Old Ruins – Day 128(10,531 miles)

Does the title refer to us?  Well I haven’t had a haircut for 5 months and given up on makeup so perhaps it is me at least!

We are firmly entering Mayan territory and the many ruined cities there are to see.  We started with a little one called Yaxchilan, it is on the Usumacinta river and the opposite river bank is the border with  Guatemala. It is only accessible by boat and when our skipper suggested we set off at 7am the next day we thought it might be to beat the hoards of other tourists arriving by coach.

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Luckily we were wrong, perhaps he is just a morning person?  This place is pretty off the beaten track and we were the only ones staying at our campground. We had the ruins to ourselves apart from 2 others, and there were no sellers of stuff we do not want!  We have no illusions that will be the case at the larger, more accessible sites but it was a great morning.

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A slightly weird camping spot, the car park of a museum.

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John on the edge of a rather tall pyramid, in flagrant breach of safety guidelines yet again!  This was at a place called Calakmul again pretty quiet as there is 60km of a mainly paved but very potholed small lane to get there.

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We puffed our way up 148ft of pyramid for this view.  To be honest going up was fine but coming down not so comfortable, those Mayans had tiny feet, barely enough room to stand sideways on some of the steps.

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We had chatted to a couple of guys we assumed to be French (although they turned out to be Belgium) at the top of the pyramid.  As we were leaving the site they approached us in need of a lift.  They had hitchhiked the 60km in but missed their lift out.  This was a first for us, hadn’t given anyone a lift in Juanita before.  Obviously she is not designed to carry more than 2 but we rolled back the mattress and made it work.  It was nice to have the company of Matthias and Matthew for a while.

We headed to the Caribbean coast, another first for us both as beaches are not our usual priority.  Well, not sunny ones anyway, we’re too pasty for sunbathing!

Below is the Mayan seaport of Tulum, a real tourist draw quite understandably considering the location.  For us it was rather an anti-climax after the 2 previous sites.  All the ruins were roped off so no climbing around, landscaped grounds and thousands of people!  I said to John it felt rather manufactured.  We could have avoided the crowds by getting there earlier as we were camped very close by.  Instead we had a leisurely breakfast and chatted to a nice Kiwi lady travelling with her 12 year old daughter (who was still in bed!).  Sophie runs an underwear company back home called Thunderpants (great name).  Often these people encounters are the rewarding bits of our days.

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Throughout the Yucatan there are sink holes known as Cenotes, they are fed from underground water sources (not sure if that is always the case).  Some are open to the elements and some within caves.  We found a less popular underground one that we had to ourselves.

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A selection of recent wildlife encounters.

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We have camped in some great spots.

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John on the naughty step!

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Ek Balam

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The nosey parker who loves to see inside other people’s houses in me wanted to visit Casa De Los Venados in Valladolid, it is a private house stuffed full of 3,ooo bits of Mexican folk art, or toot as John called it.  Lots of Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Day of the Dead themed stuff.  Basically some well off Americans bought a wreck of a building, renovated it, filled it full of stuff and are now No 1 thing to do in Valladolid on Trip Advisor!  It’s a small town, not that much happening.

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A real old fashioned shoemaker, not hard to make your choice, there is only one style!

Bye for nowxx

7 thoughts on “Old Ruins – Day 128(10,531 miles)”

  1. Sooo jealous, the Mayan ruins look amazing, carvings so clear still. I remember years ago my dad passing a book on to me that looked at the Mayan culture. There was a stone sarcophagus lid, it was for King Pacal. Looked like the king was off on a journey to the underworld, but ancient astronaut theorists believed the king is portrayed at the seat of the controls of a space craft and called him the Palenque astronaut. Are you believers???? 🙂 🙂

    Predictably the spider… not so sure about!

    Fi x

    1. Hi Fi, glad you like the Mayan stuff, there will be plenty more to come in the next blog post too! We are off to a Mayan Museum tomorrow, the King Pacal burial mask is in the Mexico City Museum which we do hope to get to before we leave Mexico. I am sure the Mayans wondered what was beyond our planet, astronauts, who knows? King Pacal died on 28th August which is my Birthday, so if I believed in reincarnation there might be a link😀!x

  2. I am so jealous. Wonderful photo’s. Noise cancelling headphones seem to cure most mechanical problems.

    1. Good to hear from you Dave and hope you’re well. I’ve been wondering if you’re going to get the chance to take your Land Rover overseas anytime soon? Keep Jane and I posted on that.
      I’m beginning to ignore the noises, but it’s difficult. A couple we stayed with in El Tule suggested that I drive the van as if I have stolen it. They may have a point!
      Bye for now.
      John

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