May 20th 2008 Tulum to Chichen Itza
A very interesting day that made up for the boredom of the day before. In fact this was a great sight-seeing day as follows:
1 At the gate of Tulum Mayan Ruins at 8.00am when they were supposed to open. Some discussion between one or two of us and an official when the man selling tickets had not arrived at 8.10 and they climbed the rope. It wouldn’t be Robin by any chance? This Mayan site is delightful. It is right by the sea and is only small so one can get more of a feel of what it might have been like, particularly as the perimeter wall is intact. One temple’s upper storey was decorated with red handprints.
2 I hope that someone from HSBC Gerrards Cross is reading this as I used an HSBC cash point in Tulum village! We wasted some time in searching for the post office. Local people just don’t send letters here. I sometimes wonder if any of our postcards will arrive. In one case I had to bribe the man behind the desk in the hotel who said that he would go to the post office for me on his day off. (Belize City) In another some kind American tourists said that they would post them for us. (El Remate) So if your post card doesn’t turn up, we have done our best!
3 A stop in Valladolid – a delightful Colonial town. We found the post office straight away and bought 60 Mexican stamps. Robin ate an ice cream in the square and we popped in to the Cathedral.
4 A swim in a cenote which was in a limestone cave. A really good and spectacular way to cool off.
5 A visit to the Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza. Please note that the stress is on the last syllable of each word and that it has nothing to do with chickens. In fact we saw plenty of birds and many iguanas but no chickens. At this site you are not allowed to climb anything now and their main statue (a reclining figure) is on top of one structure so is rather distant. It is a very popular site so it was rather crowded. I decided that it was a good thing that we were not permitted to climb as it meant that one could see uncluttered monuments. The main points were 84 beautiful pillars all arranged in lines and a huge pyramid with staircases up the sides and snake sculptures. The guide explained that the reason that the Yucatan is not cultivated and therefore more inhabited is that there is very little topsoil on top of the limestone and the porosity of the limestone means that there is no surface water (rivers or lakes) apart from the cenotes which are where there is a hole in the limestone.
6 We are staying in a lovely restored Hacienda. Adequate facilities and very pretty.
7 We returned to the Mayan site for the son et lumiere – much the same as all the sons et lumieres that I have seen.