Tuesday, March 12, 2013

First Stop - Ek Balam

Local men dressed as they might have been at the time
Ek Balam was florishing

The mouth of the Jaguar - the entrance to the King's tomb

This facade was excavated only 13 years ago

The palapas cover and protect the carvings and inscriptions- They would not have been there originally
We hadn't originally planned a stop at Ek Balam but that is one of the nice things about having a rental car. Both the attendant at the rental car company and our hostess at the restaurant in Valladolid where we had lunch urged us to add a visit to the site. So we changed direction and drove the half hour west from Valladolid and were very happy we did. This is a smaller site by far than Chichen Itza with less buildings excavated than either Tulum or Coba but the carvings and decorative work was very good. AND you can climb to the top of the main pyramid (like Coba) and that is really an experience. It took us about 1.5 hours to see the site, 45 minutes of which we spent with a guide.
Ek Balam was the capital of this district and at it's height from 770 to 840 AD. The tomb of a major King, Ukit Kan Le'K Tok', was excavated only since the 1990's and is in excellent shape.
We continued on from here to Chichen Itza and checked into our beautiful hotel Mayaland. More in my next blog post.

Two of the figures appear to have "wings"

A close up of one figure
Scott, Hilary and myself at the top of the stairs - a long steep

And a very scary descent - there are no fences, ropes or any
concessions to safety. This would never be allowed in the
U.S. or Europe

The view from the top of some of the complex and far, far
off the tops of Chichen Itza

Hilary slowly descends, Scott further up

Scott and Tony take a break in the shade

No comments: