25th March Mexico 11

So in the morning I left Kabah for Sayil, only about 10 miles away. Here's the palace.

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The paths between the ruins at the sites are nice too. Note the stones to the right. Now it's just a pile of stones. Don't know what it used to be.

Next came Labna. Best known for it's arch.

Then, again quite close, Loltun Caverns. Very big, really big, must have been formed by an underground river, but not very pretty. A few stalactites and stalagmites. As a point of educational interest, the base rock in the Yucatan is limestone, there are no rivers, and since there is almost no rain for 8 months of the year water was quite a problem for the Mayans. They dug big cisterns in the ground and channeled in the rain that fell in the rainy season or in some places they were able to take advantage of sinkholes.
I stopped for the night alongside the culture plaza in Ticul. This is the Church that was close by.
Couldn't work out why so many people were walking past the van in the early morning then realised that walking round the culture plaza was the morning exercise route. They use a lot of cargo carrying trikes around here. Some of the ones for passengers have sunshades. They will often push a lot of weight, I have seen 2 adults and 2 children in front, also, several times, 6 x 50 Kg sacks of cement. I think it's around 25p (50c) into, or out of, town.

Around the end of the 19th century there was a lot of money made from sisal production. It's used for ropes etc. The big estates have now folded because we use materials like nylon. But as an example of the money that was there this superb building is the now disused machine shop in Yaxcopoil, once used to process the sisal.

I went to Celestun, famous for flamingoes. There were lots more than this but what do I show you? Just a few, like this, or a red line of thousands of flamingoes in the distance?

There are crocodiles.

And, less dangerous, mangos.

I stayed the first night on the street in the town, the next night in the car park by the recently burned down information office. The sea food is good, I had a mixed plate, superb.

I left early in the morning for Merida. I've found how to buy tortillas from the village production units. They have machines that grind the maize into a sort of flour, water is added from a carefully adjusted tap, then machines that cut the pastry into circles and cook it. I now buy 1 peso's worth (that's 5p or 10c), for about a dozen tortillas. I only eat about 6 for lunch but haven't yet found away to buy less than 5 pesos worth! I did some food shopping at Sam's Club and Carrefour (yes the French Carrefour, here in Mexico) and am now ready for more ruins in the morning here at Dzibilchaltun.

Best regards

David Barker

Boondocking behind the church in Dzibilchaltun, Yucatan, Mexico

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