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  • Day200

    Chichen Itza and more cenotes

    July 4 in Mexico ⋅ ⛅ 34 °C

    An early start today to beat the crowds and the heat at Yucatan's main attraction, the ruins of Chichen Itza, which was one of the largest Mayan citys from 600A.D to 1200A.D. and the regional capital controlling the entire peninsula. The city had a decent sized wall with the upper classes all housed within along with the major temples, Ball Court, Observatory and a Cenote for Sacrifices. Outside the walls the lower classes and visiting traders would have bedded down in ramshackle wooden huts. At its peak the population swelled to around 50,000, which although small but todays standards would have been pretty big in 1000 A.D.

    The Mayans were very learned in their astrology, the on site observatory was used to help design their calendar and keep track of the seasons to ensure the best yield for their farms. The main temple of the site, El Costillio has exactly 365 steps and is aligned perfectly so the sun shine straight through its centre on Mid-Summers morn and casts it's light perfectly falling only one of the 4 faces. It also has some unique audible features, with a strange echo which bounces from the domed summit which is very reminiscent of a local bird. Quite advanced for a civilization over 1200 years old.

    The ball court also has some strange echos and some even stranger rules, a cross between basketball and Quidditch, the champions wins the right to be become that years sacrificial offering, quite the honour apparently, although I think I may be tempted to throw the game and forgo the prize.

    As the day warmed up and the tour buses started arriving we headed to some Cenotes to cool off, we hit 3 local to Chicken Itza, 2 closed (closed ceiling, not the place!) and one semi closed, a very different feel to the day before but equally impressive. These ones were very deep very quickly so we were obliged to wear lifejackets. Not the prettiest on the photos but quite comfy to just float in and suck the atmosphere. The water of the cenotes are all around 25°C quite fresh, but very pleasant when outside the temperature are reaching 37°C!
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    vous avez pris une liane pour plonger dedans??


    euhm... Oui! Tous les autres ont pris les escaliers 🤭

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