I'm writing this from Piste, Mexico which is just a 20 minute walk from the legendary Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza. I was there yesterday morning and sat enthralled with the architecture. To wit...
|Sunrise over Chichen Itza|
Note the serpent head at the bottom of the stairs.
It was really hot so nice to get into the shade.
|From the shade|
There were a lot more buildings than the main temple, but that one is in the best shape. These ruins are all over the Yucatan and Guatemala and there are many that are still just big mounds of earth. When they were found they were all overgrown with trees and grass and dirt and didn't look like much. Archaeologists had to put many of the stones back together to achieve the original look.
This wall of skulls at the sacrificial platform may have scared the bejeesus out of rival tribes, but, alas, it didn't deter the Spanish and their guns.
|Wall of skulls|
Back to Ecuador. This church is built over a deep river canyon in a small town right on the border of Ecuador and Colombia. I took a couple hour detour from a 28-hour bus ride to go check it out. Not pictured is the super cheesy LED light show they lit up the church with at dusk -- purples and greens and oranges and blues. It was really tacky.
Hanging out in the World's Craziest Hammock in Minca, Colombia. Nice view.
Now on to Panama. This is the sailboat I was on for 5 days with a dozen other people. We sailed from Cartagena, Colombia to Panama through the San Blas Islands. Really beautiful trip and I only got seasick once.
|Sailing to Panama from Colombia|
One cannot drive a vehicle from Colombia to Panama because of the Darien Gap -- a gigantic area of jungle and swamp that is essentially impenetrable by all except for drug runners and geurillas.
Here's Panama City at low tide.
|Panama City at low tide|
The bicycle I used for 3 days in Tulum, Mexico. Pink and rusty and the chain came off every time I went over a speed bump. But so fun to ride a bike!!
|Bicycle in Tulum, Mexico|
My campsite the past 3 nights within walking distance of Chichen Itza. Cost me $2.50/night at a sweet, vintage hotel. This place felt like in the '60s it probably hosted Sinatra and Dean Martin. These days it's mostly empty and could use some love. Now everyone is bussing in 2 hours from Cancun for day tours of the ruins.
|Vintage Piramide Inn in Piste, Mexico.|