|Ship time was one hour ahead of Mexican time so the port was not ready to receive our ship, putting us ½ hour late starting our 6 ½ hr. tour to visit a Mayan ruin. However, our truly excellent and articulate guide, Diana, made up for it. She was an amazingly charming gal who really knew her history! We knew ahead of time it would be a 2 ¼ hr. ride to Kohunlich but we wanted to see the Hall of Masks as well as the rest of the large Mayan complex in a secluded jungle setting close to the border with Belize.
It like many other Mayan sites (at their height 300 to 900 AD) was abandoned around 1200 AD. to be discovered in 1912 and excavated in 1969 after looters had been there in 1968. The limestone walls were amazing in size and structure, built layer upon layer over the centuries. The 5 huge stucco masks (adorned with features of the Sun God) that lined the steep staircase of one temple were stunning even without the red paint that had long ago worn off. Several pyramidal buildings and a ball field were found under the jungle growth. It was fascinating & great to be able to see one of these ancient sites!
On our return to drive we stopped in a small city to have a delicious Mexican-style lunch in a lovely restaurant near the water. We sat at two long tables and were served fajitas (choice of chicken or beef) with rice, guacamole, refried beans and chips.
The Mexican landscape we saw as we traveled today was flat with scrubby foliage. Nowhere along our route through several small villages did we see any really 'pretty' homes; all were small and modest or very poor and depressing. Diana happily pointed out that the roseate spoonbills were back and we saw several along with egrets as we traveled.
This was our final stop on this 7-day Western Caribbean cruise. We have a day at sea and arrive back in Ft. Lauderdale tomorrow, staying on the ship to start our 29-day Transatlantic & Mediterranean cruise at 5:00 P.M. It has been a wonderful opportunity to sample the sights and people of the various Caribbean islands (17 plus the stop in Mexico) this past month but we have to confess that without our photos and my daily journal they all run together! (So many places and sights in quick succession but we are grateful to have seen as much as we have!)