I hope you're not tired of hearing every detail of our vacation yet. I'm not even halfway done!
So . . .
the day began EARLY. We boarded a tour bus and attempted to remain calm! It was the day of mucho anticipation . . . the autumnal equinox . . . and we were headed to Chichen Itza.
It was a very long ride through dense jungle. We left the Mexican state of Quintana Roo and entered the state of Yucatan. We were slightly alarmed to see the Mexican military along the sides of the road wearing machine guns. Apparently, the drug violence in that particular part of the nation is quite severe. Gulp! (My research hadn't indicated this problem.)
We stopped at a BUFFET restaurant that had the best paprika pork I have ever had. (Actually, the only paprika pork I've ever had. And I am not even a huge fan of pork. We were told it was a regional specialty and it was de-lish!)
The restaurant had Mexican dancers who, of course, wanted a tip when they were done.
It was raining on and off during the bus ride (which was nearly 3 hours long.)
We arrived at the Cenote Segrado . . . (and it stopped raining!)
It was the most breathtakingly beautiful place I have ever seen. This picture doesn't even do it justice because of the difficult lighting situation. It was so perfect it looked like a movie set.
Just in case you don't know, cenotes are common in the Yucatan region of Mexico. They are sinkholes where ground water is exposed. The Yucatan doesn't have any above ground rivers - only underground. Interesting, huh?
My big regret of the trip - I didn't swim in the cenote. I was so anxious to actually get to Chichen Itza that my 'one-track mind' was irritated we were making this stop. By the time I saw how gorgeous it was, it was too late to change into my swim suit.
This place is called the Cenote Segrado (Sacred Cenote) because the ancient Mayans used it for human sacrifice. In 1904, Edward Herbert Thompson dredged the bottom of this cenote and found human skeletons (some children - that makes me sad) and sacrificial objects. The Mayans made sacrifices here to the god of water, Chaak.
FINALLY, we arrived at Chichen Itza. I followed around our tour guide like a puppy, thirsty for every drop of information he was giving, always moving to the front so I didn't miss a word.
The Mayans were great sportsmen and built huge ballcourts to play their games.
. . . and you thought Ohio State football players were talented
Other "sacred deaths" included dying while giving birth to your first child (I only thought I was dying - doesn't count,) and hanging oneself. (no thanks)
AM I BORING YOU?? I hope not. Don't you think it is fascinating???See the ballcourt off to the left?
And now for the main event:
The energy in the air was absolutely electric.
There were several points during the day when I stopped just to take it all in - this was one of them. It was one of several moments I got tears in my eyes and honestly thanked God for the privilege to see such a place.
Did the equinox effect happen? Click below to find out.
(Aren't you glad I discovered this feature on my camera? Do you want me to shut up now?)
I wasn't too disappointed. The equinox happens twice every year . . . just another reason to go back someday. ha!
In all honesty, it was so HOT and steamy there. If it had been sunny it would have been borderline unbearable. The clouds were a blessing in disguise.
To see what should have happened during the equinox, click here
I'll shut up now.