Friday, February 1, 2013

Coba, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

mxbackroads destination--Coba, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

This destination is just 44 km west of Tulumn.  It was one of the larger Mayan cities and covered lots of ground.  Here is the link to the wikipedia entry on Coba.  There were further details on Coba and its relationship to other Mayan cities in the book 1491.  It appeared to be still a functioning city when the Spanish arrived in the 15th century.

The google earth view got me really excited about visiting the city.  Those lakes, however, were more impressive from space!!

The best way to tour Coba is to rent a bicycle for 35 peso's and ride the walking trails from site to site. We were fortunate that we were there on a cloudy day.  On a sunny day, you would definitely want to be zinging around on a bicycle.  There are guides that can explain the history of the various structures.

The advantage to the bicycles is that you can keep up with the bicycles and thereby avoid becoming an accident statistic.  Check out that parking lot for bicycles on the left.

A few of the trails are separated so that bicycles and walkers do not mix.

The main attraction is Nohoch Mul pyramid.  The rumor was that come January 1st the pyramid was going to be off-limits to people going up the steps.  Since we were there a day or two before the first we might have been one of the last public to climb the pyramid.  Along with thousands of others.

That rope down the middle was just to separate the uphill crowd from the downhill folks.  The steps were steep and a perfect thigh master workout.

Here is the top.  This is where the killing was done.

What a beautiful view for your last seconds on earth or to kill somebody.  So I am not a fan of human sacrifice.  Still bothers me that history books just gloss over the killing part of these religions.  What on earth possessed people to kill innocents for their gods??  That is another smaller pyramid in Coba that is also part of the city.  In the background you can just barely see the lake.

Only part of the city has been reclaimed from the jungle.  It was interesting to see how completely the jungle takes over even stone structures.  You need a timber sale just to start the archaeological work.

This is what it looks like without any clearing.

As with any Mexican historical site there is a gateway plaza complete with sellers of all sorts of goods.  
I liked this one better than at Tulumn.

A beer and some Mexican food were in order after the miles of walking the pathways through the jungle.

All in all a great cloudy day for walking among the Mayan ruins.  On the way out of town we saw a open air Catholic church that was definitely worth a stop.  However, traffic and a lack of a pull-out made us miss it.  That would also be worth a visit.  It is on the right side of the road.

When I was a kid I can remember looking at my history books with pictures of the Mayan ball courts with that funny ring on the top of the playing area.  It was worth the visit just to see a ball court in person.

Book Read--IPad for Dummies by Baig and Levitus.  This is one of the dummy series of books.  They are pretty good at getting at the basics of whatever the subject matter of the books.  I learned that the files are stored with each app in the IPad.  Lots of other stuff in there.  It is worth STARTING with one of the dummy series and then moving on to other more in depth books.

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