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This is a view of the lagoon at Xel Ha, pronounced shell ha. At the bottom of the picture you can see the wooden platform and stairs that we used to get into the water. It was cool, but not quite as amazing as their web site would lead you to believe. I think we should have gone to Xcaret to snorkel there.



Mayan Ruin at Tulum

Here's a view that encompasses a lot of the ruins.

The stone buildings were used for religious and political doings.

See the long flat foundation to the left of the couple? On that would have stood a house with a thatched roof where the lucky holy people lived.

The regular peasant folk lived outside the walled city.


This is Nacho, our Mayan guide. He kept us entertained during the long bus ride out here.

I got the impression Nacho was a senior guide, because he herded us all into the shade of the one tree to deliver his long rambling speech about the Mayans and the people who uncovered the site.

Other guides had to stand in the sun.

Tulum 2

The three niches on the wall (look just above the blue baseball caps) held the remains of 3-D carvings. Nacho described them at length.

The middle one showed a woman giving birth. Her legs jutted straight out from the building.

The left one showed the baby upside down clutching his own umbilical cord.

Perhaps this was an ancient Mayan obstetrician's office...

Tulum 2

We all wore hokey lime green stickers that identified us with our group. This guy looks like a computer science professor I hated in college.

The two pillars at the front of this building are very cute.

See the white stuff on the rock walls? That's the remnants of the plaster the whole building was once covered in.

Tulum 3

Three little dog houses, we decided.

The rope barrier reminded me of Stonehenge. The authorities apparently count on the tourists having some respect for the site and not just ignoring the rope. I liked that.

The ocean was an unbelievable turquoise, with a rough surf.

Tulum 4

We have about 25 minutes, once Nacho was done yacking, to wander around and explore. True to our histories (both Lou and I were born on the coast) we headed for the cliffs and the water.

Some people went inland, toward this building that stood by itself.

Tulum 5

It was a beautiful, hot day, and the sun beat down on us mercilessly.

The wind whipped at us, making the fine black sandy dirt stick to the sunscreen I'd applied to my feet and legs.


Tulum 6

Bad day to wear a lime shirt, eh? You can't even see my lime sticker. I'm amazed they let me back on the bus, oops, motorcoach.

On the longest day of the year, the sun would be perfectly aligned to shine dramatically through the black hole in the wall above my shoulder. This is one way the Mayans knew summer was coming.

Tulum 7

Here's Lou standing in a cute doorway. His red shorts are really his bathing trucks. Men have it so easy.

Tulum 8

These stairs lead up to the altar area where they conducted sacrifices.

I couldn't help but wince at the thought of some priest coming down the stairs, holding a bloody still-beating human heart, tripping over the edge of his robe and falling all the way down because no one had thought to install a handrail!  Makes you wonder if   Mayans had a lot of personal injury lawsuits, eh?

Tulum 9


Cozumel 2003


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