Thursday, December 02, 2010

Our "Progreso" So Far

Progreso is a seaport just a little over 20 miles north of Merida. It is on the Gulf of Mexico and once served as the major container port for Mexico. I believe (although I am not certain) that the port of Veracruz has now taken over that spot. Progreso still maintains that seaside beach resort feel, as well as the pier that juts out into the Gulf for 4 miles. It also serves as a docking point for a few cruise ships.

Above is a picture of the hotel we stayed in directly on the malecon. Alas, I have misplaced my trip notebook so I do not have the name for my readers who requested I keep track of this sort of thing. I do know that it got a rating of 7 out of 10 possible. It lost big points for telling us that they had hot water but neglecting to tell us that the boiler was not working. I do not believe in the robustness of a good cold shower in the morning. Or at any time for that matter.

I was fascinated by the floor in the place though.

I spoke to the gentlemanly owner of the place about the floors. He was proud to tell me that the hotel has been standing in this location for 87 years and the floors are still original. (I think that for the last 50 of those years, no changes have been made to anything!) It was from him that I learned a fact I should have known but didn't. In the Yucatan, every room features a different tile pattern. I was to see that that was true as the trip went on.

I love these old tiles. They are still prevalent in buildings in Merida also. They are very hard to find here on the island.

We actually had a room with a balcony and a view to the ocean and pier. That was nice. The beach is now full of covered restaurants, much like those found on the Pacific coast. As soon as I spied the name of this place, I knew it had to be our lunch destination.

Once under the palapa, we had a shaded view of the beach going-ons.

The food was nothing to write home, or blog, about. People watching was great though.
People were even dropping in from the sky to enjoy the beautiful day at the beach.

Steve and I were both amused to see the variations of the palapa roof constructions. We figured this one must feature oriental food.

And this one perhaps Balinese?

I really lucked out in Progreso. With my fear of all things in the water, I was lucky enough to find a company that featured boat tours of the Progreso bay area without actually having to get on the water! As you can see, others prevailed themselves of the free boat ride too. Of course, the view did not much change.

Another view of that giant pier. People are not allowed out onto it though. I would have loved to jump on some conveyance and gone to the end of it.

People, especially children, were having a great time feeding the multitudes of seagulls hovering around.

On one end of the malecon sits this splendid old house.

I remember the first time I saw it many years ago that it took my breath away. It was freshly aglow with a new coat of white paint then. But something has happened. Either the rich family that once owned it has abandoned it for greener beaches or maybe the City has taken it over. With all of the work going on for the new malecon, I would not be surprised to see it torn down to make the road wider. What a shame.

Since we were there on a Sunday, many fishing boats were hauled up on shore. Although you could not pay me to actually take a ride in one, I do appreciate the old elegant beauty of them.

The malecon is really quite nice now. Strolling along its' length is really quiet an enjoyable experience.

But, of course, here and there the graffiti artists have done their thing.

Something that I found rather disturbing were the greeters at the doors of some of the restaurants.

This one was especially bad.

Would you want to eat somewhere with something like this staring at you?
All in all, Progreso is a pleasant little beach to enjoy. I wouldn't want to live there and I would not ever want to go into her murky waters. But there is an active beach community there. Especially on Sundays. If you are ever in the Merida area, it is definitely worth a short trip north to check it out.


Ann said...

It's a shame that that beautiful house is in such disrepair! I love the iron work! Clowns & skeletons would keep me out of those restaurants.

lisa said...

That old house is pretty cool looking! I love your boat tour ;) Seems relaxing ;) My daughter has always hated clowns. They kinda look evil!

KfromMichigan said...

Why have a pier and you can't walk out on! I wouldn't want to walk all the way to the end tho.

Barb said...

The Cake House. It gets so much mention it's practically a tourist destination. It's a beautiful piece of architecture. It would be a shame if it got torn down.

One thing we noticed about the graffiti, when we were there, is that it tends to be more colourful and artistic, and less obscene, than what we find here.

IslaZina said...

I have more appreciation now for the floors of Casa Sirena! thanks for the trip to Progresso.

Jackie said...

Great photos. I love the doors on the "cake" house.

Linda Dorton said...

The cake house used to belong to Pedro Infante. He was a famous actor/singer.

The restaurant with the skeletons probably had their Day of the Dead decor still up....La ViƱa del Mar is a good restaurant and we eat there often.

The water looks murky to any resident of the Caribbean Coast! You are totally spoiled! And it may have been murky the day you were there, but on a calm clear day the emerald green water is also clear and inviting.

Anonymous said...

Great trip report -- enjoyed it all!!

Carol from Michigan

Steve Cotton said...

The name of the hotel was Real del Mar. And I think you were overly generous with the 7. It was, at best, a 5 in my book. What with no internet access.

Nancy said...

You picked the worst beach restaurant in my humble opinion! However, it was our first as well. Since then we have tried all the others and have found better than decent seafood.
Do love the cake house and would love to have the dinero needed to restore that beauty!!
It was great to meet you and will look you up when we make a trip down your way!