Well, the cenotes were something and I really enjoyed the day in the nice cool waters. Throughout the day though, I was feeling a bit dizzy, headache and not much energy. When I woke up the following day, I did some research online and found that a lot of the symptoms I was feeling (backstory in previous entry) were similar to those people experience when they catch lyme disease, so I started to get a little worried. Most articles said that if you catch it within the first 72 hours, you have a very good chance of killing the disease. So, I asked the owner of the hostel if he knew of a hospital or clinic nearby. He pointed me to a clinic that was just down the street and was nice enough to call ahead to ask if the doctor was in. I went down to the clinic and sat for quite some time, before the doctor was available, then he saw me quickly, said yes it sounded like it could be lyme disease, sent me to the lab to take some blood and they told me to come back in the afternoon for the results.
In the afternoon, I went back to the doctor and he said that I showed positive, should take some fairly heavy antibiotics (doxycycline) and then we’ll see… in a week. Well, that kind of limited my travel (…and drinking) for a while.
For several days, I tried to enjoy everything the city had to offer, but my joints, especially ankles and knees were hurting quite a lot and the dizziness and headaches wouldn’t go away. After about 3 or 4 days, the symptoms started to subside and I was able to get around much better.
Weekly Events in Merida
As I got better, I spent more and more time in town. It was nice to actually find out what the city had to offer. Merida was one of the best cities I have had the pleasure to stay in. It was very safe and the city government has prepared quite a list of events for almost every day of the week. Some of the weekly events include:
- Mondays – Noches de Vaqueria
- Palacio Municipal in the Plaza Grande every Monday you can see a performance of this special local dance.
- Tuesdays – Rembranzas Musicales
- Head to Santiago on a Tuesday evening and watch as couples and families from all over the city come and dance together to live music from the 40s. Santiago is said to be the oldest and most traditional of all the neighbourhoods and some of the local couples who you will see have been coming to dance together on Tuesdays since they fell in love 50 years ago!
- Wednesdays – Tour of the Cemetery
- If you’re visiting near to Day of the Dead or if you just want to learn more about the history of the city, this tour of the general cemetery will show you some of the well-known people who rest there.
- Thursdays – Serenata Santa Lucia
- This open air concert of live music and traditional dancing is a 40 year old tradition in the city. Join in by heading to Santa Lucia park at 9pm.
- Fridays – Pok ta Pok
- On Fridays in front of the Cathedral you can see a representation of Pok ta Pok, the Mayan game in which the objective is to hit the ball through a high stone hoop using the hips and shoulders – no easy feat!
- Also, on Friday nights, at around 8:30, the cathedral is illuminated with the “Video Mapping Projections.” It’s a must see.
- Saturdays – Noche Mexicana
- Every Saturday in the park El Remate (at the centro end of Paseo Montejo) you will find lots of traditional food, handicrafts and performances by dancers, singers and even comedians, from all over Mexico.
- Sundays – Biciruta and Mérida en Domingo
- Biciruta – happens every Sunday from 8am -12pm. The streets are closed off to traffic and you can rent a bike and cycle from the top of Paseo Montejo all the way down to the pretty neighbourhood of La Ermita. Along the way you will find music, stalls selling crafts, refreshments and shows for children and families.
- Merida en Domingo – is an event that takes place in the Plaza Grande throughout the whole day on Sunday. The whole park is full of stalls selling local products and handicrafts, such as honey, blouses and jewellery. Around the perimeter of the park loads of street food stalls set up and put tables out on the street, selling some of the best of Yucatan’s antojitos, such as panuchos, tacos, tortas, sopa de lima and papadzules. There is also a cultural programme which takes place under the Palacio Municipal, including jarana and vaqueria dancing, comedians, children’s shows and an orchestra.
(Find Detailed Information at yucatantastic.com)
These are the regular events that happen every week, but there are also so many museums, music venues, nice parks and other events happening every day. Sunday is by far the best day of the week, I rented a bike with a friend and we rode around the city.
It was all amazing, but I really enjoyed the ride along Paseo Montejo, which is lined with monuments and mansions. The design of the avenue was inspired by the French Boulevard and you can see why. On Sundays they close the paseo and other streets along a route to the south side of the city. It was a very peaceful ride with a lot of people, families, cyclists enjoying the closed streets. After the ride, we went to the bazaar in central park, had a local dish at one of the food stalls and in the evening, there was dancing in the streets. It was an amazing day.
Favorite Food Stalls
One of the best places I found to eat on a budget is Eulogio Rosado Park. There are a number of food stalls that make tacos, tostadas and other local dishes!
I actually took a tour of the city by bus (Turibus), on what I believe was my last night in town. I’ve never done this before, but the two hour tour is actually well worth it. I’d heard from several people that it is a good tour and have to agree with them. The bus leaves every half hour from in front of the cathedral and costs MXN$120 per person. You can sit on top, open air, and see much of the city. I was quite surprised at some of the affluent neighborhoods in the north, with beautiful mansions and such interesting architecture.
Continue the Journey
It was an enjoyable couple of weeks in Merida and would love to go back. I was feeling much better now and thought that it was time to move on. My next stop was Valladolid, about half way between Merida and Tulum. Valladolid is actually the place, I’d heard from many along the way, that had sooo… many incredible cenotes. I was looking forward to getting there. I booked a ticket on ADO (MXN$204 – +/-$10) that should… only take a couple of hours.
Quick Note: The Centro Historico ADO station in Merida is really quite impressive. It was, by far, one of the best I’ve seen…. like an airport, so clean, nice waiting areas, restaurants, baggage check-in, etc. 🙂