“Is it a site or a local dish?” – Marian Penny 2014

What did we fancy after visiting Uxmal and Kabbah? More Mayan Ruins!

Bused second class with the locals from Mérida to Chichen Itza. I am totally paranoid, kept checking at each stop off that no one was stealing my bag from the bus hold. Gah, exhausting.

Stayed at Villa Arqueologica which is actually in the park, so a mere 5min walk in the morning to get to the ruins. Got there early, a very good plan. At 8.30am the hawkers are just setting up, and the tour buses have yet to come in. Probably only about 40 people walking the site. By 11 it was mayhem. Just like a theme park.

Its not so much the decoration at Chichen Itza so much as the scale of the city and number of buildings that makes an impression. There are 3 zones of buildings and 2 cenotes.. plus a million hawkers lining the paths between and hundreds of tourists.

In order of preference:

1. The main event: El Castillo

El Castillo with a helpful woman showing scale

El Castillo with a helpful woman showing scale


El Castillo looking small

El Castillo looking like hawkers’ tat

Imagine the heads bouncing down from Toltec sacrifice, and the crowds roaring.

2. Quidditch: The Giant Ball Court

Need a broomstick to reach this hoop

Need a broomstick to reach this hoop


Ball court is much bigger than Uxmal.. 8 metre high rings. Interesting carvings depicting a team captain being beheaded – the winner or the loser?

3. Does what is says on the tin: Wall of Skulls

Wall of Skulls

Let’s remember those that lost their heads


Spent the rest of the morning by the pool – hot stuff this history business.

Got a taxi to Valladolid in the afternoon – REALLY lovely spanish house hotel in a colonial town.



Our street


Walked about and had burritos on the square. Very pretty colonial town, but not sure there’s enough here to hold interest so kinda good we’re moving on.

On seeing a bar in an apparently dry town (well, clearly reserved town), and in the style of “going OUT out” courtesy of Micky Flanagan, Jim says

It’s a bar on the corner, a BAR bar.
Bar bar blacksheep have you any booze?
Yes sir yes sir, three kegs full

Didn’t go out though. Fell asleep in the enormous and comfy bed. Zzzzzzzz.