Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Beautiful Merida is one “Hot Mama” in the months of April and May. With the temperature climbing to a sweltering 100F several times, readings of 95F seemed like a cold spell. Dust particles (polvo) from the ongoing “Dig” floated through the air and coated every horizontal surface (We have no glass in any of the windows of our home to allow better air circulation, only metal protectors and screens called mosquiteras). I was also, in what seemed like a continuous state of pedicure, brushing and pumicing to keep my feet clean! Our routine was set, the Albinales arriving six days a week at 8:30 and quietly having their breakfast before starting work. The rhythmic sounds of the digging bar, the scrape of the shovel, the dumping of the debris-filled buckets onto the increasing mountain of rock and dirt.
The work only ceased at 2pm for lunch and a short siesta, then back to the task, the hot Yucatecan sun giving no reprieve. I had heard several expats refer to the locals as a gentle people, and watching the workers, I began to understand this is a very true statement. Looking back, I am still amazed with how quiet the guys were, speaking softly to one another, even reserved in their laughter.
The workers arrived one morning with the JACKHAMMER, shattering the quiet digging with the high-pitched pings of “Jack” crunching through solid limestone.
For three days the hammer intermittently chipped at the rock along with periods of quiet digging, I was thinking this is not so bad, I can deal with this, Alberto assured me, “We will only need the jackhammer for a few days”.

The ping reverberated off the walls inside our stone and concrete house so by the end of the fourth day, Adie with cotton stuffed in her ears and a towel wrapped around her head looked at me with troubled eyes, which seemed to say, “Can we just get the hell out of here?” I was sitting lifeless, my ears ringing, only able to form single syllable words, tears streaking my dusty cheeks.
I awoke hot and sweaty on the morning of day five, punched the phone number for Javier (more about him another time).I heard his sleepy voice say “Good morning, Sara”, through tear filled words I explained, “Adie and I have to go somewhere, I need to find a hotel that will accept dogs”. In a calm reassuring voice, he said, “I will be at your house in thirty minutes”. I threw a few clothes in a bag, gathered Adie’s things and left with Javier.
We sought refuge in Casa Esperanza, a beautiful bed and breakfast near Parque de Santa Lucia, Sergio and his three labs greeted us and made sure we were comfortable. Falling on to the comfortable bed, I was lulled to sleep by the hum of the air conditioner. Adie and I enjoyed swimming in the hot afternoons and she made three new friends. The wonderfully restored mansion with its inviting verandas was the perfect retreat and Sergio the perfect host. The in house tienda “Alma Mexicana” offers unique items from central Mexico and a large selection of Dia de Muertos, Katrinas.
The courtyard at Casa Esperanza

What started out as a three night stay ended up being a week, when Ty arrived from the states we took a little two night Caribbean getaway to Playa del Carmen and Tulum. We spent the next three weeks dropping Adie off at Dr. Tony’s (for daycare) while we roamed the streets of Merida until late in the day when we hoped it would be safe to go home.

Ok, so Alberto was off by about four weeks, cheers erupted from me and I am sure the neighbors when “Jack” was loaded up and carted away.

If you are looking for a great bed and breakfast in Mérida, Casa Esperanza would be a really good choice:


  1. This makes me glad that I'm not in Merida trying to 'supervise' the construction! Your pool will be beautiful!

  2. Thanks Pat. It was a trying time when they were using that blasted thing. Your house looks to be coming along nicely, we always look forward to the new pics.

  3. I got a huge laugh with the picture of poor Adie, head all wrapped in a towel, but I'm certain that she would be highly offended at my insensitivity to her suffering. Bless her heart and yours.

    From the looks of all that limestone and the time that it took just to dig, I can't imagine what this process would have cost in the US. These workers are skilled and truly amazing.

  4. Sara and Ty- Thanks for telling us about your adventures. I have totally enjoyed them from a entertainment and educational perspective. Almost makes me want to get a Visa but -think I will just enjoy your adventures from my desk for a bit longer. :)
    Enjoy your new surrounding and please keep sharing. *HUGS*
    Jeanette and Jim Stewart

  5. John and allen, thanks for the comment. They really are skilled workers and as miserable as the jackhammer period was, we wouldn't trade the experience for anything. Stay tuned, You will be amazed at the transformation.

    Jeanette, you and Jim are welcome anytime. Thanks for keeping up with us.


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