A day with Francisco afuera de Merida (Mexico)

A rock on the road makes our rental car ( Fiat Panda ) jolt and it wakes me up. A quick look on the phone to see our GPS location and I still couldn’t believe where I was… (for the entire 2 weeks I kept pinching myself because I couldn’t believe was finally in Mexico).

My arm was burning under the Mexican January sun. Far from Europe and any sort of issues, the biggest worry was to not forget the sunscreen lotion. And of course I forgot the lotion.

What was Mexico for me, before visiting it?

I’ll admit that for my whole life, I never considered myself a fan of Mexico. All I can say now is that: Life can teach you many little things, but only if you are willed enough, you will climb the wall of knowledge and see what’s on the other side. If you never experienced Mexico and its people firsthand, then you know nothing about Mexico and the Mexicans.

Mexico had the power to find a special place in my heart…

I don’t even want to start a sentence like:

“I thought Mexico wasn’t safe because of crime”

or

“I need to be careful not to be cheated with the money”

Only adding those words as important facts to be aware of when travelling to Mexico, would be a HUGE and SAD INSULT to all the amazing people I met during my time there.

Please don’t think that I want to exaggerate with the facts and seem a liar. Mexico gave me the opportunity to meet only great people…

Now I can smell your doubts about if you should keep reading my article.

I promise you that you will enjoy the entire amazing story about our best MotoTaxiDriverTouristGuide, Francisco.

Remember the part about me burning my arm under the sun? Well before we start the story, I would like you to know that I’m one of those people who are trying their best to talk in the local language during trips. It was after I realized that my arm was burning, when I coined a new English / Spanish term to define somebody in a certain situation: IDIHOMBRE (from the English word IDIOT and the Spanish word HOMBRE).

Our car almost hit this young man who was trying to stop us and sell a tourism package: A guided tour of 5 different Cenotes on a MotoTaxi.

It didn’t take too much of his charm and warm soul to win our curiosity and make us accept the deal. Half day of his work for only trescientos pesos ( fifteen bucks ).

Crazy right?

For those of you who haven’t had the chance to learn much about Cenotes, this natural phenomenon found in only a few places around the world, here is a Wikipedia explanation:

Cenote is a natural pit, or sinkhole, resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath. Especially associated with the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, Cenotes were sometimes used by the ancient Mayan people for sacrificial offerings.

 

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Cenotes are surface connections to subterranean water bodies. While the best-known cenotes are large open water pools measuring tens of meters in diameter, such as those at Chicken Itza in Mexico the greatest number of cenotes are smaller sheltered sites and do not necessarily have any surface exposed water. There are over 6000 different cenotes in the Yucatan Pensinsula in Mexico alone.

 

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An explanation alone cannot describe how incredibly beautiful these Cenotes are. For all the tropical fans of European destinations (like me), after visiting this superb Peninsula, I bet you will pleasantly think differently.

We parked our car and jumped onto this MotoTaxi: a regular motorcycle without the front wheel. In order to obtain a good MotoTaxi, you need to remove the front wheel and the fork. Then add a two-wheeled cabin with a bench and a roof. Bingo! Then start your low investment business.

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photo: Francisco’s MotoTaxi

The amazing thing about this original transportation is that you have the wind that hits you and cools you on a warm Mexican day.

The first cenote had a scary ladder that we needed to climb down to reach a wooden platform over the water. I didn’t need too much prompting. I took my fiancée’s hand and we pushed each other into that crystalline and fresh water. Our guide Francisco explained to us all he knew about those cenotes…

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Amazing, just amazing.

Back to the MotoTaxi, Francisco was singing a song and I thought his voice was even better than Julio Igleasis’.

He was singing and we were enjoying the ride with goose bumps on our skin. And it was too warm for goose bumps.

Francisco is a father and husband. A simple man with a strong passion for his lands, he became the man of our trip. When I think of Mexico’s people, I think of people like him.

I will not even try to use words to describe the rest of the cenotes. I think the pictures will be more than enough…

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At the end of our trip, Francisco became nothing more than a beautiful memory that I will always remember with a huge smile on my face.

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Gracias Francisco!

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