Norfolk, Virginia Travel Agent
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Untamed Lacandona 2015, Day 1
Day 1 of Untamed Lacandona
Group photo @ Bonampak
Day 1 began with a buffet breakfast, seemingly, in the middle of nowhere. After that, we took a short ride to Bonampak. Here, we saw the remnants of an old air landing strip. Literally, just a strip of cleared out land in which grass has begun to cover. We followed the path beneath towering trees to another, bigger clearing. Here, we saw some excavated and restored remnants of Mayan architecture. We were allowed to climb the narrow steps of the biggest building and peek inside. Hats, bags, and flash photography were not allowed in the sacred edifice. I tried to get pictures and video. But, of course, they really don’t do the site much justice. It’s quite beautiful and something of which to marvel. The Mayans came up with a way to preserve the paint for centuries, specifically with the intention of preserving the paint for centuries. Talk about forward-thinking! For a novice like myself, climbing was a bit of a challenge since the steps were narrow and the incline was steep. However, going down posed a tougher, more psychological challenge. I managed to survive without the assistance of a rescue squad, so it’s a win for me!
After that, we drove through Frontera Corozal to reach the Usumacinta River. We took a motorized boat trip along the river, Guatemala on our right and Mexico on our left, to the entrance of the archeological site of Yaxchilan. Here, again, pictures pale in comparison to what the naked-eye beholds. The trees were so high, so colorful, so lush. A family of monkeys (including babies), to our delight, completely ignored our trekking and gave us a delightful show that including swinging from branch to branch and calling out to one another. We followed an established path that took us through a tomb-like building, pitch-black in some areas, and led to a bright clearing. Here lay the city of Yaxchilan. Government buildings, diplomat housing, and even a ball game court were available to explore. We talked a bit about the significance of the Ceiba tree to the ancient Mayans. These trees are huge! I’ve only seen redwoods and similar evergreens get this big and tall, which I noted. Andrew, our nature expert, explained that these trees have a full year growing period, as opposed to the evergreens of which I’m accustomed. Therefore, they get much bigger and taller much quicker. My middle school science teachers would’ve shaken their heads at me. But, hey, it’s been awhile! The explanation makes sense and fits as an explanation for most of the jungle foliage. Up, we went. More steep inclines and narrow steps. Buildings with paintings, sculptures, and bats. Energy emanating, nearly vibrating, with the responsibility of housing this intense history. Communities, battles, human sacrifices, discoveries, so much history is stored among the trees and soil of this area. It was quite intense. We took as much in as we could. Then, we headed back to the boat, back to Frontera Corozal, and on to our dinner and night lodging at Las Guacamayas Lodge.
I could (and most-likely will) write a post solely about Las Guacamayas Lodge and the surrounding community. Mi corazón pertenece a Las Guacamayas Lodge. <3
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Untamed Lacandona 2015, Day 1