Mexico 12 28th March

I was the first visitor at the Dzibilchaltu ruins, just when they opened 8 am. I easily got talked into taking on the services of a guide, he spoke excellent English and his fee was $15 for 1 hours. However, back to yesterday. I missed out a picture of fishing boats.

I also missed some more trikes and a nice plaza.

Back to the ruins. The guided tour was interesting, well worth the small fee, but nothing terribly photogenic about the ruins. They are not in a good state, they are not so interesting as previous ruins, but the are the longest known inhabited Mayan city. They have a cenote.

This is where they got their water. At the far end it is over 40 metres deep and the source cave has been explored almost 1500 metres horizontally. It is believed the water comes originally from the sea and the salt is removed by the limestone, which is the base of all the Yucatan. Millions of years ago the Yucatan was at the bottom of the sea.

I parked up in a better class area in Merida, high garden walls to the left of me, and high garden walls to the right. Round the corner I went to an internet cafe. Slow connection, email was OK but I couldn't upload my updates to my web site, nor could I update my AntiVirus. On top of which it was by far the most expensive connection yet, $2.50 (1.25) for 30 minutes. So much for parking in better class areas!

On to Motul where I took a buggy tour.

I also spotted a sign in the gardens that, not knowing a word of Spanish, amused Simon and I when we first saw it on our little plane trip through Mexico 5 years ago.

It doesn't mean what we thought it meant.

I'd noticed an internet cafe on my wanderings, so called in. A really fast connection, everything worked, and the cost was only 60c (30p) an hour. I updated everything I could think of. The town centre was full, it was a town holiday, the Yucatan governor was calling by to speak to the assembled masses, there were photos everywhere showing the things that had been built or improved since he came into office. Looked impressive to me.

On entering Izamal I spotted a pyramid so I climbed it. This is the view from the top.

Note the area below the pyramid is not at ground level. It is about 200 metres by 180 metres and about 20 metres above the ground. What a construction to make a pyramid base of those dimensions! The pyramid itself is about another 15 metres higher and still pretty big, look at the size of those steps. The steps are in the middle, not those huge terraces on the side.

I found a parking spot for the night just under the pyramid

then went and took another pony and trap ride.

After I got back I asked the driver if it was OK to park on this small plaza for the night. No problem he said. I was just heading off to visit the monastery when an official looking guy asked me if this was my RV. Yes I admitted. Been there long he asked. No not really I said. Are you planning to stay there for the night he asked. Yes, I admitted again. He looked shocked. On no you can't do that he said, you have to move. Oh well I thought to myself, back to plan A, up by the pyramid. I'll not tell him where I'm going.

No, he continued. You have to park right in front of the town hall, we have 24 hour security there. I always tell the RV's to go there. If anybody says anything tell them Arturo told you to park there. Thanks I said, are you a policeman? Yes he said. Tourist police. My job is to help tourists. I'll be around in the morning if you need anything. Oh wow!

I'd already been noting I like the Mayans. They've been stopping me and saying hello as I wandered through towns, then chatting in broken English, always trying to help. One guy told me how much English he spoke, holding his finger and thumb about inch apart. Spanish he said, showing about an inch. Maya he said, using both hands about a foot apart. I'll translate for metric users. That's 5 mm, 25 mm, and 30 cm.

By the way I hope you are seeing these files as I intend. If you are using OE it's probably OK but I don't know about users of other emailers. You are suppose to see a bit of text, a picture, a bit more text, another picture and so on. All in the body of the email. If you're not seeing it like that, and have to click on attachments, update your email program!!!

Best regards

David Barker

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