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Mexico Trip 2007 (Page 4 of 4)

These are pictures from our motorcycle trip to Mexico from Sept. 19 to Oct 25, 2004. Our journey took us from Calgary, Alberta Canada through the Western United States to Mexico.  We entered Baja California at Tecate and traveled all the way to Cabo San Lucas. From La Paz we took the ferry to Mazatlan and rode along the coast through Puerto Vallarta, Ixtapa, Acapulco to Oaxaca.  At that point we had to turn back retracing our steps to Mazatlan and then following the coastal road to Ciudad Obregion were we went in-land to the famous Copper Canyon and visited Batopilas before making our journey home to Canada through the middle of the United States.  Western United States Pictures (Pg. 1 of 4) covers the western United States including our journey to Mexico and back to Canada. Mexico Pictures (Pg. 2 of 4) shows us traveling through Baja California, Durango, Nayarit, Jalisco, Guerrero to Oaxaca area. Mexico Pictures (Pg. 3 of 4) covers more of Oaxaca, Chihuahua.  Mexico Pictures (Pg. 4 of 4) are pictures from our one week trip from April 13 to 20, 2007 covering the Quintana Roo and Yucatan area. To read all about this trip proceed to Mexico Journal.

During this 2007 trip we covered 1200km of the Yucatan and Quitana Roo area. The western side of Mexico we covered in 2004.

April 14, 2007. Our hotel in CANCUN the Imperial Las Perlas on km 2.5 of the hotel zone. In the foreground is our rental car a Hyundai for $84US a week.

Our hotel restaurant - all meals and drinks included in our package.

The hotel and swimming pool area.

Our first encounter with the beautiful Caribbean Sea.

This is on the public beach on the hotel zone approx. km 16.

All beaches in Mexico are public beaches and hotels can not deny access to the beach.

The beach in front of our hotel.

Our first stop is the RUINAS EL REY, which is located within the Hotel Zone of Cancun.

The site is covered with large iguanas.

Even through the site, also called the Ruins of the King, is in walking distance of every hotel ...

... it was just us and these creature exploring the grounds.

El Rey dates back to 200 BC and is thought to have been an astronomy lookout.

Skeletons found on site also suggest it may have been a royal burial ground.

It has two main plazas flanked by two main streets ....

...and a small pyramid topped with a vault. This is the view from the small pyramid.

April 15, 2007. We decide to head to CHICHEN ITZA for the day. Leaving the hotel at 6am we undertake the 2 1/2 drive inland.

Ariving at 8:30am allows us to explore the site almost tourist free. Chichen Itza translates to Sacred City of the Itza.

Our first view of the Pyramid of Kukulkan.

The pyramid towers above the jungle at 24 m high.

We were a little bit disappointed as they no longer let you climb the pyramid.

Each side had originally 91 steps, adding the platform at the top as a final step there are 365 in total one for every day of the year.

Two of its sides have been completely restored, the other two were left to show the condition before work commenced.

During the spring and autumn equinox the shadow of the sun playing on the stairs causes the illusion of a snake processing down the pyramid in the direction of the cenote.

Due to the number of stairs and the spring and autumn equinox, ....

... this building indicates a link to the Mayan interests of astronomy.

Temple of Large Table. On the upper walls of the outside walls are friezes of plumed serpents and jaguars.

Temple of the Warriors.

It has pillars sculptured in bas-releif.

The large Chac Mool sculpture holding a bowl, awaiting some sacrificial offering.

The pillars have retained much of their original color.

The Temple of the Warriors is surrounded by numerous ruined buildings known as the Group of a Thousand Columns.

It is believed that the columns originally supported a thatched roof which may have been used as a market place.

It is possible that the function of the Plaza was civic and religous.

Chichen Itza covers approx. six square miles and the ruins are divided into two groups...

One group belongs to the classic Maya Period and was built between the 7th and 10th centuries AD.

The othr group corresponds to the Maya-Toltec Period, from the later part of the 10th century to the beginning of the 13th century AD.

Around 1000 AD the Itza allied themselves with two powerful tribes, Xio and Cocom.

During that time the people constructed magnificent buildings the touch of Toltec art....

Porches, galleries and colonnades were added.

The Toltec influence created carvings depicting serpents, birds and Mexican gods.

Most of these carvings are still visible and even retain their original color.

The Market, it has a sunken courtyard.

These tall columns supported a perishable roof.

The structure was built by the Mayan-Toltec civilization. Here the columns alternate between square and round.

Ruby explores the market area. This area was built around 900 and 1200AD.

The steam bath. Every culture seems to have one.

There are many cenotes in the area...

... Mike sitting above the Xtoloc Cenote.

The Funeral Building.

The high Priest's Temple.

This step-pyramid temple is a smaller version of El Castillo.

The Red House or Chichanchoob (means small holes).

The building must have been used for religious and public means.

The upper structure is called the Red House, as red paint was found in the interior.

The impressive observatory or also called the Caracol.

Mayan in design and believed to be the oldest structure at Chichen Itza.

The Caracol, named for its curved inner stairway reminiscent of a snail. Portion of the tower has given away and gives a climpse into the interior.

This tower was used for astronomy ...

...its windows were aligned with the four cardinal directions and the position of the setting sun at the equinoxes.

The Church (La Iglesia) and ....

