Once we got to Coba, we were assigned a guide for 45 minutes before we were permitted to explore on our own for an hour. Our tour guide Juan is a Mayan. His first language is Mayan, not spanish. He learned spanish in school. He learned Italian and English and French from movies and tv. For reals. He spoke VERY fluent English.
That above picture gives a little more detail about the archeological site. Pretty fascinating and hard to grasp that people lived in these ruins and just how old they actually are. It's surreal to have stood in that spot and wonder who else has also been there.
This was the ruins of a palace.
Aside from the genital sacrifices of course.
|Halfway up, I braved turning around and looking down.|
|Holy fucken shitballs!! This is awesome!|
As I mentioned the climb down was more daunting than going up. You had to position your body accordingly so gravity didn't take over. There was a large rope in the centre for you to hang on to for dear life. Margie took the descent on her ass most of the way but after a few ass bumps down, I thought I'd try it on my feet and I got a pretty good groove going. We later asked Abraham (our limo driver that I introduced at the beginning of this post) how many people fell to their death each year and to please be honest, because I wouldn't believe it didn't happen. He said on average FIVE!! Now is that five lone deaths or one idiot who stumbled and took out four innocent bystanders on the way down? I'll never know. A whole different theory on Mayan sacrifice or Mayan ball games (bowling anyone?).
|The view from the top!|
After Coba we hopped back in our van and headed to a Mayan community where we were going to be ziplining next. I was very excited needless to say about this portion of the trip. I've never done it and I've always wanted to try it. I was pretty sure I'd need to be pushed off the platform and I was right. But it was uber fun and I'd love to do it again but from even higher and for a longer distance. This one we did was like ziplining from the top of the gorge to the bottom (for those familiar with the Gorge).
Following ziplining we then repelled down into the ravine we'd just zipped over. It was a beautiful little jungle down there. I have to admit the rapelling terrified me more than the ziplining did. Frankly getting pushed off a rock wall backwards is not how I envision spending my day. And going down the line created an intense burning in my hands even with the disgusting gloves they gave us to wear. But I'd still do it again if the opporutnity arises. It was pretty awesome climbing down the side of the ravine wall to the beauty that awaited below.
After hiking back up the ravine to the top, we reboarded our chariot and headed to a secluded area where we then kayaked through a marsh to hike our way through an actual jungle. As we trekked through we stumbled upon a trapdoor spider nest/home. I wasn't sticking around to do a meet and greet. Frankly I had just rapelled and ziplined, that was enough adventure for me thanks.
Part way through our hike we came across a beautiful wooden alter in the middle of the jungle. And shortly after arriving we were joined by a real Mayan Shaman who was going to give us a traditional Mayan blessing on the jungle floor. I didn't give too much of a shit about this either way, but man once he started I was overcome with emotion. Not sure if it was just this whole year catching up with me or what, but I felt like I wanted to stand there and cry. I didn't of course, there were people there I didn't know for crying out loud. That would be embarrassing. Yeesh. And it was really truly interesting to learn a little about the Shaman. He has lived in the jungle since he was about 4. He was raised there. He is currently 76 years old. He lives in a hut just outside of the entrance to the cenote we were heading to. He has no doors, no windows, a thatch roof, no running water, no electricity. He loves it there. He spends his days walking among the animals. And of course coming out and doing these blessing for us fools of the modern world.
And then we reached was we really came for. The CENOTE. And underground cave system with fresh water. The hole we had to descend into was just slightly larger than a rabbit hole. I'm still trying to figure out the day someone decided it was a great idea to go into the little hole. Like who though that was a good idea. Turns out they were right, but still!! Anywho, we had to climb down some make shift 'stairs' backwards holding ropes to get into the actual cave but man, once we did it was breath taking. The photos don't do it any justice at all. I was hesistant to swim in it because well, I'm always cold, and being that this is underground, I assumed the worse. However, I was wrong. The temperature was lovely. And the water so crystal clear that even in poor lighting, you could see the bottom. They believe it's a sprititual pool and I tried to be openminded to everything. It was quite an enlightening experience.
Upon leaving the cenote we headed back to the original Mayan Village and the ladies of the village had prepared us a lunch of traditional Mayan fare. I cannot get over how delicious everything was. I trust it wasn't merely because we were starving at this point. I'm missing the food there so much.
After our lunch, we hopped back into the van with our amazing tour guide Paco and made the two hour trek back to our resort. Of course I got car sick, in typical Holly fashion and required a serious nap when we got back. What a wonderful day!!