7th Wonder, but why?

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North America » Mexico » Yucatán » Chichén Itzá
December 23rd 2017
Published: December 29th 2017
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My 6:30 alarm wasn’t exactly appreciated, though I had been awake over two hours after some idiot turned the fan off in the middle of the night making the room sweltering hot. I didn’t go to Chichen Itza yesterday as I didn’t know anyone going and didn’t want to go alone but of course I found out last night that EVERYONE went yesterday morning, thus I’d be alone this morning unless I found someone at breakfast. Thankfully I did, a Belgian guy and Indian girl (who introduced herself as from “DC” but I later found out only moved there three weeks ago), they weren’t who I’d normally hang out with but in desperate times...

Breakfast took FOREVER to come out, but ultimately was worth it. India didn’t wait as she wanted to get there early, that was everyone’s plan but whatever. Belgium and I had a reasonably leisurely breakfast and ended up getting the same bus as India - think that pissed her off.

Even though we arrived before opening at 8am and having heard that if you get there right on 8 there is no one there, the ticket line was already long and countless tour buses were
parked. It appeared that tours get priority service at the ticket counter cos our line was not moving. Eventually we got in, walked down a path lined with hawkers and Chichen Itza was in front of our eyes. It immediately felt like Buckingham Palace all over again, my first reaction was “is that it?” It’s kinda tiny, like really not 7 wonders of the world worthy. I’m sure if they re-voted it wouldn’t even make the top 50.

There were cool features of course, exactly 365 steps, if you clap it makes a squawking sound like a bird and, well, that’s about it.

Down the also hawker-filled street was a terribly overgrown cenote and back in the main park a sports court. The Mayans loved sport and played seemingly the single most difficult ball game on earth; getting a hard handball in a tiny goal 6m high without using their hands, feet or head. The goal is only 10cm wide and hangs against a wall, so it would be like spinning a basketball ring, with the backboard, 90 degrees and expecting anyone to get it in. Kudos to them though. There were another three ruins that were in
various stages of un-excavation and the complete lack of signage made everything hard to appreciate, especially considering you can only follow a tour guide for a certain amount of time before it gets weird. I reached weird a number of times but needed info! Belgium decided to leave as he wanted to get back and hire a bike to a few cenotes. India and I stayed trying to work out how to make the most of our $242 peso ticket (70 is the ticket, the rest state tax so citizens of Yucatan I hope you’re grateful cos I just paid for a new road).

Eventually, we were over it and the tourists so decided it would be more fun walking around the entrance trying to work out where the bloody collectivoes leave from for twenty minutes. No signs and the only help we could get was “take a taxi”. India had told me this, but despite the fact that we were at the famous Ik Kil Cenote she had no intention of swimming - wtf. I couldn’t even comprehend this. The cenote could be viewed from above and looked amazing with vines reaching 17m down into the water, from
cenote level was just as beautiful but due to the sun getting a good photo was almost impossible. I only ended up swimming for a few minutes as I forgot to take my Fitbit off, it was no fun by myself and it was terrifyingly deep (60m)! Back in my clothes we checked out the Mayan Ruins, which apparently means a pile of rubble that you have to walk 500m to see and chatted for an hour or so before deciding to head back. The Collectivo driver that dropped me off explained that they would come past every 20 minutes, so we knew we wouldn’t be waiting long. I was going to Valladolid and India the opposite direction to chichen itza to grab her backpack and get a connecting bus to Merida. 20 minutes past and it became obvious Collectivo weren’t coming past so she managed to hitchhike with a truck almost immediately and I was left awkwardly standing on the side of the road in the middle of bloody nowhere. Making the situation worse was seeing tour buses come and go, I just felt like they would all be staring at me and I’d be there all night and
into the morning. Oriente buses (the ones that stop for everyone) as did a few Collectivos but no one stopped for me, even with my hand out. A worker took pity for me and began to chat (me in broken Spanish) but eventually he had to go. FINALLY, an Oriente bus pulled over for me but about 100m past me, I began walking towards it but it started to go again and thank god stopped after I sprinted! I got in my seat at 2:19, so I’d been standing there for 1:02 hours! Probably an hour exactly considering it took me a while to pay and everything.

Back in Valladolid my English friends were at the bus stop getting a bus to tulum, one sitting down throwing up into a bag - now that would be a LONG three hour ride!!

Tacos for dinner with 3 Dutch girls and a French (a different name, but essentially tacos) with chicken, onion, salad, avo and guac which was bloody amazing and a mango smoothie after I suffered major drink envy.

14,453 steps.

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