Cancun – The Mayans Could Never Have Predicted This

11 Jan

I guess you could say that this day was for me. While traveling, I like to see things that are interesting, and, on this day, we would see Chichen Itza, the Mayan ruins that have been named one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. A while back, I wrote a post about the Wonders that I have seen. Now, this one has been added to the list.Cancun 216

Now that I have looked back on that post, I realize that, last year, my wife and I added another Wonder to the list.

The adventure started out with a little drama. I knew that visiting the ruins was not high on my family’s list of things to do and offered to go by myself. However, my wife said that being that close meant that they should see it. When we told my stepdaughter, she went into a catatonic state while playing Rummy in the lobby. She absolutely did not want to go. She had learned about the Mayans in school and knew that they performed human sacrifices.

If that didn’t freak her out enough, then her teacher talked about her visit to some Mayan ruins. Apparently, her bus had to get on two wheels to keep from falling off a cliff. I don’t know where she went because the interstate we took was pretty smooth.

On Friday morning, we waited for the bus. I was excited, and my stepdaughter was sleepy. I am not sure how my wife felt, but I knew it wasn’t a good feeling when the bus pulled up to get us.Cancun - Bus

I am sure that we all thought the same thing. There was no way we were going to ride all day on that. Luckily, that was just the transportation to get us to the real transportation. Our other bus was nicer. It had bathrooms. They served breakfast. Plus, we had some interesting entertainment. I sat in front of a lady who spilled orange juice all over herself, and I saw behind a man who was, we think, spending his vacation with a male escort.

The trip wasn’t bad. I read a magazine about Pink Floyd and scanned the landscape as it went by. Before long, our guide was telling us all about the mysteries of Chichen Itza. The pyramid was the seat of power; a calendar; and a clock. He talked about the structure and the function of its parts. We walked around it and took pictures as he talked.

That’s when the unexpected happened. I was wearing my Cumberland University Cross Country t-shirt. A man walked up and asked if that was the Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee. I said that it was and introduced myself. It turned out that he lived in Lebanon, too. We chatted for a few minutes, and he went back to his group. However, he came back to tell me that my teenaged nephew had taken his daughter on a date. Apparently, my nephew’s reputation with the opposite sex has gone international.

I think the guide was stunned by those events because he started talking about how aliens may have helped the Mayans. Here we go with the idea that those who were here before Europeans were not smart enough to do this themselves. They must have had help. Ridiculousness.

Anyway, we saw other interesting structures. There was the Temple of the Warriors where the sacrificing of humans took place.Cancun 218

There was the Skull Rack.Cancun 219

There was the Great Ball Court. The guide said that it was the site of theater and games, but no one knows for sure what those consisted of. It is known that this is the largest Mayan Ball Court ever discovered. Only the best performed here.Cancun 221

After spending several hours in historic nirvana, we headed to Valladolid, a Spanish colonial town that was founded in 1543. Along the way, we passed through several towns that were, to my eyes, the definition of poverty. This was what you don’t see at the resorts. Cinderblock houses with no doors. Burned out buildings. Stray dogs on the side of the road. People on the side of the road selling their wares. It looked as if the passing tourists were the only economy, and the tourists rarely stopped.

Valladolid was a bigger town, and every bus stopped there. We disembarked at the plaza, which looked a lot like the plazas I have seen before in Santa Fe, Albuquerque and Sonoma. Without a doubt, the Spanish took the same building plan wherever they went.Cancun 226

Did I mention that it was raining? Anyway, we walked a few blocks to what they called an authentic Mexican restaurant. It wasn’t authentic. It was a buffet that included french fries. It was a decently decorated restaurant, and I found this just past the bathrooms.Cancun 225

After the meal, we walked to a farmacias, but they didn’t have what we were looking for. That’s fine because they say laughter is the best medicine, and what happened next was super funny.

The last stop of the tour was a sinkhole. That’s right. A sinkhole. They said that the Mayans used it for something, but I think they just needed another tourist attraction.Cancun 228

Like everywhere else, there were people around the sinkhole selling their wares. As we walked out, this little girl with big brown eyes walked up to show us what she had. Barefooted. Been in the rain all day. In a sweet voice, my wife said, “No, no. No bueno.”

I thought for a second and said, “What did you say?”

“I said, ‘No, thank you.”

“You didn’t say that. You said that her stuff was no good. You told that little girl that she had bad stuff.”

My wife was mortified. She hadn’t tried to use Spanish the entire trip. Then, she said that. I couldn’t help but laugh. My stepdaughter tried to get her to go back and apologize, but she didn’t know how to say that. Instead, my wife said, “We just need to get on the bus.”

Somewhere in Mexico, there is a little girl traumatized because a lady told her that her stuff wasn’t any good.

After a long ride home, we ended the day with chocolate filled crepes. It was the best thing we had tasted in a while.

It was an awesome day.

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10 Responses to “Cancun – The Mayans Could Never Have Predicted This”

  1. Marilyn Armstrong January 11, 2014 at 00:45 #

    For what it’s worth, that would have been top of my “must see” list. When I was in England and Ireland, I visited every earth work, stone circle, megolithic tomb and crumbling castle I could find. But I also did a lot of shopping just maintain my bona fides in the sisterhood. And, of course, visited the site where they filmed “The Quiet Man” so my husband would be happy too. Compromise is at the core of a good marriage 🙂

    • Rick January 11, 2014 at 01:01 #

      The Quiet Man? I bet that was cool. I lived a long time without compromising. Now, I like it. I like seeing everyone be able to do something they enjoy.

  2. satanicpanic January 11, 2014 at 02:18 #

    Did you ever read 1491? (I might have asked you this already)-really interesting look at the Americas before Columbus. I agree, I think they could have moved those stones without Alien help.

    • Rick January 11, 2014 at 03:38 #

      I had one of my classes read it last semester. It’s a great book.

  3. shutterbugshea January 11, 2014 at 03:04 #

    Yum..chocolate filled crepes:D.I always enjoy your posts…this is the first one that made me hungry.

    • Rick January 11, 2014 at 03:40 #

      Thank you. I need to talk about food more often.

  4. Mark R. Cheathem January 11, 2014 at 19:21 #

    I have a Spanish language story to tell you on Monday,

    • Rick January 12, 2014 at 04:41 #

      I can’t wait to hear.

  5. shutterbugshea February 2, 2014 at 01:30 #

    Awwwe ,I don’t think your wife traumatised that little girl too severly …it has probably been said before…but, those skulls ..now that is freaky… woo weee!!!

    • Rick February 2, 2014 at 07:50 #

      I wanted to buy a crystal skull but couldn’t find one.

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