A Travellerspoint blog

CELUSTUN---THIS PLACE IS REALLY IN THE PINK

sunny 36 °C

Located on the Gulf of Mexico and about 2 hours south west of Merida, Celestun is the home of the winter feeding of the Yucatan's 35,000 pink Flamingos. This must be one of the world's magnificent birds sights. Standing in an enormous lagoon, these beautiful birds can be seen as far as the eyes can see. There is nothing more to say as the pictures will speak for themselves. However, look closely at the horizon and notice the pink hue that covers the waters.

We are off to see the Flamingos

large_P1000258.jpg

Entering the lagoon surrounded on 2 sides by the mangrove swamps

large_P1000227.jpg

large_P1000231.jpg

large_P1000245.jpg

large_P1000234.jpg

large_P1000242.jpg

See the gray flamingos in the foreground, they are the young ones, it takes about 5 years to become an adult, with the bright feathers.
This group of children are like a kindergarten class and one old adult is given the responsibility to watch them and to teach them all the flamingo tricks of life.

large_P1000249.jpg
large_P1000248.jpg

A SIDE TRIP THROUGH THE MANGROVES ON OUR RETURN

large_P1000251.jpg

large_P1000253.jpg

The trip ends up at a cenote, however no one could swim as there was a visitor lying on the side.

large_P1000257.jpg

Now, a long ride back to Playa del Carmen.

Posted by keithandhelen 07:43 Archived in Mexico Comments (1)

AN EXCURSION TO EDZNA

semi-overcast 38 °C

About an hours drive from Campeche, the ancient Mayan site of Edzna suddenly appears in the jungle. Occupied from about 600 BC to 1500 AD it went through many reconstructions and additions over the centuries. Evidence shows that about 70,000 people lived here during the period of 600 to 900 AD. Early on in its history the marshy valley where Edzna was situated was transformed by a drainage system of canals, reservoirs and aqueducts into terraced agricultural land to support the population. Handily located on major trade routes between the coast and the Mayan highlands, Edzna ruled the region in its early days.

Most of the current site dates from about 700 to 900 AD.

The only people at the site were ourselves and a group of grade 4 students scampering up and down the ruins leaving us to plod up them one giant step at a time.

large_P1000182.jpg

large_P1000185.jpg

large_DSCF0012__2_.jpg

large_DSCF0013__2_.jpg

large_DSCF0011__2_.jpg

large_P1000190.jpg

The kids pretending to be sacrifices on the old sacrificial altar

large_P1000193.jpg

Helen conducts an English lesson.

large_P1000196.jpg

OH NO! We have realized that we now have to go down all the steps.

large_P1000199.jpg

On the return trip we stop at HACIENDA UAYAMON. It is far in the bush and was founded as a cattle ranch in the 16th century, its lands were raided by pirates in the 17th century and it reached its height in the 19th century when its production of sugar, sisal, and logging made it one of the largest and wealthiest haciendas in the country. It is now a hotel and judging by its prices it is still one of the wealthiest.

P1000208.jpg

large_P1000211.jpg

large_P1000210.jpg

Tomorrow we go to Celestun to see the Flamingos

Posted by keithandhelen 07:35 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

CAMPECHE-----A State and A City And Loaded With History

sunny 35 °C

Helen and I and 2 other friends, Dave and Dianna, rented a car and went on a road trip t0 Campeche (about a 7 hour drive south of Playa del Carmen).

P1000130.jpg

===Situated on the Gulf of Mexico it has the most picturesque setting. Our hotel was right on the Gulf and the view was spectacular.

===

large_P1000131.jpg
large_P1000136.jpg

large_P1000139.jpg

Campeche was officially founded by the Spanish in 1540, becoming the main Spanish port from where Spanish influence
spread over the Yucatan. After being continuing attacked by Pirates such as Henry Morgan and Francis Drake, the Spanish constructed the city walls in 1686. The walled city is now a UNESCO world heritage site.

Local legend has a young girl who fell in love with a pirate who promised to return. She is still waiting for him today.

large_P1000170.jpg

This is at the Sea Gate. There is art throughout the city and this statue depicts a perfect angel.

large_P1000152.jpg

The Cathedral of De Nuestra Senora de la Purisima Concepcion at the back of the Central Plaza

large_P1000154.jpg

cathedral at night

large_DSCF0005__2_.jpg

Buying a Panama hat

large_P1000156.jpg

A Pirate with his women

large_P1000153.jpg


A replica of the old Government Centre, now houses the Library

large_P1000166.jpg

San Francisco de Campeche sits on the grounds where the first Mass was held in the New World.

large_P1000168.jpg

The Black Jesus. The black crucifix was put here in 1565.

