Working in Progreso

Trip Start Jun 16, 2006
Trip End Sep 05, 2006

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Flag of Mexico  ,
Sunday, June 25, 2006

Progreso is a small beach community similar in size to the many small towns that dot the Oregon Coast. When we arrived on Sunday we located a boat to rent and began the installation and calibration on Monday. This boat was a little smaller than the other one but it would have to work.
On the first night in Yucatan while coming back from Progreso we stopped at Uxmal one of the more famous Mayan villages located close to Merida. Actually, It's not located CLOSE to anything, it's way, way out in the middle of the jungle and I have no idea why someone would want to put anything out there, let alone a large city and a pyramid and such. There is nothing out there in the way of Ocean entrance, rivers, streams, hot or cold springs, even the experts can't come up with a good reason why it's in the middle of nowhere. Once again, the Mexicans I was with were fairly calm about the whole matter, acting as if seeing Mayan ruins was old hat for them. I'm not one to drop my jaw at just anything but I have to say, Damn this thing was impressive. The first thing you see when entering the town is the Pyramid of the magician, 120 feet tall and made completely by hand. It's exactly like what I saw in pictures and documentaries, except right in front of me. It was so surreal and removed from modern society that it seems almost like a dream when I remember it, although I have the mosquito bites to prove I was thereJ as I walked around the base of the Pyramid I wondered how many years and how many lives it took to build it. While reading on the internet about Uxmal I read that legends say that a boy "not born of a Woman" built the pyramid overnight and overthrew the existing ruler. It's only a legend but each culture has their own, if you know what I mean. And If I saw someone build this thing overnight, I'd follow him too to be honest with you. In reality I don't think it could be very realistic. Seeing as how the pyramid was in a large flat jungle with no mountains or quarries for 50-60 miles. Coincidenly, we happened to drive past these large granite outcroppings earlier that day and I was so impressed that I snapped some pictures. It took us about 2 Hours to get from the granite outcropping to the city by car on decent roads, I have no idea how they could have gotten those stones that far through the crazy thick jungle. As it turns out the Legend goes on to talk about the other question I had as I looked up at the gigantic staircase that had about a 45% grade to it: Did they perform Human sacrafice? Sure enough, ask the internet and you'll get an answer: Legend says that in the room at the top of the Pyramid of the Magician, humans hearts were cut out and then their bodies, still moving, were pushed down the gigantic staircase to fall to the bottom. Wow, what a way to go out.... Weather or not the legend is true is not my business, it makes for a good story on my Travel Pod. It was Sunday and the site closed not long after we arrived so we only got to see the ruins in the most central of the city, but it was well worth it, if you ever find yourself in the Yucatan, go to some of these ruins they are worth the drive and pictures don't do them Justice.
Driving in Mexico. I felt right at home, the laws on roads in Mexico are very loose. In the cities and urban areas there are speed limits. But out in the country on these so called "highways" there's really no rules, or anybody to enforce these rules that don't exist. It makes a lot of sense to me actually. Don't drive any faster than you feel is safe, if your driving behind someone who is driving too slow, PASS THEIR ASS! I'm sure our van passed more cars on two lane roads in the 8 days in Mexico than I have EVER passed in my 23 years in the states. That is NOT an exaggeration. In reality the speeds of the cars is regulated by the conditions of the roads, nobody wants to hit a pothole the size of Volkswagon while going 55. Even more natural rules that make sense to me: if you want people to slow down in your neighborhood, put in speed bumps. Don't have money for a speed bump, just use a really really large rope and lay it across the street. Trust me, people will slow down.
Because the people are so poor the market on used goods is much higher than in the states. We are a throw away society by comparison and you may feel good about yourself by putting you plastic and glass out to the curb once a month, but let me tell you, they are the REAL recyclers in this world. They don't recycle cans or bottles but they will re-use anything, then sell it to someone who will re-use and re-use it again until something is not useful any more, only then they will throw it away. This does not apply to the big cities, the large metropolitan areas are just like cities in the states.
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