Wednesday, March 07, 2012


Although not as large or as grand as Merida's parades, the neighboring town of Progreso's Carnaval is no less enthusiastic.

Both interesting and irritating to me was the fact that the parade made a large loop along the malecon and then back down the next parallel street. It made for a lot more viewing points, but did it have to pass right in front of my hotel! Not once, but several times. Yes, this parade makes a continuous loop over and over for almost three hours!

Luckily we had scoped out the location of our hotel before they started closing down the streets. Stupidly, we did not park and check in right away. We had to locate the restaurant our friends own up there, Progreso Pastas, because we were going to a masquerade dinner party there later. And it would be dark at that point so we didn't want to be driving around in a strange area looking for something after dark.

We found our friend's restaurant with relative ease and, since they were there doing some prep work for that night's party, we stopped and had a nice visit. And stayed longer than we intended.

By the time we got back downtown, most of the streets were closed to traffic, including anything anywhere near our hotel. We ended up parking six hot blocks away and schlepping our backpacks through the throngs. It was not a pleasant experience. At all.

We dropped our luggage in the room and immediately headed out to the parade. I bet it was 103F in the sun that day. And shade was not easily found. As a result, I didn't snap very many pictures. Honestly, there wasn't that much to see anyway. It was a joyful, drunken crowd though.

Being a bit hungry, we crossed the Malecon and sought out one of the cooler palapa restaurants on the beach. I carefully avoided the Shark palapas. Steve Cotton and I had eaten there during our tour of the Yucatan and were less than impressed with the food.

After finally finding a vacant table at one of them, we sat down and waited for service. And waited for service. Did I tell you we had to wait? Forty-five minutes later we gave up and just left. A totally disgusting experience that did not leave a good impression.

We finally had a very enjoyable sandwich and limonada at a local restaurant away from the crowds.

Despite that, I would go back to Progreso for their parade. I thought it was a lot of fun and had I been a bit more rested, a bit more prepared for the heat and crowds, I would have had a much better time. I guess I would recommend it if you want to see a beach town Carnaval. Other than the one at Isla Mujeres that is.


Joanne said...

Next time have lunch at El Toro. Calle 25 x 58 y 60. It's a block off the Malecon. Fish and shrimp only but very nice and popular with the local people and Meridanos. We live around the corner from El Toro and like to eat there and are usually the only foreigners in the place. It has the same basic menu as all the other fish places in town but botanas are plentiful, service is friendly and prompt and food is fresh. You can head to the back and watch them cook the pescado frito if you want.

Steve Cotton said...

A bit livelier than when we were there.