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April Update

April 30th, 2010 at 03:13 am

It's been a while since I last posted to my blog. April has been a busy and expensive month. I say expensive because of all the taxes we paid... Thankfully, we had savings to cover our bigger-than-expected Federal and State tax underpayment. Then there were also property taxes due on our CA home. So glad that's behind us!

In mid-April we spent two weeks in Mexico, mainly to visit the World Heritage archeological sites near Villahermosa and Merida. These are both very safe cities but I especially loved Merida, a beautiful colonial city with a rich history.

Giant Olmec stone head in La Venta Park near Villahermosa. These are as big as a room:


The Museum of Anthropology in Merida is worth a visit:


The archeological site at Uxmal:


One day, we drove to mangrove forests of Celestun on the coast. Dh had a blast bird-watching. Celestun is the feeding ground for thousands of flamingos:


The Yucatan is riddled with sinkholes, called "cenotes." These are usually filled with clean water and are popular as cool, underground pools and for cave diving. These limestone cenotes are connected by a vast underground river system:


About the trip:
~ We didn't get sick;
~ We had great accommodations through our timeshare (Hyatt Regency in both cities);
~ While in Merida, we saved money and had more flexibility by hiring a private driver for the day instead of going on a group tour. We were able to see and do much more for less than $60 a day;
~ We went over on our food budget because we invited our driver to eat with us each day, but he was knowledgeable and helpful;
~ The weather was good... some days actually a little too hot (over 100 degrees) but after Florida, we welcomed it;
~ Speaking Spanish really helped us get around.

One thing that really "gets" to me when we travel in Third World countries is to learn how LOW the minimum wage is in some countries. At ~$5 USD a day Mexico has a minimum wage even lower than EL Salvador, where I was born. I don't know how people live on this, but they do.

It also distresses me to see so many stray dogs that look like they're starving. They wander the streets looking so pathetic, but what can you do? There is no SPCA that I know of and people are mostly indifferent to these poor creatures. If you try to feed them, people look at you as if you are crazy.

At La Venta Park, people do feed the coatimundis... it's the local practice. These raccoon-like animals can be quite aggressive, and even chase you if they think you have food.


And, yeah, they caught me!


In the next few days I will be posting more on the World Heritage sites on my travel blog, in case you are interested.


4 Responses to “April Update”

  1. Toyguy1963 Says:

    Thanks I loved the pictures

  2. NJDebbie Says:


    Analise, these are some great pictures! Thanks for sharing.

  3. NJDebbie Says:

    Analise, these are some great pictures! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Jerry Says:

    Terrific photos, and it sounds like a fascinating trip that will lead to a ton of great memories. Here in Bulgaria there is a huge problem with stray dogs, as well, and there just aren't that many humane ways that offer any real insurance for dealing with them. It's quite dangerous here in some parts of the capital city at night, actually, due to the packs of wild dogs. Your comment about the strays reminded me of that.
    Jerry

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