We just found out that we leave at 6:30 to beat the heat and the crowds. This will be a quick posting!
Continuing northeast from Campeche, we drove to the amazing ruins at Uxmal. This was one of the major Mayan cities from about 600-900. The many buildings reflect the influence of the other cities that they would have traded with in Meso-america. The buildings fit into the hillside, and were quite impressive, with lots of carving decoration. Amazing to think that these monumental buildings were all created without metal tools, or beasts of burden, and everything fitted together without mortar. The fact that they are fitted into the terrain means some climbing was involved, even if you didn’t climb to the top of all the structures. The primary deity here was Chac, the rain god. Even though it is very humid in the Yucatan, they don’t have ground water, and are dependent on rain and the capture of rain water.
It is very hot, especially with the humidity. You look for a bit of shade for a reprieve, and a place to sit if you’re tired of walking and climbing. If you can find a seat in the shade, you may want to linger a while! It was about 90, with humidity in the 85% range. Us northwesterners can’t handle too much of that! I think even my ears were sweating!
Back at the visitors’ center, we all went for cold drinks or ice cream, and I found my Mayan nativity scene. Baby Jesus is in a hammock, and the animals include a pig and a turkey rather than sheep and cows!
We left Uxmal and went on into Merida, dropped things off at the hotel and went to lunch. The group went to a place in a courtyard, but Ruth and I couldn’t handle the sun and heat, so went on down the street to eat inside in cooler air. Afterward, she headed back to cool off at the hotel, and I walked around the square, checking out shops before heading back. There is a lot of beautiful handwork, but I am keeping my shopping under control.
One of the group had his 75th birthday today, so we had birthday cake after dinner, complete with singing and party hats!
Tomorrow is our last full tour day. We will head out for Chichen Itza, the most famous of the Mayan sites, then on to Playa del Carmen.