My second visit to the sleepy, colonial town of Valladolid only cemented my love for its charming pastel coloured streets and why-go-faster pace of life.
It has quickly become my favourite place for a guaranteed all-round lovely weekend.
Valladolid is as delightful and utterly unpretentious as its famous longaniza sausage, which is made from beef, pork butt and pork fat ground together with achiote paste, recado blanco and white vinegar, all left to smoke overnight with mesquite coals. De-licious.
Wondering how I would possibly survive in Mérida without it, I went to the market to seek out where the restaurants buy their local longaniza. Warning for vegetarians – look away now! The meat section of the market is very different from the Tesco meat counter or even any local butcher I’ve ever seen in the UK – here there is blood, guts, heads and trotters all over the place. It isn’t pretty but it is real, local food with no frills and packaging. I loved it.
That same night we went to have a special birthday meal at El Meson del Marques, a beautiful restaurant on the main plaza, set around the central patio of an old colonial mansion. I didn’t order longaniza (after overloading on it at lunch) but all of the food was amazing. The puc-chuc especially was the best I’ve ever had. Oh, and the cake!
The view of the plaza from the roof terrace was pretty nice too
To work off the day before’s excesses, on the Sunday we took the bikes and pedalled down to the convent of San Bernadino, or ‘Sisal’ as its known to the locals, which dates from 1552. The impressive building sits in a quiet plaza just out of reach of the bustling crowds of the centre. It is quite magnificent.
It is easy to while away time under these big, old shady trees opposite the convent.
Cycling even further out of town and 2km down a dusty track, we arrived once again to my favourite cenote at Hacienda Oxman.
After bathing in the cenote we spent the afternoon by the pool, listening to a local group and enjoying some beers and endless free snacks or botanas. What better way to spend a Sunday?
I feel at home wandering the quiet streets of this little gem – it just charms me. I’ll be back again soon, I’m sure.