LAS PIRATAS DE CAMPECHE
Here in Campeche, you have the Mexican Baseball League 2004 champion baseball club. I noticed more people playing, along with more fields devoted to the sport of baseball. I was lucky enough to be invited to the 2005 opening night game between the local Pirates and the Tobasco Olmecas. The stadium was full - about 7000 - and it was a true extravaganza as the home team hoisted the League Trophy from their victorious campaign of last year. The fans demonstrated a good knowledge of the game and were vociferous in their support of their team, while showing respect for the other team, not necessarily found up North. The field has short porches on the corners - 303 feet (the field dimensions are not what you would call a ‘pitcher’s field’) - but it is 404 in center and the hot humid air doesn’t allow the ball to fly well, nor does the hard, constant onshore breeze coming in off of leftfield.
The baseball is maybe US class AA-AAA level, but since these teams are not farm clubs for the major American teams, the players are here for the season, which is much more important from a fan standpoint. It is a great way to spend part of a summer night. The stadium is out along the seaside road about a mile from the main city just below the hill on which Fuerta de San Jose stands. The team was received by Mexican President Vincente Fox after their 2004 victory in which they eliminated their archrivals, the Tigers of Merida and then the two-time consecutive champion Red Devils of Mexico City in the Southern Division playoffs - the Seraperos of Saltillo in the championship series. http://www.lmb.com.mx/ for more on the Mexican Baseball League = LMB, Liga Mexican de Beisbol. Quadrangular in Spanish is HOME RUN.
This night the Pirates rallied to win 4-2 sending the locals home happy into the warm night. Tickets are very popular so get tehm in advance. there may be people selling some outside before the game if it is sold out though.
NOCHONA - EDZNA
One hundred thirty-five meters long, 31 meters wide and 9 meters high, this huge house with its enormous 15-stepped staircase on the east side is similar to other buildings found in other Mayan sites. It was thought to have been an administrative building and the steps could have also been used as seats for events which transpired in the Grand Plaza on the building’s east side.
The North Temple
The north side of the Grand Acropolis is the North Temple. According to its plaque, this temple was built in many stages and with differing architectural styles - probably by different native groups during the hundreds of years (sort of like subsequent owners adding bigger and better porches to people's houses). It is too bad we cannot go back into time to see how these structures were actually being used.
After visiting the main ruins, we followed the road to Vieja Hechicera. This road (or path) is over one kilometer long, and leads to an area with a partially reconstructed pyramid. It does not look like any work had gone on here for quite a while.
Only the one building has been worked on, perhaps 10 metres up. Two thirds of the structure remains in its unaltered state - just rocks and trees and vegetation. There are other smaller buildings (actually smaller mounds of rocks) around - also not restored. What a difference it makes when the old ruins are not reconstructed for us! We read that restoration work was done with funds from the international community by Guatemalan refugees.
Campche: a sugar-coated pastel colonial candyland
Campeche is a less-visited town on Mexico's Gulf Coast and the capital city of the state of Campeche. With only 100,000 residents, Campeche is small and only really worth a few days but it is absolutely gorgeous. In the old sector, you can stroll the brightly coloured streets, enjoy the central plaza, stroll along the ocean, take a train around the historic neighbourhoods and hit up a pirate ship. Its a lovely stop over between Palenque and Merida.
Its $10 and 2 hours and for us, it was a nice way to pass the time and catch a sunset over the seas looking into the Campechan harbour. If nothing else, its a great way to learn about Campeche's history, full of fabulous pirate stories. The kids would get a kick out of this one.
"The main plaza"
Campeche's main plaza has several benches from which you can sit and relax, restaurants and food stalls dotted around its edges and a number of evening activities. This view can be had from the roof of the Monkey Hostal.