Oaxaca mural

Oaxaca mural

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

On the Waterfront

Today was my last day in Mérida.  í took the bus to the port city of Progreso to visit my friends Joyce and Dave.  For the past fourteen years they have spent the winter at a beachfront condo outside of Progreso.  

This morning I walked to the station to catch the bus.  Progreso is located 25 miles north of Mérida on the Gulf of Mexico.  The bus ride takes around an hour... about half of that time is spent leaving the urban area of Mérida.  Joyce and Dave were at the Progreso bus station waiting for me.

Because the limestone shelf of the Yucatán Peninsula descends very gradually into the gulf, Progreso's dock stretches four miles into the water to accommodate ocean-going ships.

All ship cargo arriving in or leaving from Yucatán passes through Progreso.  In recent years the city has also become a port-of-call for cruise ships.  Many passengers take tours to Mérida or Mayan archaeological sites.  Progreso itself has little to offer the visitors other than the beach, the seaside restaurants and bars and shopping for (mostly tacky) souvenirs from the vendors who descend upon the city on cruise ship days.  

Progreso's beach is popular with the residents of Mérida during the summer months.  Well-to-do Mérida families own houses or condos along the shore.  However, they consider the winter months to be too cold for trips to the beach.  So they rent their condos to snowbirds from Canada and the United States.

(photo taken by Joyce)
 Here I am posing by the beach.  (I bought the Yucatán baseball shirt at a hole-in-the-wall sporting goods shop when I was visiting some of Mérida's less touristy neighborhoods.)

We went out for lunch at a new restaurant called "Crabster" which is located along Progreso's waterfront. 

I don't care for shellfish, but I found on the menu one of my favorite Yucatecan specialties, "pan de cazón".  (That's my dish in the foreground.)  "Pan de cazón" consists of layers of tortillas and dogfish in a tomato sauce.  You might say that it is Yucatán's seafood version of lasagna.  It was garnished with avocado, pickled red onion and cilantro.  It was delicious... maybe even better than what I have had in the city of Campeche where the dish originated!  Thank you, Joyce and Dave for a great dining experience!

I am now back in Mérida, and it is time for me to pack my bags.  Tomorrow afternoon I leave for Mexico City.

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