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Chichen Itza

The sleepy side of life

sunny -17 °C
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I have always prided myself that I can sleep through anything. I am one of those annoying people that can lay down on a bed of rocks and be snoring, loudly, within seconds. I have even been known to sleep through an earthquake or two. This all changed last night. Despite the fact that the backend of my hostel is beautiful - banana trees cover the patio, hammocks strung up, a man playing guitar - the frontside, I learned, is not as serene. My bedroom is at the front of the hostel, directly next to the street. The ventilation in the room is next to none and to get any moving air, all the windows must remain open. What this means for me, and the eight other people in this room, is that all night I was woken up to terrible rumbling noises. Several times I was sure that the trucks I heard passing by were going to come right through the wall. Seriously, several times the trucks were so loud, the room shook. I know that I wasn't the only one suffering from the noises of the streets: everytime either I or the French guy in the bed below me rolled over, the whole bunk bed would move. And he rolled over quite a bit. The minute I saw any sort of daylight, I rose and headed for a hammock out back...I decided a few mosquitos and a nice breeze in quiet tranquility was better than fearing that one of those trucks was going to drive right into my room. At least then there would have been some cool air coming through. For breakfast, I am rationed four slices of bread and one cup of coffee. After last night, and due to my slight caffine addiction, I would gladly trade in three slices of bread for another cup of coffee. Ah, life in a hostel.

Yesterday, I went to Chichen Itza. When I arrived, I couldn't help but think: Alright, let me see what the fuss is about this place..... As I walked the grounds of Chichen Itza, my camera permantly pressed against my face (I think my left cheek still has the imprint of the zoom button), all I could think was Wow! What a fascinating place! As much as I tried, I could not understand why Chichen Itza affected me more than the other ruins I have visited. Maybe because the glyphs are still visible or maybe because, despite all the thousands of people, there is still something serene about the place. All I know is that I am not alone in my feelings about Chichen Itza -the world has voted it one of the seven new wonders of the world. During the equinoxes, the setting and rising sun produce the illusion of a serpent on the staircase of El Castillo, a 25 meter high structure in the, seemingly, center of the site. Every evening there is a light show that re-creates the image of this serpent. I had to catch my bus to the city of Merida and was sorry I was going to miss the spectacular show. Along all the walkways, there are stones scattered. At one point I realized that all the stones around me were carved - each a broken glyph and to my right laid the remains of a serpent's head. At that moment, I truly realized the magnitude of the place, how amazing and special it really is. And not because the temples represent the Maya calendar or that the way the sun hits the temples twice a year give the illision of a moving serpent, but because I am here, learning about the past as history corrodes. Someday, all this magnificent stone will again be dust.

Posted by KimiKat26 07:01 Archived in Mexico Tagged backpacking

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Sorry about the sleep deal... I wonder if you can find some earplugs out there (not that helps with the rolling bunkmates!) I just first learned about Chichen Itza a few days ago when someone forwarded me the New 7 Wonders, and it's really cool to see that you are there! -Felix

by felixw

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