Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Carnival Cruise Day 3: Bievenido Progreso!

It was finally time to get off the ship for a little while, and I was pretty excited this morning. The ship docked in Progreso at 7:30, and I’d say we got off around 9 am. Progreso is home to the longest pier in the entire world – it’s 4.2 miles from the cruise dock to land. Busses take you back and forth to Progreso for free. Once we got to the bus terminal, we hopped on a different bus and headed to Merida, a large city about 45 minutes away from Progreso. We planned on walking around and doing some shopping.

You can sort of see Progreso, 4.2 miles in the distance.
The ride into Merida was not pretty, which was kind of disappointing, and the bus was also part of the city bus system too so we made several stops along the way. I found that weird. Merida is a really big city, and we got to see quite a bit as the plaza that they took us to was in the heart of the city. We spotted a Costco and shopping mall on the way into town too. I would say our driver was insane, but he seemed to be driving exactly like every other crazy person on the road in Mexico. We were literally inches from other cars and busses – I’m pretty certain I could have shaken some hands here and there if my window had been open, and the people on mopeds and small motorcycles weave around the traffic like it’s not even there. Our driver honked his horn two or three different times. It was kind of scary but I was very thankful to not be the one driving.

We walked from the bus station down to the main plaza and once we got there a teeny tiny little Mexican lady started trying to sell us an excursion. I’m not kidding, she was maybe 3’5” tall. We told her we were just sight-seeing and shopping, no thank you, so she proceeded to walk us over to a market place with all kinds of Mayan pottery, blankets, shirts, jewelry, knick-knacks….and lots more. I bought one ceramic cross, and we headed back to the main plaza. I think Nick was a little freaked out that I followed her so willingly, to be honest.
Our little Mexican tour guide....sort of.
We spotted a couple of old cathedrals and wandered in an out of some shops, but it was SO HOT today that we really weren’t enjoying it that much. Someone told us it was 99*, and I believe it, and since Merida is nothing but concrete everywhere we felt like we were walking around on a hot plate. We weren’t hungry, so we decided after a couple of hours to head back to Progreso and check out the shops and beach there. I actually took a nap on the bus back to Progreso, as did most of the other passengers.

Progreso is not a tourist town, like Cancun or Cozumel…it’s basically a slum. Authentic Mexico, financially challenged- however you put it, it’s not a pretty town, but the people are all very nice. Along the beach area there are markets and shops everywhere, and each one had 3 or 4 people trying to get you to come in and buy something. They want to get you in the door and then they start showing you everything they offer, which is pretty much the exact same crap as the shop next door. They are good at making deals as well, and man – Michael Kors knock-off purses are everywhere. When in Rome, do as the Romans and buy a fake MK bag. So I did, and I knocked him down over half the price he first quoted me. It’s not like I’m ever going to spring for a real one, so might as well.

We made our way to the beach because I wanted to get a bag of sand from both ports we visited, plus I wanted to at least step into the water once. Nick stayed on the pier and I trekked across the sand to fetch a handful of sand and shells, and of course grab a few photos. Since Progreso is still on the Gulf side of the Yucatan peninsula, the water isn't quite as clear as it is on the other side, but still a pretier color than the brown Galveston water. We meandered around a little bit longer, but then decided we were getting hungry and hotter so it was time to head back onto the cruise pier.
Nick didn't want to get his feet sandy. He's so precious.
There is a market on the actual pier as well, so we bought a few more things there and picked up a couple of souvenirs for Kate. They were really pushy about the sales, but it was hard not to get angry with them – this is their livelihood in most cases. At least most of them were very friendly when you said “no thank you” and let you keep walking.

Back on board the ship, we headed up to Lido and had tacos and burritos from the cantina again. After hitting the gym again to walk, this time together, it was just about time for sail away, so we walked back to the back of the ship to watch her pull away from the dock. On the way back there, I managed to walk too closely to one of the deck chairs and caught my little toe on the leg of the chair. My toe bent all the way out, like perpendicular from the way it normally lays, and I was pretty certain at that moment that I broke the piggy that cried wee wee all the way home. Nick went to get me an ice pack. A pretty nasty bruise has now appeared on my toe and even worked its way around to the inside, confirming that it indeed broke. Since there is pretty much nothing to be done for it, I've just been icing the poor thing.

I went back to a ladies pampering party and got a free mini facial. They offered those of us who came to the pamper party a deal on a spa package, which I couldn’t pass up, so I scheduled some spa time for just a little bit later. I spent 75 minutes getting a hydrating facial, foot and ankle massage, arm and hand massage, scalp massage, and a back/neck/shoulder massage with hot stones. It was pretty darn heavenly for 75 minutes and I felt completely relaxed.

I had to shower after my spa treatment though, since my technician rubbed some weird oil in my hair and I looked like a meth addict who hadn't washed her hair in 8 months. Then we dressed for dinner again, and tonight Nick ordered chicken noodle soup and cured salmon with stewed apples and grapes for an appetizer and I had the navy bean soup. For our entrée, Nick had the seared fillet of redfish with yam and pumpkin hash and green beans. I ordered the jerked pork loin with fried rice, crisp green beans and a plantain chip. I also had the pumpkin hash on my plate. I think Kamal is a fan of ours. Tonight I got two scoops of ice cream with my melting cake.

After dinner we went to check out our elegant night photos and chose 4 that we purchased. It was hard to narrow them down and agree on our favorites, and if they weren’t so expensive we probably would have purchased a lot more. Then it was time for a showgirl and magician show in the main lounge. Now, it’s time for bed.
Our towel animal today:

Tomorrow, Cozumel!

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