We made our way to Valladolid on Thursday morning where we were staying for the next 2 days. We mainly chose Valladolid as it was a good base to visit one of the new seven wonders of the world, Chichén Itzá. What greeted us though was a beautiful provincial town with gorgeous cobbled streets lined with sun-splashed pastel walled buildings.
We checked into our lovely colonial-style hotel which was similar to a Moroccan riad, before heading out to walk around the town (obviously stopping for a guacamole lunch first). First stop was to the central plaza which was buzzing with locals and scattered with ying-yang concrete seats where people sit facing each other to talk or kiss! There is a stunning cathedral that overlooks the main plaza so we made our way in. As Mum always did I went to light a candle but I quickly retreated as I heard mum's voice say "Jesus they're fecking electric!! Don't waste your money girlie!!"
We were up at 6am the next day to make our way to Chichén Itzá in order to be first in and beat the tour bus madness (best thing we ever did as it was magical being there on what seemed like our own). We decided to embrace all things local and catch a collectivo there which is like a shared minibus. It was £1 to go 45 minutes and was fab! Chichén itza is a Mayan site that has recently been named one of the new seven wonders of the world. It was once home to 90,000 inhabitants from around 650 to 1200AD and spanned 30 sq km (although today's site is much smaller - probably 5 sq km). We roamed around the site and were wowed for over 2 hours solidly. Probably the castle (El Castillo) which looks like a giant pyramid blew our minds the most. It was designed to represent the Mayan calendar (the four stairways have 91 steps each and then add the top platform and you have 365). We felt very lucky to have visited something so special and not something we'll forget in a hurry.
We returned to Valladolid and decided to hit a tequila distillery to see how it was produced and do some tasting (on an empty stomach). I don't even like tequila, although the really expensive one was alright which Keith said he could never have predicted! After tequila tasting we went to a chocolate factory which was very brief but yummy. Keith ordered a hot chocolate at the end which was an interesting move in 32 degrees!
Last evening in Valladolid and we strolled through town soaking up the atmosphere before heading for supper. We realised that for the last 5 days we'd had guacamole at every lunch and dinner and were going to turn into the size of buses if we continued this for 3 months! So we were very good and didn't order any.....but then they brought some complimentary guac so we couldn't be rude (we tried)!
So that takes us to today where we're currently on the coldest bus in the world to Bacalar which is right down the South of Mexico and last stop before moving on to Belize. Should take about 4 hours. Sure it will fly by with Keith snoring next to me!