A Travellerspoint blog

Week 8 in the Yucatan

Dara is back

sunny 32 °C

With Dara back on the scene our week became very busy:

With Stitch and Bitch on Wednesday followed by the last Bingo Fundraiser for the Foodbank and the Muelle Market on Thursday morning followed by Manuels annual pig roast at his mother's restaurant "La Lupita". As always the entertainment and service by Alexis was wonderful.

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Triple AAA: Alexis; Alexis and Andea

But I knew we had the highlight of our visit this year was still to come on Friday. To Oxkutzcab


We were picked up in a combi, organized by our very knowledgable PEDRO. He is the official guide many of us use for our archeological trips and this one was surely very special for all of us. .

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We received special permission to visit the ruin at Kiuic and the Kaxil Kiuic Biocultural Reserve with
a group of 11 friends from around Progreso. Once in Oxkutzcab (Yes try and pronounce that one quickly) we met with Tomás Gallareta Negrón of Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History, a co-director of the Kiuic ruins. He explained what they have been doing at the site and what they are trying to learn. There was an American graduate here working on her thesis. You are welcome to stay here in one of their huts for $50US a night. It is located close to several other ruins such at Uxmal. This place is not open to the public, it is an educational site. The compound here is lovely and you can come and stay in these lovely huts for 50$ a night including your meals.

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Once he had finished in the lab we headed to the site, which is 45min further away! Kiuic is locked up by two gates and you felt very honoured to be entering this site. At this site was also Kaxil Kiuic Biocultural Reserve, where we will be heading to after our ruins exploration..

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With not too many steps we come upon this incredible site of this pyramid in the middle of this dry jungle. I had anticipated long hikes to get to see this. With Tomas explaining the anthropology of this site we continued looking at the details of how the site grew and the details of each structure. What was so intriguing about seeing this unrestored site is imagining it on our own. Tomas had asked us to look around and try and place various pieces on the ground. Figuring this out was so intriguing and educational. One analogy made by Tomas was imagine this was Buckingham Palace and how it isn't just a home for the queen it has many other functions and this is what this site is like. The team is searching for signs that may explain how the ancient Mayans lived here and what caused the evacuation; was it disease or lack of enough water.

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We wandered through only a fraction of the site but our lunch was planned for noon and we were already 2hrs late!! It was hard to leave this incredible site! I can see why it was so late in the day! We left Tomas and his driver and headed off to the Kaxil Kiuic Biocultural Reserve, where we met up with James Callaghan , Reserve Director, to have lunch prepared by his lovely wife.

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Every aspect of our delicious lunch; Mole Verde hand made tortillas had been prepared by his lovely wife from a family recipe and the sour orange juice. (so good I filled my water bottle with some to take away with me). It was so good we had to ask her for the recipe along with the secret hot sauce.

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Once we finished eating we headed off with James for a tour of the compound . The serenity of this very enlightening place was a perfect way to feel relaxed and at peace with nature. James Callaghan ended our tour with him showing us this water reservoir called a "Chultun". They are made by the Mayans living in this area since it is higher elevation and the water table is low. As there are no rivers in the Yucatan they had to find a way to capture the rain. They dug a hole and lined it with clay and limestone and catch it in this large area and have it run off into the chultun.

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For more information on this site do check the many links through Google like this one
http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2013/01/24/kaxil-kiuic-a-model-for-conservation-in-the-yucatan-peninsula/

They also have an interesting program here of a free "smoke free" cooking stove to the women of the surrounding areas but must take 100 seedlings and plant them in their community in exchange. This will help with reforestation of the trees in this area.

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The nursery and potting shed!

It was hard to pull ourselves away from this wonderful spot but we needed to be on our way before dark as these back roads are not lit. We pulled away around 5pm for our 3hr journey home!

Saturday was Nuno Felting Day with friends. Dara had brought down some kits for us to play with. It was fun for Alexis and I to show the ladies how to work this. I also completed my cotton gauze shawl I started last year!

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A lovely few days of farewells with a dinners for those departing; at Austin and Lorraine's; followed the next day here for a BBQ. Maggie and john head home together with Alexis sister, Vannan and her husband David. It will be strange having the house all to ourselves. They will be missed but not the country music!! LOL

Peaceful morning with calm water

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Posted by OhUiginn 18:56 Archived in Mexico

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Comments

a great description (account) of the Kiuic trip.
thanks..and the pig roast. Manual had 190, last year was 80! 4 pigs, roasted in the ground he told us. Glad for him...

by Ian Murray

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