Visit to a Maya Village

September 22nd , 2012 by
Categories: Mexico

Mayan gardenAnticipating what the day would offer, I awaited the Alltournative van to transport several other visitors and me into the Yucatecan jungle, expecting an Indiana Jones-type adventure.

How indeed would lunch, in part to be cooked in a bucket on an open fire, compare with my posh Ritz-Carlton Cancun breakfast in bed?

Actually, it is one of myriad day-trips available to broaden both understanding and the Cancun travel experience. The van pulled up on time and bearing our trim, fit jungle guides, Mario and Jeanette. Together we motored south along the Caribbean through the Riviera Maya. At Tulum, we headed west, deep into the verdant jungles of the state of Quintana Roo.

Good roads made the two-hour ride easy and comfortable, and conversation prepared us for our day’s experience.

We arrived in the little village of Cobá comfortably after sunrise and met the village elders. Mario then led us on a brief walk. Wild turkeys, chickens and friendly street dogs lazily stepped out of our path through and around Cobá, named and inhabited by descendants of the ancient Mayan city, now an archeological site we would visit later. As we visited during the weekend El Dia de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead), inhabitants busily competed in building spectacular altars honoring their ancestors. Beyond
interesting, the stop delayed our scary non-Mayan rappelling and zip-lining.

Our wanderings soon ended atop a cliff, nature’s wall at a jungle ravine. There our eyes slid down a long rope to a small pool of water. The rope was about the only way to get down there alive. When Mario asked who would slide first, dead silence screamed back at him. Deciding these people saw no gain in killing off clientele, I stepped to the edge of the cliff, embraced technique instructions, then heroically stepped off backwards, slid effortlessly down the rope and landed on my feet. Amazing.

All down, we followed a long trail to a tall wooden platform high in the jungle canopy. A long cable extended beyond sight through the tree tops to a platform to our clifftop landing pad. Again, Mario asked, “Who’s first?” Again, I was, stepping up and climbing into the safety harness, then suddenly rushing along a sturdy cable through the treetops. My seemingly super speed slowed as the cable took an upward slope and I took a comfortable landing. Another daring maneuver completed, I found my prior anxiety unwarranted.

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