Two months in Mexico travel blog

entrance sign for Coba

Coba sign

first thing to see is the ball court. Even has the rings...

other side of ball court. these things are to big to get...

next to ball court is side of big temple

sign for large temple of Coba. sits between ball court and another...

looking to the top of temple from the top of the first...

massive. Shows some of later built steps. Can´t climb this one

on left side in this passageway. Inside looking back out

looking down the interior of the passageway, green is mossy mold

outside the passage way. view shows tree growing out of rocks.

another passage way, this one under the main staircase, same as in...

columned temple next to large temple

the right side of the columned temple

view of other side of passageway from temple steps on right side...

steps from ground level up to the plaza area to tall temple,...

other side of ball court has a set of steps with a...

another shot of the steps and passageway

looking back at the ball court and the un re-constructed end of...

walked to edge of lagoon and there were a couple of lizards...

they almost have frog legs. They hopped like they were flying

managed to get just a little closer before they whisked away

looking out over the lagoon.

the two eyes above the water on the right are crocodile eyes

on the path to the stella area. Close up of tree roots

squirrel with big bushy tail. larger than we have

this is one tree root system. Sends roots down from above and...

small sign gives picture of what the worn out stella used to...

I could almost see the image on this stella

mask group sign

sign to show what stella figure looked like

design on stella almost gone

the stella had figures on both sides

sign, sorry about it being dark

there were about a dozen or so of these stella and all...

sign only has part of figure design

stella

place with pictures

place with the pictures

part of the plaza

complex with pictures

temple with pictures sign

picture is not clear and can't get closer

columned temple below on one side of the plaza

another stella with roof over it. no clue what it is of

stella under roof

sign for Monach Mul group

temple that has a sacbe road that ends on the side of...

second ball court - re constructed on this side

right side of ball court

marker plaque on face of ball court wall

ball court on left side missing plaque marker

right side of ball court looking from on top of left side...

marker on the ground in the middle on the left end.

close up of the marker on the face of the ball court

marker in the middle of the ball court ground. Marks the entrance...

marker on the right end of the face of the ball court

carved tablet marking dates of event

sacbe road from giant temple to the next town.

obsersatory

stella

stella sign

stella

thre it is in all it's grandeur, the giant coba temple

it is huge, and yes, I climbed every last step to the...

sign for large temple

map

view of large pryamid from left side. built on the side of...

starting the assent to the top.

on top of the first level of steps

view from top of large pryamid. The fire turned out to be...

looking down the the ground level. spooky

temple on the top has desending gods in niches

close up of desending god in niche

hump on horizon is Chichen Itza. fire was burning worse

looking down the steps, really spooky,

one more shot of the temple before crawling back down

after crawling down this looked even bigger

another shot of the observatory on the way out

another shot of the sacbe road

passing by the ball court again

opposite side of ball court again

walked back to the lagoon. This was not on fire when I...

fire extends to the right side

the far right side is not on fire

left side of lagoon fire is really raging.

when it reached the water it was squelched.

nasty business, no clue how it started. But the under brush was...


