Palenque, Handyman’s delight

Date: 15/11
City: Palenque, Mexico
Kilometres ridden: 220
Cumulative kilometre: 26062

We packed the bikes and had a short breakfast,then took some pictures of us and our host before leaving.

We really liked it in Hotel/Hostel Miramar, it had a nice atmosphere. Some locals predicted that it will take us five to six hours to get to Palenque, but the roads were ok and we expected to be there earlier. So when we arrived in Ocosingo we thought we have a look at the ruins of Tonina. We saw a sign to the ruins when we entered the city, but that was the last of it. After having left the city by some miles, we decided to give Tonina a miss and have a look at Agua de Azul instead. Close to the water falls, we had a short break for some food. There we asked for directions, just to be sure… After a nice meal, we continued to the Agua Azul waterfall which was really quite close to our lunch place. When we arrived it started to rain… Bummer!  So we took our rain gear out and walked to the waterfalls. Luckily when we start walking, the rain stopped and the sun came out. We checked out different viewpoints around the waterfalls and I took plenty of pictures of each of them. I liked the blue water and the sandy colour of the rocks.

On the way back to the bikes, the sun really started to  shine and it got quite humid. Around the footpath were stalls selling everything from Mayan masks, T-Shirts to food. Some stalls were offering cold green coconuts as refreshment, so we gave it a try. The milk/water was not as sweet and tasty as we hoped but they were quite refreshing.

Since the sun was out, I took even more pictures 😀


We went back to the bikes, and headed towards Palenque. Some people told us that there is plenty of accommodation on the way to the ruins. We picked one that looked nice and had a pool and restaurant (and a reasonable price as well). The surroundings gave us the feeling of being in a rain forest. 🙂


When we settled in we realised that we were the only guests in the complex. But in the evening a nice couple from Canada -Monika and Daniel- arrived. We found out that they migrated from Switzerland to Canada 22 Years ago . We decided to have dinner together. It was really interesting hear about their migration. Some issues we had in common, others were quite unique to Canada. Both of them were now looking for a new home country for their retirement. We only stopped talking when the restaurant wanted to close for the night.

Date: 16/11
City: Palenque, Mexico
Kilometres ridden: 0
Cumulative kilometre: 26062

At breakfast we met again and talked about their experience in Central and South America. We talked a lot and it started to get late, so we decided not to rush to the ruins and have a rest day instead. I ordered spare parts to be delivered to Belize and wrote two blogs.

 

Date: 17/11
City: Palenque, Mexico
Kilometres ridden: 4
Cumulative kilometre: 26064

We went to Palenque and had a look at our first Maya ruin in Mexico. Since we didn’t have a map of Palenque, we opted to take a guide to show us around. It was really worth the money, there are so many things that we would have missed. So, the first ruin was the palace and he showed us the toilet of the Royal Family, with flushing water (Sigrid gives an example how to use them, ignore the toilet paper in Sigrid’s hand, that’s not authentic :-).


We also saw the lower level of the palace, which was the living quarters of the royal family. Sigrid tried the bed, but it was hard as stone ….

Then we climbed the Temple of the Cross, while the guide waited for us at the bottom. After we arrived at the top we knew why, but the view was great. I bet oxygen masks and beer would sell very well at the top.

At the end of the tour, our guide walked into the jungle with us to show us the rubber tree – they made the ball for their games out of the rubber it provided  – as well as a spiky tree that is special to the Mayas. The branches spread out similar to a cross and it has spikes all over it. After that our guide showed us the way to the museum, then we took a picture and said good bye.

We climbed a couple of other ruins and the view was stunning from all of them. Getting there was sometimes a bit strenuous.


When we arrived at the museum, there were some nice flowers with red blossoms, so I couldn’t resist to play with the camera again 😀



After I finished, we went into the museum and got some good explanations about the Maya culture, daily life, the solcial structure of the Mayan society and had a look at the sarcophagus that was found in the Temple of the Inscriptions.

On our way back we took another path and discovered even more ruins. It is amazing what nature does to the buildings in 1000 Years.

At the end we even saw some monkeys in the trees but we couldn’t get them on camera. I only caught Sigrid by hanging onto a vine.

It was a great day, our first Maya ruins. Tomorrow we will continue to Uxmal and have a look at the ruins there.

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One Response to Palenque, Handyman’s delight

  1. Andrea says:

    Ola! Hablar Espanol? I am sure this is misspelled, hope your Spanish lessons are worth it, hear you only have a few hours of daily ‘electrickery’ at the moment? Until next, hast luego! 😉

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