The perfect bike trip: The wind and sun were on our backs and the temperture was a cool 14.8º C. This incredible trip from Cobá through Chan Chen 1, Xuilub, Xocen and Chichimila to
For a printable version of this, click: here.
VALLADOLID, COBÁ AND BACK TO VALLADOLID THROUGH CHAN CHEN 1, XUILUB, XOCEN AND CHICHIMILA.
For nearly five-hundred years this old Spanish city was the last eastern conquistador outpost on the Yucatán peninsula where the indigenous were not allowed to enter. The 60 year caste war, lasting into the early 1900s had some of the bloodiest battles and actually saw the Spanish driven out of Valladolid.
The standard in Yucatán is that there is no standard.
Two complete meals with fresh tropical fruit juices were less than fifty pesos or just over four dollars.
This huge temple is only restored on one side and this is off hours. Mass-tourism is heavily impacting the Yucatán where tens of thousands of tourists are off-loaded every day along the Caribbean coast.
This is deep in the land of the old pre-Hispanic Maya where all still speak the language and keep time honored traditions alive in cooking, farming, medicines and dress.
In spite of the implicit no-photo signs this “welcome visitors” sign beckons us to enter…and we did getting a surprise.
When I spoke Maya we were brought directly into a festive feast on the altar of the stone cross that until recently was forbidden to any non-Maya. There we were presented with a dish of liquefied and sweetened corn known as atole.
We were at a loss as what to do next so we patiently watched to see what others did to get some clue.
The center of the low altar held the stone cross dressed in a huipil dress adorned with embroidery in addition to the three crosses. On one side were two smaller wooden crosses.
Adjacent in glass opening boxes were religious icons with a definite catholic connection, with a Virgin of Guadalupe on one side and some saintly ceramic cast figure on the other. There was also a painting of Jesus Christ.
Before the altar was a long high table with kneeling pad attached and the table top covered with lighted candles.
Next from a huge caldron we were given delicious wild turkey in a thick spicy sauce along with hand made tortillas, all blessed on the altar, and no eating utensils.
Fortunately we had previously been introduced to the customary way of tearing a tortilla in two and rolling it into a cone to scoop out the thick sauce. The large pieces of turkey meat were placed, (with our fingers) in the tortillas to form tacos.
Next we were given dark course bread, also blessed and finally a pinch of honey sweetened corn dough.
The following photos of the stone cross came from the university web-site. With all due respect we took no photos, not just because we didn’t want to get stoned!
Also check out the university web-site for more of this incredible story;
We biked back to Valladolid, completing 85 kilometers and spent the night, thus finishing day three of our out-back Yucatán bicycle adventure.
After our bike trip from Cobá to Valladolid, we took a bus to Xocchel and biked some Yucatán side roads to Homan. Our destination was Cuzama but we were pedaling into a strong hot wind when we spotted a bus heading for Mérida. It took less then a minute remove our packs and fold the bikes and sit back and let the bus carry us home. For the story and a printable version, click here.