Friday, February 24, 2017

Cenotes, Haciendas, Dinosaurs and Circle K Health Food

We're back in Tucson after a long 13 hour day of travel yesterday.  Left hotel at 8 AM. Taxista Juan Jose drove us to the airport.  I sat in front seat so I could hear him better and practice my Spanish. We laughed a lot.  He said he spent 26 years in Charlotte NC building houses but still couldn't speak much English because he wasn't very smart.

Leon/Guanajuato airport very sleek and modern like all the other Mexican airports we've traveled through. Trip to Mexico City only took one hour on Interjet.  Interjet still provides free booze and lots of legroom.  Much better than the cramped Volaris flight we took from Merida to Mexico City.

Walk from arrival baggage area to American Airlines check-in was nearly two miles in a straight line over a slippery, highly polished marble floor.  American flight to Phoenix was an easy 3.5 hours. The hardest part was paying $50 to check our bags.  Arrgh!

Greeted in Phoenix Sky Harbor airport ("America's Friendliest Airport") by a purple coated, senior citizen volunteer shouting "CONNECTING FLIGHTS AND MAIN TERMINAL UP THE ESCALATOR".  We were looking for our baggage so we kept on walking straight.  He turned toward us and started yelling again "CONNECTING FLIGHTS AND MAIN TERMINAL UP THE ESCALATOR".  Dorothy tried to tell him we didn't have a connecting flight.  He got frustrated and yelled, "LADY THAT'S WHAT I'M TRYING TO TELL YOU BUT YOU'RE NOT LISTENING!"
Whew,...We went up the escalator.  Welcome back.

Rented a car in Phoenix and made the 2.5 hour, 75 mph, trip south to Tucson cruising on a caffeine buzz from an afternoon coffee.  Picked up some tequila, beer, chips, fried tortillas and a chicken salad sandwich at a Circle K in Marana.   Pulled into our very cool AirBnB fried and hungry. Chugged and chewed our way through the aforementioned Circle K provisions and crashed.

Which brings things to present wherein I'm realizing it's a hell of a lot easier to write about what happened yesterday than it is to try to capture what went on several weeks ago. But fools rush in...

I previously mentioned that while we were in Merida we went on three day long tours,  One was to the Mayan sites of Uxmal and Kabah which I've already written about.  The second tour was to Hacienda Yaxcopoil and to several cenotes.

The website link for the hacienda gives a pretty good overview but fails to mention that this and the other Yucatan haciendas (some 1000) which brought so much wealth to it's owners were made possible by the virtual slave labor of the local Mayan population.

Dorothy and Ferd at entrance to Hacienda Yaxcopoil
The hacienda, like virtually all of the Yucatan relies on cenotes to provide fresh water.

This hacienda is near the heart of the Chicxulub crater,  which was caused by a six mile wide asteroid slamming into the Yucatan 66 million years ago.  It's widely believed that the climate changes resulting from this impact led to the extinction of the dinosaurs.

The Wikipedia link on cenotes is very complete and interesting. It was a thrill to be able to swim in one.  The water was cool and clean and it felt magical to glide through an ancient, sacred place that glowed with light coming through a small entrance hole above.

Next post - Flamingos!

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