The town came together in another of the public squares to watch traditionally-dressed actors perform traditional dance routines to traditional music. The regular powercuts only added to the authenticity. Dancing in the Old Park
Arriving back from the cenotes, heard music on the other side of the square. Along one of the sides were two stages, one at each corner, each with a band on stage. They took it in turns to perform Latin songs, while a corridor of locals casually salsa-ed with each other throughout, slowly migrating to the louder speaker. Most getting involved were of an elder generation, yet had no issue with the hip gyrations required. Not sure if this is hereditary, or something the NHS should look to promote… Music under the central flagpole
Walking back one evening, there were a bunch of guys who set up some instruments and conducted a sort of ad hoc open-mic performance. A number of people hopped up and played to whoever would listen. Meeting Dr Jamie Awe
Admittedly not a regular feature in the Merida guidebooks, but by chance, passed the Head Belizean archaeologist in the street as he was there on vacation. Thanked him for his talk at Caracol (see 6.5) and wished a Happy New Year. Felt it necessary to stipulate Gregorian after his through briefing on calendars in the previous week. Food affair continues
The multitude of food stalls was excellent. Sharpening up my Spanish skills, I had a go at haggling some sort of deal with tacos and “pasceranos” (sort of fried, crimped taco). It required a few hand gestures and confused nods, but I received a discount, so imagine I’m improving. That, or they were destined for the dog bowl and he took pity… NYE 2012
After coming back from Uxmal (see 7.2.1) had a couple of hours before 2013. Spent it sharing some beers with other guys in the hostel and then heading the nearest bar we could find (it was all a bit last minute). In truth, it was all a bit cringreworthy. The majority of the crowd at the place were in their early thirties periodically “wooo”-ing, wearing platic hats, spilling cups of icy margarita and letting off firecrackers. The locals on the other side of the street sent their kids over the divide so they could take a photo, as if at a penguin sanctuary. One custom that passed us by was to eat 12 grapes (one for each bong of the New Year). The discarded bags were eaten at leisure on the walk back to the hostel. Merida Exit
My morning bus on the 1st cut short the end-of-year festivities, and soon enough I taking in the last of the historical centre before moving on to the bright lights of Cancun, a 4 and a half hour bus journey away. A very enjoyable few days, and my last ‘proper stop’ of Central America.