Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Mexican Holiday

This little guy must have been with another tour group!

The Yucatan Peninsula. Mayan ruins in the jungle. I think I was less than 10 years old when I first discovered National Geographic magazines. Since my eyesight was (and still is) very poor, National Geo's and LIFE Magazine's incredible photographic journeys and in-depth articles were, in a way the only way I could really discover this world and beyond. Since then most of my travels have been through books, magazines and films.

However, I have just come back from two wonderful weeks in Mexico and will spend a few posts sharing comments, observations and photos. I absolutely adore my little Sony digital camera! Went nuts and took over 400 pics...won't force you to look at them all. Promise. But I will show some with comments.

The iguana really appeared to be studying the information just inside the entrance to Uxmal, a World Heritage Site located about 80 km south the Yucatan's colonial capital city of Merida. Only a small portion of the site has been excavated and restored but what's there is exceptional.

Views of the main pyramid
I splurged and hired a tour guide for the day to take me south to Uxmal and west to Celestun where there is the Reserva Ecologica de Los Petenes. The tour guide, a retired hotel manager, had a car with a/c. When the temperatures are hitting the high 30s (celsius) and humidity is around 94% by 10 a.m. the a/c is a godsend. When we got out of the car at Uxmal my glasses fogged up!

Senor Castillo is very knowledgeable and his love of the archeology and his native Yucatan comes through. It is a more expensive alternative, but the personal tour allows for one-on-one discussion. Taking a bus tour would have cost much less, but then my time would have been more limited. This way I set my own pace. Let's face it, this is a world heritage site, its wonders cannot be absorbed in a quicky tour when you are sharing the ride and the tour guide's time with anywhere from 6 to 25 other travellers. Also, getting there early is a boon since one avoids not only the heat but crowds. Photography ops are better, too, when there are shadows to provide contrast. These pics were all taken before 11 a.m with a little Sony Cybershot. No tripod. No flash. Mostly just VGA quality. I'm happy with most of the pics.

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