Merida to Izamal

I write now as I wait in Merida’s second bus station, not ADO but for Noresta the 2:30 Occidente bus to leave from gate 4. The ticket was 23 pesos for the 1 1/2 hour ride. The outside of this nice looking plush-appearing bus promises air-conditioning.

Getting to the bus was a challenge it should not have been. I easily followed Daniel’s directions from his home to the local bus 5 blocks away. The driver of the mini-van sized bus even stopped and asked me if I was going to Centro. When the bus emptied and a passenger got in front, I tried to ask if he happened to pass the bus station to drop me closer. Instead, the men discussed the terminal’s location and gave me directions to walk there. Only the 5 blocks straight ahead turned out to be 5 blocks too many as I found out after walking them. So 10 blocks later (not short blocks) and the other 5 the driver told me to take, I was at the market, 4-5 block from the station.

Daniel had told me how to walk and this sounded the same. Only he said to walk through the market and I did not ask for the market. I thought I was walking around it.

I am very tired. (I hate to say it but my back is sore. I am not loving carrying this 33lb backpack. But then I didn’t love it when I was 26 or 30 either.)

It started to rain as I walked to the bus. I now know that the $5 backpack cover I picked up at Walmart before leaving LA fits well. Well, just fits my 65L backpack which is not expanded to full capacity.

The bus ride was nice. Uneventful. My backpack in the front seat, I sat behind it comfortably. I slept part of the way and awoke to Izamal road signs. It was nice to see the town as we drove in. The bus station is just two tiny blocks from the town square. An easy walk. Horse and buggies lined the square. I wondered why and later found they take tourists to the two pyramids.

Asking directions to the hotel that Lonely Planet says is a nice oasis with a cenote pool, 3 men gave me a ride. That was great. A nice walk without a pack, it would not have been at 4 when I wanted a hotel. Unfortunately, this very nice place is 550 pesos per night. Good value but not for a solo traveller. I asked her to reduce the fee of there was an empty cottage but she would not. Kindly, she called two other places. Then I got lucky again. An American walked in to speak with the front desk woman. His name is Rob and he and his wife live next door. He offered me a ride to another hotel. He then took me past the other lonely Planet mentioned hotel. It was full. Next to the place he knew. I have a private room with air conditioning for 250 pesos. It is a lot for me but half of the other hotels. There is no hostel in this town.

I will write about Izamal separately for those who only want the sight-seeing stuff. For now I will just say: tonight I climbed a pyramid.


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