Monday, March 9, 2009

Touring Tulum in Mexico

The walk to Tulum includes passing through the required tourist traps. Several locals dress in the ancient native Mayan ceremonial costumes for photos. Kinda like our Native Americans, don't you think?

I would have liked to spend more time in the shops. But the tour waits for no-one so you have to leave the little mall and move on.

It's about a quarter mile to the ruins. You can walk, catch a little locomotive, or a cart pulled by a tractor. The walk was quicker in the long run.

One of the Tulum ruins. The majority of the larger buildings were built with the equinoxes in mind. They mark the summer and winter solstice with the sun appearing in the window frames. The solstice celebrations still continue and I would have loved to been at the last one. Hundreds of people camped for the event.

By marking the solstices, the farmers knew when to plant and harvest, when the rains were going to come and when to get ready for the spring planting. The Mayans were very successful farmers, supporting a large population.

The ruins of Tulum. Tulum overlooked the ocean and was probably the first evidence of habitation discovered by the Spainards when they arrived in the new world. The stone buildings were trimmed with obsidran and in the sun, gleamed like gold. Which is what the Spainards thought they were seeing from their ships. No wonder they thought they were seeing 'golden cities'.

The beach along Tulum. Leah and I prowled to the end of the trails, shooting videos and photos until we exhausted all our batteries.

After leaving Tulum we had lunch at another resort, the Xpu-Ha Palace. This hotel/resort is in the middle of the jungle and was just about destoryed when hurricane Wilma roared ashore 3 years ago. They have a great wildlife park you can wander through. Look! Flamingos are pink!

One of the residents of the wildlife park. As you walked the trails and looked down into the swampy wetlands you could make out the shape of an alligator watching you from just under the water. It was a great incentive to stay on the trails. No signs needed to say 'don't feed the wildlife.

1 comment:

Thunderbolt379 said...

Wonderful stuff, Anna, keep 'em coming! You make me want to visit Mexico and see some REAL archaeological sites, they're a sore contrast to the cemetery survey I've been on for *too* long!Cheers, Mike