Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Tulum Archaeological Site

We went a couple of miles up the road to the ruins of Tulum - it was hot and humid (as it usually is here) but it was literally only a couple of miles from where we are staying.  I had been planning on investigating an interesting sounding little shopping place near there but when we arrived at the parking area (160 pesos) we found that the shopping area was a huge collection of vendor stalls where you buy tickets catch the transport to the ruins.  We grabbed an icy cold creamy frapucino at the only Starbucks that we have seen in quite a while (though the Italian Coffee Company makes better coffee and frapuccino than Starbucks in my opinion) and climbed aboard the tractor pulled train.

To get to the ruins you actually walk through entrance arches in the wall around the Mayan walled city.  The wall is about 20 feet thick and going through the wall was one of only 2 or 3 cooler spots that we found there - did I mention that it was hot and humid??

Once inside, the beautiful green field, scattered with buildings and with gray and black rocks where buildings once were, is both peaceful and thought provoking.

These ruins are pretty amazing, there are so many buildings and the information signs are in both Spanish and English so we were able to learn quite a lot about the culture and the ruins.  There is a lot of restoration work going on and we saw photos of volunteers painstakingly sorting flakes of the broken artwork that have fallen off the temple walls then gluing them back onto where they have fallen from - talk about a 10,000 piece jigsaw puzzle, but there is no picture to guide you.

There are also pieces of buildings with the arches propped, waiting for the joint restoration work to be completed to prevent them from falling.

It is quite amazing how well preserved these ruins are considering the effects of the salt spray and the sea breezes.

If you look really closely, you may be able to see some of the original Red and Blue colors.

The whole combination of this ancient walled city with all it's history and majesty; the clifftop views of the beautiful Caribbean waters below and the white sands of the most beautiful little beach nestled  in the rugged coastline below the  old castle.  It is the only Mayan city built on the coast and one of only a handful that was enclosed within a wall.

I can only begin to imagine what it must have been like to have lived in this beautiful city in such a prime spot, looking out over those clear aquamarine, warm Caribbean waters, feeling safe behind that great wall in this high location.

Once we reached the castle, at the highest point, we started seeing the sea and then we discovered that amazing beach and the joys of running into that lovely clear, warm water - warm as it was, it was still a brief cooling experience after walking around for a couple of hours among the ruins on top of that hot hill.

Lesson for today, don't go anywhere without a swim suit - or at least with underwear that looks like a bikini bottom - did I mention that it was HOT ??

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