large_P1000172.jpg

Defending the City

large_P1000135.jpg


The City Walls

large_P1000173.jpg

Posted by keithandhelen 07:51 Archived in Mexico Comments (2)

A Visit To UXMAL

30 °C

This UNESCO designated World Heritage Site is, in my opinion, the most interesting and spectacular of the Mayan sites on the Yucatan. This may only be because there are far fewer tourists around than at Chichen Itza and the feeling of being part of the history is very strong here. Uxmal was one of the last city states to rise and flourished until its demise in about 1000 AD. No one knows why it faded, but it may be as simple as the fact that it outgrew itself. Water, always a factor, became so scarce that the Maya had to abandon the area for greener pastures elsewhere. Five different stages of construction have been discovered and as you walk around the huge site, these stages become obvious. Pictured below are some of the more important buildings.

The Pyramid of the Magician welcomes you to the site. Notice its unique oval shape.

large_DSCN0622.jpg

Get an idea of the height of the Pyramid

large_DSCN0624.jpg

Another view--from the rear

large_DSCN0659.jpg

Notice the serpents heads on the edge of the building. Throughout the site there are carvings of serpents along the walls. We noticed in South East Asia that serpents figured largely in the sites we visited.

large_DSCN0638.jpg

Typical Mayan arch, a common feature of Mayan architecture.

large_DSCN0641.jpg

The Nunnery Quadrangle (named by the Spanish explorers) is made up of many small rooms. Historians differ on its use. Some think it was a military academy while others thought it was an earthly paradise where sacrificial victims would spend their final days in debauchery. Built around 850 AD

large_DSCN0646.jpg

This is the same building in the night in which a sound and light show takes place

large_DSCN0665.jpg

There is only this side remaining of the quadrangle of the doves (also named by the Spanish)

large_DSCN0650.jpg


The Great Pyramid---we even climbed this one

large_DSCN0656.jpg

Bye Bye. We loved this site.

large_26B87E7A2219AC681741676A4A5E1051.jpg


Next trip-----Campeche

Posted by keithandhelen 13:41 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

CARNAVAL IN PLAYA

sunny 28 °C

It is party time in Mexico as the tradition of Carnaval leads the way to Lent and the Easter Season. This is especially important in this largely Catholic country. Playa del Carmen has lately joined the Carnaval celebrations. Much larger ones take place in Cozumel and Merida. But the one here takes on its own personality. It is a family affair with the addition of a little chaos. The parade starts at one end of town and ends in the main square which is packed with families joining in the festivities. There is a midway, zillions of food stalls, craft displays with the addition of many household items from shoes, pots and pans, and furniture to boot-legged DVD's.

Join us to experience the parade---too bad there is no sound---Gangam Style featured prominently.

large_P1000082.jpg

large_4BBB85DD2219AC6817D55F614B421C80.jpg

large_P1000085.jpg

large_P1000088.jpg

large_P1000091.jpg

Even the older ladies get involved

large_P1000093.jpg

large_P1000103.jpg

Three generations get Pirate-ized

large_P1000105.jpg

More Revellers

large_P1000106.jpg

large_P1000108.jpg

Posted by keithandhelen 08:06 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

TULUM----A DAY AT THE RUINS

sunny 31 °C

One of the many Mayan ruins on the Yucatan is within an hours drive of Playa del Carmen. We decided that a day at Tulum (pronounced To Loom) would be a nice break from our Playa routine that we have happily settled into. We travelled down on a Collectivo, which is a 12 passenger van.

Tulum is a very special as it is the only Mayan site that was built on the edge of the ocean. As such it has an important place in Mayan history. Built in the 1200's, the 5 metres high and 6 metres thick wall surrounded the site. The walls protected the city during wars between Mayan city states. It was an important port town as the Maya had trading routes up and down the coast. In the 1890's a Mayan liberation group reoccupied the site and held out against the Mexican army for more than 25 years.

Due to its location on the Mayan Riviera and its closeness to the cruise ship centre of Cozumel, Tulum has become the most visited archeological site in Mexico.

A troop of Los Olmecas Ototonacos dancers from Veracruz welcome visitors

THIS PICTURE IS SUPPOSED TO BE STRAIGHT UP.

large_90_P1010021.jpg

large_P1010022.jpg

large_P1010025.jpg

large_P1010033.jpg

large_P1010029.jpg

large_P1010041.jpg

large_P1010042.jpg

large_P1010032.jpg

large_P1010037.jpg

large_P1010044.jpg

large_P1010046.jpg

On the way home we stop at a nearby deserted beach for a swim to cool down.

large_P1010010.jpg

large_AFCB48502219AC6817F6B17D1975055E.jpg

large_P1000991.jpg

large_P1000999.jpg

large_P1010001.jpg

large_P1010006.jpg

LIFE IS TOUGH!

