The planner I am, I purchased a nice deal of a pirate cruise in conjuncture with a Chichen Itza tour. Today is the Chichen Itza tour part of the package. However, unlike my original email claimed, I didn't get an email correspondence to plan for the company to pick us up. I did call the Pirate Shop company, Jolly Roger, to get the information before we left the States. Through the clerk's poor English and my little knowledge of Spanish, we managed to get a time of 7:15am at Plaza la Fiesta to get on the bus. With our fear of being wrong through miscommunication and the unknown of how easy to get a taxi, we left the apartment at 6:30. Two blocks from the apartment we caught a cab and made our way to Plaza la Fiesta no problem. We witnessed the massive influx of workers to the Resorts around that time. Buses flew in and out of the bus stop out front of the Plaza. Finally around 7:20, a Go Mexico employee found us and asked about our reason for being in front of the store. Turns out the tour company Go Mexico operates out of the store and
happened to be the company we were going on the tour with. However, the schedule was to be checked in at the store by 8:15 not 7:15. Oh wel, at least that put us first in line for the bus on the classic Chichen Itza tour package.
Around 8:15, the guide for the Chichen Itza tour Plus package told us and the couple behind us that there were a few seats open on the Plus tour if we were willing to pay $15 extra we could take that trip instead which included complimentary drinks and more time at the site & free picture. We liked the idea of unlimited drinks and not having to worry about where to find more when our water bottles ran out. We went over to pay for the upgrade. For the 3rd time that day they had to check that our vouchers were valid ( apparently not a lot of people utilize the Pirate deal). Alex observed that while we were the first people there that day, we also ended up the very last to load onto the bus.
Aex slept the whole way to our first stop, a bathroom break about an
hour in. Meanwhile I got to hear all kinds of history and facts about Cancun and the Mayans in both English and Spanish. Surprisingly Cancun has only existed about 45 years. And tourists started entering the Mayan territory only 30 years ago. Shortly after that bathroom break we spent a quick 15 minutes looking at the Mayan city of Valladolid with its beautiful Plaza and 400+ year old parish Catholic Church. Then back on the bus to make our way to another smaller Mayan community for some shopping and a buffet lunch. We purchased some really beautiful pendants with our names in the Mayan Hyrogliphic characters. The government tries to help the Mayans by providing the silver to them so the costs stay down to just what labor costs. We also found some fun souvenirs.
Lunch consisted of a large array of local food and giant tables all the tourists crammed into. We found a couple of seats and sat down to eat. A short while later an Asian American tourist family came over making a fuss that we took the 'reserved' seats. Their entitled attitude really got to me so I brought over another chair. They could deal,
we all were already in the middle of eating and none of the seats are reserved - unwrapping a couple things of silverware does not constitute reserved. Especially when there were plenty of seats at the next table over. We finished pretty quickly and got out of that packed room. We browsed the shop and all the amazing crafty items the Mayans were selling before climbing back on the bus.
A short drive took us to the Chichen Itza ruins. The place was packed with people. Our tour group maneuvered through the masses and split into English and Spanish speaking groups. Luigi took ours to give an hour tour. He explained how the Mayans were advanced with the sciences, but it was only the elite who were the religious figures and the knowledgeable. At some point the lower class revolted which killed off the elite who had the knowledge and ability to read and write. That meant the religious activity came to an end so places like Chichen Itza was over taken by the jungle turning it into ruins. The loss of the language required archeologists to crack the Hyrogliphic characters and to figure out the usage of many
of the old buildings. Chichen Itza's Temple of the Sun is the main pyramid structure which put the location into the new set of the 7 Wonders of the World. On the north side of the building, there were heads of the god El Castillo and they are only on that side due to the light of the Sun setting on the equinox days shows the image of a snake coming to earth. The shadows are made thanks to amazing engineering that uses magnetic and true north 17 degree difference to make the trick happen. After the tour we spent the next hour exploring the gigantic city grounds and checking out the hundreds of Mayan souvenir booths.
We !et up with the group as expected but the area around the ruins was not built to handle the influx of tourists that come to the ruins each day. Our bus was stuck in the chaos so it took awhile to get out. When we finally did make it out, we drive over to a Cenote (sinkhole) to go swimming. Alex and I were exhausted so we walked down for some pictures and to look at it then found some hammocks to relax the 45 minutes we had at that location. We munched on our packed PB&J sandwiches then headed to the bus. We both had a nice nap back to Cancun. Just outside the city they sent the people staying downtown to another bus to drop people off. Since we were add ones they forgot to pass off our information so we had to ask the driver to drop us off T the A D O bus station. He got us close which worked out since it was by a bank where we could use the ATM to pull out cash for the next day. We had been unsuccessful the day before finding one that worked.
We spent a few minutes at the Internet cafe printing off our tickets for the water theme park, Xel Ha we scheduled for tomorrow. Of course we were hungry, so we stopped at a restaurant named Ty Coz, which had the most amazing sandwiches. Subway doesn't hold a candle to this place. Then back to the apartment for some much needed rest. However, as Alex sat down to unwind the bed collapsed beneath him. Somehow the wood holding the slats up for the mattress busted in two! We shimmied the bed over onto the bed box and slept together on the far side. I sent Andrea a note online apologizing and explaining what happened. Fingers crossed it is fixable or we may be sleeping on the floor tomorrow night.
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