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World Enough and Time

The Codz Pop at Kabah

Back in June, I had a very exaggerated picture of the ruins I would be visiting. Because I wanted to see everything, I imagined that it was feasible to criss-cross four Mexican states to see Maya sites that were hundreds of miles apart. Although theoretically it was possible, I quickly realized that there were too many long bus rides and tours that required more than several participants (or else pay a steep price for guides and transportation for a single paying customer). Here is what I wrote in June:

I have been to Yucatán four times in all, the last time with Martine in November 1992. During my visits between 1975 and 1992, I have visited about a dozen Maya archeological sights. Since then, scores more have been developed, including one of the largest at Calakmul in the State of Campeche. In addition, I hope to visit Cobá in Quintana Roo, Ek Balam and Kinich Kakmó in Yucatán, Edzna and several Rio Bec sites to be decided later in Campeche, and Yaxchilan and Bonampak in Chiapas. In addition, I plan to revisit some of the sites I have already seen such as Chichen Itza, Uxmal, and Palenque.

In the end, these were the ruins I visited (the ones I saw for the first time are marked with an asterisk):

  • Kinich Kakmó *
  • Kabah
  • Sayil
  • Xlapak
  • Labna
  • Uxmal
  • Edzna *
  • Chichen Itza
  • Ek’ Balam *
  • Dzibilchaltún

The Korbel Arch at Kabah

Because I never made it to Chiapas, that meant that Palenque, Bonampak, and Chiapas were out of the question. Calakmul and the Rio Bec sites in the State of Campeche were too expensive for a single-person tour, and ditto for Cobá in Quintana Roo. I did not originally plan on seeing Dzibilchaltún again, which was the first Mayan ruins I visited in 1975, but I had some time on my hands in Progreso, so I hired a taxi to take me there.

In the end, if I had seen everything I originally planned for, I would have been gilding the lily. As it was, I was delighted with what I did see—and I have a motivation for returning to the Yucatán Peninsula for more.

 

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