Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Mexico Log, Part 4

Tuesday, 1/2/07

Another beautiful morning in tropical paradise. Monday night's rain took away some of the humidity (Note: Sue disagreed with me on this, thinking that it was actually MORE humid, but whose blog is this, anyway?!?), so the morning was a comfy 77˚ at 9:00am. We're up & off to see the Mayan ruins at Tulum, this time with Tess well-fed and a guide for the tour.

Tulum (the ruins) is a fantastic site: quite a large city, walled in, right on a cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea. When the Spanish first arrived here they saw the large "tower" as being akin to a castle, and imagined the whole area as a kind of defensive fortress. Turns out Tulum was more likely simply a place where goods were traded as they came from different Mayan cities. The fact that the city dwells on a cliff is just for ease of access to the sea; in fact, Mayan legend told of the return of their god Quetzalcoatl who would appear golden and whiskered...just like the Spanish conquistadors looked, which is why the Mayans never even thought to fight them. Several thousand nobles lived inside the city walls, while some 20,000 people lived outside. The ruins are very clear: lots of open space, with short grassy areas separating the various crumbled edifices. There were LOTS of tourists there, and with steps leading down to the sea the beach below the main pyramid was bustling with swimmers. Our guide was Alma, herself Mayan, and nearly everyone in her family worked as a Tulum guide; her father was one of the first, after the ruins were discovered.


Sleepy iguana by the beach.

Bruce wasn't feeling well, so after Tulum we came back to Akumal. The four of us "kids" got dropped off to look at some of the art galleries lining the main road, after which we grabbed lunch and lazy beers. We were back at La Sirena by 3:30, took a quick dip in the pool to cool off, and then Joel and I went snorkeling at Yal-Ku, a lagoon a short distance from the condo. VERY cool: I'd not been snorkeling before, so I didn't know what to expect, but the salt water allowed us to float on top of the water effortlessly, and I could kick my fins kind of lazily for maximum effect. The lagoon seemed kind of barren to my eyes, but for a first time I felt very comfortable in the gear. We saw a small variety of fish, most notably Dorys (Dorries? You know, the blue fish played by Ellen.), silvery fish and a variety of smaller, colorful angelfish. A VERY large fish alarmed me momentarily, but I saw little likelihood of predators in the lagoon.

We arrived back at La Sirena to find Bruce feverish and Sue sounding worried. We fed him some Motrin for the fever and then, since he wasn't hungry, abandoned him in search of dinner at La Lunita. The five of us ate at a table on the beach, 20 feet from the sea. sucked. ;-) My Keens were wet from walking in the sea at Tulum, so I took them off & enjoyed digging my toes into the sand, watchful for hermit crabs and tarantulas. We came back to La Sirena to drink beers (well, not Tess so much), soak our swollen feet in the pool, and Joel & I spent quite a bit of time talking death & good books. 'Cause, you know, you need something good to read when you're dead. Or something.


Blogger L*I*S*A said...

Still sounds like paradise. Hope Bruce's fever broke!

7:15 AM  

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