Wishing once more to escape the winter wet and cold of January in England we decided to explore a warmer clime. Mexico was a suggestion, but we were had heard of possible security issues for visitors especially in Mexico City area.
After some research I discovered an area called Yucatan which is a large peninsula projecting into the Gulf of Mexico nearly opposite Cuba where we had been a few years before.
The peninsula seemed an attractive proposition as it is far away from the more populated areas and consists of a very natural and unspoiled area apart from the tourist area of Cancun. Apart from flying to Cancun we would quickly travel inland and explore the hinterland including many Mayan ruins and sites of great historic interest.
The towns of Yucatan are simple architecture of the vernacular mainly Spanish style low flat roofed buildings some highly decorated with bright colours.
The whole peninsula is the exposed portion of the larger Yucatán Platform and is limestone which is soluble in water, so the Yucatan's limestone bedrock is honeycombed with caves and sinkholes called Cenotes.
Staying in small towns was perfect and allowed exploration by walking safely around both during the day and night.
The coastal area is beautiful with great sandy beaches and seemingly unpolluted seas of azure water.
After staying at the town of Merida we went north to Área Natural Protegida Estatal Ciénagas y Manglares de la Costa Norte, and the Reserva Ecológica El Corchito which is a Wetland nature reserve with pools, cenotes & mangrove swamps, home to coatis, turtles & crocodiles.
Nearby is the coastal town of Progreso and arrived late afternoon just in time to witness the stages of sunset over the Gulf of Mexico. The gentle pink light bathed the whitewashed stucco buildings and lent a warm glow to the otherwise stark architecture.
The image I captured here is the of the large cruise ship terminal which projects a long way into the Gulf. The pink sky was a great backdrop and the blue and grey of the ocean in front of the white structure at the end of the pier gave depth and richness to the scene.
All in all it was a very successful and interesting trip which we would recommend for every aspect of a visit: great climate, great food, great scenery, great natural beauty, great history and lovely people who are largely of Mayan descent.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor