Monday, October 1, 2007

Progreso, Mexico

I loved the town of Progreso! It was so charming and "real" unlike most touristy commercialized Mexican ports of call.

We bought a bracelet from this guy who kept calling Dave "Mr. Flat-top" LOL All of the vendors spoke English until we wandered back into the marketplace where the locals shop. We got some serious stares. As a sociology major I loved every minute of it including all the fly covered meat but Dave could definitely have done without that little side excursion. I enjoyed using some Spanish and getting out some Spanish tracts and Bibles which were well-received.

The locals here are of Mayan descent and are smaller and shorter that most other Mexicans. Our guide's grandmother is a full-blooded Mayan and only speaks Mayan: no Spanish. The Spanish spoke in Progreso as well as the rest of Yucatan has a Mayan accent and is spoken very slowly! I couldn't believe I could actually make out individual Spanish words instead of just hearing a barrage of tongue-rolling syllables.
Instead of booking an overpriced excursion through the cruiseline, we opted to buy a tour upon arrival at Progresso instead. I had done my research before leaving, chose a reputable company, and was very pleased! We wanted to see some Mayan ruins but didn't want to travel 2 hours one-way to see the famous Chitzen-Itza ruins so we took an AutoProgresso tour to Dzibilchaltun (dizzy-bilch-Al-toon) instead. While waiting for the bus to depart we had a little entertainment! His rendition of "La Bamba" wasn't half bad!
Progresso's municipal building. I'm assuming it's the equivalent of our courthouses, but my Espanol wasn't up to par enough to read the details.

A local home
A park area with picnic tables

Less than an hour later we were at Dzibilchaltun!The first order of business was "taking care of business." Check out the seatless toilet! I'm loving the pedal flusher though and wish we would do that in the States. More sanitary!

The main ruin! This is the oldest man-made structure I've ever seen and it was awe-inspiring. During the Solstices and Equinoxes, either the sun or the moon will line up perfectly in the windows or the central doorway depending on which solstice or equinox it is.

View out the back windowView from the temple. Afterwards, we walked down that light colored road in the background to visit the rest of the site's ruins.

This is a totem-type structure that is located in way out in front of the main temple.
Gorgeous blooms.
This statue was excavated at Chitzen-Itza and brought here.
This is the sinkhole that National Geographic has never found the bottom of! It is fed by caves that most likely go all the way to the ocean eventually. It looks like a scummy pond, but our guide filled a clear plastic water bottle with the water and it turns out it is perfectly clear and drinkable! People swim in the sinkhole at different times of the year.

A Catholic church built in the 1500's right in the middle of the Mayan plaza area.

Dave enjoyed seeing old style Beetles that were only a couple years old and other cars that aren't manufactured here in the States.

These airplants that Wal-Mart charges $5 a pop for are everywhere in the trees.

See the iguana? They were running around the sinkhole area and are as common as squirrels are here!

Dzibilchaltun was the highlight of the trip for both of us!

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