Mexico Day 3 – Part 1

Part one of the two day recap of our adventure in Mexico starts now. So back track to the day where we sat around the beach and pool and drank here we did manage to walk over to the travel desk and look at adventures that they would take you on for an additional fee. There were two that we really wanted to do, the zip-lining / ATV adventure and the trip to Chichén Itzá. Since I knew I would be able to zip-line anywhere but would probably never get the chance to see Chichén Itzá again we chose that. We got up early the next morning and went to the front of the resort to wait for a van to come and get us. We were the only ones from our resort that went on the adventure but the travel company had picked up people from other resorts to also participate and we had a pretty awesome crew going. Our first stop was to a Mayan community where a ton of different things were for sale. I didn’t see anything I had to have but the boyfriend really liked the silver so he bought a few things there before we were put back on the van and on to the next stop. I didn’t grab any pictures there as it was just a store and it wasn’t really interesting to me. 
The next stop was to a cenote, which is an underground cavern that is filled with water. This one was in the Yucatan and was considered to be a sacred gift from the Mayan gods.  We pulled up and people changed into their swim suits…I realized that in my rush to get out on time that morning I forgot my suit, so I was swimming in the gym shorts and sports bra. I actually didn’t mind though since it was so hot out that day so I ascended down to see what the cenote was going to look like. 
Words cannot describe how beautiful this place was and the picture doesn’t do it justice as I only had my phone to take the pictures in the dark. The water is crystal clear and there is a ray of light that shines down to illuminate the cavern. There are tons of small fish and a few catfish as well swimming around, I tried to get over it, since I’m not a huge fish fan, but I did jump a few times while in the water swimming. 
It was the boyfriends favorite part of the trip and one of mine as well. After we all swam for about 45 minutes we went up again and people changed while I just dried off in the sun. Below is the hole that is in the ground to light up the cenote. 
After the whole group was changed we got back on the bus and headed to the national park that held Chichén Itzá to get food before we went into the ruins. It was authentic Mayan food and the boyfriend claims the best meal of the whole vacation. It was pretty cool to see the women making the tortillas right there,
And then to watch them do traditional dances while we ate. Though I don’t know how traditional dancing with a beer bottle on your head is…I still enjoyed seeing something new. 
The boyfriend and I ate quickly and then went out to explore the compound before we were brought into the park. I found this tree that was totally cool, but take note of the outfit, do I not scream American or what?!
This was one of many mangers that we saw while we were off the resort and in every one Jesus wasn’t there yet. I asked why and the guide said because he wasn’t born yet, I thought he was joking and made a joke about Mary looking pretty good for about to give birth, then later realized the reason he didn’t find me so funny was that is what they really do. They don’t put Jesus in the manager until Christmas day to signify his birth, whoops, stupid American again. 
This was the compound shot that the boyfriend got. I absolutely love the light streaming through the trees to light up the Mayan statue in the pool. 
Mugging for the camera while the boyfriend was taking pictures. 
Passes were then handed out and the group walked into the national park to look at the Mayan ruins and see the 8th wonder of the world. The first stop was called The Temple of the Lizard, and was a home of a high priest. It was completely covered in thatch and red clay when the priest would have lived there, but over the years the elements have taken it away and the base is all that remains. 
Right next to the temple was a huge ravine that was used to throw the bodies that had been sacrificed down to the gods. The ravine was where an asteroid had hit the earth and the Mayans had chosen the area because of this and considered it sacred so the offerings were put into it. The Mayans would paint the bodies in a blue clay before they were sacrificed and the guide said that when the ravine was found there was over a foot of the blue clay at the bottom, that’s a ton of people who were thrown down there!
The next ruin was a burial ground for a few priests. The columns there symbolize the connection between heaven and earth. The boyfriend said he wanted to go in them when it was pitch black, I didn’t want to go in them during the day!
The next two pictures are of a tomb of a grand high priest. The guy who was buried here was a huge deal to get something so big built for him. It is almost like a mini Chichén Itzá yet it has the columns on the top again to bring the connection between heaven and earth. 
The Mayans were huge on astorlogy and tracking the sun and stars, which was very advanced for their time. They built huge observatories to look out over everything and see the stars unobstructed. On the top tower there were pools of water that were reflection pools so they didn’t have to crane their necks and look up, instead they could just look down into the pools. 
The guide didn’t know what the picture below was, he said that the Spanish had called it the red house but he didn’t know the purpose of what it was used for. It probably wasn’t an actual house as the Mayans didn’t have “houses” but when the Spanish came over they named everything after what they knew. 
Rituals were a huge part of the Mayan life and purification and reflection were a big part of that ritual, so there were a few areas where there were steam baths. These were also covered in thatch and stucco but it has since been worn away, but they would take and put large rocks into a fire and then bring them into these areas and put them in water to create a steam bath. 
As we got closer to the big temple there were more and more buildings for religion, the below two were called the nunnery by the Spanish, but like The Red House, they weren’t used to house nuns as the Mayans weren’t Christian. 
The carvings in the buildings were absolutely breathtaking though, I can’t imagine the skill they had thousands of years ago to do this, let alone build these. 
After seeing these buildings we were taken to the restrooms to use them before we went into the main area to see Chichén Itzá. The bathrooms smelled beyond awful so I decided to hold it and wait outside where I saw this awesome plant. It was a potted plant and the stalk coming out of the leaves looked like a million eyeballs stuck together. I’ve tried to google it, but I cannot figure out what it is.  
Tomorrow I’ll do the second part of the adventure, but this post was getting a little long. I can’t wait to finish it up and show you the 8th wonder of the world. 
Happy Monday all! 

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