(for choice) in the Archealogical Ruins of the Yucatan.

So we started with the ‘big one’ Chichen Itza is a major tourist destination and is situated between Merida and Cancun and close to Cozumel and so attract many day trippers from the beach resorts and cruise ships there. From Merida it was less popular, we went on a day tour and we were 4 people….. and the other two – well they were a young couple from…….drum roll….. Wellington. And so the guide had 4 kiwis that day for his well worn spiel.

And this is what we saw:

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El Castillo Pyramid, Chichen Itza (those people with the blue umbrellas must have been from a cruise ship. )
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The temple of the thousand (or so) columns
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Ms Pacifica braved athletes foot to venture into the Cenote – a well or sink hole for swimming that also featured catfish!

Or kiwi fellow travellers went on to Cancun and so we returned in splendid comfort in our Mercedes Van solo.

The next trip we decided to rent a car and do the Ruta Puuc, which is a circuit featuring Ixmal and many other smaller ruins. So we decided to do it the wrong way around (there is always one isn’t there) and this means that we saw the biggest site Ixmal with blue skies and no rain. (Rain only happens in the afternoon here!)

So this is it – a favourite so far.

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Ixmal the magician’s pyramid – with a group of Mexican school children
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Looking back to the main pyramid. Ixmal sits in the jungle
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As we know in NZ – you don’t get it that green without a bit of rain!
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The ring is the (basket)ball hoop – but unfortunately the captain of the winning team could pay the ultimate sacrifice…. decapitation, but with some drugs (to take the edge off)

 

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After a quick sustenance stop at the chocolate museum, we moved onto the next site –  Kabah where there were only about three cars in the carpark! Entry price is now down to 50 pesos each – around $4.

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Face carvings – with beaky noses
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A few left-over stones!

Then we moved to Sayil – only one car in the carpark…..but the clouds are building.

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Another beaky face over the door

And finally at our last archaeological stop Xlapak – there was a downpour and we scuttled back to the car under our umbrellas.

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In the smaller sites it is not all restored. only half of this pyramid structure has been done, and in some places you just see a mound of earth ricks and trees. Another site waiting for excavation.

It was about 200km round trip and we cruised back into town without incident, in our manual Chrysler something. Pretty easy and no navigation arguments!

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