there is no #p2:30 bus just a 3:30 one so I had a bit of time to kill.  

In front of the church were decorated bikes and tuk-tuks celebrating La Virgen-

Inside the church-

So many flowers!  There were banners from the Virgen de Guadalupe celebration-

I found a patio for a beer but a big wind/storm came up and started flipping the chairs over so we moved everything inside.  How can this happen?

The bus was next door so at 3:22 I decided I better go to it and luckily got one of the last two seats. For the next 2 1/2 hours not only were the seats filled but the aisle as well. Some people had to stand just about the whole way home. I was so lucky. The guy sitting beside me was sprawled out on half my seat and I wasn’t backing down so our legs and arms touched all the way home, which was fine with me because people were pulling out their coats and I was in my tank top and shorts but he kept me warm!

My hotel is fine but of course it doesn’t quite look like the professional photos-

and the pool is drained because of a maintenance issue-

I’m on the fourth floor and I don’t think I’m going to hear a rooster crowing here!

I leave for Valladolid at noon tomorrow.

P.S.  I kind of have a sad feeling right now, because I am able to move along, but the people in the shops  and restaurants rely on tourists to keep coming and to keep buying. To me, it would be so boring to be sitting out in front of a store day and night hustling and hoping someone will choose your store over the other four or five identical ones along the same street. I am very lucky to live where I do and to have had the opportunities I have had. May I never forget that. 

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