11.28.08 Merida to Chichen-Itza
Chichen Itza Travel Blog› entry 24 of 57 › view all entries
11.28.08 Merida to Chichen-Itza
Successful day! Mimi was kind enough to drive me (again) to pick up our laundry this morning that Jonna kindly dropped off yesterday for us. For 56 pesos ($5) we got our sweet-smelling, folded clothes back. Ahhh, service! She also popped down to the mechanic’s and got a bolt for Ciao’s air filter cover- effective!
Jonna gave us some excellent, helpful tips on where to park with driving distances throughout
Today’s Driving Info: We drove the nice Perifico ring road around Merida from the N to the SE corner (Note: We got on at Progresso interchange going clockwise – the very first exit had a Super-Walmart with a huge parking lot- wonder if RV’s can park there?).
We then took the excellent Mex 180 to Chichen-Itza. 180 split into 180 (free) and 180D (cuota) some distance out of
So while Lia learned her nines for multiplication and we practiced our Espanol, we zipped along and in a very short time (1.5 hours maybe?) arrived by 1pm into Piste, the small town about 1 mile from Chichen-Itza.
Piste, while a bit run-down by
Mexican towns have a different standard of cosmetics due to a different standard of living. While our towns are crisp, clean, and free of litter and old concrete buildings, they also lack the happy jumble of open-air stores, people out walking and socializing, etc.
Anyway, using the Church’s GPS coordinates, we easily found the Stardust Hotel, where they kindly came outside when we pulled up. They said we could park (“estesiomiento”) our motorhome (“la casa rodante”) at the side of their building for 150 ($13) with water/electric (you’d run a cord into a room maybe?) or 100 pesos ($9) without. We’d prepared for dry camping so are all set up. One guy who works here said he’d keep an eye on our rig for us and we tipped him 30 pesos, but we’re not sure how he’ll do that since we’re along a concrete wall on the side. Regardless, we found it interesting that we really feel no fear here at all.
Charles was sick today.
The girls walked an easy mile on sidewalks to Chichen-Itza. We loved this amazing UNESCO World Heritage site of the Mayan empire. It is also considered one of the Modern Seven Wonders of the World. We walked all over the site, admired the architecture and acoustics of the stone buildings, and read from our Michelin Guide and the Archeology Mexico book. I don’t see how people without a map, book, or guide experience the sites- the naming board have just a brief description (which is translated, but with difficulty, into English).
While walking around Chichen-Itsa, we took pictures of the buildings while pointing to the same picture in the book- what a thrill! They also have a Sound and Light show here, but we opted not to attend this one.
We thought the highlights were the main pyramid and the statue of the reclining Chaac-Mul (Rain God) on the Pyramid of the Warriors, but we really enjoyed all the buildings. The Thousand Columns were amazing- how hard it must have been to create each of 1000 round, stone columns! The Mayans also were very advanced with the calendar, astrological features, and architecture as art.
All the Mexican Archeology sites have each cost a very reasonable 108 pesos ($9) each for Jazy (ages 13 and up) and me, but ages twelve and younger are free. We’ll insure Charles gets a chance to see Chichen-Itza tomorrow before we leave.
Lia really wanted a particular bamboo drum that the Mayans were selling. We all agreed that Mrs.
There were many visitors at Chichen-Itza, particularly compared to the few we’ve seen at previous sites. We’re within an hour or two of
It was interesting how all the Mayan vendors quoted U.S. dollars (using a 10-1 rather than 13-1 exchange). I preferred negotiating with pesos in Spanish.
We say “Buenos Tardes” or “Buenos Dias” or Buenos Noches” rather than “Hola” to the Mexican people we see.
However, I was not able to negotiate 100 pesos for a turquoise mask that I wanted (he started at 450!). Then, I stupidly did not turn back when he finally offered 150 as I was leaving. And when I did later go back, he then wanted 250. Ahh, lesson learned. Snag it when you get a good price. But also, don’t buy it if the negotiation doesn’t go well- you’ll always remember that when you see the object!
Jazy also tried unsuccessfully to buy a turquoise dress for me for 150, the same type of dress that she got at Agua Azul for 130, but the lady, who started at 280, wouldn’t budge after 180.
Dinner was in the rig tonight to eat all the food we bought at the Mega store. We must eat it before
The Weather: Sunset here is early at 5:00 pm! Most stores close by then and it is dark by 5:30 pm.
I see where the
We were so lucky to have time with the amazing Mimi and Jonna. They went out of the way to show us