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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Yucatan, Mexico

Feb 25, 2019 - Costa Maya, Mexico

Costa Maya is a stretch of Caribbean coast on Mexico’s eastern Yucatán Peninsula. Mahahual village is known as a popular cruise ship port, with beaches and coral reefs. Offshore, the reefs and mangroves of Banco Chinchorro Biosphere Reserve are inhabited by sharks, dolphins and turtles. To the north, Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve is home to jaguars, monkeys and hundreds of bird species.

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Apr 6, 2017 - Chichen Itza and Samula Cenote

5am, what a time to get up after a hot day's ride!! Nevertheless we were all dutifully gathered in the hotel foyer by 5:30 to meet our guide to the city of Chichen Itza. After stumbling along some dark paths we found ourselves on a flat plain with a dark 'something' just visible in the gloom. As the guide started his explanation the sky gradually lightened and a magnificent stepped pyramid appeared silhouetted against the purple dawn. Our guide explained that the pyramid was actually a calendar for the Maya. It is built, as are many of...

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Apr 5, 2017 - Merida to Chichen Itza

Due to the forecast high temperature we breakfasted early and set off in the vehicles to get out of the busy main part of the city. The morning was already warm but also overcast. From Merida we will cycle to the delightful town of Izamal, also known as La Ciudad Amarilla (The Yellow City) due to the colour of its buildings which were painted thus in honour of a visit from Pope John Paul II. Edgar told us that the road was straight on and we could ride ahead until the first planned stop at 13 km. The road was indeed straight. So much so...

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Apr 3, 2017 - Cancun to Merida

Cancun and Isla Mujeres Today we met our fellow travellers. There are eighteen of us on the trip - two other Aussies, an Irish GP, a Canadian, two Americans and the rest are English. Our guide Edgar, our mechanic Gabriel and our driver Francesco are all locals. After a briefing we all walked a couple of blocks to a quiet plaza where the bikes awaited us. We were all given a previously allocated cycle and spent the next 20 minutes or so getting seat heights sorted and gears and brakes checked. Our first ride was to the ferry terminal at...

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Apr 10, 2016 - Uxmal - WHS Mayan Ruins

Uxmal - World Heritage Site Uxmal is a very different experience from Chichen Itza. Here there were none of the crowds, none of the vendors, just a number of very well restored structures. The Mayan glyphs (their alphabet is a complex set of signs and symbols that took decades to unravel) are much better preserved here than at precious sites. Again, the site, while distinctly Mayan, is notably different than those that came before. Lorraine noted that it feels much more communal and less warlike than Chichen. I climb the Great Pyramid here....

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Apr 9, 2016 - Book Burnings and a Hacienda

Izamal Izamal is a small colonial era town with a large church and convent. The local parking officer turned into a guide and showed us around the huge structure at its center - the Convento de San Antonio de Padua. The convent dates to the mid 16th century and was said to have the largest atrium apart from St Peter's at the time of its construction. Our guide is Mayan and tells us the backstory. Again, a story of the Spanish destruction of the Maya culture on the backs of Maya labor. The Convent was built atop a thousand year old Maya...

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Apr 8, 2016 - Chichen Itza - WHS Mayan Ruins

Chichen Itza - A World Heritage Site I first read about Chichen Itza in Richard Halliburton's Book of Marvels. Fifth grade. Chichen Itza is the most thoroughly explored and restored of the Mayan sites. It was an urban center and a major ceremonial site from the 11th through the 13th centuries. The major structures - El Castillo, The Temple of the Warriors with its 1000 columns, the "Nunnery", ball court, and the "Observatory" are among the most distinctive surviving Mayan structures. We're staying at Mayaland, an upscale resort built in the...

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Apr 7, 2016 - Valladolid & Ek Balam

Valladolid Valladolid is on the list for future inclusion as a World Heritage Site. It's a relatively small town that retains a significant number of Colonial era buildings. A good place to wander around with good restaurants near the central plaza and Cathedral. Our hotel, Casa Hipil, is another winner. And the morning breakfast on the roof, overlooking the town, is very pleasant. I fear I might become addicted to this upscale living. On the edge of town is the Iglesia de San Bernardino de Siena and the adjoining Ex-Convento de Sisal....

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Feb 6, 2016 - swimming with the fish.............YUCK!!!

Another long bus trip took us through Merida and on to Valladolid via lots of tiny villages so we got a look at another area of rural Mexico (hopefully our last!). Once we arrived in Valladolid and after a few mis-steps we found our hostel not far from the downtown action. The pool promised on booking.com turned out to be a................mistake (?) but at that point the large bed and ac convinced us it would work ok! Now off for some groceries but after walking for blocks in very muggy conditions we arrived at the market, which was locked...

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Feb 4, 2016 - in the heat of the...........

I was going to send this as an e-mail to my sister Linda but thought some of my female friends would relate to my story so I am posting this as a blog entry and will enjoy re-living it with Linda when we get home as I KNOW she can relate! Several times over the course of this holiday we have found ourselves in a situation where we need to hit the streets in search of accommodation. Normally this experience is enjoyable to us as it gives us an up close and personal look at towns and neighbourhoods. We wander around checking out this block...

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Feb 1, 2016 - Chillin', Progreso style

Neek Khan (the name of our condo bldg.)is turning out pretty well although mornings can be a little noisy as we have people above us and on both sides. About 6:30 AM there is some chair scrapping and thumping around for half an hour or so which Donna is able to groan about then get back to sleep, but I usually get up to make coffee. Some very nice folks in this complex from all over but mostly Canadian. There is weak wifi in our room but fortunately the palapus outside our room has a good signal so there are usually a few folks there - a...

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Jan 22, 2016 - Malecon, beaches, music - lots to like about Progreso

Our introduction to life in Progreso began with a kitchenette in our very nice hotel being stocked with a single frying pan and a spatula - no cutlery, no plates, no.........anything, just a frying pan and a spatula! Not too conducive to culinary delights getting created here - guess most guests just eat at the restaurants! Once we talked the housekeeper into providing a few more of the basic necessities we started to make supper only to learn the water was off in the entire hotel. With visions of hitting the sheets still carrying around...

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