Daily Walk, Mérida, México
Advice for the morning walk through Itzimná: Stay on the shady side of the street. Watch out for big holes in the sidewalk, and low-hanging awnings and trees. Say buenos días to the people your pass. Make friends with the security guards. Take your time crossing Avenidas Pérez Ponce, Jose Diaz Bolio, and Circuito Colonias. Notice the street dogs who hang out in the vacant lot beside the business school with its garden of henequén. Don't fall off the sidewalk where the curb is knee-high. Keep to the streets where the white-winged doves are louder than the traffic.
Location: Colonia Itzimná, Mérida, México
Length: 2.5 km X 2
Date: 28 Enero, 2019
The only way to visit Uxmal is on foot. The restored Mayan city is well over 1,000 years old, and the tapir-nosed rain god, Chaac, watches with many eyes from most of the facades. There are macaws, tortoises, feathered serpents, and two-headed jaguars as well. And the living grackles, iguanas, big orange orioles, and a vulture on top of a pyramid. It's an amazing walk, with plenty of stairs.
Location: Uxmal, Yucatán, México
Length: 2 km
Companions: María, Elena, Ronaldo, Raúl, y los Migueles
Date: 26 January, 2019
A stormy Sunday morning walk along the beach. It was unusually empty because of the wind and even a little rain. People were fishing from the small pier, and pelicans were begging for handouts. The long pier runs six and a half kilometers out into the Gulf of Mexico, a highway over the waves to get to the cruise ships and freighters that dock out there. I walked to the working side of the beach, where the fishing boats were hauled up and the seaweed hasn't been raked off the sand. "Hola, m'hija," a man greeted me, and I was happy to be called his daughter.
Location: Puerto Progreso, Yucatán, México
Length: 5 km
Date: 20 January, 2019
Historic Centre of Mérida, Mexico
When I left the sun was throwing long shadows from the east, and when I returned, from the west. An all-day wander around the beautiful colonial Mexican city of Mérida. The city used to be a great Mayan city called T'hó, which was taken over by three Spanish men named Francisco de Montejo in 1542, and built over using enslaved Mayan labour and limestone.
As a foreigner, so far I stick mostly to the historic centre of town, the tourist areas. The beauty of it is partly from the sun. But then there's the colour, and the huge green trees, the centuries-old churches, the narrow crowded sidewalks, the hectic dirty market, breakdancers in the park, old mansions everywhere, the historic walking tour that was a part of my all-day walk, the craft vendors, the secret courtyards. I took lots of breaks, sitting in different plazas in the shade and resting my feet, just one among many enjoying the day and each other. The city is lively, lovely, but the air sounds and smells like traffic.
Location: Centro Histórico, Mérida, Yucatán, México
Length: 10 km
Date: 11 January, 2019
Night Walk, Toronto, Ontario
We had walked a lot already, roaming the city for hours at a time. After a late supper and wine at Aloette, we walked along Queen St. W. from Spadina to the skating rink at City Hall, and back to our hotel. The last walk of the day, a winter night in the city among the streetcars, pedestrians, towers and lights.
Location: Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario
Length: 1.5 km
Date: 3 January, 2019
New Years Day, Burlington, Ontario
A loop walk in the west end of Burlington, through the neighbourhoods and cemeteries just off of Plains Road, past the Austrian Club and Easterbrook's hotdog stand. Through a busy parking lot and down the trail into the wetlands of Hendrie Valley, following the path along Grindstone Creek, through what we used to call Lamb's Hollow, and across into Hidden Valley. The creek takes us from the end of one valley and through another, where we climb the hill and catch up with Plains Road again. Muddy and chilly, this walk, but lovely and long, with footbridges.
Location: Royal Botanical Gardens, Burlington, Ontario
Length: 9 km
Date: 1 January, 2019
Sandra Cowan likes to walk on trails, paths, and city streets. She is based in southern Alberta, Canada, as a visitor in the land of the Siksikaitsitapi (Blackfoot Nation).