Joy and I ventured off to Mayapan, a Mayan ruins site southeast of Merida, hoping to find artwork. We had been told this place was full of it. Thirty minute hike across town, through markets and many people, toward a bus that we read would take us there, we realized our adventure was in the here and now. So much to see in every block!

Our bus did not leave for an hour, we quickly learned. Ice Cream bar, tour of a very old church, some people watching and then we were off. At times it is difficult to know which bus to get on. We got lucky and a good hour plus later and lots of stops, people on, people off, we were dropped off about 100 yards from Mayapan’s entrance.

Two Temples Mayapan

Not nearly as much artwork as I expected but certainly a worthwhile visit. Much of this site is yet to be restored, grown over, as it has been for more than 1000 years. We wonder at so much: why is this so tall? what was this building for? what does that symbol mean?

Joy and Observatory
(it’s windy at the top)

Mayan Mural at Mayapan

Daring to leave restored areas we explored raw ruins, mostly mounds of rocks but with sections of columns, walkways indicating something is here. Small stones obviously painted with Mayan blue (so rich and long lasting!) scattered, pottery shards rich ochre red, easily found.

San Pedro cactus growing tall all around. What we thought to be ‘chaya’ mixed in, a broad leafed spiny plant that has a long list of beneficial properties when consumed, one of those miracle plants, very important to the Mayans. Pochote trees, some huge, some small, with volcano like thorns studding their trunks add to the overall strangeness of this place.

Mayapan Tall San Pedro

Chaya, we think

Tired legs (not used to pyramid climbing) and lots of sun drove us out early. Waiting by the roadside for any bus to come along, Jonathan Harrington, an expat poet and novelist with his son Trevor, picked us up to take us up the road to Telchaquillo to wait at an in-town bus stop. Good to meet them both! He has a writer’s workshop down the street from us in Merida in a few days and we hope to see him again.

Telchaquillo Bus Stop

Another day in Mysterious Merida and the Yucatan.