A Travellerspoint blog

January 2013

Ship, Tender, Ferry & Bus to Chichen Itza!

We have arrived in Cozumel, Mexico, but we will not see Cozumel! Why you ask? Our beautiful Allure of the Seas is docked in Cozumel, but we must leave it, I'm really attached to this ship, but we want to see Chichen Itza, and the traveling distance alone is 6 hours, so we will have to return, some other time, and see Cozumel. I booked a trip on a ship sponsored excursion. Why?, because we don't want to be left behind, it's a long day to go there and back with no extra time for mistakes. Oh yes, it happens all the time, mostly because people are having "fun" and lose track of time or don't leave early enough and get stuck in traffic or maybe they are just always late! I don't know, but the "fun" will be over when they get to the dock and the ship has left or its pulling away from the dock and you have people on deck waving good bye to you! THEN these people have to figure out how to meet the ship at the next port, at their expense, of course!. People on ships love to video and put on YouTube when this happens! The only way that could happen to us, we are very punctual, is we were on a tour with another tour company, not sponsored by Royal Caribbean and the vehicle broke down, had a flat tire or something like that. If your on a ship sponsored tours, they have to wait for you. A lot less worry and stress if we just book thru RC!

We will take one of the ship's tenders to the Cozumel mainland and then a ferry to Playa de Carmen. The instructions warned us that the ferry ride to Playa de Carmen was likely to be rough and if you were prone to sea sickness, this might not be a good idea, but sick bags would be provided and they had restrooms onboard! Also bring insect repellent and it gets really hot, so bring sun protection. Sound good, so far, huh? We are the adventurous types, no problem! The tender was a little rough getting on too, they had a couple of guys helping people board, and other guys trying to keep the platform and the tender from separating so we wouldn't end up in the water! We reached the mainland and boarded The ferry. It is about a 45 minute ride. Not too rough, I didn't see anyone get sick. A guide met us on the dock and we walked on cobblestone streets quite a distance, to the coach and driver. Playa de Carmen looks really nice! But not in the plans for today.

The coach was comfortable and our guide was very enthusiastic about sharing with us about the Mayan people, the Mayan Calender, (yes, the same calender that predicted the end of the world, December 21st), the local cultures and some information about Chichen Itza. It was interesting and our travel time didn't seem that long. Once we got there he bought our tickets, then stayed with us explaining about each ruin along the way. We had about an hour to explore on our own. All the reviews I read was to expect the weather temperature to be very hot but today was actually comfortable. It helped that it was cloudy and not sunny. We were provided with a boxed lunch and water so we didn't have to waste time looking for someplace to eat lunch.

Chichen Itza is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Imagine that this place was lost for centuries and archeologist are still uncovering the secrets of the Mayan people that lived here.

The Pyramid of Kukulkan (also known as El Castillo, a name given by the Spanish Conquistadors) is the center pyramid of Chichen Itza. Access to the throne room is restricted and you can no longer climb to the top. Tourist have been injured climbing the steep stairs, a woman from San Diego, Ca. fell and died here in 2006.

The largest Pyramid, El Castillo, towers above the others. "During the equinoxes, the sun is positioned directly over the equator, and day and night are of approximately equal length. At that time, around March 21st in spring, and September 22nd in the autumn, thousands of visitors wait in front of the great pyramid of Kukulkan to experience first-hand the descent of the great feathered serpent, one of the most important gods for the ancient Mayans, as well as for other early Mesoamerican cultures. The perfect alignment of the pyramid with the sun causes a play of light and shadow that creates the illusion of a huge reptile gradually slithering down the staircase of the north side of the structure, the only side whose base is decorated with snake heads"<br style="box-sizing: border-box; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.600000381469727px; -webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;">

The Mayan Ball Game, they used their hips rather than their hands to handle the ball, was a religious experience that had great rewards for the winners, treated as a hero, and deadly consequences for the losers. The penalty was a very harsh death. The largest ever found and is lined with fascinating carvings that display the rules and details of the sacred game. One carving shows the captain of the losing game being beheaded.

Reclining Choc Mool figure, a form of classic Maya Sculpture believed to have served as a altar for sacrifices.

