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Mayan Mania

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

Chichen Itza
Originally uploaded by roupiesontour

Wednesday November 14th

Every day I wake up and hope some small miracle has happened with my hair. Every day I look more and more like I have Kramer hair (from Seinfeld for those who remember!). There is just no hope in this humidity and I find myself dreaming of a life where straighteners are on hand!

I booked a trip to Chichen Itza through the hotel. It took a couple of hours to get there which always gives a good opportunity for sight seeing. People live in such poverty here – oval huts where the walls are constructed of bamboo and a thatched roof. An electric meter and single power line just outside the front door seem totally at odds to the building. I have also noticed many people have that striking Mayan look, to me the word calm springs to mind, faces seem almost serene.

Chichen Itza itself is madness. For those of you who have ever been to Venice and seen the madness of the “follow the umbrella” type tour – you will know what I am talking about. The ruins are swarming with bus loads of tourists from Cancun – clad in bikinis and swim shorts – men with no tops – very respectful of the human sacrifices that occurred here. I was hoping to at least feel some “spirit” but no – nothing. It was just too Mayan-Disney for me. I did take a lot of pictures and it was interesting finding out about the buildings and for eg the ball ring which had incredible acoustics. Apparently the person who won the game got sacrificed and their head was mounted on a pole (a great honour). I can’t see it myself, maybe it would have been more incentive for the losers to be sacrificed! Stalls line every bit of shade and everything from hankies to carved masks are “one dollar, one dollar – nearly free – good rpice just for today”. We came across a young boy (about 13) carving a wooden skeleton which we had to buy – he is sitting on the chest of drawers watching me as I write this. We put a knotted hanky on his head and have named him Chico.

We finished the day off with a sorbet at night in the grand square. I had banana which looked like a brain according to Josh but even he could not put me off eating it. As soon as you sit down you get approached by everyone from small children to old cowboys selling their wares,
cheese, bracelets, belts, shirts, coins – you name it you don’t have to go far to shop here! They are very good though, as soon as you say no they will not bother you again.


Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

Main Square – Merida

Originally uploaded by roupiesontour

First impressions? No rain! Merida is like a maze – all the streets are like a grid and the buildings are seldom higher than 1 or 2 storeys but the streets are narrow so it feels enclosed. Buildings are painted in bright colours and there are metal grids over every window and door. The hotel (Mucuy) is very central and has a small pool in the courtyard. We all chilled for a bit and then went out exploring. There is a central square with the first cathedral to be built in America, this is surrounded by small shops and restaurants and there also small parks nearby. We have been accosted by many people trying to sell trips – I tried speaking French to get rid of them but they also spoke the language so will have to try something else tomorrow! Every 4th car is an old VW Beetle – Mexico is obviously the place they come to retire.

Every night in Merida there is something happening. Tonight we came across another square with a live band playing old mambo and salsa type tunes. People were dancing – from old couples to young mother’s with babies in their arms. It was just how I imagined Mexico to be. Some old guy was giving me the eye and if my back had been normal I would have been tempted to have a go – just to embarrass the kids! This is exactly how I imagined Mexico to be and the vibe of the city is great. I have a small padlock on my bag but feel safe when we go out – even in the dark.

November 12th – The Sun Has Got His Hat On

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007
San Jose Airport - Costa Rica Originally uploaded by roupiesontour
On the day we are to leave and there are clear ... [Continue reading this entry]

November 11th – Ping And The World Changes

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007
Beach At Puerto Viejo Originally uploaded by roupiesontour
We have spent the past couple of days chilling, running out whenever the ... [Continue reading this entry]

Laid Back Land

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

Road Sign - Puerto Viejo

Originally ... [Continue reading this entry]

The Shy Volcano

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007
November 7th – Arenal    This was due to be one of the highlights of the trip and ... [Continue reading this entry]

Rain, Rain Go Away…………

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007
Baldi Hot SpringsThe rainfall during the night was unbelievable - it was so heavy. The clouds are low this morning but dry so far.............We wanted to try the hot springs today and ... [Continue reading this entry]

Remember, Remember The 5th Of November

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007
Fireworks night and we feel so far away from home! We had a quick toast in the evening to all thise who are celebrating with fireworks and bonfires. I tried to explain the festival to the guy on reception as ... [Continue reading this entry]

Santa Elena

Monday, November 5th, 2007
Ok I am catching up so this will be brief......... The hostel is great but that smell feels like it has seeped into our clothes and we all dread going back to the room so we have decided to move on ... [Continue reading this entry]

The Rocky Road

Sunday, November 4th, 2007
November 1st - raining again today. We had a long wait as the bus did not leave till 2.30. Josh slept all morning so he must have been tired. O and I ventured out to the supermarket to get supplies ... [Continue reading this entry]