Monday, December 18, 2023

Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico   December 18, 2023

I had a great sleep- my roommates were super quiet, in fact the guy above me came in around 11 and I heard nothing.  Tonight there are men from Iran, Argentina, France, me and a tall super skinny black fellow.  He was sleeping all day and that’s when a hostel is annoying.  It’s quiet time after 10 pm; I am grateful for that but it’s hard not to talk to your roommates if someone decides they want to sleep all day.  The Iranian and I were visiting and the black guy just appeared out of his bed.  We apologized and he left the room.  Not sure about him.  The Iranian, who is into software and lives in Toronto said I give him hope because maybe he too will be able to travel when he’s older.  Frick.

While having breakfast in the kitchen - they have the tricky how do you turn me on induction stove tops.  The cleaner couldn’t do it so he called someone from the front desk to do it.  Once I see it done again, I remember from last time but I guess I see them so seldom.  Anyway, a woman walked in and she just happened to be the yoga instructor and said yoga is free for guests from 9-10 so I did that.  It felt really good!

After, I caught a collectivo to the Tulum Ruins-

which were about 2 km from my hostel.  I knew there would be crowds and that the best time to go would have been at 8 but I didn’t care, and the
crowds weren’t too bad.

Same hoops, different rocks.  First go here to pay some tax- stand in line, then walk a ways and pay some more.  At least it wasn’t nearly as expensive as Chichen Itza - it cost about $10 today.

The interesting thing about this ruin is it was built on the coast. Pre Hispanic life and conquest was from 400-1200-1542, forced indigenous labor and piracy was 1542-1847, the Caste war was from 1847-1900 and since then it’s been about tourists and archaeolgy.

Tulum was an important port.  The government was administered by the batab who controlled society economically and with rules.  Classes of society were the nobility, the specialists and the workers.  

The Maya thought the world was flat and immobile.  They lived off the land so treated it with respect- how archaeologists know that I have no idea.  They were mainly fishermen but did some hunting and planting.  

Finding fresh water was a problem in the Yucatán however this building is built on top of a Cenote-

One of the features of east coast ruins are small replica temples built to scale.  They were probably used as altars-

The Temple of the Wind God Kukulkan has a hole facing north so when the wind whistled through the hole it warned people of impending storms-

The most important inhabitants lived in this house which is why it’s called a palace. There are several rooms that would have had flat roofs supported by columns.  A mixture of gravel, limestone powder and sand called calcrete held everything together-

The Castle would have been brightly painted and there were many sculptures on the outside walls.  Masks of Chaac are on the corners-

The Temple of the Descendants has a Maya arch inside the front arch still in good condition.  It too would have been richly decorated-

The view of the sea-

Another building in very good condition-

This building-

has the best carvings-

Inside it looks like this-

but I could only see-

Numerous platforms are all that’s left of the common people’s homes which would have been made of wood, vines and palm roofs-

There’s an exit towards the beach-

and one beach just runs into another.

Police are everywhere-

My route today-

I walked from numbers 2 to 6 and then hitchhiked from 6 to 9.  A chauffeur for a hotel picked me up.  I went to Chedraui which had some delicious products and cheap shot glasses, then had lupper - shrimp tacos-

I wandered around the town-

for an hour or so then came back to the hostel to enjoy my room and the air conditioning but luckily it hasn’t been unbearably hot.

Tomorrow my bus leaves at 10:20 for Playa Del Carmen.  Another time I would just have taken a collectivo for half the price and it stops outside my hostel but I didn’t know.  

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