Saturday, May 29, 2010

52 Years of Newspaper Delivery by Bicycle - Streets of Mérida

  Eligio Chi Perez, pictured below, begins his day before sunrise by riding his bicycle seven kilometers from his home in Colonial Bojorquez to the Diario de Yucatán office in downtown Mérida to pick up  newspapers to deliver.

  Each day his delivery of 175 newspapers takes him as far north as the Grand Plaza area, eight kilometers north.
  Still smiling, seventy-one year old Eligio has faithfully made his rounds for the past fifty-two years.
  Amazingly, he has only worn out two bicycles in the process and not burned a single drop of gasoline.
  Congratulations to one of Yucatán’s most ecologically friendly citizens, Eligio Chi Perez.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Mérida South by Bike on Calle 42 – Revisited

   An early morning pit stop for a snack and hydration in the tranquil little town of Timucuy finds Ken Scott with his high-tech go-fast recumbent bicycle.   This is angel gate at the entrance to an old colonial style mamposteria church. Fresh air and tranquility abound.
   At the peaceful little town of Tecoh where motor vehicles are scarce and bicycles dominate the quiet clean unhurried streets, we took our morning coffee break in the shady central plaza. Ken fits in with the people powered bicycles and tricycles at the municipal market.
   After cycling out of Mérida at 6 AM south on Calle 42, we completed our leisurely fifty kilometer back road tour by 11 AM in the picturesque city of Acanceh.  
   This gem of historical structural monuments of the past contains several Mayan temples.
Interspersed throughout the city are Spanish colonial buildings unchanged over the centuries.
   Above the two ladies are returning from the market. One dressed in western attire known as catrina style and the other lady in the traditional Mayan hand embroidered dress known as huipil. All speak the Mayan language and most also speak Spanish.
Note the conspicuous lack of motor vehicles, and this is the main street.
   A church and chapel sit nestled amongst the ancient Mayan temples in the city center of Acanceh. Those temples provided the materials to build not only the church and chapel but the rest of the town buildings.
    It is turn around time. A happy and satisfied Ken Scott is fresh as a daisy after our lovely 50 kilometer back road bike ride.Here he is pictured with the jovial kitchen workers at the cocina-economica where we stuffed ourselves on the generous portions of traditional Mayan style cooking.
   This restaurant is adjacent to the bus terminal on the central plaza and buses and colectivo taxis depart for Mérida every few minutes.

For maps and more information on cycling on Calle 42, visit our website at:

Postscript: John L. Stephens in his epic book; Incidents of Travel in Yucatán,  describes his
departure from Mérida and journey south on the same road that Ken and I traveled to Timucuy and Tecoh.
See pages 65, 66, 67, 68; subject 1842 trip to Tekoh 8 leagues from Mérida.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Our Bicycle Story - 40 Years

This story began when Jane’s doctor told her she had to change her life style.
Jane had a painful leg condition complicated by her job. She spent her workday at a computer terminal. The prescription was to find work that would let her move around without too much standing. The best recreation would be bicycling and tennis.
This is where the story gets interesting.
It turns out that at this time our ambitious five year boat building and escape plan was nearly complete.
With Jane’s last paycheck, she headed to the bicycle shop and I tagged along with no intention of a purchase. That evening we both came home with new Schwinn bicycles equipped with lots of bolt on extras.
This prescribed therapy opened a door to a wondrous world neither of us had envisioned.
In 1972 Jane and I set sail.
Our worldly positions including our new bicycles were aboard our new floating home Dursmirg. You can read about that adventuresome epic voyage of escape in the recently published books.

Travels of Dursmirg Volume 1 by John M. (Bing) Grimsrud
   This true adventure story is told in the first person. It began as an idea and unfolded into a rich and fulfilling dream come true.
   A lifelong obsession of escape materialized in 1972 with the building and launching of the dreamboat Dursmirg when the five year bailout plan was consummated.
   John and Jane went over the horizon and out to sea on a voyage of escape.
  Departing Duluth-Superior on the western terminus of the St. Lawrence, they crossed the Great Lakes, the Erie Canal and Hudson River to New York City. Then they headed south to Florida, stopping at Annapolis, Chesapeake Bay and Savannah along the way to the Oldest City of St. Augustine. In an active winter of exploration; Jacksonville, Marineland, Daytona, Disney, Miami, Key West, Tampa and Tarpon Springs were a few of their diversionary side trips. 
   This love story began with desires and aspirations and was molded into reality.
Highly recommended for all those free spirited dreamers out there that have the drive and desire to live life to the fullest. This is one of four volumes in a series.

Travels of Dursmirg, Volume 2 by John M. (Bing) Grimsrud
Summers at Daufuskie
   Beyond their wildest expectations a new life of independence laced with exciting discovery and good fortune opened a wealthy world there to be savored by those who take the time to enjoy it to its fullest.
   John and Jane spent their first season living aboard Dursmirg in the Old City of St. Augustine and found more fascinating attractions, new friends, southern cooking and exciting diversions than they could be packed in. They were enticed to return again and again.
   Springtime arrived and the Sea Islands beckoned. Fernandina Beach, Brunswick, Savannah and Charleston were visited. Living at anchor opened a new realm and they learned to live out of the sea.   Exploration took them to places Cumberland Island, Daufuskie Island and more.
   Discover the best southern cooking from the Sea Islands, humorous encounters, tricks of harvesting seafood and living with nature that were all part of a dream come true.
   This book is recommended reading for determined adventurers yearning to find a place in this world to live free. This is the second of four volumes in a series.   

 Travels of Dursmirg V-3, Down in the Florida Keys, Swinging in a Summer Breeze, Volume 3

“I am going where the wind blows, when the spirit moves me and the price is right.”
  These were the driving forces, the goals and aspirations that would be fulfilled beyond their wildest expectations. Quality of life and standard of living were to be far above anything imaginable. Yes, they did it!
   Using the Oldest City of St. Augustine as a home base, winter sojourns south always included the Indian River where lifelong friendships were cemented, bountiful seafood harvested and anchorages a slice of paradise.
Miami and Biscayne Bay was a cruising boaters dream come true. Anchorages abounded at Dinner Key, Biscayne Key plus Sand, Elliot and Rhodes Keys in the Biscayne National Park. Venturing south the Hawk Channel took you to Marathon, Boot Key, Non Name Harbor, Key West the Marquesas and Dry Tortugas were part of the best cruising, fishing, and exploring to be found anywhere. 
   Dodging the bullet that wounded the nation and slipping off into a utopian paradise while the world was in turmoil and upheaval, they migrated together with like-minded sailors into a new dimension.
   More than a life story this was a love story where husband and wife were also the best of friends and pals.  This is the third of four volumes in a series.