Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Jumping Off In Valledolid

The final stop and last night on the road with Steve for our roadtrip was in the colonial city of Valledolid. Needless to say, I have visited this city many times and was looking forward to Steve's impression of it. And to the fact that this was going to be where Steve experienced his first cenote. (underground sinkhole filled with water)

Valledolid's population hovers just under 46,000, making it the third largest city in the Yucatan. Although a bustling town, it never seems to be overly crowded with people. As is usual in most Mexican towns, most of the things of interest, and most of the activity, takes place on or near the town square.

Located directly across the street from the town square is the Templo de San Bernardino. This imposing church was built between 1552 and 1560 and served the dual role of church and fortress for the town.

I don't think that the church is normally festooned with these banners. We were there just days before the Centennial celebration of the Mexican Revolution so things were of good cheer.

The other thing Valledolid is known for is her wide streets, framed by pastel colored buildings. We were fortunate when we were there as they had mostly all been just given a new coat.

There are three cenotes in or very, very near to Valledolid. We chose to visit Cenote Zaci, which is practically downtown and within easy walking distance of the town center. As you start in, turn a corner and go down a few steps, you are slapped in the face with this sight.

It's a damp, cold place with pieces of light filtering in from above. I can only imagine just how cold that water is that the people choose to swim in. And not just to swim in either. Look at this.

There always seems to be group of teenage boys willing and able to show off their testerone charged prowess by jumping or diving from the cliffs into this murky water. We watched in awe as boy after boy made his way to the edge and took the plunge.

I hoped they stopped at this altar and said a prayer first though!

A view back to the entrance. It is possible to walk the pathway all around the cenote. Being careful, of course.

We tried to find one of the remaining cenotes in the area but the directions we had just didn't make any sense to us so we gave it a pass. Seen one.....
We had an enjoyable last night on the road in Valledolid but, alas, not some very good meals. I did return to Valledolid a few weeks later and was introduced to a restaurant in town that was fabulous. Too bad we didn't know about when we were staying there. If you are ever in the area, just ask anybody for directions to the Restaurant Oasis. Most locals know it and it is very popular.
The next day we had a rather uneventful drive back to Cancun to turn in the rental car, caught the ferry over to the island and the next day I had to bid goodbye to my travel companion.
I can hardly wait to see what our next adventure will be! And there will be one, of that I am sure!


KfromMichigan said...

My girlfriend took a cool dip in that cenote. (I watched)

Ann said...

Thanks for the restaurant tip--we are planning on going to Valladolid whe we are in MX to visit our "goddaughter" ( the student that we sponsor).

Life's a Beach! said...

We toured a cenote outside of Valladolid in May 2002. It was 100 degrees that day, but I couldn't even keep my toe in that water! Brrrrr. It was a Sunday and lots of locals were swimming. Our guide couldn't understand why we didn't want to take a dip. HA!

Steve Cotton said...

And there will be another. You can bet your Isla bottom peso on it.