We slip into plastic chairs at the roadside restaurant we visited this morning.
There are no novel length Cheesecake Factory menus; in fact, there are no menus at all. We are never told the name of the restaurant, but to the locals it is the place with the pork. If you come here, you are coming for one thing, yummy pork tacos.
A server sets down a bowl of salsa, and a plate of chopped red onions and lime wedges for the table to share.
A basket of fresh warm tortillas are set down. We each get a large bowl of slow cooked black beans and a plate of pork.
Then the assembling begins.
I’m not exactly sure if the black beans are meant to be a side dish, or if they go on the tacos, but after watching our tour companions assemble their tacos and then dip them in the beans, I decide to follow suit.
The food is delicious, as only fresh food that you witnessed being made by careful loving hands could be. The salsa is particularly good. It is milder than I expected. The slow roasting gives it a deep, warm, smoky flavor with a slightly creamy texture. I clear my plate and then use a spoon to gobble up the remaining black beans. The portion size was perfect. I’m satisfied but not stuffed.
Our next stop is the most touristy part of the tour. It is a stop at a tequila distillery complete with a tequila tasting.
I’m sure this is a highlight for the spring breaker college kids, but we’re not big tequila drinkers. Since it seems like some kind of Mexican law that all tourists must have at least one embarrassing wearing a sombrero picture, we feel the need to oblige with the tour guide’s insistence that we wear sombreros for the duration of the tour.
Our tour guide from the distillery is quite the character and continues to encourage the taking of silly pictures as we learn how agave plants are turned into the main ingredient for margaritas.
Our final tour stop is the town of Valladolid.
I love Spanish Colonial towns. Their brightly painted buildings and delicate architecture makes me want to take a million pictures.
We consider going to the ATM to extract some money, but the ATM line is wrapped around the building, so we content ourselves with walking around the closest town plaza.
I have an affinity for town/city squares and plazas, they make my heart happy.
On this day there happens to be some sort of event going on so there are extra vendors and things to look at.
While walking around the plaza, we are approached by a young girl with a guitar.
She strums a few chords, then launches into a song. She is quickly joined by a young man with an accordion and an older man with a guitar. I assume they are family, but it is clear that the girl is the star of the show. Her voice is beautiful. She is not merely singing a song, she is singing her soul.
For a moment time stands still as I take it all in, the lovely colonial plaza, the passion etched on this little girl’s face as she serenades us, the smell of the vendors’ food wafting through the air, the moment buries itself into my brain, never to be forgotten.
We give the girl something for her song and she moves on. Before it's time to leave, we take one last lap around the plaza and purchase some coconut ice cream from a jovial vendor.
Like the van ride on the way there, the van ride back is quiet. I don’t mind. I take time to begin organizing the experiences of the day into future words.
Celio drops us off at the ferry and we bid him farewell. It seems more like days, not hours since we were here last. The air is pleasant and cooling so we take seats on the outside benches at the top of the ferry.
As the ferry skims across the water to Holbox island, the daytime sky melts into the most beautiful mixture of purples, oranges, and pinks. Not only did we just have the best day, but we are graced with a gorgeous sunset at the end…though it really isn’t quite the end…yet.