Yucatan – Progreso & Cozumel
Dick and I took a cruise out of New Orleans to visit Progresso/Merida and Cozumel/ San Miguel de Cozumel. It was only a five-day cruise, with two days in ports, so it was quite a fast trip – lots to do – lots of info to secure. There were weeks of preparation ahead of time. This said, it was a very worthwhile trip.
As you all know by now, we had lived in New Orleans and I wanted to do some revisiting just for fun. That’s why, late one night when I found what I felt like was a real deal for the cruise and it was out of New Orleans, everything just seemed to click. Truthfully, some of my goals were to have some wonderful seafood from that area again, and to enjoy a hot, thick cappuccino from our favorite place there.
We accomplished those goals and then, headed onto the ship at the Port of New Orleans. I must admit, it seemed as though we had already had our vacation – just getting to New Orleans to begin with. We have found cruising a very pleasant way to see some places and just really rest up, usually. If you can find a cheap enough deal, when you consider what you spend nowadays on motels, hotels and food, and especially gas, a cruise can be a pretty good buy.
Now, we’re home again… that’s always the best part of any trip, back to our own bed, our own shower, etc., etc. So, here’s a brief peek at what went on and my impressions of these areas of Mexico, the Yucatan peninsula, and the Mexican states of Yucatan and Quintana Roo.
We docked in Progreso – basically the town along the coast where the resorts and tourist stuff is found with the malecon (seawalk) winding along the shore.
The ocean here, as I was told, gets it’s strange colors, a milky mixture of greens and blues, due to the shallowness of the water there. The sand from the shallow bottom gets mixed with the water and so reflects the different hues – there is a softness about it that has a beauty of it’s own – but, it’s not at all the crystal clear water you find at Cozumel.
From the malecon and docking area, we traveled about half an hour to the city of Merida– a big, lovely, modern city of about one million, and the capital of the Yucatan. I want to stress that Dick and I felt as comfortable and safe there as we do in any larger city in the United States of America. Yes, we’re careful, downright cautious actually, but we felt welcome and safe there. Albeit a very short trip, we saw lots of different areas and took lots of pictures.
Then, onto the ship again, and on to the island of Cozumel, and the major city on the island, San Miguel. The mercaco here is wonderfully big – long – all filled with places to buy souvenirs of all kinds – from the articulated lizards to diamond earrings – I was drawn to the latter. You could take a whole day just wondering in and out of all the stores there – even if you’re not planning on buying a thing. Very pleasant. The weather was perfect, and so my plan to rent a convertible V.W. Bug turned out to be just right. I must say, Dick’s an excellent driver – knows all about those stick things in non-automatic cars – thank goodness, because at times, it was all he could do to keep the darn thing running – we had lots of laughs in that beat-up buggy – because Dick was mucho patient…with the car and with my laughing.
The water here is beautifully crystal clear and the colors were just breath-taking. We traveled through many parts of the town and even had time to see one of the Mayan ruins there – most interesting – and enjoyable.
One instance confirming our safety – Dick and I had maps of course, of Cozumel – it’s an island – you can’t really go very far, so we were just enjoying the day and driving through different neighborhoods…Dick concentrating on keeping the car running.
When we stopped at one of the many stop signs, a man suddenly jumped up from where he had been sitting on his porch – and came running toward the car. We stopped completely and when he caught up with us, he said, rather than asking…”You lost?!”
Well, at that point we sort of shrugged our shoulders and with a smile, said “Probably”.
The gentleman explained in broken English that we were headed to the coast of the island where there were high wind advisories for the day and that cars shouldn’t be going there. He told us to turn around and led us back to the “tourist” road – where most people drive. We thanked him and sure enough, when we did finally returned the bright green Bug, the proprietors said, “you are lucky you stayed away from such and such beach – very dangerous – high tides today”. So, again, Dick and I felt protected and secure in a new land – the beautiful Mexican Yucatan.