"Visiting Hunucma" Hunucmá by Gatopardo
Hunucmá Travel Guide: 0 reviews and 9 photos
The itinerary called for camping in Oxkutzcab and visiting caves.
Things didn't work out well so we changed our mind and go somewhere else.
This short story is about my friend Veronica and I when we used to simply jump in a bus and go somewhere with no particular planning.
As every Sunday, we left home around 10 am., visited Merida's downtown and walked to the Oriente Bus Terminal. We left Merida around noon. The trips cost $20 pesos round trip, that would be a little less than 2 or 3 USD (depending on currency exchange). We looked at a map on a wall and pointed at Hunucma. It was towards the west side of the State of Yucatan. It shown as cenote (natural sink hole | flooded cave) in another town called Tetiz. We decided to go hunting for that cenote.
With great surprise we found that Hunucma was in the core of their local annual fair. We loved the people, the music, the food (there were relleno negro, empanadas, polcanes, cochinita pibil, etc - all very typical local food). It was Hunucma's celebration for the arrival of the Virgin of Tetiz. A religious based celebration. We couldn't believe all the people celebrating outside, since the weather was particulary hot.
After eating a few corn dough empanadas (turn-overs) for $1.00 Peso each, a cochinita pibil sandwich for $8.00 pesos and refreshments, for $5.00 pesos we took the bus to Tetiz.
Tetiz was empty. Everybody went to Hunucma for the fair. Well, we were looking for our cenote. The problem was that we asked the driver of the bus to drop us at Tetiz's downtown. That was wrong. We felt very lonely. There were only a few kids just chilling under a tree. We asked a guy who was walking by about the cenote. He said he wasn't sure if the place was open, people usually baths there and since everybody was gone, well chances were that we wouldn't find the place open.
We walked one kilometer. We walked and walked and walked. It felt like the longest kilometer ever.
We found a person taking care of a few cows, he told us the cenote was nearby, that we needed to find a narrow trail. The trail would take us there. This is when you wish you had a car. Everything was so nice until we found a bull. We felt scared so we jumped towards a wall, albarrada is called. We waited until the bull left. I mean, the cow. It happened that it wasn't a bull, it was a cow.
We walked until we met with a bunch of kids at a closed gate. It looked that they were swimming. Which meant, we finally found out cenote!
The place was closed to public, but the people at the place let us in. It was a private property, not exactly a tourist open-cenote. The owner - Claudia or a relative of hers - said we could get in a enjoy the place. The cenote was a half open kind and we saw catfish (bagre) swimming in there. The water was so clear and fresh. We soaked our feet! It was delicious after all that walking under the sun. That was the moment when we started enjoying the place. There was an orchard full of avocado trees, oranges, grapefruit, lemon, tamarind and some other varieties! It felt so safe as well! We felt like the luckiest people in the world.
Sadly, we had to take off and return home. We walked, again, to the gate, the trail, the cows, the guy taking care of the cows, the dirt road until we made it to the main road. We arrived to the main plaza of Tetiz, still empty. We saw a collective taxi (a minivan) and left to Hunucma for a $5.00 pesos fare. We bought icecream in Hunucma where the party was cooling down.
We took the 5 o'clock bus to Merida.
We arrived to Merida during sunset.
What to find in Hunucma
According to our mayan route, Hunucma is well known for its main church - a christian temple built in honor of Saint Anthony Apostle. It dates from the XVI century. It portraits a very simple facade and this simplicity is the style found in the churches in the region.
Hunucma is also known because they are proud of their shoe-maker market. Mostly handmade.
About archaeology, there's Xcopte. Which we couldn't see this time, but we should put on calendar for future reference.
A bit of...
Hunucma finds its roots from the mayan voice Hun - which means "only" - and Nucma - which means "to answer". Is that "the only answer"?
It also has a different meaning, which I wouldn't associate if I didn't know it, it means "agua de ciénega", which translates as "mangrove water."
Flora in Hunucma is called "selva baja caducifolia", which is lower tropical deciduous forest. Trees are typically shorter than the ones in the high mountains, but you still see tall trees as ceibas (Yaaxche - the most sacred mayan tree), mahogany and poncianas trees. Among other beautiful plants you see amapola - shaving brush trees,
There are some local species as armadillo, squirrels, racoons, rabbits and gophers - called tuzas. Reptiles and birds are very varied and very common. Haven't put word in identifying these two categories, but I will work on that eventually.
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