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Yucatan

Written on: Sunday February 24th, 2008

A journal entry from: Camping Mexico

Colin:

The drive west has thus far been much like the rest of our trip. A typical days driving takes you along some nice devided highways (usually toll highways) as well as one lane roads which take you through small towns. Most of the towns you pass through contain several topes in them with vendors standing alongside the road trying to sell you things (frutas, jugos, junk, car mats, air fresheners, giant balloons, basically whatever they can get) while you make your way. Some long days on the road, and some not so, have put us about 1200 km west of our previous posting. We have been to some of the most impressive Mayan ruins, Chichen Itza, as well as had some beach time and some city walks.

I was able to get an afternoon of kiteboarding in just east of a town calld Puerto Progresso which is about 30 km north of a city called Merida. I don?t think that any of the local Mexicans have seen kiteboarders at their beach, at least not that frequently, so they were more than happy to take it in.

The town we stayed in, Chelem, has many beach front homes that appear to have been abandoned however they could just be used on weekends by Mexicans who live in the city. The town is very prone to hurricane damage and I would not be surprised if it has been wiped out more than once in the past. The waterfront homes are setback only about 20 feet from the waters edge and the rest of the area must not be more than 6 feet above sea level.

Merida is a colonial town much like Oxaca however is not as clean or picturesque. We passed through Campeche which is a Unesco world heritage site however did not find suitable camping some we continued on to a place called Isla Iguada were we found an awesome beach front RV resort called Freedom Shores.

Alayna:

The ruins at Chichen Itza are the most famous and studied pyramids on the Yucatan Peninsula, and rightly so. After being awed by the romantic ruins of Palenque, I was ready to explore another world famous site, and one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Colin and I were the first people into the park at 8am (keeners!). By 9:30 it was already pretty damn hot, and by the time we left around 10:30, I was thankful I wasn?t one of the hundreds of people waiting in line to walk around under the punishing midday heat and humidity.

Once in the park, our first stop was the Ball Court or Gran Juego de Pelota. At about 100 yards long, you can stand at one end of the court, speak at a normal volume, and be audible to the person at the other end of the court. Of course we tried this out, and it?s true! Clapping and whistling work quite well, too. The large central pyramid in impressive, but is not for climbing (unfortunately). In fact, we were only permitted to climb one of the buildings (unlike Palenque, where I was glad I spent all those hours on the stair climber at the gym at home). Many of the structures are totally covered in intricate stone relief carvings, which for me are what made these ruins so dramatic and profound. The Tzompantli or Plataforma de los Carneos is a long platform totally covered in hundreds of carvings of skulls. Apparently, this is where the heads and skulls of sacrificial victims were displayed for all to see! If that isn?t enough, there was a very large and deep cenote on site with very steep walls (limestone ground that has caved in on itself thanks to the ground water below and thus forms a freshwater pool) where more sacrificial victims were tossed in and left to die. Those who survived (I have absolutely no clue how on earth they could climb out of that cenote) were considered seers. If that isn?t reason enough to stay in line, then I don?t know what is.

 

From Mumma on Feb 24th, 2008

... so great to speak to you Alayna and to see more incredible photos of your adenture,have tons of fun! aml, mummma

From luke (mochalany) on Feb 26th, 2008

Sounds like you guys are having a pretty incredible trip. Its odd being able to picture so clearly where your talking about (I was in San simeon and santa barbara a few years back as well). Hope you keep having a great time and I may bump into you at some point!

From Kristin on Feb 27th, 2008

Now was that really a campsite, it looks more like some resort you decided to camp in the middle of?...haha or maybe not! The ruins at Chichen Itza look amazing, very lucky to visit! Keep the amazing pics comming. Love the random animal and pollution photos Alayna!

From Jenna on Mar 4th, 2008

I truly have enjoyed your blog over the past few months and thought I'd let you know :) However, I can't wait until we can once again speak in person...I miss you guys! xo