Mexico 2008
                                                              Tulum   Tuesday, May 27, 2008                                                                           Day1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  


                                                              Into the Central Mexican jungle adventure day - visiting the Mayan temple complex Chichen Itza.  Historical 
                                                              importance of this site is apparent since it was recently selected as one of the New 7 World Wonders.  From a 
                                                              pure architectural standpoint, the site is quite worthy of the selection.   Roles of the Mayan priests and their 
                                                              human based traditions were misguided; however, they were quite punctual in their fallacy based on their
                                                              extensive calendar, stars, and planet tracking.
                                                              Climbing the steps of the main temple - El Castillo, or The Cathedral - is no longer an option and is a smart 
                                                              preservation and safety decision (45 degree angle steps are not OSHA approved).  Hot, humid, and very dry 
                                                              conditions escort each tourist attempting to view each building, or remains, of the vast complex.  Well known 
                                                              sites included the Great Ball court - viewed only by the Priests and Royalty (pre-ESPN)- with the high mounted
                                                              goal (non "dunk-able" for any NBA player).  An Observatory with it's celestial tracking was very unique for 800 AD.  
                                                              Located on the perimeter of each pathway and main artifact site were countless vendors.  No doubt many are
                                                              Mayan descendents - from ancient Warriors to souvenir sellers and resort attendants.  Selling was not aggressive;
                                                              however, just a glance at the goods would present an offer to bargain.  As seen in countless areas, the smiles
                                                              were always the widest and friendliest than any other part of the World.
                                                              Driving from Tulum to Chichen Itza via Valladolid town does show the many challenges for Mexico - poverty and 
                                                              difficult living conditions.   Many a small home, or thatched hut, was just a front door of a towel with single room
                                                              with hammock.  Since the water for our rental villa is trucked in (arrived later in the night (9:00 PM), really doubt
                                                              any type of utilities are available for several areas.  
                                                              Road conditions tend to be ok with an endless parade of topes - or speed bumps - in each village.  Usually, they
                                                              are marked in advance; however, if the sign is nonexistent or the drivers misses it, the distinct reminder will come.
                                                              Since each town or village has plenty of pedestrians and dogs constantly crossing the road, the topes are very
                                                              much needed.  To make today's trip special was the traffic stops in the middle of the road - first in the morning
                                                              was a Military checkpoint and in the returning afternoon was the State Police.   Both were no issue and the State
                                                              Police response was "Thank You, now let's go".  
                                                              It is true that many a Volkswagen beetle has a long shelf life in Mexico and the non States based VW vehicles
                                                              (Pointer, Sportvan) are quite prevalent.  More often of use is the smaller and very jammed mini van transport buses 
                                                              or old pickups with benches in the back bed.  Our Jeep has been very handy since some connecting roads tend
                                                              to have several potholes.
                                                              A late afternoon lunch was at the Hacienda Chichen - an honest-to-goodness hacienda building from 1523.  
                                                              The agricultural and livestock ranch was changed to an upscale resort several years ago.  In the restaurant, fresh 
                                                              lime soup, squeezed limeade (Limes are a basic staple), and enchilada mole was served on white linen with 
                                                              impeccable old World service.  Jungle flora surrounded the grounds with brilliant colors and only to be matched by 
                                                              the colorful and sound full birds.  
                                                              Time for a night time pool lap, look at the endless stars, and sleep soundly.



                                                                        Chichen Itza - Main Entrance   Chichen Itza - El Castillo   Chichen Itza - El Castillo - Corner

                                                                       Chichen Itza - El Castillo   Chichen Itza - El Castillo - Numbered Steps   Chichen Itza - El Castillo

                                                                     Chichen Itza    Chichen Itza - El Castillo    Chichen Itza - Serpent Steps

                                                                     Chichen Itza - Courtyard of A Thousand Columns   Chichen Itza - The Observatory    

                                                             Chichen Itza - Great Ballcourt   Chichen Itza - Great Ballcourt   Chichen Itza - Great Ballcourt

                                                                      Chichen Itza - Wall of Skulls   Chichen Itza - Wall of Skulls   Chichen Itza - Sacred Cenote

                                                                       Chichen Itza - Mayan Vendors    Chichen Itza - Mayan Vendors

                                                                Chichen Itza - Mayan Vendors   Chichen Itza - Mayan Vendors   Chichen Itza - Mayan Vendors

                                                                     Hacienda Chichen (1523)   Hacienda Chichen (1523)   Hacienda Chichen - Flora

                                                             Hacienda Chichen - Flora  Hacienda Chichen - Flora  Hacienda Chichen - Flora  Hacienda Chichen - Flora

                                                                                                                                Valladolid Town Center



                                                                                          Yucatan Peninsula



                                                                                                                                                Last Updated 2008 May