Thursday, January 13, 2011 7:59 AM
Travels in the Yucatan - Tizimin and the Feria de Caballos
In addition to visiting the Merida Zoo, we had a special day trip planned for the kids, a road trip to the village of Tizimin to see the Feria de Caballos (horse fair) during the Festival de los Reyes, one of the 5 largest annual festivals in Mexico. Birdie's trainer, Paco, had mentioned the fair to me a few weeks back, thinking it might be fun for all of us to see now that we were reentering the horse world. Tizimin is located north of Valladolid but even though we were traveling back west from Merida, the trip turns out to be about equidistant (time-wise) from Playa del Carmen. Taking the road that runs parallel and to the north of the Cancun-Merida cuota was fast and easy and only took us about 1.5 hours. Once in the town of Tizimin, finding the fairgrounds was not difficult. There was a LONG line of cars all headed (at a snail's pace) in the same direction and hundreds of buses bringing visitors from across the country. It is fair to say the town was filled to capacity!
Once we finally got in, we made a beeline for the covered arena where an equine exhibition was taking place. Ranchers had brought their finest breeding stock to show off and hopefully capture the interest of other top quality breeders and equine enthusiasts. Right away, we ran into a friend and fellow horse-nut from Playa and the only other gringo in attendance. She has kept horses in Cancun and along the Riviera Maya for some years and knows a lot of the breeders and trainers. One of the horses she had once considered acquiring, a feisty Friesian, was on display this day and we had the opportunity to meet him and his handler. There were so many beautiful creatures there.
Look at the beautiful markings on this unusual wall-eyed Quarter Horse.
Handsome Arabian Stallion
It was love at first site for me and this fine fellow. It's difficult to show the scale but let's just say this horse could easily manage Rob.
Prize winning bulls
Lisa found another friend!
"Life's a Beach" readers certainly know by now that I have a very adventurous palette. I am a true devotee of the nasty bits and all things offal! There is almost nothing I won't try, but here, I was faced with a real W.W.M.D. moment. There were things on la parilla that even I couldn't find appetizing and I am not referring to the whole head slow roasting over the hot coals. Rob snapped a few choice photos on his iPhone to send off to our friend Mike in Chicago, showing him all he was missing. Next year Mike....Kinnon-Lopiano culinary road trip to Tizimin! You in?
Ultimately, we ordered and shared a large mixed grill (over cooked and over priced) with frijoles charros and queso fundido and hurried back to the festival to check out the rides!
Yup. They're cute.
More standard carnival food.
This is Birdie's very favorite carnival ride, as you can probably tell
by the look on her face. As if it isn't fast enough, the ride operators
run from car to car and whip them around randomly. Huge fun!!
After the first ride, Cole has already had enough. Birdie is just getting warmed up. Where does my daughter head next? The horrible, plunge-to-your-death roller coaster. Super.
Why am I the only one in line for this?
Even the ticket-taker looks skeptical!
Off to certain death.....
Can you hear me screaming?
Grateful to have escaped with our lives, we passed on "Angelo the two headed baby" and made a b-line for the always popular bumper cars. This was by far the best set up we have seen so far in our Mexico-Central America travels. The cars were in great shape with only a minimal amount of sparks raining down from above. There were lots of other drivers dashing and smashing about making big fun for everyone. Of course, the kids took several turns!
Another favorite, the Himalayan Plunge made even more exciting when the safety bar kept popping open!
Uuum. Barf. No thanks.
Going to have to pass on this one too.
Carnie folk, Mexican style.
Back in the arena, a riding demonstration was going on for a standing room only crowd. These were very good riders and very well trained horses. Birdie was amazed as the "cues" given very practically invisible. These "dancing horses" were a huge attraction for this crowd. I took a short video of some of the antics.
After the demonstrations, we made one last pass through the rides so the kids could try out this attraction. Brilliant actually, this was probably the most fun they had all day and the guys running the show seemed to be having just as good a time!
I am totally getting one of these!
One last look at the livestock on the way out.
This is NOT how you want your day to end.
By the time night fell, we were tired and passed on the rodeo and other night time activities as we had to drive all the way back to Merida. It was a great day and a great "authentic" experience, the kind that seems harder and harder to find at least on the Riviera Maya. The Feria de Caballos is already on our calendar for next year!
Go to: Day 5 - More Merida Real Estate Adventures