...the Nunnery (Edificio de las Monjas) are in relatively poor condition.

Hidden at the south end is the Nunnery complex...

... complimented by two patios with Puuc style buildings.

It is actually believed to be the governing complex. This is the church.

The Church is one of the most outstanding examples of Puuc ornamentation with elaborately carved masks of Chaac, the Mayan rain god covering the front of the structure.

We believe that this was the Church area.

View of the Ball Court (Juego de Pelota), the largest of its kind in the Maya world.

The game itself involved two teams, each able to hit the ball only with elbows, wrists or hips, ...

... and the object was to knock the ball through one of the stone hoops on the walls of the court.

The length of the playing field 135 m and two 8 m high walls run alongside the field.

Games in the Ball Court were used to settle disputes or as an offering to the gods. Seen here is the Temple of Jaguars.

Many believe the losers were put to death.

The south end of the ball court. Temple of the Bearded Man.

The Tzompantli (a Toltec word) or Platform of the skulls was used for the sacrifices resulting from the ball game.

A Sacrifice Cenote is a sinkhole in the limestone bed, accessing an underwater river.

This Cenote is a deep almost circular hole with steep sides and murky green water beneath.

They were very important to the Mayans as their main source of water and had great religious significance.

On our way back to Cancun we stop in Valladolid and visit the CENOTE ZACI.

Located a few blocks east of the center of Valladolid . We climbed down the stairs and visit this cenote.

The Cenote is open to the air one on side ...

... with the other side covered by stalactites with stalagmites below.

It is a beautiful spot.

April 16 & 17, 2007. Heading out for four (4) open water Scuba dives....

... first day just of the Isla Mujeres. Look closely one can see two Baracudas.

Ruby's first open water dive with Mike....

.... at 30feet.

Mike carries Ruby along.

Ruby tried holding Mike, but seems to be sinking.

Pictures are taken with a cheap disposable underwater camera.

Diving along the reefs.

Our third and fourth dive was just of Cancun at 52feet.

... we did see actually a lot of colorful marine life.

Ruby getting tested on removing her second stage regulator at the bottom of the ocean....

... and then removal of mask and clearing of water.

Ruby passed her PADI open water certification.

April 18, 2007. We leave Cancun at 7am and arrive at 8:30am at TULUM.

The north-west entrance to Tulum.

The Maya site may have been formerly also known by the name Zama, or the city of Dawn.

The Cenote House.

The House of the Haiach Uinic.

Tulum is also the Mayan word for fence,trench or wall.

From the numerous depictions in murals and other works around the site.

Tulum appears to have been an important site for the worship of the Descending God.

On the beach with the Castle in the background.

It is definitely a picturques spot.

The Great Temple or Castle, located at the highest point on the site.

View from the Castle.

Tulum gets invated by thousands of tourists every day. The view is breathtaking.

The beach view from the Castle.

The Caribbean Sea in the background at Tulum.

View of the Castle and beach below.

Beach and Castle before the tourists show up.

The Temple of Frescos.

While an inscription dated 564 has been found at the site, ...

... most of the structures now visible were built in the Post-Classic Era, between about 1200 and 1450.

Another close up view of the Temple or Castle.

Taking a walk on the beach in Cancun.

It is hard to resist the warm Caribbean Sea.

We continue our way to COBA, which is located 44km inland.

History of Coba. Due to its extensive walking about 6kms, it is less touristy.

Coba is a large ruined city of the Pre-Columbian Mayan Civilization. Seen here is the Grupo Coba.

Coba structures actually can be climbed (at own risk).

The city was reclaimed by the jungle. It is believed to be the largest of all Mayan cities.

There are thought to be over 6,500 structures spread out over 50 square kilometers.

During its peak around 750 A.D. there may have lived as many as 50,000 Maya there.

View of the ball court.

Coba has two well restored ball courts.

Steep steps everywhere.

Finding some shade.

Another well preserved ball court.

The Crossroad Temple, with its rounded corners.

The Pyramid of Nohoch Mul, the highest of its kind on the Yucatan Peninsula.

With 120 steps, Nohoch Mul is worth the climb.

View from the top into the jungle. The pyramid stands at 130ft tall.

On top of the world again.

We meet fellow Canadian. Angaangaq (his website is is an Eskimo-Kalaallit Elder ...

... whose family belongs to the healers and Shamans of the Far North from Kalaallit Nunaat, Greenland.

Structure on top of the Nohoch Mul Pyramid.

Angaangaq performed one of his songs at the top of the pyramid. Opening with Qilaut drumming and ends with life giving breath and an acappella chanting bridge into the next season.

April 19, 2007. EL MECO is our last stop for Mayan Ruins.

Found just north of Cancun, on the avenue leading to Punta Sam, is the archeological zone of El Meco.

The pyramid - the tallest archeological structure in the north of the state.

This is a nice little site, which can be explored in 1/2 hour.

The stairs are robbed off, but with no other tourist in sight...

View of the Chacmochuc Lagoon, near the area known as Isla Blanca (the name is misleading since it is not an island).

The usual steep descend.

Roots of a tree.

Our last day in Cancun. We decide to hang out on the beach...

... the weather is perfect...

Mike in the Caribbean Sea.

... The water was very calm compared to the beginning of our trip...

We ended up with a huge sunburn...

... and great memories as always.