Thursday, March 20, 2008

Ek-Balam and Merida

This morning I decided to goto another Mayan ruin near Valladolid because it was cloudy and with very light rain. The first "bad" weather in many weeks. This site is not on the tourist trail so there was only handful of tourists when I was there. I hired a taxi for $25 including two hour wait. Ek-Balam means Black Jaguar. The main temple known as 'The Tower', is an immaculate seven tiered staircase leading up to a flattened area with the remains of a temple. A tree at the site was buzzing with many humming birds. Even though I have seen many humming birds on my trip, this time I was finally able get close and take some photos.

One strange thing happened to me while at the ruin, a family of I assume Mexican that I thought they wanted me to take their photo, but it turn out, they want take a photo me with one of them. I knew white people get ask for photos in place like Asia, but me in Mexico, go figure. I have gotten quiet dark the last few weeks in the Yucatan sun, so maybe I am looking a little like a famous Mexican - just kidding.

After the about an hour at the site, I went next door to the Cenote X-Canche. I have been wanted to do a rappelling, so I paid $15 for the bike (1.5km to the cenote), and did my first rappelling. I was nervous, but I manage to get down without a problem. Afterward I put on a life jacket and get into an inner tube and swum around the sinkhole a bit. An hour late I was on my back to Valladolid, took a shower and pack up to goto Merida.

The suppose 2 hour bus ride turn into 4 hours, not sure if the book is wrong or it was just super slow. I got to Merida around 4. The weather at Merida was even more damp and heavy overcast. But the city is full of activity none the less. According the book it is one of the most Spanish city in the Yucatan. Although lots of business seems to be closed for the Easter Holiday. I spend rest of the afternoon grab a lunch, bought my night time bus ticket to Palenque for Sunday night (first class, 9 hours ride that leaves at 10PM, will be my first night time bus in this trip). Afterward I walk around the town a little more.

I have not decide what do tomorrow yet, it will be depend on the weather, and unfortunately most the sights, Mayan ruins, colorful town, around Merida needs blue sky to give good view with exception of cenotes, even it needs some sun to give the water good colors.


appsw2000 said...

Hey Jonathan!
Sounds like you are still having a great time and I can't wait for us to share bus stories. I arrived in Caye Caulker today after 19 hours of traveling. I love your photos, you must teach me how to blog them as well. Continue hiking through Mexico and stay safe...I sent Jorge your way.

Jonathan said...

Haha, so far my all my bus rides were short compare to yours. I think the longest day of travel was about 12 hours and mostly during the day.

Well I know about web page, part my job :) So I modified an pre-existing template and set it up before my trip. I used yahoo's flickr for my photos and I just add the links into my blog.

Jorge said he'll be in Palenque Mexico on Monday. I will arrive in the morning.