Friday, March 21, 2008

Dzibilchaltun & Uxmal

This morning it was more cloudy and drizzle so I decided to visit the nearby small ruin of Dzibilchaltun just outside of Merida. The information about where to find the collectivo to get to the site was incorrect and I was directed by the local to another area. Unfortunately it was a holiday in Mexico, there were few transportation option for getting to the site, and I paid the high price of $10 ($20) round trip. And then the entrance fee to the site included $2 for service charge, using bathroom, restaurant, etc, which is ridiculous given the site is so small, one probably don't need to use either.

As for the site itself, it is very disappointing. Not much to see, and weather get worst as time goes on. Although there was a nice museum. Also one of the building the house of seven dolls (for 7 dolls found in the building), during the Spring and Fall equinox, the sun will shine straight through its door way and the glows, of course there was no sun this day. There was a small Cenote at the site, but it was closed.

Anyway, after get back in Merida, I went for seafood lunch, and ordered something with shrimp and conch, and what I got was a cocktail of the both in a glass, not what I had expected. It was pretty good none the less.

This morning before Dzibilchaltun visit I signed with the hostel where I am staying for a afternoon visit of a Mayan site Uxmal (means That which was build three times) that included light and story show at night. The bus that picked us up had mostly Mexican tourists - there were many Mexican tourists here in the Yucatan, I think this is where they come for their vacation. As we arrived in Uxmal, small break in the sky started to appear, but it was not enough for great picture.

This site is much more impressive, really great Mayan architecture and carving. It flourished from AD600-900. It's intricate, puuc (means hill) style architecture, includes many wonderful carving of rain god Chaac. In this part of Yucatan, it is drier than the South, so lots praying to the rain god during the drought. There was no cenote found here, but there was evidence of great hydraulic engineering system used to collection rain water in the cisterns which held from 20-35 thousand liters of water each. Over 150 of these cisterns have been found in the center of Uxmal alone.

The tour included 1.5 hour of guided tour, but since we got there late, we did not have much free time before the place closes at 5. We then head to a nearby place for dinner, I decided to pay the $8 get the meal, which wasn’t too expensive given the limited choices here. But the shocker was when the waiter came to ask to pay for the drinks I did not know it was not included in the meal, and you guess it, the drink was pretty expensive, $2.5 for a limonada!

After the dinner we went back to the site to see the light and story show. It was in Spanish, but I was not going to shell out more money for a translation device. Of course I was clueless on what the story about. But did hear the Mayan god Chac many times :) The light show was ok. We got back around 10PM.

BTW, the Mayan people here dress differently the highland Mayans of Guatemala. Since it is hot here in Northern Yucatan, they dress in white and thin fabric.

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