What really attracted me to visit Mexico besides the aquamarine coloured water was the possibility to visit ancient Mayan ruins. I was always fascinated by the romantic idea of being an explorer some day; even though to my disadvantage, in this day in age everything has been explored. I love watching world travel shows daydreaming of maybe one day setting my own physical foot in some of these foreign landscapes. The Mayan ruins have always been so exotic, so intriguing to me, being from another world; almost from another species altogether. I consider myself a very sensitive person, I feel it in my core when there is a change of energy on my own land base in Canada sort to speak and I wondered if I would feel some kind of spiritual energy that is suppose to envelop these types of places. I’ve read through many types of writings that all the pyramids of the world have been built on Ley lines, earth energy nodes, on purpose. Like many of us , I’ve got unanswered questions and I have a desire to understand the reasoning for building such precise structures.
Since we were staying in Puerto Aventuras, we had a 40km distance to travel in order to get to these ruins. Travel sites like trip advisor and other blogs that I read through described this place as unique since it’s the only ruin built by the ocean. It’s also been noted numerous times to get there early because it’s really hot and tours tend to crowd the place.
We tried to set off as early as possible but it’s always a difficult task when you have kids in tow. We headed towards the colectivo pick-up area for 7:30am, and the moment we crossed the street and set foot on the curb a colectivo zoomed over. It was particularly hot that morning, thermometer had already reached 31ºc and was climbing to a high of 41ºc with humidity. As we flew down the main highway down to Tulum, we passed countless billboards advertising ‘Walt Disneyesque’ amusement parks. The gated communities and the names of golf country club resorts geared to rich Westerners, in exaggeratedly large letters, opulently displayed by the side of the highway. Such a contrast while sitting next to humble Mexicans headed to work that morning. I felt ashamed to be white. Arriving in Tulum, getting off the colectivo we were corralled towards a tourist information booth like most tourist attractions in Mexico where a man greeted us and suggested how we should plan our day. Being the obsessive kind of person I am, I had already gathered more information than I really needed, but felt embarrassed not to give this man the time to offer me his spiel. There were many different options but every one meant spending more money than I had anticipated so we stuck with our initial choice of visiting the ruins without a guide and only paying for the entrance fee. Beware that some representatives could tell you about rebates that may not apply to you. We were told at the entrance ticket booth that our kids did not receive a discount since they were not Mexican. If you bring along a video camera there is mention on the pricing board of a fee (but it’s not enforced). *** Please be advised that the bathroom facilities are at the entrance, if you exit while touring you will have to pay the entrance fee to enter once more.*** (Which I believe is completely preposterous when travelling with children!)
Upon entering we were greeted by a very tame Coati, a raccoon/ lemur type animal. Being animal lovers, this little fellow kept us distracted for a good 15 minutes while we watched it rummage through garbage, climb a parked ATV then hopped to another one but failed its landing. Very exotic and cute creature. We couldn’t resist the photo opportunity.
OMG! The heat and the amount of people visiting was astronomical. We were all following the flow of the crowd, feeling more like cattle being herded than tourists. You could stop no more than a minute in front of a ruin allowing your finger to press down on the shutter, before being pushed or shoved in one way or another. My pictures got photo bomb at least a dozen times. It was not the experience I was seeking. Forget about tuning yourself to the sites energy, all you feel is the melting pot of frenzied tourists. I started to daydream of spending an evening here alone or with a small group and how splendid that would be. Offering the much needed tranquility to truly connect with the ruins.
Tulum’s architecture is supposed to be comparable to that of Chichen Itza and Mayapan and has a recognizable Eastern style. Considered to be more simplistic than other types of Mayan pyramids that are more complex and better constructed. They were once adorned with sculptures and contrasting colours of blue and red which have all eroded away with time. I was contemplating how right here, in the same spot I was standing 5,700 years ago I could have heard the distant sound of drums beating through the fabric of time, in this very same spot an advanced civilization was going about its day to day life. Did you ever consider if we could travel through time how wonderful it would be to just take a peek and observe the routines and habits of a lost civilization? How lucky were the first explorers when finding these ruins. They could sit here listening to the crashing of waves while imagining, taking notes and drawing illustrations of this place.
It is thanks to the Mayas in early 1800’s that these ruins have been preserved. After being exploited for many years by Spanish conquistadors , they rose up and formed a rebel army starting the Caste War in 1847 to1900 and a new religion called The Cult of the talking crosses was born. They recognized that these ruins were sacred sites and placed a cross inside of the temple of El Castillo (the castle). By the mid-1930’s the Mexican government recognized the importance of keeping this part of history intact and took the responsibility of placing sanctions for the protection and conservation of the many ruins dispersed throughout the land of Mexico.