Ten ThousandVisions




The Chitzen Itza Leg

By Michael Divine on July 19th, 2006

After Palenque and Yaxchilan, we spent another day in Pelenque the town. We’d hoped to go to Agua Azul but heard it was more brown than blue and missed the collectivo there anyhow. So we went about our day in a leisurely way. It had been a long day and night before. I woke up early that morning non-the-less. Sleeping on shitty beds makes for an early rising day. So I sat at a café, bordering the park, drawing in my sketchbooks, some notes fomr the day before. I returned to the hotel, roused violet, we found we had missed our collectivo and so we went for internet stuff for a while. It was mid day already. We found ourselves in a nicely air-conditioned place and I went to get a couple of espressos from a nearby café which turned out to be five blocks away. The downpour deluge began as I made my way back and even skirting as close to the undersides of awnings as possible, I was still soaked by thte time I returned.

We hopped a bus that night for Merida, a ten hour ride north but comfy none-the-less. I fell right asleep, lulling myself into dreams through breathing and soft music. I knew it was ten hours, so I hypnotized myself to sleep and next thing you know, there we were. Arriving around five in the morning, we foundd a hotel, slept another four or five hours and then rose and go find a delicious lunch. We checked out the Museum of Contemporary Art (not too inspiring but a few pieces stand out- ach Contemporary Art!) then onto the Anthropology Museum which was cool with all sorts of artifacts from around the Yucatan and the Mayan world. We slept well that night and once again were on a bus, this time bound for Chitzen Itza. The first class buses are comfortable and the ride smooth.

Arriving in to the hubbub the tourist epicenter of Chitzen Itza, we high-tailed it out of there and found a nice hotel nearvy at which to spend the night. This time we had a pool, air conditioning, clean sheets, and cable TV… Without any of these luxuries for weeks now, and we spent the hot afternoon inside with our AC, watching the Aviator. We´ve been through so much movement that it was nice to chill. We went to the ruins that night after dinner for the ´Sound and Light Show´ which was interesting but missable.

The next day we arrived at the ruins early, before it became swelteringly hot and the crowds of tourists arrived. Wandering through the ruins, we marveled at the carvings, the plumed serpent heads and rows of pillars. It´s hot, blazingly so. We traipse into a few tunnels, under the crazy gonzo nose of Chaac, cool carvings, well preserved ball players in the giant ball court. The observatory where we duck into the not quite closed off door of the inner circle and check it out. We leave amidst throngs of tourists doing their best to walk on the uneven ground. As we get closer to Cancun we know there will be more and more tourists, making their air conditioned daytrip through the Yucatan to the various sights. their pale skin and tempermental personalities, the way they tend to speak only in English with little regard as to the local language- thinking that it would be best if everyone spoke English- it’s not hard to miss them. Violet and I have often meen mistaken for Italians and usually, when people try to guess our nationality, they never guess Americans. O well. Hopefully people like us give Americans a good name. When we look around tho, sometimes, at the ignorance which encompasses a lot of the vacationing tourists we se, it is no wonder that people want ot blow them up. If someone wanted to remain ignorant to everythin about you, not wanting to even try to understand you, would you not feel a bit miffed?

So we go through this trying to soak it all in. The vibrations of the language, the tones of the bits of mayan dialect we hear mixed in wiht the spanish. We talk with people and listen as well. We try to remain compassionate to all we meet, as well as each other… and it goes wonderfully and soon we are once again on a bus… this time to Coba.

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