(Little to no editing…)We awoke around 5:00 in the morning. Actually, I woke up first and got everyone going. They all seemed in good spirits, but you can tell that they were hurting. At least that is the way it looked from my perspective. We skipped breakfast that morning because we had to take a walk to a hotel called Terra Caribe. Jonny said that there would be a shuttle to pick us up from the front of the building. We did not have to wait too long. I always get nervous whenever someone says “Meet us at Tierra Caribe at 6 in the morning”, but they showed up right on time. The shuttle arrived promptly and we were driven to a small station that had an old tour bus. We loaded up with other tourists, mainly from Latin America, and we were driven to a meeting point where we would pick up our tickets for the tour. While on the bus, there was a young man who offered upgrades to our experience–“first class”. It was not that much more, so we took them up on their offer just because it would allow us to use the bathroom in the bus on the trip. They gave us special bracelets so that they could identify us as the ones that took the up-sale, and we were asked to get off the bus where we would be transferred to the vehicle that would take us to Chichen itza. Since this was a tour put on by a collective, our bus station was far from that. It was a shopping mall but not just any shopping mall. It reminded me of those mall in every town that are barley hanging on. You never go there because there are only two or three stores. It was one of those that if they closed suddenly, no one would be surprised.
The bus we transferred to was actually pretty nice. It had a little more leg room than a coach air flight, but it was comfortable none the less. The drive to Valladolid lasted just over two or two and a half hours. We managed to sleep for a large part of the trip which made it a lot easier to manage. As we got close to our first destination, the tour guide, Rudy, began giving us information about a smaller town just on the out skirts and a lot of history of the Mayan people. It was actually really good and very informative. I was very impressed as I had been on several collective tours before and had never experienced anything like it before.
We stopped at a Valladolid, and. I was really disappointed that we would only have 25 minutes to get out and walk around. Not wanting to miss an opportunity to check out an old church. I rushed Malachi and Caleb across the plaza. Comparing this church to the others I have seen, this one was really small, but it was still beautiful none the less. Caleb mention that it was amazing how big it was, and I was happy because once we get to Guatemala, this will pale in comparison. We took a lot of pictures and got to spend the majority of our time looking at the architecture.
We got on the bust and began another half hour drive to the site where we would have lunch. I do not remember the name of the area (I need to get better and writing these things down), but it was a collective of Mayan locals who sold their merchandise and offered other services like making a birth certificate in Mayan hieroglyphics. There were many shops and other attractions, but they were all pretty expensive. Caleb found a circular ____ that he wanted to buy. I asked one of the employees how much they wanted for it, and she said 500 pesos. That was a little steep. I have been to these ruins before, and I know that these things go for a lot less, so I told Caleb to wait, but if he wanted to pay extra to support their cause, that he could do it. I am never sure if the money goes to the people they say it does, so I tend to find the best deal.
Lunch was decent. It was a buffet and reminded me of a Golden Corral but with a Mexican touch. What tasty were the Mayan tacos. I cant describe what they were like because the flavors were all over the place, but I probably should have focused on that. Malachi mentioned that the hole in the wall taco stand was better, and I must agree. Toward the end of the meal Malachi wanted to have a photo with some people dressed in “Mayan” war paint, so we rushed over and snapped a few pictures.
The tour to Chichen itza was good. It was hard to pay attention to him while there was a giant pyramid behind us. We learned a lot about customs, recent discoveries, and how human sacrifices worked. There is no doubt that there is a lot of mystery