When it came to cruise excursions, Cristina and I prefer history to relaxing and imbibing. So when Cristina was presenting me with possible shore excursions, I could see that she wanted to do something with the Mayan Ruins of Mexico. Cristina is always looking for more pictures to share with her geography classes; Coba was the leader in providing us with more scenic opportunities. The ruins of Coba are one of the few Mayan sites that still allow you to climb one of its temples. Of course, I agreed it would be awesome.
Then, after we paid, I remembered I’m terrified of heights and climbing things. This was going to be fun.
The morning of our excursion was threatening to be a wet one. It rained for most of the trip there with the sun making its appearance right before we got there. Our tour guide, Jose, gave us plenty of information about the Mayans including their famous calendar. Turns out their calendar is a start over calendar, so there is no need to panic. Besides we all know the world will end on a Thursday.
Once we get to Coba, we have to hike about a mile to the ancient pyramid. Because we were on a tour, and a swift moving one at that, we were herded from site to site without much exploring time. There were, however, bicycles to rent as well as bike taxis to explore the area. Now, the sun was showing its might, but luckily enough for us the trees were providing some shade.
Finally, we come upon the temple. Then the fear struck. All 138 ft of the temple was striking fear into my heart. The 120 steps were way too steep. I wanted to back out.
Then I saw five and six-year olds climbing up the temple. Great, four-year olds are doing this. We decided to start the climb. I walked up four steps and realized walking was out. Cristina was thinking the same thing and we started to crawl. Half-way up, we are both struggling and sweating. Then we were passed up by an older guy with a cane. Undeterred, we kept climbing.
All of our hard work paid off when we reached the top and saw the beautiful view below.
Now, the hard part…the descent. We “sat” our way down. The four year olds and the man with the cane flew past us. We didn’t care. Safety had to come first. Eventually we made it down. The Gatorade I bought right after was the best Gatorade I ever had.
While purchasing the Gatorade, Cristina and a few luck other travelers were taking pictures of a fox looking creature. When we caught up with tour guide, he was talking about the ballgame courts that used to be played in the community. Apparently, one side, no one is sure if it was the winners or the losers, would literally lose their heads at the end of the match. Right outside of the course, there stands a Mayan calendar one of the few original left intact. It also ends at 2012.
On the bus ride back, our tour guide said something that was interesting. He pointed out that there is a difference between a tourist and a traveler. To him tourists went to Cancun; travelers went to Coba.
Cristina and I definitely know which category we fall in.
- A path less traveled (eattravelblog.wordpress.com)