Thursday, 20 December 2012

Roadtrippin' thru Mexico .... Palenque & Merida

We decided to hire a mini bus to make the trip to Palenque.

We were delayed slightly (read that as 2.5 hours) when the locals decided it was time for some fund raising.

They blocked the only road through town and everyone had to pay to get through. Cars, buses and trucks were lined up for miles. Soon the streets filled with kids trying to cash in on this captive audience.

Ok so we got a little bored and had to play on the roof of the bus...

After a long drive it was a relief to stop at a waterfall and have a dip. The water was refreshing to say the least.

Palenque is famous for it's Mayan pyramids. These ruins seem to have grown out of the rainforest. The precision and detail of the buildings is amazing. While very different, there are loads of similarities to the Egyptian pyramids. Kinda made me wonder if the Mayans and Egyptians had ever shared building stories over a tequilla or two.

This site is one of the best examples of Mayan architecture in Mexico. There are hundreds of ruins spread over about 15 square km's but only some of the buildings have been uncovered. Probably a good thing as it was way too hot to walk the entire site.

The area was first occupied in 100 BC but flourished from AD 630 to 740. It's incredible to think that all the buildings were constructed without the use of metal tools, pack animals or the wheel. Quite impressive really.

We may have 'sacrificed' Fabian on the steps of the ruins.....

The walk out of the ruins kinda reminded me of being in Tasmania ... except it was very hot.

The next stop was the town of Merida. I got off the bus and headed to the hotel. It was only after I'd checked in that I realized that my bag of presents for my family were still under the bus seat. It took a trip back to the bus station and another to the bus depot the next day to retreive the bag. After all that running around I headed straight to DHL to ship the stuff back to Oz. Bloody nightmare.

Merida is known as the cultural capital of the Yucatan Peninsular. There are cobbled streets, impressive plazas and interesting little shops. I did a spin round town on the tourist bus to check out the sites.

Soon it was time to hit the road ... more ruins and some beach life coming up.

Mexico - Palenque

Mexico - Merida


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