Tuesday Feb 20 Valladolid- and Chichen Itza

Bart woke us up an hour early this morning, having forgotten about the hour time difference from the east coast. So we were very organised and ready to head to the Collectivo station to take the bus to Chichen Itza by about 7:30am. It was a little squishy aboard the bus, but totally worth the 35 peso transfer fee. It took us about 45 minutes to reach the historic site, and we couldn’t believe how many cars and buses had beaten us there. Chichen Itza receives 2 million visitors a year, and we were there at a relatively quiet time of day. We lined up for tickets and made our entry into the world famous site – now one of the 7 ancient wonders of the world. It wasn’t a long walk to the famous structure – seen on so many tourist brochures around Mexico. Chichen Itza was impressive to look at and was built according to the Mayan calendar, 9 tiered levels split into 18 terraces representing the 18 20 day months of the Maya Vague Year. 365 steps on the structure for the number of days in the year. 52 flat panels on the sides for the 52 years in the Mayan Calendar.  There are some weird acoustics around the place, if you clap your hands loudly, it echoes back to you in a weird way. There are also a large number of other structures, including a ball court where teams played a weird game that looked like a mixture of soccer and basketball and where the winners had the honour of being sacrificed to the gods. There was also a cenote that was thought to be the entrance to the afterlife and at which many sacrifices of young boys and men were found by divers. The whole site was very impressive and I felt as though I learned a lot about the Mayan way of life and the large community of people that lived in the area when this region was thriving. 

Philip and I took the bus back to Valladolid, had a nice lunch and then it was time for me to get the bus to Merida – my next stop on the way to Guatemala.