Our first port of call was Costa Maya. Apparently, this wasn’t even really a port until 2002. It was built specifically to bring in the tourist business. There is a shopping center as soon as you step off the docks. The excursion center is the right, and tons of bathrooms all around. My excursion didn’t start until 10:15, but disembarked early to do a little shopping for myself. One of my favorite people in the world always buys herself jewelry as a souvenir from her travels. On my last trip I started following in her footsteps. I’m not a fancy person, so I’m not getting anything flashy. But a little something special is nice. This time, after going to the seminars the day before, I know that I wanted something Tanzanite and decided on a pair of earrings. If I’m going to keep doing this though, I need to get better at negotiating. I’m such and American in that way!
When I finished shopping, I still had a little time so I visited and aviary that is in the shopping area. It was so cool to see all the birds, and get to feed them too.
I did spill most of my birdseed when a bird flew at my head. Hey, you try not to jump when you see a bright orange flash coming at your head!
It was a little bit scary because to move between the areas you had to walk across suspension bridges that were over the shopping area and pools. It did offer great views of the ships, and I was able to stop and watch a bit of the dolphin encounters going on below me, so that was cool!
It was then time for my excursion to Chacchoben Mayan ruins. They estimate that the areas was settled by the Mayans in 200 BC, and that the temples are from around 700 AD. An American archaeologist spotted the ruins from a helicopter in 1972. They looked like hills, but were in an area that was more or less all flat lands. The archaeologist realized there must be temples under the hills. In 1994 the Mexican government started excavating and restoring the site, and it was open to the public in 2002. (Hmmm, the same year that the Costa Maya port opened. Coincidence? I think not.)
We walked about a 3.5 miles loop around three temples, as well as other ruins in the area. What makes the temples so cool is that they were basically a giant sun calendar. The Mayans stood on top of one temple and looked through a slot at the other temple; when the sun hit the corner of the other temple, they knew that they had hit the summer equinox. They spent their lives studying the sun and had the calendar figured out to an 18 second variable. Pretty amazing!
There was also an area they thought had probably been where homes where built.
The foliage around this area was spectacular too!
Did I mention it was about 86 degrees and about 50% humidity? After walking around for that long I was thirsty! I stopped at the snack window for a bottle of water and a coke. Next to the window a table was set up with the little, old couple selling homemade tamales and tacos. I love tamales, so I dropped two bucks for one, and it was amazing! Unlike the ones we get here that are wrapped and cooked in corn husks, this one was wrapped in a banana leaf which gave it a green tinge. So delicious!
We loaded back up on the bus and drove the hour or so back to the docks. It really was an amazing trip, and I’m so glad I got to see something with so much history!
I was back on the boat and in my room when it started to downpour! I haven’t seen rain like that before, and I’m from Oregon! It was coming down like I’ve never seen before, with thunder and lightning over the ocean. It was breath taking.
In the evening a caught a comedy show in the main theater, then headed back to the room. And eventually ordered myself some room service, that I ate in bed while watching a movie. Tough life!
Tomorrow is another excursion, less walking but lots of adventure!