A legendary tradition at Chich&eacute;n was the Cult of the Cenote, involving human sacrifice to the rain god, in which victims were thrown into the city’s major cenote (at the northernmost part of the ruin), along with gold and jade ornaments and other valuables. In 1904 Edward Herbert Thompson, an American who had bought the entire site, began dredging the cenote; his discovery of skeletons and sacrificial objects confirmed the legend.<ul class="md-toolbar pagination-toolbar" style="padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: bottom; background-color: transparent; overflow: hidden; clear: both; display: inline-block; position: relative; top: 4px; margin: 0px !important; list-style: none !important;"> </ul>

We left Chichen Itza very late because one of the passengers didn't follow the guides directions on staying on ship time, so the decision was made that they would wait for him. One of the concerns was that we would miss the last ferry out of Playa de Carmen. We did get back in time, but just barely. We were the last to board. It turned out to be a very rough ride and some people were sick, bags were distributed by the staff and the bathrooms were very busy! Jim and I didn't have a problem, we just held on and we made it back OK. The ship personel were waiting for us and the captain didn't look happy, so I don't know if the guide had a problem or he had called someone and they made the decision to wait. We were glad we decided to take this tour, it was a very long day but we couldn't pass such an opportunity!

Playa de Carmen

Playa de Carmen


Beach at Playa de Carmen

Beach at Playa de Carmen


From the Ferry

From the Ferry


The ferry dropped us off here.

The ferry dropped us off here.


Meeting Tour Guide

Meeting Tour Guide


Another view beach

Another view beach


Scupture

Scupture


Entrance

Entrance


Chichen Itza Map

Chichen Itza Map


El Catillo

El Catillo


Side view

Side view


A photo of the famous decent of the Snake

A photo of the famous decent of the Snake


Serpent Head at the base of the Staircase.

Serpent Head at the base of the Staircase.


Mayan Ball Park

Mayan Ball Park


Mayan Ball Park

Mayan Ball Park


Stone Hoop

Stone Hoop


Temple at the end of the Ball Park

Temple at the end of the Ball Park


Carved scenes of teams of ball players

Carved scenes of teams of ball players


Carvings

Carvings


Restoration

Restoration


The Temple of the Warrior

The Temple of the Warrior


Columns at the Temple od the Warriors

Columns at the Temple od the Warriors


Statue

Statue


Guides picture

Guides picture


Entrance to the ball park

Entrance to the ball park


Ball park entrance

Ball park entrance


Excavation Site

Excavation Site


Escavation

Escavation


Serpent

Serpent


Sculptures

Sculptures


Serpents

Serpents


Huge

Huge


Cenote Site

Cenote Site


Temple

Temple


Cenote description

Cenote description


Cenote (Sink Hole)

Cenote (Sink Hole)


Cenote

Cenote


Near Cenote

Near Cenote


Near Cenote Site

Near Cenote Site


Building

Building


Lots of Vendors

Lots of Vendors


Vendor

Vendor


Vendor

Vendor


Vendor

Vendor


Nice

Nice


Colorful

Colorful


Entrance to Cenote Area

Entrance to Cenote Area


Ferry from Playa de Carmen

Ferry from Playa de Carmen


Allure of the Seas

Allure of the Seas


Very late, but they waited for us!

Very late, but they waited for us!


Map of Chichen Itza

Map of Chichen Itza

Posted by 2seniortraveler 17:00 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

Papillion was filmed in Jamaica

<b style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto;">The Movie Papillon: </b>was shot on location in Jamaica; the prison set was constructed in Falmouth, Jamaica, and was the largest in the film, running an expanse of 800 feet.The Devil's Island and Indian village sequences were filmed in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, and the scene featuring the arrival of the prison ship was lensed in Kingston, Jamaica. Unfortunately, the tropical island proved to be a troublesome location due to unpredictable weather, the plentiful abundance of ganji (marijuana) which affected the productivity of several crew members, and numerous thefts, resulting in the loss of costumes, set props, machinery, and other items to the tune of $30,000. <br style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto;">

Sign

Sign


Clock

Clock


Pic 1

Pic 1


Old Man

Old Man


View

View


Pic 5

Pic 5


Pic 3

Pic 3


Columbus

Columbus


Pic 4

Pic 4


Pavillion

Pavillion

Posted by 2seniortraveler 17:00 Archived in Jamaica Comments (0)

Great Spot on this Beach in St. Ann, Jamaica

Bamboo Blue Restaurant

Beach

Beach

Posted by 2seniortraveler 17:00 Archived in Jamaica Comments (0)