Coba and the wedding reception: Dec 18

Coba was a dirty, one road-town with a few shops with junky stuff in them. I spotted the first hotel on my way down the road. It turned out to also be where the bus stopped to pick up passengers to go to Tulum. It had a café with passable food. I inquired about a room, as Coba was one of the places I didn't have a booking for. No wonder, there wasn't any connection to the outside world. The hotel man told me 12.00. I hemmed and hawed and before I could answer he said 10.00. Well, ok, the bed could have been jumping with fleas, but he said he would have the room cleaned and the bedding changed. I looked at the shower, egad, crustier than Tulum and that would make my third day without a shower. No water, but they would bring me some in a bucket. I guess I would tough it out. I could have gone down the street further and rented a room for a hundred dollars at one of the club med type hotels, but I was not into that kind of room allowance on my budget. The hotel man spoke sparse English but managed to convey to me there was going to be a wedding reception that evening, but it would only last until 10 p.m. While I was having a bite to eat the sound crew came with lots of equipment to set up for the wedding reception. They had racks of lights and half dozen speakers bigger than I've seen on concert show stages. I left them to set up their gear and walked back behind my room where I had see some chickens in a cage. I went out there and found about 15 of them in a cage built for two. They didn't have any water. I looked around for some water and found about 25 5-gallon buckets full of water sitting by the clothes-washing shack. I dipped some water out and filled their pan. I felt so bad for their condition, because as soon as the water hit the pan there were 15 beaks in it. Later when I checked on them again, I found someone had fed them a pan of tortillas soaked in some sort of broth. They had left the door to the cage open and as each chicken finished eating she would wiggle out of the open door and head for the bare branch tree above it to settle down for the night. Ok, girls, I thought, you're O.K. I went around to the front again just in time to watch the wedding party go to the church across the street. I could see the church was a newly built mortared building, but without any glass in the windows. Soon the whole parking lot was filled with wedding party guests. Man, where did all these people come from? They were dressed to the hilt with suits and fancy dresses. After the wedding the guests started to fill up the café and I went to my room so I wouldn't intrude with their party. I lay down thinking it would be only 3 hours before 10 p.m. when the hotel man said the party would be over. Yeah, right. I lay there trying to endure the wedding reception music as only a brick wall separated the music away from my room. They must have stacked all the speakers up against it as I thought the bricks would lose their mortar at any moment. Naturally I wasn't able to sleep, so about 1 a.m. I got up and went to see what the party was doing. The place only had about six people in it. Strobe lights were flashing all over the room. The bride was dancing with her maid of honor. There were a couple of other ladies dancing with each other. At a break the bride came over and found the groom on the sidelines. She gave him some packages and he left and never returned. I sat down and watched. In about 15 minutes the dancing dwindled down to the point the band decided the party was over and stopped playing. Of course the sound had been deafening. I thought it was loud in my room, but it was ear piercing in the café. The silence was overwhelmingly welcome. The wedding party, minus the groom, gathered their things together and started to leave. As I was sitting right by the exit I stood up when the bride came by and wished her good luck and happiness. She gave me a hug. I didn't tell her I was just glad to have the music stop. When I was sure the band was starting to pack up and leave I went back to bed to get some rest. In the morning I felt like I had been pulled through another knothole. (Boy, this whole country is full of knotholes). When I pulled into the parking lot of the Coba site, which was about a mile from the hotel I found it had several vendor shops and another little café. I had a really nice omelet for breakfast. It was good and I felt like I could make it through the day. I bought my ticket and went through the gate. There were a number of men who wanted to know if I wanted a guide. There were also a number of bicycle taxis that were for hire. I didn't use either. The trails were long between the different sections but the shade of the trees was refreshing and it was pleasant to walk. I found the main temple with the ball court on the side of it. I walked on back to the Macanxoc group of temples and residences. There were many stelas, but were very hard to make out. This was a place for the royal ladies from Tikal. The place had a very feminine feel to it, like I could detect their presence. I walked on back down the trail and turned at the fork in the road to go to the temple of the pictures. There was a building in front of the ball court that looked just like a depot house at the end of a sacbe road. 'Welcome to Coba', it seemed to say. It sure seems like some of the buildings could be lodging houses for the visitors that came to Coba for ceremonial reasons or the ball games. I made my way further down the path and found the Nohoch Mul or the big mound or house. The tallest pyramid in the Yucatan. I climbed to the top and stood admiring the view. There was a huge plumb of smoke coming from the trees somewhere on the other side of the site. After I climbed down and was walking back to the entrance I could hear crackling that sounding like bicycle tires on the gravel, but there were no bicycles there. I remembered the smoke and took the path to the lagoon I had walked earlier. When I reached the edge of the lagoon I could see the underbrush on the other side of the lagoon was on fire. It was burning almost the whole length of the shoreline. When I reached the guides that were sitting by the entrance and managed to convey to them that the lagoon shore was burning, a couple of them came and looked, but the rest of them apparently didn't care as they never got up to see. Apparently it wasn't any big deal. I left the site and looked at a couple of the vendor shops at the entrance. They didn't have anything interesting, so I went further past the parking lot on the road out and found an artist making Batik cloth. His work was nice, but I didn't see any design I wanted to live with. Next door to him was a silver shop. Now, that was interesting. Even though the shop owner said he made the jewelry there I could see no sign of a workshop. He had some really nice things. I bought a bracelet and two pair of earrings and a T-Shirt for 140.00. I was thrilled. They matched my necklace I purchased in Taxco, Mexico two years earlier.

After spending time shopping, it was time to drive to my next destination, which was Genesis Retreat in Ek Balam. The road was good and I had no problem making it there before dark. More later. Gay

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