Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Mundo Maya

These past couple of weeks have been spent hopping from Mayan site to Mayan site. The actual bike riding was very fun in Chiapas since there are mountains, then down to the flat limestone shelf that is the Yucatan peninsula.

Chiapas was one of our favorite Mexican states, but toward the end of that state on the Eastern end, things changed. People seemed more desperate on the streets. Women stood on the sides of the road with a rope they could pull which they raised across the road, forcing cars to stop. One time they pulled one right in front of me, causing me to slam on my brakes on wet pavement. No fun, and all for 6 pesos for elotes (corn). Another man approached us and asked if we had a spare shirt. Another time Zapatistas approached us at night and forced us to move off of their land...

But Chiapas had Palenque. And Agua Azul. And Misol-Ha.

The Yucatan had the Mayan ruins of Calakmul...

Calakmul back in the day was always at war with the more popular Tikal, which we plan to visit in a few weeks. Thousands of visitors visit Tikal daily. Calakmul? 100. So we rode the 60 km on a narrow, quiet road thru dense jungle and Mexicos largest Biosphere Reserve seeking that solitude. What we found were tucans, howler monkeys leaping from tree to tree overhead, and finally no rain. Unlike Palenque, visitors are allowed to climb to the top of these pyramids. Hundreds of feet in the air, the views were huge of the unending jungle canopy below

Right now we find ourselves in Tulum which feels more like Baja than Mainland Mexico. We are definitely back on the gringo backpacker circuit, and its easy to see why people visit this place. There are many many underwater caves to dive and snorkel to. The beach is perfectly white sand with jade colored water. Things aren´t cheap either...

Once we leave here in a few days, we´ll head down to Belize, FINALLY out of Mexico. 2 weeks tops in Belize, then to the glories of Guatemala.

Until then, a perfect stretch of beach sand with Mayan ruins awaits us...

the ruins of Chicanna had this building...can you see the jaws of the serpent around the door opening???

1 comment:

  1. Keep pedaling guys! I'm loving the pics and stories!

    Take it easy,