Natalie Goes to Japan

40 year old very married blonde woman having a midlife crisis who heads to Japan alone to follow her dreams. Be careful what you wish for ... you just may get it.

Monday, January 08, 2007

The Unpronouncable Site

For our next trip we wanted to go to a very nearby Mayan site called Dzibilchaltun. Which took we a week to learn to say. But it looked like the tours wouldn't spend much time there so we thought about taking a bus or a collectivo, which would have cost us nearly nothing. But then we looked into taking a taxi. For $25 bucks they'd drive us there, wait around for several hours and drive us back again. We are certainly not big spenders, but that sounded very reasonable (and cheaper than the tour). When we got there we decided to hire one of the local tourguides to show us around. He was very smart, and answered our questions very thoroughly, but not exactly a cheery dude. Oh, whoever said Mexicans are slow never had a Mexican tourguide. All three of our various tourguides were about 5 feet tall, cute as buttons and walked me into the ground. This was the hottest day so far, and I just let the guys go on ahead and went slower. Dzibilchaltun is really cool. It's not a very massive site, and the temple isn't very tall, but it really has an ancient feel. This site was only ever populated with Mayans, not Toltecs. And it has a very down to earth feel. I could almost imagine having lived there. Chichinitza was more "oooh, aaaah". Notice the god's face in the second pic, that's the rain god, and he has his tongue stuck out. You got to like a god who sticks out his tongue to catch raindrops. Well, then came the Spanish and they tore up the sacred stone road and used it to build a chapel, which is now a ruin, and much less grandiose than the other temples. And then I went swimming in the cenote. There are no rivers in the Yucatan, so these freshwater limestone sinkholes were considered sacred. Of course humans do stupid things so the Mayans/Toltecs used to thrown in human sacrifitial victims into them...thereby despoiling the freshwater. Water was cool, but not cold, with water lillies growing to one side, and happy fish swimming throughout. After we got there (Mark declined to swim) a large group of college students came along to take a plunge as well. The atmoshere was very joyous and exuberant, and reminded me of those movies where kids all go to the local swimming hole. Some sat along the sides and sunbathed, some got in and just paddled around, some did flips off the sides and others went down into the depths with snorkling gear. After I dried off, we walked over to the very new and bright museum to take a look. And then we were ready to find our driver and head back to town to eat more food and drink more margaritas and beer. It was the best day so far.


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