Archive for March, 2009

March 3, 2009

Palenque & Mayan Ruins

Last week
We hopped a plane in Mexico City
For Villahermosa and Palenque



Villahermosa is about 1.5 hours
From the jungle and Mayan ruins.
We landed, and took a taxi
As it was getting late in the day. 

We were immediately hit with
Moist jungle climate, our bodies sweating
From the moment we got off the plane.
The ride was smooth and uneventful
Arriving in Palenque town about 6pm.

From there, it was a 7km ride out to el Panchan,
A jungle village of cabanas which range in style
To concrete houses painted bright green
To screened in rooms with bunks
Or hammock campgrounds.

We stayed at Margarita and Ed’s Cabanas,
In the downstairs back side of the main house
We had a room with double bed and pink walls
Jungle ferns and red blooming flowers outside our window
The grounds were meticulously landscaped and clean
Inside the door, there is a sign
Which says don’t flush the paper in the toilets.

After settling in we wandered over to Don Muchos
A big restaurant underneath a large palapa roof.
The restaurant was filled with Europeans
Mostly German and French, with a big mix
Of  young people with dreadlocks and tattoos
Who were either passing through
Or living there permanently.

I ate the enchiladas with red sauce
Which was more like spagetti sauce
The tortillas folded in half over chicken
Rather tasteless to tell the truth.
After eating, we passed by the jewelry tables
And went to bed.

We arose early to eat and be off to the ruins
We sat down to eat at an outdoor food stall,
Named something that had to do with Monkeys
But weren’t served after 10 minutes
So we went off to Don Muchos again
For a rather uninspiring breakfast
Which was neither Mexican, Italian or American
And decided no more tasteless meals there.

We decided to walk into the ruins
Which are about a km walk
From the entrance to el Panchan
We bought our park entrance bracelet
For 20 pesos, and were on our way.
There’s a concrete winding path
With fallen coconut hulls everywhere
Everything seemed to be in bloom

Along the way
Are various jungle accomodations
Cabins, hammocks, campgrounds and hotels
Locals have homes within the park
And an elementary school
Resides in the middle of a field,

Schoolhouse in the jungle

Schoolhouse in the jungle

Children working and playing
Around a roof with two walls.

At the first entrance to the ruins
Is a large, modern museum.
Combi vans honk along the way
To see if you want a ride in
We bought our tickets
Walked in the first entrance
Which is a km long set of stairs
Set into the steep hillside
A gorgeous walk which meets up
With minor ruins along the way.

The main ruins site
Is set in a large, open grassy area
Which houses many large pyramids
Various minor excavations
Few of which are marked
To tell you what they were
You had to go out to the main gate
To read the sign board map for that,
Rather a flaw, we thought,
As we had no idea what we were seeing
Which didn’t matter really, as it was all
Ancient and beautiful and serene.

Here’s a slideshow of the ruins, palenque & El Panchan

CLICK ON PHOTO to view the slideshow

CLICK ON PHOTO to view the slideshow



We exited through the upper entrance
Passing colorful booths with local crafts,
Food booths, and the usual artistans.