Posted by keithandhelen 08:06 Archived in Mexico Comments (2)

A Picnic At The Local Cenote

semi-overcast 25 °C

Our friends Eduardo and Diana have invited us on a picnic. To our surprise we were going to a Cenote which was within the city boundaries at a local park. Cenotes are fresh water sinkholes that are part of a network of underground rivers, caves, and caverns that are part of the limestone bedrock of the Yucatan.

We went for Sunday lunch and relaxed under the cool of the trees with our friends and some their other friends and family. The park was much larger than we originally thought as we discovered that in addition to the cenotes, there were five different swimming pools. A great lunch and a great day was had by all.

Eduardo and Diana

large_DSCN0738.jpg


Cenote

large_P1000040.jpg
large_P1000041.jpg

At The BBQ

large_P1000038.jpg
large_P1000043.jpg

The Whole Gang

large_P1000046.jpg

Next time, we will go for a swim...

Posted by keithandhelen 09:14 Archived in Mexico Comments (2)

We Arrived, Back In Mexico

sunny 28 °C

We arrived in Playa del Carmen after a very smooth and fast arrival in Cancun Airport. We feel right at home and have had fun seeing all the changes from last year. Our Condo was just like coming home since this is the 3rd year we have stayed here. This is such a pleasant city to while away the winter blues. Playa is a busy place that is continually changing. Every year we marvel at the growth and development. And yet, somethings (besides us) stay the same. Our local vegetable, fruit, and fish stores sit ready for us one year after another.

large_DSCF0020__2_.jpg

Writing the blog

large_F050328B2219AC68172683B1BAFE6A96.jpg

The view from our condo.

large_DSCF0058.jpg

We also have a pool

large_DSCF0049.jpg

A short walk to the beach is a regular occurrence.

large_DSCN0568.jpg

In the afternoon, we often walk up to town and enjoy the sights and the world in general

large_DSCN0693.jpg

large_DSCN0758.jpg

large_P1000870.jpg

large_DSCN0557.jpg

large_DSCN0729.jpg

Spot the one that is NOT a dummy.

large_DSCN0551.jpg

We saw a look-a-like with our friend Jim H. By the way there is a sign that says 'No Pictures'.

large_DSCN0731.jpg

Posted by keithandhelen 18:36 Archived in Mexico Comments (4)

A LAST GASP FROM S/E ASIA

BUDDHAS WE HAVE KNOWN

sunny 34 °C

Friday is our last day in Bangkok as we fly home in the afternoon. We have had a wonderful time travelling around 3 countries and have thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Each country was different in its own way and the fun was constantly getting used to the newness time after time.

One thing remained constant no matter the country we were in are the statues of BUDDHA. People here take their religion very seriously and images of Buddha are greatly revered. They came in all shapes and sizes, made of all types of materials, some new and some very old, and popped up in different places.

So, as we say goodbye until we meet again in January, we leave these images with you. Good night and good bye.

asia_030.jpg

93C4D3522219AC6817A5214DF98F1C8B.jpg

93FD5F592219AC68170A9CB6A52A36E6.jpg

941716EE2219AC68173DE230528AEF45.jpg

944E5FEA2219AC68170672CCBED4B853.jpg

94CFA7082219AC68177F3310D394C321.jpg

cambodia_055.jpg

cambodia_080.jpg

cambodia_078.jpg

954D9D652219AC6817923D6532847C40.jpg

Thailand_007.jpg

large_thailand_030.jpg

95A78D972219AC68175C2C1058925102.jpg

thailand_049.jpg

thailand_029.jpg

thailand_063.jpg

large_thailand_054.jpg

Posted by keithandhelen 16:05 Archived in Thailand Comments (1)

BANGKOK, LIFE ON THE RIVER

semi-overcast 33 °C

The Chao Phraya River flows through the centre of Bangkok and plays a large part in the life of the city. Taxi boats are constantly stopping at the many stations----luckily we have one right in front of our hotel. The boats also connect with the sky train and subway stations and so transfering to other parts of Bangkok is very easy. This form of transport is also way quicker than travelling by road where the traffic problems are legendary. We have included here many of the pictures we have taken while on the river.

River Taxi
thailand_005.jpg

thailand_004.jpg

A modern condo tower rises with a US$20,000,000 penthouse pricetag.
thailand_006.jpg

You can meet everyone on the river
thailand_057.jpg

thailand_067.jpg

Our hotel--New Siam Riverside
thailand_072.jpg

A view of the Palace
thailand_073.jpg

thailand_078.jpg

large_thailand_080.jpg

Posted by keithandhelen 23:27 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

(Entries 31 - 40 of 52) « Page 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 »