Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Progresso, Mexico a Day at the Beach

A 15 minute walk and $1.25 U.S. each later we were in a collectivo van seating 15 people on our way from Merida, to the seaside port village of Progresso on our last full day in Mexico.

The van was clean, new, air conditioned and whisked us away, a straight shot down the highway we hurtled. After about 15 minutes I turned my head for a split second and saw a giant sign in the distance that said SEARS. “So there it is.” I pointed out to Bigness, who just grunted hmmfff in acknowledgement. A little bit of fear creeping into the corner of his eyes, he glanced at me sideways, as if I would ask him to ask the driver to let me off RIGHT HERE, so I could shop. But I had already bought my Frida costumes, and happened to be wearing one at the time. “Its O.K.” I said, and he relaxed. So now we know about the second mall, the real mall. Next time.

Things have changed in the 30 years since Bigness had been to Progresso. Back in the day it was a sleepy seaside village of a thousand people with unpaved streets, cheap beer, sandy beaches and turquoise water. The sand, water and cheap beer remains, but what has grown up is a full scale Mexican resort town. The difference between Progresso and Playa Del Carmen is that the white world has not found it. The tourists are all Mexican, and most of them from Merida which sits 35 miles away inland. The whole time I was there I saw one other foreigner besides myself.

We live on a beach, so we are never looking for “beach” but it was interesting anyway… and HOT. We arrived at around 10 a.m. and all of the shady spots were staked out by families with coolers and blankets. We walked and walked and walked down the seaside sidewalk to find shade, and resigned ourselves to sitting at a restaurant on the beach, and ordering ice cold 50 cent Sol beers and eating fresh seafood ceviche. Such torture!

I am a watcher. I just love seeing different people. When I was a kid for cheap entertainment my parents would take us to the airport to watch people. Sounds weird, but it was fun. Maybe that’s what spawned my love for travel (it didn’t have the same effect on my brothers) but I love to people watch, to imagine where they are going, what they are doing.

Mayan and Yucateca ladies are very modest, swimming in shorts and T-Shirts. The only ladies I saw in bathing suits were obviously from other parts of Mexico as they looked different from the dark brown short square locals. You will notice that here in Belize that most of the local Spanish and Kriole women that actually live in Belize (this excludes those who have left and come back only on vacation) are very modest when bathing. No bikinis, T-Shirts and shorts mostly or bathing suits covered up with t-shirts. The local women here on Caye Caulker are dismayed and embarrassed by the foreign flesh pots, often pointing and giggling. Topless sunbathing is not only frowned upon, but heartily discouraged.

So we finished out last day in Mexico at the beach and headed back to Meirda and then to Belize the next day. 5 days away from home seemed like a month. I came back really refreshed with lots of new ideas for jewelry design. All in all it was a great break. Merida was lovely.


elisa Italia said...

volevo farti i complimenti hai un sito bellissimo un abbraccio dall'Italia

Congratulations on a beautiful website
Loved everything on your site and you did a magnificent job. You should be proud of yourself
if youhave just a minute, visit me back and live a comment with your link, so other Italian people will be able to visit your blog

wayne said...

Ok, I admit it. I love your blog! Somehow you always manage to make me laugh out loud with your keen tongue in cheek humor. About the on Isla we have an unofficial offical topless beach. It is quite amusing to see the half naked tourists next to the local women who actually wear bras under their bathing suits! So, keep posting!

Cream said...

Thanks for the tour! I love Sol.