When I arrived to Mérida I thought I wouldn’t go passed the bus station. The city was flooded. Heavy and sudden rains had transformed the streets and the roads in rivers. And while my bus drove through the waters, I could only think about my backpack stored in the luggage compartment and pray that the water hadn’t passed through. It did, but luckily other suitcases served as a shield – my backpack was only a bit wet and my clothes were all dry and safe.
But what about me? Leaving the bus, the air was hot, humid and electrical. The storm was coming to an end, the rain wasn’t so heavy anymore…and yet the streets were flooded and there wasn’t a way out of the bus station for me without having to walk through water up to my knees.
My heart started racing. What if my hostel had been damaged? What if there wasn’t a way to get there? But then I realised that even though the roads were flooded, cars were still driving through as if it was nothing. So I thought…let me try and get an Uber. Which turned out to be a very good decision – lucky me, there is Uber in Mérida! I got a text message of the driver asking to wait on the parking lot, and there he came to pick me up. In nervous Spanish I asked him if the flooding was normal.
“Yeah, it’s the rain season… it happens cause the sewage is full of rubbish you know… the water can’t go through and the streets flood”
Well, they know that’s rain season, so shouldn’t they be prepared for such a situation? And then I remembered where I was. Mexico. But I still asked, innocently but happy that I was inside a car, safe from the water and a bit at ease with his relaxed tone even though his car was serving as a boat:
“And is it safe?” my mouth pronounced, and I received a confused look from my driver, so I clarified “I mean, to drive with the streets like this”. I could see him chuckling and just said “yeah, no problem”.
Clearly that was a usual situation in Mérida. I arrived to the hostel starving, it was around 5pm and I had barely eaten the whole day. But with the streets flooded I asked the receptionist if there was food in the hostel. I wasn’t feeling like swimming to the next grocery shop. Which was almost what I had to do. OK, I am being a bit dramatic. I didn’t had to swim. It was just like a walk by the sea in the beach. With the exception that the water was dirty and the cars were causing the waves.
I got my food and went back to a stay in at my hotel. Hoping the next day I’d get sunshine, the water would be gone and I could enjoy the swimming pool.
And yes, the next day came to me as if the day before had never happened. There was literally no water in the street. It was so hot, everything dried up. And it was really crazy hot. Which was the main reason why I couldn’t enjoy as much as I’d like to of Mérida. Simply because I couldn’t handle the heat and the humidity, and the swimming pool seemed like a much better alternative. But the sunshine allowed me to appreciate some of the beauty of the city – colonial buildings, with baroque details, pastel coloured walls and doors. Like a Wes Anderson movies, Mérida turned out to be as photogenic as San Cristobal.
I also chose the wrong walking tour to go in. Or at least I think I did – I joined the one promoted by the Tourism office of the city. It was terrible. The worst walking tour I have ever had. The guide was old, clearly tired and with no patience for anyone. He literally took us around the main plaza bombarding us with dates and historical facts about the buildings surrounding us. I had no fun, was bored and terribly regretted my choice. But well… not everything always goes as we’d like. So I did my own tour of the city, got a few shots… but after lunchtime I was way too exhausted to continue, my body complaining about the heat, I felt like everything was shutting down. I constantly needed to drink water to compensate for the water leaving my body at all times.
So, after relaxing a bit on a local restaurant enjoying a delicious tamale, I decided it was time to head back to my hotel, and enjoy the privileges of a swimming pool. If you’re looking for a nice place to stay in Mérida, I do recommend Nomadas Hostel – really enjoyed the pool area, the room as clean and fresh, such a good vibe and atmosphere!
My next stop would be Tulum…so stay tuned! Some amazing stuff will be coming soon 🙂