Hooked on Maya ruins

Date: 18/11
City: Santa Elena, Mexico
Kilometres ridden: 531
Cumulative kilometre: 26595

Today was a long day, we made more than 500km, this time it was easy and enjoyable to ride a highway, smooth surface and no potholes. On a petrol station we had a short conversation with a Mexican guy, where we are from and where we are going. He said all accommodation around Uxmal would be expensive, but Santa Elena, a couple of km further south, would be cheaper. So we changed the destination to Santa Elena. We arrived just before sunset, it sets one hour earlier then in San Cristobal. We got a bungalow for a reasonable price, only drawback, no internet. Tomorrow we have a look at the Uxmal ruins.

Date: 19/11
City: Santa Elena, Mexico
Kilometres ridden: 14
Cumulative kilometre: 26609

We had a nice breakfast in the middle of a rainforest.

Then we road two up to the ruins of Uxmal. The pyramid at the entrance was impressive, but we couldn’t climb it.

We didn’t get a guide this time (money saving exercise) so we walked around and read the signs. We noticed that there were ornaments carved into stones which were different to the ruins in Palenque.

We also saw the ball court, where two teams were competing to put a rubber ball through a stone ring and the captain of the winning team was sacrificed. Hmm, I ‘d rather like to loose in this case J

Finally we found a pyramid to climb; the view from the top was great (after we caught our breath again). The pyramid (left), me coming down (middle) and the view from the pyramid (right).

After the visit of the ruins, we went to the next town to buy some things. On the market place we were greeted by sculptures in the town square.

When we went back to the hotel, I had a look at the Lonely Planet Guide to see how long it will take to visit the four ruins on our way to Chichen Itza. In the end we decided to stay a day longer and have a look at the ruins and the cacao museum tomorrow and ride the day after to Chichen Itza. With the tickets we purchase we also got tickets for a light show in the evening, so we were going back to the ruins in Uxmal. During the show they played music and narrated a story with lights illuminating the ruins in different colours. Unfortunately our Spanish was not good enough to get it all 😉

After the light show we rode back in the dark, but my additional LED lights worked well. By the way, thanks to Ryan who quality controlled the building of the light bracket. The bracket was still intact after my accident (the bike tumbling on the road with 70mp/h) and a couple of rough roads, and did us a great service during this night ride.

Date: 20/11
City: Santa Elena, Mexico
Kilometres ridden: 40
Cumulative kilometre: 26649

Since we decided to stay a day longer there was no hurry. So we had a nice long breakfast before we started to have a look at the ruins. The Diddle’s and Bryce were joining us too 🙂

We started with the ruin furthest away (Labna). We looked at the palace first and found some amazing stone carvings, it looked better preserved then the ones in Uxmal.

The other interesting structure was an arch which was the entrance to a small market place.

There we meet a fellow Australian, Michael from Sydney riding his F800GS.

We talked briefly and exchanged email addresses to send each other the spot site links. Michael has the same route planned as we do, but with different timing. He will meet a friend in San Diageo de Chile at the beginning of January, then ride to Ushuaia and then travel back very slowly. Maybe we meet somewhere on the trip, at least we both have spots so we can see where everybody is and meet for a beer if we are close.

From here we went to the Cacao Museum, which included as well a Maya culture museum. We saw lots of explanation about the Mayas day to day life, writing, numeric system

as well as the importance of cacao beans. Included in the price was a cacao ceremony and a cacao preparation and tasting, which was really interesting.

It took us so long that we hat to hurry to get to the next ruins, they normally close at 17:00. So we went to Xlapak, which was free, and that had its reason. Let’s say, there was hardly anything restored yet. So we hopped back on the bike to at least get to the next ruin, Sayil. Here we found some restored ruins, but the ruins were really far apart and the sun started to set, so we were hurried a bit. There was one ruin left and we decided to have a look at it tomorrow on our way to Chichin-Itza.

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