Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Anniversary Trip - Day 3

This was our big Chichen Itza.  We'd set up with a tour group to go visit there.  It was about 2 hours away.  We were suppose to be out front to get on our bus at 7:30am.  The bus picked us up and made a few other stops at other resorts and picked up others.  We then met up with a big tour bus.  It was a full bus with people from all over the coastline.  They has pastries and fruit to eat on the ride.  The tour guide's name was Beto and he was really fun and animated.  It was fun to hear him joke and tell stories.  He talked for a little bit as we got off, but then gave us time to rest.  I took dramamine to make sure I didn't get sick on the bus ride (we were stuck in the very back of the bus which isn't great of me).  I slept in and out.  As we got closer Beto again told us a little heritage about the land and people. At one point he stopped talking to the group and walked up the aisle asking if we had question.  Keith and him got talking and Keith shared about how he lived in Merida and Campeche.  The guid asked him why and Keith explained he'd served a mission.  Beto knew about Mormons and even knew quite a bit about the Book of Mormon and the connections to people of this area.  It was really cool.  He wasn't a member but had a great respect for our "bible" and belief in this part of the land.  We made one stop not far from Chichen for bathrooms and a little shopping.  Keith and I bought a Mayan calendar page of our anniversary date.  We also found him a shirt, one for Peter and one for me.  Chichen was HUGE and there were SO many people and a million little cart shops everywhere.  Our guide, Beto, led us around for about an hour explaining things and talking about the history of the place.  It was really neat and I enjoyed learning.  There were sporadic clouds, but it was VERY warm and we quickly ran out of the water their given us.  By the end of the first hour I was starting to feel a little tired and nauseous.  He mostly showed up the main ruin and a few other, but there was still many others to see.  As soon as he was done Keith and I took off (nearly walk/running) so we could get to everything.  This was VERY exhausting to me and I was feeling pretty worn out and sick, but didn't want to hold Keith back or miss anything so we carried on.  We got to see the cenote (which is basically a sink hole that over thousands of years filled with water and is very deep water) where the people would toss in riches or offerings to their gods.  They had a game court where they would play this game and the winner would be sacrificed.  It was all very interesting and unique.

 This is the main building Chichen Itza
 To one side was this platform thing (below).  It was the place where they would place the heads of the winners of the game I mentioned.  The winner was considered almost god like because their offering of life was meant to bring rain and food for the next year.  So, they were immortalized as providing life for the rest of the people (still think I'd rather live than die personally).  The skulls aren't there anymore, but the platform is made of stones carved to look like skulls.  We also saw the Venus building, statues (pillars) known as warriors, their observatory, and many other buildings.  It was very large, but we managed to see it ALL and get back to the bus with 5 minutes to spare.  However, we were the last people of our group to return.  Oh well, we were seeing stuff, not just sitting around.
 Next we drove to a restaurant to have lunch.  It was ok (our resort food it better), but still yummy and I was happy to eat and be able to sit and get my energy back.  Our next stop was to a cenote where we were going to go swimming.  I'd been very nervous about this because I was scared about what the water would be like or if it would feel like a cave.  I was just nervous.  We drove through the Yucatan jungle to a place called Cenote Ik Kil. (Below is the jungle of this part of Mexico.  It was like this everywhere)

We got to Ik Kil and they had a place to change into suits.  We were told to rinse off in these showers (kind of like at a beach) before getting in the water so as not to bring sunscreens and other skin products into the water and contaminate it.  We were warned that the water was a little chilly, but we were SO hot still it sounded wonderful.  We got changed and headed down.  Sadly, we got down and something was wrong with Keith's camera so we were unable to get pictures.  I'm so sad because it was INCREDIBLE down there.  I found this picture of it on the internet, but it doesn't do it justice.  It was so exotic and magical feeling.  The had a jump spot or wooden ladders that went into the water.  I chose to go the ladder way into the water.  Keith came with me, but then did go and do the jump.  I was worried it wouldn't be safe in my "condition".  The water was quite cool and took your breath away a bit, but it was ok if you were moving.  We had our goggles with us so we took a look.  It was freaky!!!!  We could see our feet clearly, and then BLACK!  it was spooky!  So we decided not to look down again.  They had little ledges part way in the water you could sit on, otherwise you just had to tread water the whole time.  We didn't get nearly enough time to swim.  We soon had to get out, quick change and head back to the bus.  Then was the long drive home.

 We got home late and had reservations at the Mexican restaurant on site.  The service there was less than the best, but again, to food was amazing!  Keith however ordered Octopus (just to try) and hated it.  Mine was yummy, but again was feeling a bit sick.  We went back and relaxed by the beach for a bit before going to bed.

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