In Sunday’s edition I tried to provide you with a flavour of what Mérida Centro is like at the weekend and especially on a Sunday.
Hopefully – even though I forgot ((have mentioned repeatedly (well I think I have!) that advancing age may be getting the better of me))to crop a fair number of the photos – I managed to give you a reasonable insight as to what a fun place it is for people that live there and tourists alike.
In today’s edition, the last in this scintillating (who do I think I am kidding) series, I primarily focus on the trip that Rose and I made to Chitchen Itza on our penultimate day.
During our travels around Central America Rose and I have visited quite a few Mayan sites and although there are (quite obviously I suppose) distinct similarities there is always something different to see and be amazed by. And I’ll never cease to be impressed by how clever and ‘ahead of their time’ they were.
I could fill up a fair amount of space and ‘pad’ this edition out with Interesting facts (for some of you anyway) about the Maya and specifically those that constructed and lived at Chitchen Itza but I’m not going to. There’s loads of interesting facts about the people and the archeological site by just clicking on the links I have provided (I’ve only provided two but there are many, each with interesting information). Instead I am going to have a relatively easy time with this edition and let the photos ‘do the work’ (I deserve it, I’ve ‘knocked out’ so many editions in the last few days it’s been like being at work. I mean it’s not as if I’m doing this for a living!).
Before the photos though just a little information about the tour that we booked with Adventures Mexico Tours :
Chitchen means “the mouth of the well”
Chitchen Itza had two wells. One was considered sacred and the other was for everyday use.
Chitchen Itza is c120 km from Mérida
The journey takes around 90 minutes
The tour we went on cost $MXN 525 per person and covered travel, the tour guide and lunch (drinks are NOT included)
Entrance to Chitchen Itza is $MXN 200 per person
Entrance to Ik Kil cenote is $MXN 70 per person (if you intend to include a visit DO take swimwear and a towel (I stupidly forgot).
We were collected from our hotel at 09.00 hours by Wilberth Torres, our driver and guide for the day, and escorted to the minibus to be introduced to Cecelia and Walter, a young couple from Argentina, who were also taking the tour that day and without further ado (sounds Shakespearean doesn’t it) we set off.
We hadn’t been on the road long when Wilberth said that if we didn’t have drinks with us that it would be cheaper to buy them en route so he stopped at a mercado (told you in a previous edition that I am determined to gain some Spanish) in Kanasin.
So what is Chitchen Itza like? Wonderful, that’s what. Not the best Maya archeological site we have been to but it’s still a really interesting and enjoyable way to spend a day. It’s deemed to be one of the New Seven Wonders of the World after all.
Pyramid of Kukulkan. This building, aside from being a temple, ‘informed’ the Maya when to plant what. In effect it was their calendar. Amazing.
Less excavated side.
The ball court for games of Pok-A-Tok.
I ‘said’ that I wasn’t going to bombard you with facts. I lied! Apparently when the Toltec invaded Chitchen Itza this game took on a new meaning. The captain of the winning team was sacrificed. No fear of Arsenal’s captain being at risk recently!
The object of the game was to get the ball hard rubber) through the hoop.
Where the king watched the game. His executive box you might say.
Petroglyphs (had to look that one up) on the wall around the ball court depicting the fate of the winning (wouldn’t you just want to be a loser ) captain.
The obligatory “look how tall I am shot” (if you know me then you know that I am not. Tall that is). Oh come on, nearly everyone takes one of these.
After a thoroughly interesting tour of the site we got back in the minibus for the short ride to Ik Kil, a seriously impressive cenote.
The water is 150 feet deep. Don’t believe me?
I could have been down there had I remembered my shorts!
With our tour of the cenote over we headed to Mayaland for our (late) lunch.
The service and food were good but we thought the place to be a bit ‘plasticky’, a bit Disneyland (not that I’ve ever been there), Universal Studios (I have been there) if you know what I mean. But the peacock wandering around the tables somewhat made up for this.
“Come on, show us your train”.
With lunch finished we got back in the minibus for the journey home after a thoroughly enjoyable day. Chitchen Itza, well worth a visit and definitely one of the seven (new) wonders of the world.
Talking about wonders of the world how do Mexican women balance in (on?) there shoes? I’ve never seen so many high heels. During our stay I became fixated (not a fetish I hasten to add) with them.
And that brings this captivating series to an end (aren’t you pleased).
Rose and I had a truly enjoyable time in Mérida. In fact as are we are concerned you just can’t get enough of Mérida.
We are definitely MexiCANS
and not MexiCAN’Ts (“stolen from Once Upon a Time in Mexico).
The headline for today’s edition is based on the single released in 1981 by Depeche Mode which reached number eight in the UK Singles Chart and number twenty-six in the US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart.