Yaxchilan and Bonampak

Trip Start Feb 09, 2010
Trip End Mar 23, 2010

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Flag of Mexico  , Central Mexico and Gulf Coast,
Sunday, February 28, 2010

Feb 28, Day 20

We were up at 5:00 am & ready for our 6am shuttle. It's not raining and the clouds look like they might burn off – or not. I don’t know what the temperature was, but it felt like mid 70’s & humid. We waited for the shuttle with 8 other sleepy travelers, it showed up at 6:45 and we were soon on our way.

Our tour included breakfast at a little hole-in-the-wall place along the road, and it was actually very good. We discovered 2 large parrots eating hibiscus flowers next to the restaurant. They were unconcerned with the crowd of tourists that soon gathered to capture their pictures.

After our 1.5 hour van ride we arrived at  Frontera Corozal to board a long thin boat to Yaxchilan. The 45 min boat ride up the Usumacinta river was as enjoyable as we remembered, and as exciting. The currents are so strong and there are so many whirlpools that the 35 foot boats at times feel like little straws about ready to go down the drain in the sink.  This river also has very large crocodiles. We didn’t see any big guys but did glimpse a little baby crocodile walking up the river bank.

Yaxchilan is one of Troy’s favorite sites as this is where the underground passageways & rooms are that lead from one building to another – very fun to explore if you have a flashlight. We found lots of bats, frogs, crab spiders, a huge beetle & cockroach. Troy was in heaven! We had 2 hours at this site and could have easily used up another hour, but most people find 2 hours sufficient. As we were leaving, we were treated to 2 howler monkeys munching on leaves in nearby trees. We got some great shots, but nothing like the photos of a couple of our companions who had a humungous camera with one of the largest telescopic lenses I’ve ever seen, as well as a huge movie camera. I’m so glad we are not carrying those cameras around! Of course, they will probably make a fortune selling the photos!

Back down the river to Frontera Corozal – the Mexican border town, we had an unusually good lunch & enough time to visit with our fellow travelers – couples, most in their 20’s, from France, Denmark & Italy & Mexico. The man from Italy apologized for his English because he has been speaking 4 languages (Italian, German, Spanish & English) every day for the last several weeks & they were starting to all run together. And here we are, struggling to get English right let alone The language of the country we’re visiting!

We went to the site of Bonampak next, a much smaller site (about 30-40 minute drive) but remarkable for the brightly colored mural paintings found in one of the temples – the blues & reds are still very beautiful. We had fun wandering way up the hill to a partially excavated ruin & imagining all the wonderful mysteries still to be uncovered here. We had 1 hour here, and again, could have used at least another 30-60 minutes more.

Back on the road, our driver dropped us off at a little wooden restaurant by the side of the road. This is where we are spending the night. Our room turned out to be one of 6 in another wooden structure behind the restaurant – built on a cement slab with 1 bed complete with mosquito netting, 1 electrical outlet, 1 fan, 1 chair and a door that doesn’t stay shut on it’s own. Another structure nearby contained 2 showers and 2 toilets, but had no water – hummmm. We were pleasantly surprised to find the couple from Denmark in the room next to us. As we entered our room, Troy said – loudly, "Oh look, there’s a scorpion on the bed", paused a minute then called – “Just kidding!” giving the couple next to us quite a fright. They did seem to appreciate his humor though & we all laughed about it later.

We had a nice relaxing late afternoon & evening – catching up on the backlog of photos to be downloaded from the memory cards & deleting the duplicates & blurry ones. The neighborhoods 'soccer field’, an open space about 30’ square, was behind our room & the kids enjoyed an exuberant game while we listened & edited photos.

Dinner was served at 8pm – cheese quesadillas, black beans, farm cheese, lettuce & bread – all very flavorful. We learned from the Denmark couple that restrooms & a shower – with water – could be found connected to the back of the restaurant. No hot water though.

After dinner, we all went to bed. Troy and I both enjoyed the idea of being able to watch a Star Trek episode or a movie on our net book, but we opted for bed instead. Hope this mosquito netting works – I’m starting to get insect bites on my insect bites – and they all itch!
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Mike on


Kay on

Still is sounding very fun!!!...except for those early mornings....my vacation would have to start a little later!!!

Heather on

Dang that spider was big....EEEWWW!

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