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Chichen Itza

November 23rd, 2011

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When my friends left for the Cancún airport, I hopped onto a second class bus towards Merida. The second class buses would not go on toll roads, which was good in my case, because my hotel I wanted to go to was on another road, where my bus could drop me off. Just 2.5km before the site of Chichen Itza lay my hotel Alba, which had nice rooms and a swimming pool.

Ik-Kil

When I arrived in the afternoon (the bus ride took about 4h) I went to a Cenote, called Ik-Kil, which was just opposite of the hotel. With a five pesos discount from the hotel, I still had to pay 65 pesos to have a bath in it. For lockers and life vests you had to pay extra.

After I took a short shower I went down all the way to the cenote where I finally could swim for a while. Long roots were hanging partly into the water that started some 20m above. Tiny waterfalls were hitting the smooth water surface. Some stairs led up a few meters where some people jumped into the water. After half an hour stay I picked my stuff from the locker and went down again for shooting some photos. I asked a security guy to take one of myself. After that he didn’t let loose and kept following me to take more pictures in different spots. Nice!

When I left the place where the cenote was, I saw a little house, which was not bigger than one to store your garden tools, with several people in front of it. On a second glance I saw that it was a place for worshiping and the people around were singing. It was an interesting atmosphere to see this simple and modest sign of religion.

Chichen Itza

The next day I went to the site of the most famous Maya site in Mexico. The hotel offered a bus shuttle and in no time I was at the entrance. An english speaking couple was also present at this early hour of 8:30am. I bought my ticket and was surprised of the cost. Signs say that it was only 51 pesos but I had to pay 160 pesos and so the other guys. I asked again why so much, when he seemed to remember to give me more stamped tickets, without giving a good explanation. I felt ripped off for some time and still wonder if I paid for something that I didn’t need.

Right next to the ticket booth were the guides. They wanted to have 500-600 pesos for a 2 hour tour I think. They were trying to convince the couple and I would join them if they were interested to share the price. But they decided going without a guide and so I did too.

Fortunately there only were a few people to see and it was still possible to take photographs of only the ruins. I saw postcards where hundreds of people were to seen and I was frightened of this scene. The disappointment was not to be able to climb the pyramids. Three years ago it was still possible but not know. Whether it was because climbing those would destroy them or because several people died trying to climb. On the other hand pictures could be taken without any tourists in red, green or yellow tee-shirts.

Another disappointment was that the ball court was closed at this time. It is the biggest one anywhere and one of the things I would have liked to see most. I continued to walk to a cenote passing dozens of little booths selling all the same stuff. It was a bit too much and I took a break at the cenote where many children and men were killed for the gods.

At around 10am the crowds were coming. Big groups could be seen on several spots with more of them coming from the entrances. I finished after 4h on this site and walked back to my hotel. A taxi for 60 pesos wasn’t really necessary. The street however wasn’t so good for walking since cars and trucks were coming and going on this too small road.

Just 20 minutes from the hotel there is another site, Caves of Balankanché, that I wanted to visit. I walked on the uneasy road and arrived there one hour before closing time. However I was the only one and the site only can be entered as a group of at least two or three people. I waited a bit longer just to go back without entering the caves.

In the evening at 7pm was a light show in Chichen Itza, which was included in the ticket. I went to watch the one hour show with around 50 other people. We sat on chairs in front of the bi pyramid (El castillo), which was illuminated in changing colors. So also were other ruins around there. Two narrative voices were telling the story of the Maya in Spanish. You also could get a headset for a translated version. The show was okay in my opinion, but would have been better with some real people who imitate some scenes of their life. But that would be to expensive for this show runs every night.


One Response to “Chichen Itza”

  1. comment number 1 by: raptor

    It is amazing to think that many centuries ago civilizations were walking our planet before us. It looks to me that there were bigger civilizations than we thought. If that’s the case then they must were more advanced than we actually know about them. More discoveries will let us know them better.

    I want to share with you this music about the mystical place Chichen-Itza. The message of that music is about a CHANGE all humans must do in order to live in peace and harmony. Maybe that’s the message ancient civilizations wanted us to know.

    Arriving at Chichen-Itza 2012

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlZh2nwdRBY

    In Lak’Ech. Peace from Mexico.

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