Piste Travel Blog› entry 10 of 10 › view all entries
We took off today for our excursion to Valladolid and surrounding archaeological sites. It took us about two and a half hours to drive from Chunchucmil to Chichen Itza. Bruce ,Dylan, chris, Emily, Lisa, Bill and I went. The site is a far cry from Oxkintok. The parking lot was filled with tour buses and the outside was lined with souvenir shops. We arrived around 11:30am and it was already packed. The entrance cost 85 pesos (35 to INAH, 50 to CULTUR).
The site is impressive. The main pyramid, El Castillo, is the first and most imposing building viewed upon entering. To the left is the ball court, the largest known in Mesoamerica.
After the site, Bruce really wanted to go to "Puebla Maya," a pseudo Maya village/restaurant that was listed in my guidebook. We drove around for 45 minutes trying to find it only to discover that the name had been changed to La casa del Mayab. Apparently the food was awful, the dancing was unenthusiastic, there were no craft demonstrations and te "craft vendors" were just more junk shops that you were forced to walk through to leave.
After the meal, we took off for Valladolid, about a half hour driving. Lisa and I decided to stay in the Hosteling International place Alberque la Calendaria. It is an amazing place. The dorm beds were 88 pesos. The people in the room with us were great. There were two recently graduated guys from Oxford adn two girls doing grad work at Berkeley. We went to dinner at the restaurant in Chris's hotel, which was good and not too expensive. We ran into Scott and his girlfriend's site crew there. We bought Lisa a flan for her birthday.
After dinner, Bruce and Bill walked to the beer store and bought three six packs plus a bottle of tequila which we proceeded to drink in the courtyard of their hotel. The discussion, aided by booze, was very political. Lisa and I got back to the hostel around 1:30am and sat up talking with our roommates until almost 3am.