This is primarily a travel blog in which I write about traveling in our motorhome. Our travels have

Nacogdoches, TX, United States
I began this blog as a vehicle for reporting on a 47-day trip made by my wife and me in our motorhome down to the Yucatan Peninsula and back. I continued writing about our post-Yucatan travels and gradually began including non-travel related topics. I often rant about things that piss me off, such as gun violence, fracking, healthcare, education, and anything else that pushes my button. I have a photography gallery on my Smugmug site (

Monday, January 30, 2012

Uxmal Ruins (Jan 26)

(Posted Jan 30, Piste)

From our really great campsite in Campeche to the ruins of Uxmal, an ancient Mayan city, was 109 miles.  We arrived at our destination about lunchtime.  Time for a quick bite and a brief look around before we were to make a tour via carpool of the area around UxmalUxmal is out in the Mexican sticks.  There is no town.  Just the ruins and a few hotels.  We parked for the night in a hotel parking lot so there was no power, water, or sewer but we were within easy walking distance to the ruins next door.

We formed up our caravan, this time with cars and trucks, and headed out to a nearby, yet very much off the beaten tourist path, village which had an old church with a small museum.  Admission to the museum was posted on a hand-painted sign that was on the wall next to the entrance. The price of admission posted was:

Mexicanos                   $5.00 (pesos)
Extranjeros                 $10.00 (pesos)
Baños                          $3.00 (pesos)

Since we weren’t Mexican we must have been Extranjeros because about 35 of us paid $10.00 (pesos) each.  A big boost to the local economy! I don’t know if anyone used the baños or not.  However, I’m willing to bet that we helped the church make its annual budget.

Of course, every village in Mexico has a church but this one was special. Several graves had been discovered under the floor of the church.  They were not Mayan graves.  In these graves were small coffins made of rough wood that contained the not-to-pleasant-to-look-at mummified remains of infants and small children, which were on display behind glass.  I’m not sure when these children were buried or when they were discovered (maybe 100 – 200 years ago?).  Nor did I have any idea why they were on display. Nothing was in English. There was nothing else very remarkable other than a wooden phallus in one display case. It seemed quite small.  Normally, if someone is going to make one, they tend to exaggerate the size, not reduce it!  We did not linger long in this “museum” but quickly returned to our vehicles and proceeded to the next village.

This town must have been the world center for the production of brightly painted and tacky clay frogs, birds, and flamingos.  The small town’s streets with shops selling these “ceramic” figures.   Interspersed along the line of shops were the “factories” (usually one open-air room) that mass-produced these tacky “garden-gnome” products from molds.  Nothing was hand-sculpted, that was for certain.

Barbara found an old, rusty, probably antique sewing machine sitting on a dirt floor in the rear of the shop.  She picked it up and took it to the cash register but the shop owner wouldn’t sell it to her because it had belonged to his mother.

After spending more time here than necessary we headed back to our RV’s for naps before dinner and that evening’s Light & Sound Show at the Uxmal ruins.

We ate dinner in the restaurant located in the ruins’ visitors' center.  The special was soup, entrée, dessert, and coffee for $8 (US), about $50 (pesos).  The lime soup was delicious, so was the flan we had for dessert.  I don’t even remember what my entrée was so it must not have been great.

The walk from the restaurant to our seats for the show was not a short one and there were a lot of steps and uneven surfaces which had to be navigated.  It had rained earlier that afternoon and the chairs were wet but it was either wet chairs or wet rocks so we sat in the chairs.  The light show was nothing spectacular.  No lasers or anything like that.  Just flood lights that changed colors.  The headphones I was given for the English-language narration worked poorly at first, then quit working entirely about half-way through the program. I was able to hear the story of the rain god, Chak, before the headphones died. 

Lightning began flashing across the dark sky and I couldn’t help but wonder if it had anything to do with the show’s incantations and pleas for rain.  It was kind of eerie.  When the show was over we headed back to our RV’s as quickly as we could just in case Chak decided to make it rain.

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