Last day in Valladolid - We'll Follow the Sun - CycleBlaze

December 28, 2018

Last day in Valladolid

Have you figured out how to say it yet?

We began our last day here in Valladolid (it's pronounced vayadoLEED in case you wanted to know) with a trip out to another cenote. There are several within biking distance and we pondered over which to visit.  We chose a private one as there was a hotel with a restaurant and pool that we could pay to use as well.  It seemed like a good idea - head out early, play in the cenote, have some breakfast and lounge around the pool.  Since we planned on eating there (its only 3 km from town), we didn't bother bringing any food or water with us.  Oops!  We headed out of town and down to the turnoff for the hacienda with the cenote.  Only problem was, when we got to the turn off, it was.....another long, dirty, rocky road!  Oh no!!! What is it with these roads!!!  We don't really mind riding on dirt roads, but these ones are just treacherous with large rocks, deep ruts and loose dirt.  We stopped to look on the map to see how far we would have to go and it was a looooong way, so, on to plan B.  Yes, I had a plan B today.  If we just kept on the road we were on before, we would come out onto a road that would lead around to a couple of other cenotes we had considered.  So, down the road we went (this was following a road on Google Map, just to be clear - you'd think I would know by now, wouldn't you?).  As we rode along, we noticed that there was more garbage strewn on the side of the road than we had seen before - a lot more.  Then, suddenly, in front of us was the city dump!!!  What??????  No road went through here, stupid Google!!!!!  Grrr!!!!

By now I was regretting the decision to not bring either food or water.  We backtracked up to the highway and found the correct road that would lead to the cenotes.  Thankfully we were able to cycle along the bike path we had been on when coming into town, and then onto another bike path that did eventually lead to the two cenotes.  While we were paying to use both, we were told they had a deal where we could also pay for lunch - score!!!  We gladly paid and then were told that lunch would be ready in two hours!!  Oh boy!  I seriously wasn't sure I would be able to enjoy swimming on my very very empty stomach, but we made our way to the first one to have a look.  Thankfully, on the way there we ran into the ever present vendors and we happily paid for a fresh coconut and some cookies - not the best breakfast food, but it gave us the boost we needed.

Best coco frio (cold coconut) ever!
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Snack eaten, we entered the first centote.  Down down down the dark damp stairs we went until we were in the dimly lit and very quiet cenote.  There were about 4 people there and they were just leaving, so for a while we had the entire place to ourselves!  It was amazing!  The water was refreshingly cool and there were ropes strung along across the water so you could swim out and never feel that you weren't able to grab on for a rest.  We enjoyed swimming under the gigantic stalactites - the attendant had to remind Jim not to touch them - oops!  A couple of them went right down to the water.  There were also long roots hanging down, looking like ropes you could swing from but I'm pretty sure that was also not allowed (we didn't try).  The attendant took our picture for us and we eventually came out just as a large group was coming in.  It was an amazing adventure!

Down I go!
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We made our way over to the second cenote, which was a bit more crowded than the first (well, anything would be crowded after that!).  Interestingly, most of the people were standing along the railings watching others swim.  We wasted no time in getting down to the water and heading out.  There was a bit more light in this one but it was still mostly covered by rock overhead.  It is just an incredible experience swimming like this and we both paddled around until our fingers were all wrinkly.

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That's light coming in from the sun
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The hole at the top
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Having totally enjoyed our cenote experience, we headed off to find the restaurant and lunch. Once we were seated, we were given the menu.  It turned out we had paid for an entire big meal - soup, appetizers, main dish, dessert and a drink!  Oh my goodness!  The food was delicious and we tried our best to eat as much as we could so that when we finished we had to go and sit for a while before we were able to climb back onto the bikes for the ride back.

Pretty pleasant cycling once you know where to go!
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Coming back to our hostel, we met up with Gedeao who is working here for a time.  He and his wife, Nizia are from Brazil and have travelled around North America for a few years.  They have settled in Valladolid to await the birth of their first child, David, who is due in about two weeks time.  Gedeao is such a boistrous and happy person and has really made our stay here so much better just by his seemily eternal happiness.  He and Nizia plan on continuing to travel for a few more years, hopefully adding another child to their family as they see the world.  What an amazing way to show a child that they are part of a wider planet than just one place - truly inspiring!  Gedeao is also an artist, selling some of his art at the hostel and painting murals around the building as well.  We wish them both well with the birth of their son and good adventures in the future!

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Gedeao gave us this one that he did. It's so lovely and reminds us of the many central parks in the Yucatan that we have loved.
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His mural on the wall of the hostel of the local church
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We had a little snooze, having worn ourselves out from our centote adventures and awoke at 5 to the sounds of sirens.  Living in a big city, it is nothing to hear sirens and we didn't think much of it at first, but they continued on and on and we began to worry that something was wrong.  A check of the usually quiet street outside our hostel added to our concerns as there was a steady stream of traffic heading away from the city centre.  By now more than a little worried, we ventured down to ask the woman who runs the hostel what was going on. Oh, nothing, she reassured us.  It's just the paseo at city centre.  I guess they shut the square down to traffic (thus all the traffic going down our street) to have a little parade around the square, complete with sirens blazing.  Honestly, this had gone on for about an hour by then!  We would have walked over to have a look, but Jim's toe was really bothering him, so we had to content ourselves with a short walk to the park across from our hostel.  It is odd.  Jim's toe was fine for cycling as the shoes have a stiff sole, and when we was barefoot it was also fine.  It only bothered him when he had to walk in his sandals.  I hope it clears up before we want to climb the pyramid in Coba!

We went to the park as we had seen a little Italian restaurant there and wanted to give it a try on our last night.  It didn't open until 7:00 so we and several other couples sat comfortably in the late afternoon heat to wait.  When the doors were finally opened, we walked in to find that there was a lovely courtyard that we could sit in to enjoy our dinner!  Totally unexpected and perfect!  We ordered their Brie and prosciutto pizza, still feeling pretty full from our large lunch, and were only able to eat about half.  We took away the rest, thinking it would make either a nice breakfast or lunch tomorrow.

Who would have thought that behind this
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Was this!
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We were still wanting to see the light show in town, so as it was about a 20 minute walk away, we took a cab to save Jim from walking.  The light show was in Spanish and told about the history of the Yucatan, projected on the facade of the San Bernadino convent, another historical building.  We were able to understand a great deal of the presentation and really enjoyed the atmosphere it created with many families gathered there to watch together.  When the show was over, we walked up the street hoping to get another cab back, only to find that we were on a street that was closed to traffic.  Jim decided the best thing was to just go barefoot, so off came the sandals and he very comfortably was able to walk back to our hotel (where he of course, had a shower).  We packed up our things, ready to get up at 5:00 for the 60km run down to Coba.  The early start time will serve several purposes.  First, we will hopefully avoid the wind and heat of the day and second (and possibly more important) we will arrive in time to catch the Michigan bowl game.  We shall see how that all goes.  For now, its goodnight from lovely Valladolid!

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Today's ride: 15 km (9 miles)
Total: 655 km (407 miles)

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Tiffany EllisonI was just puzzling over how to say it lol!
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4 months ago