Day 6 – Itchin’ Chicken

Chichen Itka, Yucatán, Mexico – 21st June 2021

I am up really early as I want to go and visit some Mayan ruins today and it is at least a 2 and 1/2 hour drive. There are several sites, Tulum and Coba I have already mentioned as two places I wanted to visit but ran out of time. However, the main site is Chichen Itka, (that just makes me think Chicken Itcha every time I see it), in Yucatán state. I want to be able to have a good look around and then hopefully go to Coba before returning to Cancún.. I’m not going to Tulum.

I get on the road really early as I want to try and avoid the queues when I get there. The road is pretty fast, but there are quite a few roadworks. At each one workers are waving huge flags, I assume it’s to make sure the vehicles see the workers.. I think it is a well known fact that a number of road workers are killed every year by drivers not taking the proper care when passing road workings. At least there are no traffic jams… so far. At each works the traffic is diverted to the other carriageway so the two lanes become single line traffic in each direction; that doesn’t seem to slow most drivers down at all, the only thing is they are not able to overtake.

As I near the site I pass through a village with the usual traffic calming bumps, but at each one of these there are stalls of various descriptions selling hats, tee shirts, carvings etc. Also the sellers, some of whom are children, are walking out into the traffic to try and entice people to buy… so dangerous.

I have made good time and arrive at the site around 10. The car park is $30mxn and admission into the site $533 including both State and Federal taxes a total of just £19.71… a real bargain. Inside the entrance are loos, (the only ones on the entire site), a few snack bars, restaurant, a couple of souvenir shops and a Starbucks of course.

One thing I must say is that during these covid times people here are very sure to have their masks on, even in the street. It is absolutely required when entering buildings, where they also take your temperature. As I queue to enter the actual site I am given a shot of hand sanitiser as well as the temperature check.

Out into the sunshine and the first thing of note are the unbelievable number of souvenir stalls selling all the usual stuff, hats, tee shirts and so on, how on earth does anyone make a living?

I also spot this..

the loneliest bird in the world is here too. Whilst I’m taking this I hear a sound like a lion or something growling… what TF??? I turn around and it is coming from one of the stall areas.. did someone actually bring a big cat here… I start to make my way towards the sound, then I see one of the stallholders blowing into a box that is making this horrible noise… I later learn it is supposed to be the sound of a Jaguar; perhaps children might like it?

And then there it is, the ruin I have come all this way to see,

and bloody impressive it is too, but Chichen Itza is so much more that this. I am really amazed at the size of the site and how well the buildings have been preserved. I guess I should have done my research… lol… but what a great place to visit and I recommend it to anyone. I spend about 2 1/2 hours just walking around the site and taking it all in.

I overhear some information from the numerous guides who are taking groups around, but rather than relate those tidbits how about a link so you can read all about it

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chichen_Itza

Having now read this I see that there were a lot of things I didn’t actually get to see, but still it was a great visit, I really enjoyed it. Apart from the Jaguar noise, which was just horrendous and coming from many, many of the stalls!!

While I was there I took the opportunity to do a very short BSL comment for my Deaf family and friends…

Imagine my surprise to see this girl…. looking very pleased with herself I must say… Hola Iggy

and on my wander I see Iggy’s sister… Izzy… disappearing into the undergrowth

Time to go as I have at least another 2 1/2 hour drive back to Cancún. Pretty uneventful, other than the roadworks and traffic, and… I try to avoid going back via the autopista but somehow manage to find myself at a toll booth… I try to explain that I don’t want to go on the autopista, I have got lost so please can I turn around. This is extremely frustrating, because of course I can’t speak Spanish. The woman keeps pointing to the digital display that is telling me to pay $85mxn and I am trying to sign ‘turnaround’ to no avail. At this point another toll person intervenes and is now tell me it is $5 US.. I say, I don’t have any dollars… he then gets out his calculator to show me $5 in writing.. I am now getting very frustrated, so much so that I actually raise my voice ‘I don’t have ANY DOLLARS!’ ‘Ok Ok I give up… here is the 85 Pesos’. They open the barrier and I drive onto the autopista… I’m going to get off the first chance I get and am feeling pretty ashamed of myself for getting het up.

I leave the autopista a Valladolid and stop for lunch. A rather lovely old town and I find a nice restaurant for my lunch.

Back on the road and I manage to avoid returning to the motorway and find myself on the same road as when I drove back from Coba the other evening.

In the kitchen are Mercedes, her hubby, who I now find out is Sergio, and a woman guest who it transpires has been in Mexico for 18 months due to lockdown and not been able to leave! She is originally from LA but now lives in Hawai’i and will be returning there in a few days. We chat for a while and then I must go to bed… I’m bushed!

PS.. as I’m sure you have gathered already, never made it to Coba.

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