Pok-Ta–Pok is an ancient Mayan ball game, that was played thousands of years ago as part of a sacred, sacrificial ceremony, pitting good against evil. The general belief is that the ball, five pounds of solid rubber, could only be hit with forearms and thighs. The goal of the game was to maneuver the ball through a stone hoop extending from a wall. It is said that the winner of the game was sacrificed, supposedly a high honor.
Pok-Ta-Pok ball courts can still be found at Mayan archeological sites, such as Chichen Itza, and Uxmal.
You can now experience this ancient game right here in Merida.
The show is held Wednesdays at 8 p.m, in front of the Merida Cathedral in Centro.
Entrance is free but assigned seating is limited. We had a great, safe time!
While Covid infections are on the rise here in Merida it is important to find outdoor, socially distanced and masked events to attend. We’d love to hear your suggestions.
Water is my happy place and because of me, we choose to live in smaller apartments that have pools. I came to accept this about myself after our first 6 months here in Merida. We had a lovely 2 bedroom home but no pool. I became a “pool beggar”, visiting friends with pools frequently. Now we are in a much smaller place and I love my daily time in the pool.
There are so many benefits to swimming and exercising in the water. Including:
Water supports the body, putting less stress on your joints and muscles.
Working out in water helps build strength.
Water pressure helps put less strain on the heart by moving blood around the body.
The impact of gravity is less in the water allowing a greater range of motion.
It keeps your heart rate up but takes some of the impact stress off your body.
It builds endurance, muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness
It helps maintain a healthy weight, healthy heart and lungs.
It tones muscles and builds strength.
It provides an all-over body workout, as nearly all of your muscles are used during swimming.
Swimming or water exercise are relaxing and peaceful, alleviating stress improving coordination, balance and posture, improving flexibility, and providing good low-impact therapy for some injuries and conditions.
Especially here in very hot Merida having time in the water provids a pleasant way to cool down on a hot day.
I’d love to hear about your “must haves” in finding the home that is right for you. Please feel free to share in the comments section. If you have any questions please contact us at email@example.com
Having fun and finding beauty, even during a pandemic, is easy and affordable to do in and around Merida. Here are five suggestions.
1. Take a Walk Merida is a great city for walking especially in the Centro or Paseo Montejo áreas.
2. Explore Mayan History and Culture Chichen Itza is just one of many ancient Mayan heritage sites in the area. Get a good guide and learn more about this beautiful culture.
3. Visit a Cenote If you do nothing else, visit at least one of these magical and sacred natural water filled sink holes.
4. Go Looking for Iguanas These dragon like creatures are all over the city, especially in parks. I love trying to spot them as they are shy and blend in well with their surroundings.
5. Cool Off with a Day at the Beach or a Pool! Merida is 🔥 HOT! There are lovely beaches less than 30 minutes away and many local hotels allow you to come swim, better yet…get an apartment with a pool!
Words and pictures can not fully express the magic I experienced on our recent trip to the little town of Homun and the Cenote Santa Barbara.
A cenote is a natural pit, or sinkhole, resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater. The regional term is specifically associated with the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico, where we are currently living.
The Maya believed cenotes to be a gateway to Xibalba, the underworld, and the god of rain, Chaac, was believed to live at the bottom of these sacred wells. The Maya performed rituals and ceremonies at sacred cenotes to ask for rain and good crops.
Cenote Santa Barbara has three really beautiful and accessable cenotes. We were able to explore and swim in all three. The stairs down to the cenotes were well designed and very stable they all had hand rails. This was not true for the cenote we visited in Valladolid and I chose not to risk going down.
To get to the first cenote you could ride a bike or the horse drawn cart. It’s a fun less than 10 minute ride, whichever you choose.
Our friends and we swam in all 3 cenotes. The water was cool but not cold. For me it was a relaxing and healing experience.
We ended our day at the restaurant on the premises. We were able to choose from many delicious options of Yuccatecan style food. Admission to the cenote, including lunch was 290 pesos, less than $15 USD!
Just a short 3o minutes away from Mérida, Mexico is the city of Chelem. This sleepy little pueblo is home to the perfect spot for a getaway.
Playa Bonita Beach Club is the perfect spot for a day trip. For only 100 pesos (about $5 usd) you can spend all day on a comfortable beach lounge.
There is a lovely little pool, changing rooms and very clean restrooms.
I was especially delighted by how good, I mean really good the food and drinks were. There is a full, moderately priced menu. The waiters were attentive and friendly. You can have your food brought to your oceanside lounge or table.
I enjoyed a lovely walk along the beach and several people were actually enjoying time in the waves. All in all I spent a perfect day at Playa Bonita Beach Club. I can’t wait to go back!
If you have a special getaway spot in the Yucatan or wherever you are, we’d love to hear about it. Comment here or write us at BOLTraveling@gmail.com
Tomorrow will be 2 weeks since our arrival in Merida. Because of Covid concerns we haven’t done much exploring yet, outside of getting to know our new neighborhood. Here is a summary of our first two weeks in pictures.
So, our new life in Merida is comfortable, quiet and beautiful…all we could ask for during these difficult times. We look forward to exploring and sharing more as the weeks progress. Stay safe! Love and light to all!
My friend, Olivia, gave me the inspiration for this week’s blog post. She asked some great questions which I will answer here.
How was your time in Vietnam? It was wonderful! Vietnam handled the Covid crisis very well. It was very safe. Da Nang is beautiful and affordable. However, we came for a month and ended up staying for 10. We were concerned about having to review our visas every month and the strong possibility that we would eventually be denied.
Will you ever return to Asia? We hope so. We love Asia, especially Thailand and Malaysia. Plus there are several countries we still want to visit (India, Sri Lanka and Cambodia for sure). But if 2020 has taught me anything it’s that nothing is for certain.
What was your impetus to move to Mexico, in the middle of a pandemic? How did you choose Merida? Merida is one of the safest cities, not just in Mexico but the world. While the pandemic is of course a concern, we chose Merida because of it’s relatively low Covid numbers, thriving black ex pat community, affordable housing and proximity to family and friends in the U.S.
How are you feeling today? We traveled for 2 days, 4 planes plus all the packing and preparation. We are exhausted and jet lagged but grateful to have arrived safely. We tested for coronavirus before leaving Vietnam and were both negative. We plan to isolate for the recccomended 10 days and will wear masks and practice social distancing until further notice.
One question Olivia didn’t ask but I wanted to share on briefly is: What was traveling like during a pandemic? It was really surreal and a bit anxiety producing. Most of the airports were REALLY empty until we got to Houston. We treated ourselves to better seats, lounges and a hotel stay during our Houston layover. We wore masks at all times and my hands are so dry from all the washing and hand sanitizer. Overall our travel was a positive experience, for which we are very grateful!
Thank you Olivia for helping me to clarify what I wanted to share today, our 5th day in beautiful Merida.