streets of  San Juan, Valladolid, Yucatan province, Mexico

"I Almost did that"

My solo travels across the Central Americas.

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DAY 2: Walking in the streets of  San Juan, Valladolid, Yucatan province, Mexico.

Can you speak and understand Spanish? “It’s not worth the risk; just go see it on Google”. “Are you crazy? Those border crossings are dangerous!”. Such were the questions I encountered from friends. Most intriguingly, the phrase: “I almost did that” kept coming up in conversation. Just then, at that moment, I could sense the lingering regret behind that word. I knew I had to give into my pilgrim soul, for as a little boy, I always dreamed of overland travel to far-off places. Explore and understand the lost civilisation.

How does one explain what one does and why one does it? I guess it is a blessing and a curse of the calling. With that thought, I embarked on an epic adventure of a lifetime to the land of the Mayas. This highly-developed civilisation flourished and vanished without a trace in the Central Americas.

"

Stop dreaming about your bucket list

and start living it.

 - Annette White

 
Ek Balam

20°
20'
53.552262'' N
30°
88'8.152878'' W

Ek Balam 

DAY: 3 

GPS:  20,53.552262N 88,8.152878W 

Three hours from Cancun and one hour from Valladolid

These amazingly well-preserved sculptures uncovered at Ek Balam are an interesting Mayan site. Dating from 100 BC to its height at 700-1,200 BC, it is unlike any other Mayan site. The main temple here at Ek Balam is impressive, both in size and architecture. It's a massive size of over 500 feet long and 200 feet wide, the frescoes and sculptures decorating this temple is an artistic marvel.

20°
20'
53.552262'' N
30°
88'8.152878'' W

Ek Balam 

DAY: 4 

Three hours from Cancun and one hour from Valladolid

These amazingly well-preserved sculptures uncovered at Ek Balam are an interesting Mayan site. Dating from 100 BC to its height at 700-1,200 BC, it is unlike any other Mayan site. The main temple here at Ek Balam is impressive, both in size and architecture. It's a massive size of over 500 feet long and 200 feet wide, the frescoes and sculptures decorating this temple is an artistic marvel.

Cenote Zaci

The next afternoon I took a dip in another beautiful cenote, and I had it all to myself

Cenote Zaci

My pale feet

It's incredible as the sunlight filters through the blue waters of Cenote Samulá

My pale feet

Right: A Mayan Warrior at the temple in Ek Balm

 

Far right: More ruins at Ek' Balam Archaeological site 

 

A Mayan Warrior at the temple in Ek Balm
More ruins at Ek' Balam Archaeological site 

El Castillo

El Castillo

Day 8

El Castillo|Chichen Itza

From crystal clear seas of the Caribbean to the deep underground caves of Central Mexico, my adventures saw me dive into the blue waters of secret centos in the Yucatán Peninsula and scale the new world’s most impressive pyramids.

 

El Castillo | Chichen Itza
Uxmal is an ancient Maya city of the classical period 

I had the pleasure of the company of

Dr Santiago, who is a specialist in the Archaeology of the Americas

Uxmal is an ancient Maya city of the classical period 

Uxmal is an ancient Maya city of the classical period 

Temple of the Warriors

Chichen Itza (‘the mouth at the well of Itza’) is classified as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and, in 1988, was enlisted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

El Castillo (the Temple of Kukulkan) is the famous pyramid that dominates Chichen Itza's site and actually sits on another much older temple.

El Castillo (the Temple of Kukulkan)
El Castillo (the Temple of Kukulkan)

Day 10

 
Belize City
Belize City
Belize
Belize City

“Young man you know nothing about fishing.
I tell you, man, I have been fishing for over 40 years in these waters”


Edmundo Emanuel, 78

Baron Bliss Lighthouse

Baron Bliss Lighthouse in Belize City was established in 1885 on the former site of a Spanish fortress which was highly damaged after the Battle of St. George's Caye in September 1798 

Baron Bliss Lighthouse
Tikal- The ancient Mayan citadel in the rainforests of northern Guatemala

Guatemala

Tikal- The ancient Mayan citadel in the rainforests of northern Guatemala

 

I hiked through the thick, dense jungles of Guatemala, completing my excursion by looking down on the lost city of Tikal. Then crossing the border to Copán- an archaeological site of the Maya civilization in the Copán Department of western Honduras.

 

DAY:15

Tikal, Northern Guatemala

An ancient Mayan citadel in the rainforests of northern Guatemala

Tikal

An ancient Mayan citadel in the rainforests of northern Guatemala

20°
17'13.456502'

N
24°
89'36.698802'

W

Antigua

Where cultures blend and time stood still

Santa Catalina Arch at night

Santa Catalina Arch at night

Santa Catalina Arch at night

Santa Catalina Arch

Antigua, Guatemala. With crumbling churches set against the backdrop of monumental volcanoes

Volcano de Agua

Antigua, Guatemala. With crumbling churches set against the backdrop of monumental volcanoes

Bienvenidos!

Above the clouds is a bright blue sky; Their eyes tell stories that no words describe. Yet I am surprised to see smiles on their faces to greet strangers passing by.

Lago Atitlan

 

 

Lago Atitlan

Time to do nothing just idling in a hammock and admiring the perfect lake view. 50cts a beer, Pork Pupusas for dinner $2.20. The room by the lake $9.50. This is where I want to be, woke up the next morning to this, The view, priceless !!

Day 20

Lago Atitlan

Panajachel

Lago Atitlan
The legend of Maximón

The legend of Maximón

The next afternoon I walked in the Little backstreets to the home of Maximón, well at least the effigy of Maximón, also known as San Simon, a saint venerated in various forms by Mayan people. spooky but worth a photograph

The legend of Maximón

The next afternoon I walked in the Little backstreets to the home of Maximón, well at least the effigy of Maximón, also known as San Simon, a saint venerated in various forms by Mayan people. spooky but worth a photograph