We sadly left beautiful Campeche behind and set out for 2 weeks on the beach at Progresso. We really didn’t know anything about Progreso, it was just a place on the map that looked like it might be fun. We were somewhat concerned that with the coming Christmas and New Years festivities, places would be either booked solid, or closed. We needed a place to relax and recharge the batteries. We had found a place on line for $200.00 per week, and it sounded like just what the doctor ordered.
‘Our place’ was a little casita; sort of a guest house beside the main house. It was located in the yard of the main house, which was located on the beach. To get to the beach, we just had to walk around the house. We met the owner Mike and his friends Ray and Sherry. Mike was leaving in the morning to go back to the states for a few weeks, and Ray and Sherry would be looking after the place, along with Sadie the dog, Buckwheat the cat, and 2 birds.
We were not actually staying right in Progreso; but in a town a couple of clicks east of there called Chicxulub (say Chich u lube). I had read that the area is a really popular summer beach getaway for residents of the nearby state capital, Mérida. Winter is actually the low tourist season, and many Méridians rent out their beach condos. Freezing Canadians discovered this years ago, and many return every winter. We didn’t have the only Alberta license plates in town.
The place was not at all what we had imagined. We thought we would find more high rise, modern type development; but this was still rustic Mexico. There were a lot of summer beach houses, some of them quite grand; sitting empty. The beach at Chicxulub was not that great, and covered with kelp. It was much better in nearby Progreso. I didn’t swim at either beach, but Ray said the coast is so shallow that you have to pack a lunch to get your bellybutton wet. Progreso has a pier almost 7 km long, so that ships, including regularly scheduled cruise ships, can anchor. The place (and Ray and Sherry) soon grew on us.
Our events folder in iPhoto tells me we have over 400 pictures of Progreso, and the surrounding area, so I will try to let them tell that part of the story. Also, we made a few day trips, and I’ll make separate entrees for them. What I do want to tell you about is Ray and Sherry.
In the beginning, we wanted to respect their space as much as possible, but we had so many questions, and they had so many answers that you would think they were our personal travel assistants. They are from Pittsburgh, and have been coming here for a number of years. They are both retired. We really hit it off right away. Ray and I share many interests, and views on different subjects; and its impossible not to fall in love with Sherry. She has at times such a dry, sarcastic sense of humor! I really thought Barbie was going was going to pee her pants when Sherry told Ray (who had lost something) that soon he would be able to hide his own easter eggs! We still chuckle every day about something or other that she has said.
They invited us to Christmas dinner with them at Buddies Bar; a local place frequented mainly by Canadians and Americans. They took us to their favorite local places, to the market, showed us where to get our laundry done- for under 10 bucks while you drink beer somewhere. They BBQ’ed with us, shared music, taught us how to use skype, and sent us home from their table more than once singing just a little too loud! Picture Barbie sitting and drinking straight Tequila for the evening; or destroying a bottle of 43 (a local specialty) with Sherry! They really made our stay there a fun one.
On New Years Eve, Ray and Sherry were invited to a friends place in Mérida. Barbie and I stayed home and had a wonderful fondue dinner, outside under the blue moon. We watched the fireworks later that night. I really never dreamed that I would be saying hello to 2010, in Mexico, with a terrified Golden Lab in my arms (while Barbie was looking around for her New Year’s Kiss)! Sadie was scared to death of the fireworks, and literally jumped up into my lap and shook like a leaf. It was a pretty special night.
We had planned to leave Progreso on the Saturday, but stayed another night so we could have one more dinner with Ray and Sherry. On Sunday we said our goodbyes to Progreso, Sadie and Buckwheat and the one bird that was still alive (not sure exactly what happened there, but I was all for blaming Buckwheat). Ray and Sherry on the other hand, got a See Ya Later. We are sure that we will not be loosing touch with them!
Dec 20-Jan 3