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Oregon to the Yucatan Peninsula & Back Again 2

Updated on March 15, 2012
Ruins at Chichen Itza.
Ruins at Chichen Itza. | Source

Part 2 of 6: A journal of a road trip through the Yucatan Peninsula.


We had a scare in the early morning hours when J fell out of bed onto the tile floor! Our room had two double beds and I was sleeping with J. I had a hunch so we put a chair on J’s side of the bed. That floor looked dangerous to fall upon. The chair didn’t wake him up as he rolled into it. Instead, his body pushed it out of the way and he fell. D heard the chair move and the thump on the floor. He leapt out of bed and his arm landed on my leg. Simultaneously, I heard the thump, heard D jump up and touch my leg and screamed because I was startled awake so abruptly. It was all very comical!

Two things were astonishing about this fall. One, he stayed asleep! Two, the blanket wrapped around him seemed to cushion his fall enough so he didn’t have a single bump or bruise! D picked up the sleeping child, placed him back in bed sound asleep. We’ll resort to two-chair tactics tomorrow night.

J had another migraine last night. We also determined that Saturday night’s vomiting migraine related and not food sickness. I called the doctor today and determined that it is okay to give J a half of one of my nausea tablets.

When we were all finally up, we opted to visit Piste first to see if there is a banco. No luck. This town, which by our standards, seemed to be more of a village, is very classic to what we see in all of these rural areas. The main street (calle) is along the highway. The building facades are run down, chipped, and for the most part very small. They are mostly constructed of stones or bricks. In some cases, the stone work appears like it could be hundreds of years old, after all some of the Mayan ancestors of these townspeople could have been living here that long! The side streets, which are unpaved, are very tiny – barely large enough for two vehicles. The SUV’s and trucks many American’s drive would be very impractical in Mexico. A very compact, fuel economical automobile would be the best choice; and one that handles external heat! There are stores and shacks of people selling their wares from food to homemade crafts. Since we found no bank, we chose not to stop here today and went to the archaeological site, Chichen Itza.

We planned this trip specifically during the spring equinox so we can see the shadow of Quetzalcoatl (or Kukulcan) coming down the side of El Castillo, the main pyramid. We were approached by several official “tour guides”. They wanted $48 dollars per tour which might have been 480 pesos or $5. I still hadn’t figured it out yet. Since our little darling grudgingly left the luxury of his own pool at the hotel and we didn’t know how long it would be before he might revolt, we decided that even if it was only $5 it would be best not to waste his or our time.

As we suspected, we had barely stepped foot inside before Mr. Fussy started. Regardless, the complex and the ruins are impressive, especially El Castillo. The architecture of the place was amazing and the carvings are superb. It didn’t have the residual feelings of death, chaos, or psychic power that I was expecting or even fearing. I didn’t know if I could walk through a place where I knew there had been so many brutal ritual sacrifices. Oh my! It was bloody HOT today! J was too fussy so D walked back to the entrance to get him a cold drink. I decided to walk through the complex for a bit on my own.

As I walked through the complex I felt this place was very old and had been vacant for a very long time, so long that there wasn’t much left of the people who had lived here. It wasn’t like the Anasazi complex I had visited several years before that had an almost negative vortex feeling to it. Chichen Itza isn’t negative, just empty, like so many people have passed through, each taking a little bit with them, that the mojo has long since been robbed.

There was one building however that was strikingly different in terms of energy. It was rectangular with pillars inside and a sunken floor, El Mercado. I don’t care what they say, at one point in time this place was used for more than a store. In the very center of this building was an inordinate amount of positive energy, like an additional invisible pillar of light. It was so powerful that I could hardly stand in there. Wow.

After trying to exit the complex three times in the wrong place, I finally found the right exit but can’t find D and J. They’ve gone back inside. I went back in and found them coming out. We discovered that the shadow on El Castillo doesn’t appear until after 3 p.m. we decide to go back to the hotel for some snacks and a swim. I also called L for internet use to help me figure out the credit card thing and stuff.

We somehow convinced J into extricating himself from his precious the pool and returned to the pyramid site. I showed D and J some of the cool spots I found on my earlier self-guided tour, including El Mercado. Then, we witnessed the main event: the shadow of the snake. It was amazing! On the way out we stopped and talked to a Mayan craftsman and purchased a few gifts of earrings. He was very nice.

We arrived back at the hotel for more swimming, a nice supper, an evening hammock swing, and some Spanish and English television. As I decompressed more, I am enjoying the little things more about this place such as the HUGE leaves on the pythos as they climb the trees, the gecko’s wandering around, and the many unfamiliar noises of the birds and bugs.

We planned to see a cave and drive to Merida tomorrow.


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