My last week in Mexico came faster than I expected. We had a few more students at the institute but because of our differing schedules, it felt as if I had the whole school to myself. With Chris leaving to attend meetings in the States, I had private classes for the last three days and that made the school feel even quieter still. My last guide was Rodrigo, an art student with a lot of young energy and enthusiasm. He was up for anything and happy to walk anywhere- ¡Qué padre! ¡Es padrísimo! Everything was cool and great with Rodrigo. I asked him to think of things for me to take back to the States but in the end I decided to keep things simple, and the only things I got were a couple of books in Spanish and some Mexican snacks. Peanuts covered in red chile turned out to be a big hit with my parents and my Grandma ate an entire bag of Mexican corn chips (Takis Fuego)- I always think food makes the best souvenirs. Doña Gloria went out of her way to get me a jar of habanero salsa and a large bag of chips that are not usually found in supermarkets. Sweet and kind to the very end… I’ll miss her.
I briefly entertained the idea of spending some time on the Riviera Maya before heading back but I settled for the Gulf of Mexico with a few beers and fried fish instead. Progreso was an important port for the Yucatan peninsula during the henequen boom but now is better known as an easy getaway spot for the local families in the summer time. I knew that it’d be quiet in November and since swimming or sun bathing weren’t on my agenda, it was the perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon. A short, comfortable ride on the Autoprogreso bus from Merida got me and Linda to the new terminal in Progreso, and within minutes we were walking down the malecon with beers in hand.
The beach itself wasn’t very pretty, especially when you compare it to the clear turquoise waters of the Caribbean. But the afternoon breezes were on my back and there wasn’t a cloud to be found in the sky. It put a big smile on my face. After walking the entire “boardwalk” down to the end and back, we settled down by the beach under a palapa and dug our toes in the white sand. Another round of cold beers, an order of fresh seafood cocktail, and a whole fried fish completed the scene. I couldn’t have wished for a better day mark the end of my two months in Mexico.
My primary goal for this visit was to brush up on my Spanish after having been away from it for so long, but I learned and experienced a lot more than I thought I would. This trip has made me want to revisit Puebla and Mexico City, and got me excited about exploring more places in Mexico in the future. On my list now are Oaxaca, San Cristobal de las Casas, Palenque, Valladolid, Ek’Balam, and Tulum, and go to the island of Janitzio in Michoacan for El Dia de los Muertos. I don’t know when but I’ll be back again. Until then, thank you Mexico! I’ll see you soon!
Autoprogreso bus: The terminal in Merida is on calle 62, between 65 and 67. But you can also catch this bus (take the Express/Direct) on calle 64 and when it turns on calle 60 near calle 35, in front of restaurant Siqueff. It travels up calle 60 all the way to Gran Plaza and Galeria malls and then out of the city to Progreso. The new terminal in Progreso is just a few blocks away from the beach and the boardwalk/malecon.