Getting to know the Mayans!

Hello again!

Today we decided to take in a little history, so we spent the morning exploring the Mayan ruins in Tulum that we saw previously from the beach. The site at Tulum was originally a fort that supporting the trading port there, as well as being the location of several temples and the local population. It’s actually pretty big, and a lot of the layout is still clear and intact. We were excited to get started!

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The first thing that we came to is one of the most famous structures, the Templo Dios del Viento (Temple of the God of Wind). It’s pretty stunning, and overlooks the bay:

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Since this temple overlooks the bay and is close to a small beach entryway it’s very likely that this was used as a look out post for anything approaching.

It’s actually not that big itself, and you can see that it’s surrounded by several even smaller structures. The theory is that these smaller structures acted as alters, since they are replicas of the temple itself but far too small to fit people inside:

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We next moved on to The Palace, which was definitely looking the worse for wear compared to the other buildings which were reasonably intact. It was still looking very nice though, and we were very impressed to see that it was being guarded by several Iguanas:

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New game – spot the iguanas!
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The iguanas up close, looking very regal

You can see that the building originally had pillars on the front in very traditional style, and apparently at the time all of these buildings would’ve been very spectacularly painted.

The most interesting building by quite a long way was the Castillo (castle), which was massive and mostly intact:

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Both the building and the additional walls that guarded it are still there, as well as several of the carvings on the building. The main god that was worshiped in Tulum was the Descending God, also known as the Diving God. He is depicted with his head down and his legs above him, and you can see his mural in various places around the site. It’s most prominent in the Temple of the Descending God, which is in the picture above but hidden behind that tree… Here’s a close up picture to redeem myself, and a sketch from one of the info boards for comparison:

This meant that we got to keep an eye out for this fresco, but our interest was still primarily in iguana spotting:

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Such aloof creatures

After we had finished having fun we headed down to the also lovely beach at Tulum to relax. We were pretty warm after walking around this site in the sun all day so my lovely husband broke every rule we’ve learnt in Fort Collins and bought me an extra large Starbucks Frappuccino with caramel and whipped cream. Was that special enough to deserve a mention in our esteemed blog? Perhaps not. Did I enjoy it very much, and feel hydrated for the first time all week? My goodness yes. As an extra treat while I drank this, we were able to continue our game of spot the iguana. This is because one had apparently escaped the ruins, and was sitting next to the table near us glaring at us:

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“Stop Starbucks, support local businesses”

After that we wandered around the local shops looking at the trinkets, and I bought myself a little replica Mayan temple to remember the trip by. We also looked at the very strange assortment of other gifts… I was very disappointed to pass up the Denver Broncos Luchador Mask, although I’m sure that if I were to wear such a thing in public it would only cause alarm.

Finally, we spent the rest of the day relaxing away on the beach. It was still warm way into the evening, so we hunkered down with our towels, bounced around in the sea a little, and then relaxed and read our books like the old people that we are in our hearts 🙂

More soon! Xx

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