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Excursion to Yaxchilan and Bonampak from Palenque

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At 5.45 in the morning there was very little light, so we had to grope almost to the meeting point. There were other travelers who were going to share the excursion day with us. At six o'clock they came for us and, after picking up other travelers in different hotels in the area, we put heading to Yaxchilán. Little memory of our departure from Palenque, because after a few minutes I fell asleep. I only woke up when we stopped for breakfast. This excursion included everything, including meals. But when they told us this, I thought it would all reduce a sandwich, a can of soda and little else. However, here we stopped for breakfast at a roadside stall that had breakfast buffet.

With a plate full of food we shared a table with Laura, an English girl who had left her job in marketing for travel through Mexico for three months and then study to be a primary school teacher, and with a mother and her twenty-year-old son who were Merida. We were talking with them for a long time; The mother was riddled with questions such as how much it costs and what is worth to know how exaggerated it was what we wanted to charge in Merida for a hammock. The four of us were talking so animatedly that when I looked up, the rest of the dining room was empty and our driver came looking for us to follow the path, so I had to swallow what was left of the plate almost without chewing.

We continue for a while longer until we reach Corozal border, which is a town on the banks of the Usumacinta River, the river that in this area marks the border between Mexico and Guatemala. The curious thing about Yaxchilan ruins is that to reach them you have to get on a boat and go up the river for 40 minutes. Before boarding the boat, the driver asked us what menu we wanted to eat, because we were going back to a restaurant in town. The second dishes to choose from were: Mexican chicken, grilled chicken and vegetarian dish.

For 40 minutes we crossed the river that runs through an almost virgin landscape. On the other side of the river you saw Guatemalan women doing their chores. Upon arrival, we got off the boat and climbed some very high stairs to end up engulfed by the jungle. The ruins of Yaxchilán they are lost in the middle of the jungle, they are hardly visited by groups and, although they are not very spectacular compared to Uxmal or Chichen ItzaThey are very authentic.

Here you can also hire an official guide, but since no one else in the group was interested in sharing it, in the end we made the visit on our own. Upon entering the site, we found that to access it we had to go through the bowels of a slightly labyrinthine corridor building completely dark. However, when we finally got to the other side it was impressive.

"Gentlemen, prepare the machetes, let's discover ruins."

And it was like being in an Indiana Jones movie. Yaxchilán dates from 350 A.D., but reached its period of splendor between 550 and 900 (late classic period). Although the site is very extensive, the visit is reduced to the Great Plaza, the Great Acropolis, the Small Acropolis and the South Acropolis. As I said before, the Grand Plaza is accessed through building number 19, which is also known as "the labyrinth."

The great charm of these ruins is their location, flanked by the river and in the middle of thick vegetation. Other than that, little else. Being a smaller city, it lacks spectacular buildings. At the top of the site are buildings 39, 40 and 41 and the guide said that if you went up there you had spectacular views of the jungle. So the two of us, along with Laura and George (although I would swear that this German man told me his name was Klaus), two travelers who shared the excursion with us set out to climb the mountain.

It was not easy because of the heat and humidity, although the terrain, at a leisurely pace, was affordable. The bad thing is that when climbing at all you could not see anything. I wasn't tall enough to see the horizon. A little unpleasant, because theoretically I had read that one of the attractions was to visit with the howls of howler monkeys and na de na. The only thing we could see were spider monkeys that were there quietly. In general it was a bit of a disappointment or maybe I was already so full of ruins that it gave me so much.

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