Balamku, Nadzcann and Chicanna:
Balamku was the first site I started with today however it is located about 60 k from the Xpujil area near Calakmul. There are lots of sites on the map but some are too little and lost down in the jungle or have no roads to them, or whatever, and I had to forget them. Diane gave me the goods on what to see so I started with Balamku. I started early and in an hour made it to the site. It had many trees in the plaza that I am sure are newly grown since the ancients were here. The most the site had to offer were the frescos now contained inside a wall of the reconstructed temple. Of course I couldn't take pictures. The frescos were of frogs and crocodiles sitting with other figures. This had to be a woman's temple as the whole thing had to do with fertility. The last picture I posted on this entry is a copy of the fresco illustration from the small brochure I bought to get information on the site. The frescos are housed inside the temple to protect them from the weather.
I went on to Nadzcaan, which was about 5 K from Balamku. I found the gravel road with a teeny sign on a small piece of wood and was suckered into another dirt road, not bad but 15 K of it and the next day my wrists were swollen up again from gripping the steering wheel so hard. It had lots of outcroppings of rocks to wiggle around. When I arrived at the site I found I had a small wooden bridge to cross. Not even in a heartbeat was I going to cross that and end up in the bottom of the ravine with no one around to get me out of the hole. So I safely parked the VW and walked the last 2 k to the site. All up hill by the way. It had four buildings surrounding a central plaza that were partly reconstructed. I climbed the stairs to one and ate my lunch up on one of the platforms. I found out later, I missed the ball court and the observatory. I didn't find any paths, so I was out of luck there. I was the only person up there except for a couple of caretakers, who disappeared with the heat of day. There was no entrance gate and no ticket to buy. With a road like that, I wonder why. I enjoyed the way the walls were constructed with inter locking stones. The site had been worked on recently but no signs told about any of the buildings. I began my descent to the bottom of the hill and ran into a zillion butterflies on the few flowers that grew along the path. They were not even aware of my presence and sat still enough for me to take some pictures.
I had enough time to go to Chicanna on the way back, as it was only 3 k from Rio Bec Dreams. I just loved the Earth Monstrer doorways. Hochob, Hormigero, the one on the magician's temple at Uxmal and now Chicanna. Just having a ball trekking around these places. Chicanna and Hormigero are located closer together near Xpujil.
Even at that, Chicanna seemed newer as the stone wasn't as dark gray color. It has some reconstruction on the buildings and I found the two story temple with the staircases inside really fascinating. The engineering was amazing that they could get the steps inside and build the walls around it. Of course, that temple along with all the rest of the buildings had been covered with an outer coating of stucco in ancient times over the stones that made up the exterior walls. In most cases they were painted red. Sometimes I could see a trace of red paint on one site or another.
More later, Gay