My only previous visit to Mexico was an afternoon trip over the Arizona border when I was about 5 years old ... somehow it didn't seem right to count Mexico as a country that I had visited with only that much experience. My friend, Nina, was very happy to act as travel companion and visit someplace that was warm during the cold Minnesota winter season (ironically, the weather has been milder than normal since we made the decision to go), so off we went.
|Part of a dwelling in|
the Coba ruins
|fire ant highway -|
we were very careful to step over it
|A glyph illustrating the 5 points of|
the ancient Mayan compass - one for
each cardinal direction - north/white, east/red,
south/yellow, west/black, and center/blue-green
|Mayan glyph on ball court|
representing a decapitated jaguar
holding its own head.
|The bottom of the pyramid at Coba|
|Looking down from near the top of the Coba pyramid -|
as you can see, it was very steep!
|The roof of the cenote with an airhole that|
also let in some light.
|The water was exceptionally clear and was|
from 12-40 feet deep.
|Nina shows no concern about swimming|
under the stalactite.
|fossils in the limestone walls of the cenote.|
Our trip also included one of Nina's top experiences of the trip - swimming in a cenote (a giant "bubble" in the limestone underground that has partially filled with water). The Multun-Ha cenote is located about 100 feet underground and has a small wooden platform built over some of the water so that visitors can swim in the water.
|Can you eat out in Mexico without getting a Margarita at least once?|
|Appetizer plate at Yaxche with regional specialties|
|Kinich chicken at Yaxche|
|Chicken in achiote marinade at Frida's|
|Chicken mole at Frida's|
|One of the many lizards at Tulum sunning itself|
|Temple of the Winds at Tulum|
|Bas-relief of the descending god|
Another daytrip that we took was to the ruins at Tulum. This site is unusual for it's location on the seacoast. We didn't have a guide this time to point out all the details, but it was fun finding things for ourselves and watching all of the lizards that now call this area home. They were on paths, masquerading as architectural details, and occasionally fighting for the best patch of sunlight!
|Scarlet macaws were everywhere at Xcaret|
|Butterflies feeding at Xcaret|
|Jaguar at Xcaret|
|A chicle tree - the marks in the bark are to extract resin for chewing gum.|
|Nina makes friends with the dolphins|
|Sea turtle at Xcaret|
|The other benches were mostly taken - can't imagine why no one was sitting on this one :)|
|These parade costumes made my old high school marching band uniform look cool (in the temperature sense) in comparison!|
|Talented fire performer|
|Carnaval ride for kids|
|Everyone shook their stuff!|
|Dancers in the parade|
|The dancers were always happy to stop and catch their breath|
|This group of dancers were dressed as angels and willing to pose|
|Playa before the crowds appear!|
|Lifeguard station at dawn|
|Beach chairs waiting for sunbathers!|
|I saw this cat one morning sitting in the sidewalk seating of an upscale wine bar ... doesn't he look like he's waiting for the waiter to show up with the menu?|
|Yes, those are hookahs on the table. Yes, they were in use in the evenings. No, I didn't ask what they were smoking.|
|Many of the Mayan restaurants had costumed men outside. Nina is pictured here with the one from Frida's, a restaurant where we ate several times.|