Last Saturday the weather in Yucatan was as close to perfect as it ever gets. Jorge and I could not stand being cooped up, so a car ride seemed like a safe way to scratch our itch. We decided to visit Sotuta, a town 75 kilometers from Merida. The name means, “place surrounded by water” which is derived from the fact that cenotes are common in the area. However, we did not seek them out because we did not want to encounter any crowds during our escape from the confines of social distancing.
The road shown in the above photograph is the highway from Merida. To reach Sotuta, you need to exit and that road is winding, narrow and a bit hilly. The curves are not well banked. No photo of this because I dared not distract myself long enough to take one.
Sotuta is the ancestral home of the COCOM family. In the pre-Columbian era, they fought often for supremacy over the Itzaes from Chichen Itza, but once the Spaniards arrived, they became the focus of the Cocum war efforts. One of Yucatan’s most famous defenders against the Conquistadores was a man named, Nachi Cocom. He lived and died, a martyr to his cause, during the first half of the 1500s AD.
The drive to Sotuta is particularly picturesque at this time of year because f the abundance of wildflowers along the roadside. The “tajonal” is the most common and the bright yellow blooms attract many bees. It is the pollen from this plant that gives Yucatecan honey its distinctive taste.
The most destinctive structure in town is the Spanish colonial church that features a large atrium.
We had hoped to find a local fonda where we could have lunch, but the pandemic has nixed that. So back to Merida we drove, much happier that when we set off four hours earlier. Getting out into the countryside always lifts our spirits.
And our little pup, Buddy also enjoyed the outing!
The road home. Even when there were not many flowers to enjoy, we had the sky. I often describe the skies in Yucatan as a gigantic – panoramic – ever-changing mural.