The next day, we were up bright and early and heading to the bus station. On foot. Let me tell you, walking for 20 minutes at break neck speed across a Mexican city in PEAK HOUR TRAFFIC carrying a 20kg pack? Not even remotely fun.
Eventually, we made it to the bus station and got our luggage checked in. While waiting for the bus, Sara and I decided that what we desperately needed was snacks, which is how we discovered Pinguinos.
I'm pretty sure these have a different name in the US, and they're not available in Australia, but I can vouch for the fact that the Mexican version is DELICIOUS. Anyway, we finally boarded the bus and got underway. And let me tell you - bus rides in the Yucatan are REALLY FREAKING BORING. We're talking nothing-to-look-at-but-hedgerow-for-four-hours kind of boring.
We finally arrived at Chichen Itza at around lunchtime. We had plenty of time to get lunch before we met our guide for the day, but due to the amounts of junk we'd eaten on the bus, Sara and I decided that what we didn't need proper lunch, and so had Magnums for lunch instead. Responsible adulthood FTW!!
Eventually, we headed into Chichen Itza (or It's A Chicken as I still can't help but call it) and Archaeology Nerd Kirsti almost exploded with excitement. Our guide for the day, Julian, gave us a background of the site and the people who lived there, and asked us a few questions to see if we knew anything about the site. I got them all right and
ANYWAY. Pyramid of Kukulkan, otherwise known as El Castillo. It's awesome. And it has this weird prehistoric megaphone thing built into it so that the priests could be all "HEY, Y'ALL. THIS IS KUKULKAN SPEAKING . YOU WILL WORSHIP ME." and con everyone into belief. Sneaky, no?
From there, we headed over to the ballcourt and got the lowdown on the infamous ballgame. It's not the losers who got sacrificed to the gods - it was the WINNERS. And the losers had to do the sacrificing. a) EW, b) that is one hell of a lose-lose sport.
Then it was over to the Wall of Skulls:
To some of the smaller temples:
To the Temple of the Warriors and Chac Mool:
And to the Warrior's Baths, and the Thousand Columns:
Then it was over to the Observatory, which is pretty unique in a Mesoamerican site, because it's rounded. Archaeologists think it was to observe the stars and their movements. Uh, AWESOME. (Before I realised it involved learning physics as well as archaeology, I had a huge secret desire to be an archaeoastronomer. Because ZOMG FASCINATING)
After that, we had free time to wander around some of the other buildings. Sara and I took a quick look around, and then decided we were going to go and look at the cenote. Let me tell you, the cenote at Chichen Itza is GROSS. Being sacrificed to the gods in there? Would not be enjoyable. If it had been me, I would have taken great delight if the people who sacrificed me ended up dying of some horrible disease thanks to bits of my rotting corpse getting into the water supply.
From there, it was back to the bus station for another delightful four hours trapped in a metal box on wheels with nothing to look at but 3m high hedges on both sides. But eventually, we arrived in the lovely town of Merida, where Sara and I discovered that the bathroom in our hotel room was so small that you had to lift the toilet seat to be able to open or close the door - apparently they'd worked out what could fit in there based on a seatless toilet! - which made every trip to the bathroom a little adventure.
We ended up having dinner that night on the roof of the hotel to say goodbye to Suit Pants, who was leaving us the next day to head back to Guatemala and lead his very own tour group. And then I went crazy and decided that what I really needed to do - when in Mexico, and all that - was drink Corona. And it was gross.
|Please ignore my residual sunburn from Belize.|
Next up, my best and worst days ever. Plot twist: IT'S THE SAME DAY.