Celestun

It’s been almost three weeks since I’ve posted. The last two weeks of Spanish were very challenging with new concepts to study and learn each class. I gave myself a break from extra-curricular activities to focus on studying. Then another week off from everything to relax and play tourist. That’s the luxury of retirement!

Celestun is a small fishing village on the Gulf coast about two hours west of Merida. It’s known for salt flats and flamingoes that live in the river.

We rented a car and took a trip to the beach at Celestun with the plan of spending the night at a Hacienda just short of Celestun.

The beach had a typical, small fishing village vibe with a few tourist sites.

Looking at the beach from the water

Looking at the beach from the water

We had a nice ceviche lunch at the palapa in the middle of the picture; pulpo (octopus), camerons (shrimp), and fish. No pepino (cucumber)!

The men in the palapa at the left were boat captains who rented their pangas to take people to visit the flamingoes.

In the panga, looking left

In the panga, looking left

and looking down the beach to the right.

More boats and restaurants on the beach.

More boats and restaurants on the beach.

It was a beautiful day as we launched with a full boat, all Mexicans and Doug and I. The boat captain didn’t speak English. In the end, he wasn’t a tour guide at all, simply a boat driver who knew where to go.

We did see the flamingoes. Coming into the tributary we first noticed a bright coral- orange color lining the waters edge. As we grew closer we could hear the birds over the boat engine.

As we approached, the birds were spooked and began taking off in large groups.

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I wish you could hear the sound as well as see the sight of half a mile of coral colored, long-legged and long-necked birds lining the shore of the river. It really was amazing!

After the flamingoes we motored to a managed eco area and through a mangrove forest then out of the boat for a short walked on a decrepit (truly) boardwalk through fresh water springs and crystal clear water.

Fishing boats in the river at Celestun

Fishing boats in the river at Celestun

other sites along the way…

Lots and lots of pelicans

Lots and lots of pelicans

the mangrove forest

Boating through the mangroves

Boating through the mangroves

the crystal clear freshwater springs bubbling up…

the springs were such a contrast from the mangrove waters

the springs were such a contrast from the mangrove waters

then back to the beach

The beach in Celestun.

The beach in Celestun.

Yup, you  can get your very own pink flamingo here on the beach to take home. But, since we don’t have a home, we passed.

After Celestun we headed to the San Jose Pachul Hacienda. Back in the days of henequen, there were many, many haciendas in this area. Henequen came from a variety of the agave cactus and was made into ropes used in the shipping industry.  The haciendas had their heyday in the early 1900’s. After synthetic fibers began proving more economical to manufacture and as useful as ropes made with henequen, the haciendas soon went into decline. Now, some haciendas in the area have been purchased and restored. Many have opened as hotels, restaurants and places for special events.

Hacienda San Jose Pachul

Hacienda San Jose Pachul

We were the only guests so had the place to ourselves. It’s small, only two rooms to rent. However, there are often additional guests who come from Merida for dinner.

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It was a lovely day of hanging at the pool and being pampered. Good food, good discussion, lots of relaxation. Then back to Merida and the heat!

We’re doing well and planning our next “move”. We’ll be leaving Merida the end of April. It really is hot now, over 100 most every day. I wonder how we handled this heat growing up in Nebraska. The hottest months are April and May. In June the rains come and provide some relief.

Right now we’re planning a week in Belize on the beach then will hit the road, on the bus, to go cross country.

Love and blessings to you all. We miss you and wish you could share some of our great experiences.

 

2 thoughts on “Celestun

  1. Congratulations on a great Post. I could almost hear the whoosh of the flamigoes wings as they flew away. Made me a little homesick for P.B/ however that was nothing compared to your experience. We love you and keep us up to date. We enjoy every trip you share.
    Mother and Dad

  2. What fun, you are sharing your vacation with us, we don’t get it all but we are getting some tastes. So what is your destination for the bus trip? Will you be wind blown or have air on the bus? Keep the Spanish going so you don’t loose it.
    Looking forward to hearing all about your travels when you return. Love you,
    ml and art

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