We decided to try again today to go to Uxmal, so we didn’t dawdle over our breakfast this morning, but said bye to Doggy,
and didn’t amble along the road, but rather jumped in the first taxi we could get to the second-class bus station, where Warner was amused by this sign in the bathroom:
We were in Uxmal by 1:15 and spent about two hours clambering around the ruins before we were ready to head for the shade, a cool drink, and lunch. The setting of these ruins among trees and shrubs and the plush green grass gave the archaeological zone the feel of a park, and many of the other tourists, teens posing in various human pyramids and laughing hilariously, children turning cartwheels, did as well. But even the rubble lying on the ground was often elaborately decorated, pieces of the limestone facades that had fallen.
The pyramid of the magician , the first thing that you see when entering the park, was a truly awesome sight.
Walking straight ahead from there
is the nun’s quadrangle,
a beautiful set of buildings with incredible intact freizes along the tops,
including these images of Quetzlcoatl, the feathered serpent.
and the first set of stairs to go down that were so steep as to be invisible until you started to descend. Everywhere, the detailed designs amazed us.
I had wondered what was so amazing about the Mayan ball courts that I heard about, but I was quite enchanted with the one here, with its entact hoop, which we now knew contained important calendrical information.
After clowning around there for a while,
we looked up at the governor’s palace and got our nerve to climb the grand pyramid. We enjoyed the view, the breeze, and the progress of other tourists up and down the narrow stairs
until we were ready to head back to ground. After seeing the house of the turtles,
some small ruins,
and another view of the pyramid of the magician,
we went to the closest restaurant for lunch.
Little did we know, as we left the park, that the most challenging part of our trip lay ahead of us. “To get back, will it be easy?” I had asked at the bus station before we left, “O h, yes” said the cashier. So we left the park at Uxmal, went up to the highway and went to the bus stop where a Mexican family was also waiting. They looked as if they’d been waiting for quite a while; the teen-agers were stretched out, the mother was lying on a bench reading. So we waited too….after about ½ an hour had passed, we started to worry a little and in another ten minutes or so a colectivo headed to the small town of Muna showed up. We all decided to go with him there in hopes of catching a bus. He had told me that buses and colectivos left there for Merida “constantamente,”
so I was hopeful. We all piled in and made it to Muna. Muna’s a lovely little town, and people all get around in rickshaws it seems. However, when we got to the bus-stop we found more tired looking people waiting for buses. After we’d waited for an almost an hour, one finally came, and of course, it was completely full, especially after everyone from Muna piled in. We rode back to Merida, standing all the way and got home by 7pm. – it had been a three hour trip back, most of it standing! So, we were quite exhausted and foot-sore and barely wanted to eat by the time we got home.
After we rested up for an hour or so, we wound up going to the closest restaurant we could think of, El Gran Café in Paseo Montejo. It turned out to be quite good – we tried queso fundido, which wasn’t so exciting, but Warner liked his chilaquiles and I enjoyed my crepes of chicken in poblano chile cream sauce - from the awesome to the irritating to the comforting, not that unusual a traveler's story.