My fingernails have been gnawed to the quick waiting to see ROJ in its new paint job. To take my mind off the wait (and off the piles of work I’ve got on) Stephanie towed me off to the Yucatán Peninsula to study some Mayan ruins for a fortnight.
As a child I had a book about the Conquistadors and have long yearned to explore the ancient kindoms of the Maya and Aztecs.
I was not disappointed.
What an amazing place. The people are so friendly and welcoming, and everything worked with surprising efficiency. One does not, however, travel to Mexico for a culinary experience! Food was good and tasty, but glad not to have tortillas and black-beans for a while – Mayan Cacao however, I would fly back for anyday!
Getting off the beaten track meant that very few people we met spoke English – and as Mayan is as impenetrable a language as Icelandic – we really tested our rudimentary Spanish.
I decided it was going to be a bit warm and humid for the Indiana Jones outfit – just as well as the Mayan rain-God Chac smiled upo us in abundance!
We started on the Caribbean at Quintana Roo – annoyinglly, I’m not medically fit for diving at the moment, so missed out on diving in the Grand Cenote, but did snorkel with the turtles and through bat filled caves.
The great thing about travelling out of season – and under our own steam – means we avoided the tourist hordes, and for the most part had many of the ruins to ourselves.
Here’s Stephanie at one at Tulum that has been resored:
And here’s me at one that hasn’t at Cabah:
In between gazing at piles of rubble I spotted a number of other intriguing ruins – anyone know wht this might be?
Saw some great American steel – managed to get a snap of only one.
The Mexicans have a far more relaxed approach to the MoT…!
Bettle lovers would love it there.
This in the art gallery in Merida was quite fun…
Well, enough of that – back to the ruins:
We may think we invented the ball and hoop game in Europe – but the Mayans got there first – the theory is the losing team captain was sacrificed as part of a ritual – I reckon it was because some big cohone lost a wad …
The idea is to get a big rubber ball through the hoops.
The big Pyramid at Uxmal.
In Tulum we stayed at a great little hotel called the Posada Yum Kin – which may sound Korean – but that’s actually a Mayan name. In Merida we stayed at the Casa Mexilo – an excentric little place – more guest house than hotel, very close to the centre and full of character. In Valladolid we stayed at the Casa Qetzal – basic but comfortable and cheerful.
Everywhere we went there was music and singing – in Valladolid we joined the locals in the central square on the Sunday night and danced to a marvellous bunch of mariachis.
All in all, we liked the Yucatán