Polar bear at the Toronto Zoo, Canada.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ottawa, Canada.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Reuniting with Max in Germany on October 1st.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Uxmal ruins

Wednesday December 17…10:30pm

We got up before 7am and drove to the Walmart supercenter on the outskirts of Campeche. We did a big grocery shop.

They don’t have as much selection as the supercenters in the States, but it was still quite good. Ruth thinks she likes the Soriana’s grocery stores better, but this store did have a good selection of booze. I picked up 24 beer from Guatemala for 140 pesos ($13.30 CAN, $10.75 US) and a bottle of cheap scotch for 88 pesos ($8.36 CAN, $6.75 US).

Sherman going under the mayan arch that greets you into the Yucatan pennisula on hwy# 261

Typical mayan house in a small village called Chunyaxnic

We decided to head for the Loltun Caves before going to the ruins at Uxmal. It was about 40 km’s off the route. When we got to the turnoff, Steve and Glen changed their minds and decided to head directly for Uxmal, so we headed to the caves on our own with the intention to meet up with them later. The 40 km’s was on a narrow road, but it was paved and in reasonably good condition. We got to the caves at 12:30pm and paid 20 pesos ($1.90 CAN, $1.55 US) for parking. The attendant said the next tour started at 12:30 so we should rush, but we decided to take our time, have some lunch, and go on the 2pm tour.

Close to 2pm, we bought our tickets. It was 65 pesos ($6.17 CAN, $5.00 US) per person to get in. Then, you are required to tip your guide. The guides are mandatory, but they do not collect a salary. The general rule is that if you are part of a large group, you leave a small tip. If you have a very small group, you leave a bigger tip. The guide spoke English, and there were 5 other people who joined us for the English tour… a couple from Belgium, and 3 girls from Quebec.

The Loltun caves were used by the Mayan people for centuries. The main zones were mapped and explored in the 1940’s and a lot of archeological items were found, as well as carvings and designs on the walls. It is now operated by the Mexican government departments of culture and tourism. They have since found another 2 km zone that they hope to have ready for the public next year. We tipped our guide Pablo 50 pesos per couple and the 3 Quebec girls did have change so they gave 100 pesos for the 3 of them. Pablo did quite well for his hour and a half or so, collecting 200 pesos ($19.00 CAN, $15.50 US). He was really good though, so we think he deserved it.

Inside the Loltun Caves

An overhead opening inside the Loltun Caves

After the tour, we got to talking to the 3 girls. They were all about our daughters age (22). They flew to Mexico City last month and have been touring Mexico by bus and taxi, while staying with couchsurfing hosts. What a great way to travel! It turned out they were also heading for the ruins at Uxmal, so they hopped in with us and we gave them a ride.

They have a lot reserved for RV’s at the Uxmal ruins, and that’s where we found S&G already parked up, and sitting in their lawn chairs. They charge 120 pesos ($11.40 CAN, $9.25 US) for overnight parking, but you can use the facilities of the hotel next door and they have a really nice swimming pool there.

We went to the 7pm showing of the sound and light show at the ruins. It cost 60 pesos ($5.70 CAN, $4.60 US) each and ran for about an hour, but we don’t think it was worth it. I spent more time looking at the stars and watching the bats flying around! These sound and light shows seem to be a popular tourist atrraction in Mexico, but we won’t be doing another.

Sat around the motorhomes afterwards enjoying a beautiful evening. There are 4 motorhomes here. Besides us, there is a couple from Vancouver, and a couple from Texas. The couple from Texas came and sat with us. He was originally from England, and she was from Turkey, so they were interesting to talk to.

Tomorrow morning we will go see the ruins.

Total nights sleeping in a motorhome…420

December Fuel $275.50 CAN

December Grocery $207.03 CAN

December Overnight costs $ 61.20 CAN

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