Just another scenic drive in Norway!
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Geiranger, Norway!

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Exploring southwestern Norway until July 26th.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Uxmal ruins (day 2)

Thursday December 18…10:50

Kevin’s taking the day off from writing the blog, my turn today. Got up around our usual time of 7am and had had a great nights sleep.
It was pretty quite here which is nice. G&S started out early to see the ruins, but we were taking our time and said that we would head out in a little while as we were happy just relaxing with our coffee and tea.

I was looking forward to seeing the ruins even with our disappointment of the evenings sound and light show the night before. What we saw of the ruins last night did look impressive. The ruins at Uxmal are Mayan ruins, which were built and used between 800BC and 1200AD. They say these are probably the most beautiful of the Mayan ruins and have a lot of decorative and intricate stone work and facades. They were designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996.

There are a number of big structures, one being the Pyramid of the Magician, which is a large pyramid and was the tallest of the buildings at this site. We could not go up this one, but there were several workers hanging from ropes that were clearing the weeds and grass that is constantly growing in the cracks of the stones. This is an ongoing chores as these ruins are in the jungle and it does not take long for the plant life to take root and quickly overgrow everything.

Ruth standing in front of the Pyramid of the Magician.  Can you see the men on ropes removing the weeds?

Decorative stonework

Skull and crossbones

These iguanas are very common

The ruins that have been uncovered have also had work done to help restore some of the surface. It seems that the try to keep them as natural looking as possible but do have to remove some of the stones and then replace them. We noticed this on the main pyramid as the stones have been numbered in several areas so that when they were removed they could then put the stones back in their correct postions and the number would disappear in a short time with the rain and age.

We were able to climb the Great Pyramid which was quite high and we had no problem going up even thought there is no hand rail or anything to hold onto. Once at the top you got a gorgeous view of the other structures and the countryside. I had a little problem with the height, as long as I wasn’t to close to the edge I was OK but when I got closer to the edge I began to wonder how I was going to come down. Your mind plays tricks on you, as the steps were wide enough and about the same depth as regular steps but when you don’t have the security of the handrail for going down it makes going down seem more difficult and very steep looking. I ended going down the top part on my bum, from one step to the next, eventually I got the nerve to walk the remaining part down the normal way. Kevin fared much better than I did, but he still used his hand on the step to steady himself for part of the way down.

View from the top

Another interesting thing that we saw was some workers doing some restorative work. They have no machinery and have to do it all by hand. This includes cleaning the sand to make the cement and doing all this with their hands and shovels, no cement mixer, not even a small one. Once the cement was mixed they put it into plastic 10 gal. pails and then hooked 2 of them on to a rope, then 2 men would move to one end of the rope which was looped around their waists and the they would walk, pulling the rope, which in turn would pull the buckets up to the ledge that the other workes were doing the restorative work on. No wonder it takes so long to uncover ruins and maintain them.

The site area is quite big and took us about two hours to go around, and it only cost us 48 pesos ($4.50 CAN $3.65 US), so that was pretty good value for our money.

We later went and used the hotel pool and enjoyed the loungers by the pool. Glen invited us for lunch as well as the other couple parked here with us. Then we made our way to the pool again. As is was getting pretty hot we took Whiskey with us as well, nobody said a word about her being there beside the pool. Also took advantage of the shower by the pool as well. The hotel and facialities are really quite good and clean.

Having lunch

The pool we get to use

Total nights sleeping in a motorhome…421

December Fuel $275.50 CAN

December Grocery $207.03 CAN

December Overnight costs $ 72.60 CAN

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