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Published: November 4th 2012
After 2.5 days it was time to say goodbye to Playa del Carmen, and drive towards Merida for what brought us to Mexico in the first place - Rafa and Angelica's wedding! But before Merida, Chichen Itza, about halfway on the highway between Cancun and Merida, was on the schedule for today! Unfortunately we got there around the same time as most tour buses from Cancun, so we had to share the impressive sites with many, many others. That's the downside of it having been named one of the new world wonders.. Upside - if you linger, you get to listen to the guides for free 😉. And the tours often focus on the most popular buildings, so the ones more in the back are a bit more quiet.
It's quite amazing though, to realize that thousands of people used to gather around these temples during one of the mass rituals.. Chichen Itza also has a huge ball court, which is quite fascinating. The ball game played there was apparently a secret, religious one, a kind of basketball, but mainly with the hips, shoulders and elbows, using an 8 pound pure rubber ball, and a ring about 8 m high.
Paintings and carvings suggest players would at times be sacrificed to the gods. However, given that unfortunately all but 3 Mayan books have been burnt, we don't know whether it'd be the winners or losers. Pretty dangerous game nevertheless!
After many pictures, and some proper dehydration by the scourning sun, it was time to continue our journey to Merida..
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