Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Chichen Itza

During a week vacation in Mexico, went on a tour of Chichen Itza. What an amazing place.
On the 2 hour drive our bus tour guide spoke about the area and the Mayan people. According to her, no one knows how many Mayans are still in the jungles because the government doesn't care and they aren't included in the census, nor do their villages get electricity or anything. Their main sources of income are from making and selling things to tourists, producing honey, etc. Orange flower covered trees were everywhere along the way!We stopped shortly before Chichen Itza at a large cenote where some people took a quick swim. Beautiful! I kinda wish we had more time there as I didn't want to jump in and out and then have to spend the rest of the day soggy. By the time we got to Chichen Itza it was so hot out. The buildings/structures are quite spread out so we were in the sun quite a bit. El Castillo or the Temple of Kukulkan:Our guide was horrible - a stuffy little man who spoke in a monotone voice and kept repeating the same things. It was as if he didn't know what else to say. He paused when we wanted to move on and quickly moved on when we would have wanted another moment. It would have been much better with a different, more animated guide. Other than the guide, Chichen Itza was amazing. Temple of the Warriors/Templo de los Guerreros:I've always heard about the ball park but I didn't realize it was that big!Nearby is the Tzompantl - a platform that held huge racks for displaying skulls of the sacrificed - captives of war or ritual sacrifices. Our guide said that the captain of the winning team from the ball games was sacrificed. That, of course, is speculation as no one really knows what happened back then.
It's hard to imagine what things were like there when it was alive with activity. As I do when I go to any historical place like that, I wish I could go back in time even for a moment just to see what it was like.
I put sunscreen on several times during the day, including 2 times in the hour or so that we wandered around Chichen Itza. My shoulders didn't burn, they just blistered!!!! White blisters sized from a pencil tip to a little pencil eraser. They didn't hurt so much and were very thin. Maybe my shoulders just got too hot? Once the blisters broke the next day they still didn't hurt, just peeled. Odd. It would have been much better to visit the cenote AFTER being out in the sun at Chichen Itza. A quick cooling dip would have been perfect. We did make that suggestion for future trips.
Now back at my home and over my Mexicoma (^.~) I LOVE my Chichen Itza purchase:It was the only one I saw the entire time that had these colors. Everything else was either bright rainbowy colors or just black/dark brown/white combinations.

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