Mexican Revolution Day in the Yucatan! (plus some more cenotes)

Valladolid Travel Blog

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The festivities started early in Valladolid, with a parade winding through the streets of town. Firefighters demonstrated their skills, marching bands blared, and every organization in town -- from workers' unions to karate classes -- participated.

We couldn't find a collectivo, so we took a cab out to two cenotes, Dzitnup and Sambola, just outside of town. They were both really awesome -- underground, with just a shaft of light filtering onto clear blue waters. Dzitnup was the larger one, and the better place to chill. We stayed there for quite a while, just enjoying the solitude, the refreshingly cool water, the creepy formations hanging down from the ceiling, the cute bats flitting far overhead, and feeling the friendly fish nip at our heals. They especially loved mine for some reason, which really tickled.

Just as we were about to leave, I lost my shoe in the water. It was dark, and we could barely tell where it landed. Bizarrely, I have lost that same shoe (a clear plastic jelly) on several continents now. I always seems to get sucked away in some river, under a waterfall, and now, in a cenote. Each time, it has been painstakingly rescued, although this time I had to borrow a snorkel mask from the janitor, and dive, this time to get it.

Cenote Sambula is just across a field from Dzitnup. It is smaller, and a just a little bit smelly (bat guano perhaps), but it is definitely worth a trip for how pretty it is. A tree has tilted inward right at the top mouth of the cenote, its roots cascading dramatically into the cave from above.

 In the morning, light fliters into the cenote in a clear, defined shaft, illuminating the water a soft blue.

Refreshed, we packed up our stuff and headed north again, to Merida, by bus. That night, we enjoyed our second Revolution Parade of the day -- this one quite a bit larger, though almost completely consisting of high schools, colleges and other educational organizations in the area. Some schools dressed up in traditional Mayan dress, some dressed as Mexican Revolutionaries (complete with "rifles" slung on the back for the men and "babies" bundled onto the backs of women) and others just wore their school uniforms and learned to march. Gymnastics clubs did tricks, one group rode horses (including a rather spooked horse that attempted to trot into the crowd and kick off his rider), and some dressed up like famous historical figures whom we knew nothing about (some 1800's looking guy with a gray goatee and a suit? Is that Diaz? Madero? Trotsky???). Each group was proceeded by a VW Jallopy blaring music from speakers roped to the top.

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photo by: Stigen