Izamal, Mama and miracles in Ticul (2-3 February)

March 4, 2006  
Topics: Mexico

We thought of a small village called Mama (70km south-east) being our next destination. But during our stay in Merida one girl suggested us to visit Izamal, where one may find a free to climb Mayan pyramid right in the middle of the town. Finally we decided to visit Izamal before we go towards Mama.

It took us a while to get out of Merida, as we got out of the city bus about 2km earlier than we needed. The driver Marcelino, the manager of a construction company, brought us to Izamal in the late afternoon. He had to deliver a spare tire for his worker, and come back to Merida afterwards. We asked for a lift back, as the road to Mama starts just before Merida. Marcelino agreed to meet in 1 hour. We had to hurry up in order to look around the impressive convention building, and to climb the Mayan pyramid in the middle of the town.

To tell the truth, we accepted Marcelino’s offer to leave our backpacks inside the car. We got only positive feelings about this person, but when he was late for 10 minutes for the meeting point, it made us feel uncomfortable. Luckily, he did not disappear and soon we were driving back to Merida with all our bags.

In the evening Marcelino had to travel to Acanceh village, which was on the way to Mama.
So, first he brought us back to Merida, then he invited us to his big house for a Coca-cola, introduced us to his family, and afterwards we were travelling to Acanceh. In this village two of his workers were renovating the toilet in the hospital. One of those guys was a dump guy, who made strange noises once you started to interact with him.

Marcelino had to go back to Merida. He suggested us to ask in a big open-air restaurant in the end of Acanceh for a place to put our tent during the night. The restaurant had plenty of empty space around. The workers of this place had already finished their working day and were ready to leave. We were lucky to get them in time. One of them allowed us to place the tent on the flor next to the tables. We were introduced to the night guard whom we later shared a nut bar with. The night was calm and save with a lot of mosquitos attacking our tent.

In the morning we hitch-hiked in the crossroad, where we were disturbed by a police car. It was a 4×4 vehicle with three officers. They were obviously bored. We stayed about 50 meters from the junction. Policemen were curious about us, so used their loud-speaker and shouted “A donde va!?” (“where do you go?”). We ignored their impolite behaviour. They had nothing else to do than to come to us by car. We explained our intentions to visit Mama, but the policemen wanted to talk more. The cars, potential lift givers, were passing by. We had to interrupt the conversation and ask them not to disturb our hitch-hiking.

The officers went back to the crossroad under the shadow. Not so much time passed and in the other side of the cross two cars bumped into each other. The accident looked very stupid, but the policemen finally had a chance to switch on their blue signal lamps, drive to the other side of the road and record the situation.

After one hour Jose with a 25 years old truck offered us a lift to Mama. We hardly fit into the cabin, but we managed! Katja’s bag was behind our heads, on the top of the seats (we had really hard exercises for the neck), and the other backpack was half leaning on Augustas’ knees and the other half hanging outside the window and blocking the side-mirror.

Mamite – this is how all the locals call the Mama village. It is a calm and small place with a standard for the village football field, square in front of the municipality building and a church in the centre. We completed our mission in Mama by making a picture in front of the road sign “Mama” at the end of the village.

Our next stop was Ticul. We were dropped off in the beginning of this town. We refused to take a tricycle taxi and decided to reach the end of the town by walking.

In one of the streets we remembered that we need to buy batteries for our small devices (Psion) which we use for typing stories. We were passing the shop of washing machines and refrigerators. The seller explained us that he does not sell batteries, but does have some of them used for the equipment in the shop. He opened the fridge, which was serving as a shelf, and grabbed a bunch of batteries. We asked the price, but the man simply gave them to us and said “take it, it’s for free”. It was the FIRST small miracle that happened to us in Ticul.

Shortly after we were passing a restaurant. “We need water!”, we reminded ourselves and went inside the restaurant in order to ask for water from the tap, which we would desinfect later. The man inside understood what we were searching for, went into the kitchen and filled our bottles with purified ready-to-drink water.
This was the SECOND miracle that happened to us in Ticul.

The miracles continue in the next shop we stopped, where we decided to buy some fruits. The man selling fruits and vegetables was curious to know about us more: where do we come from, how do we travel… I guess we looked tired, were sweating a lot and the backpacks were becoming heavier. After we paid for the items we have selected, the seller filled a big plastic bag with oranges and gave it to us. “For the road”, he explained… We went out of the shop and had the same thought – “the THIRD miracle…”

In the end of Ticul we had a short conversation with the kids playing nearby. One of them ran to his garden and brought two oranges for us. This was the finish of miracles of the day…

The night we spent in a abandoned school in the next village – Santa Elena. It was an ugly place to stay, but at least we did not have to pay 4.5$ for spending one night in a camping site an the end of this touristic village.