Saturday 7 January 2017

During our Mexican holiday we took one trip away from the hotel.  There are a lot of historical sites across Mexico but Cancun is very much at one end of Mexico and consequently just about everywhere is a long journey.

Chichen Itza is one of two historic sites to which trips are organised and we decide that it is likely to be the better one of the two.  Even so it is still a lengthy journey to the site taking a couple of hours.

There is very little to see on the outward journey as we stick to the main road and it is pretty flat.  Apparently we are not much above sea level and due to the pretty thin layer of soil above rock it is not good territory for plant growth with the all pervading scrub on both sides not reaching a great height – 8 – 10 ft at best.  So no views.  So tempting to sleep and yes I did drift off!

The location was a major city between about AD 600 and AD 1200 for the Mayan civilization.  Like the temples of Siem Reap of the same era in Cambodia the site was rediscovered during the Victorian period with documented visits becoming common in the 1880s.  Tourists have been coming here to see the sights for well over a century.

We wander around the site which is dominated by the central “El Castillo” pyramid and my photos are here.

I went looking for the observatory – but did not find it.  I followed the signs and can only assume I simply did not go far enough; I came across a secondary gate and missed the turning no doubt.  Pity as from the photos elsewhere it looks interesting.  However it is hot and I do not want to wander too far.  We head towards the market outside the entrance but over pushy retailers put us off before we even start looking.

Around lunchtime we move on to a location where the main attraction is the cenote which appears in the photos.  A cenote is a sink hole and they often have cool water for swimming.  Subsequent research shows it to have been the Ik Kil cenote.  Neither of us feel like swimming; whilst I am sure it is safe it is a long way down and whilst it might be nice to cool down it is also time to eat.  Lunch is adjacent and so we have a leisurely meal and if I remember correctly some entertainment.

Our return journey includes a visit to Valladolid, but somehow this seems to have escaped my camera, so these photos come from Jackie’s phone.


It remains in the memory as we picked up some local dark chocolate which I can eat.