Favorite thing: Sunday 2 march 2008
At the ADO station you can store your Luggage.
Bulto chico (small) 5 pesos an hour
medium 6 pesos an hour
grande (big) 10 pesos an hour
very big 12 pesos an hour so i paid 36 pesos for 3 hours
time is on the ticket the give you. Also your proof that your bag is there.
The Best Bakery in Tulum
Favorite thing: Not only is this the best bakery in town, its the only bakery in town so its a good thing that its the best. Located on main street about two blocks from the bus station, this bakery offers outstanding and authentic Mexican baked goods ranging from rolls to cakes and everything in between. Its frequented by the locals so you know its good and inexpensive. This is a great place to load up on baked goods to keep for breakfast in the morning. Very economical and best of all it offers a taste of Mexican baking that you won't find anywhere else...except in Mexico of course.
The cult of the Talking Cross
Favorite thing: The cross was an important symbol to the Maya people, and you will see it several times in Tulum. Obviously, the cross was not used as the symbol of Christianity. Instead, it represented the movement of the sun (East to West along the day and the movement North to South along the year, as the position of the sunrise and sunset moved).
The importance of the cross to the Maya people led to the cult of the Talking Cross, which started during the caste war and still exists today.
Details seem to be confused and several versions of the story exist. While retreating from the Mexican retaliation, a group of Mayas led by Jose Maria Barrero found a tree resembling the Ceiba, or tree of life, beside a cenote, with a cross carved into it. This united three important symbols: the tree of life, the cenote (the underworld) and the cross (the sun, seasons and rebirth). To top it off, the cross spoke to the rebels, urging them to continue the fight.
A cult sprang up around the cross, and its followers were the Cruzob (followers of the cross) and it became a symbol of the Chan Santa Cruz (Small Holy Cross), the area the Mayas controlled in the east of the Yucatán.
This cross was eventually taken to Tulum and placed in the care of María Uicab, a leader of the community. The Mexicans tried several times to capture the reliq, as a way of breaking the spirit of the rebels. Eventually, though, the cross disappeared, but no one I talked to could tell me that story.
The Caste War
Favorite thing: In the 19th century, the Maya people rebelled against Spanish descendents, who were taking over communal lands and threatening their way of life. This was the Caste War. Anyone of Spanish descent was seen as the enemy and likely to be murdered if they stepped into the jungles.
The war was not a continuous conflict, but rather a serie of small rebellions, followed by greater uprising (after, for example, the death of an important leader).
However, after Valladolid was sacked and 85 white men were killed, the retribution included the rape and murder of a 12 year old Maya girl. This spurred the conflicts to greater heights, to the point were Merida, the colonial capital, was close to being evacuated. The beginning of the rains and the planting period, however, suspended the attack.
In time, the Spanish descendents beat the Mayas back into Quintana Roo, which remained a territory until 1902, when it was finally recognized as a State in Mexico.
Favorite thing: Wells - whether natural or man made - were necessary to store water for the dry period.
This well does not reach the water table, as the sea would make it brackish and undrinkable. Instead, it stores rain water from the rainy period.
Favorite thing: Tulum is well known among archeologists for the excellent murals done in Maya blue, specially in the temple of the Frescoes.
Maya blue is a pigment used by Classical and Post Classical Mayas, which is very resistent to the weather and does not fade (but the plaster beneath it may crumble away). It is a bright turquoise blue and very striking.
This pigment was used for several centuries, from around 800aD to around 1560 (yes, even after the Spanish conquest), when the recipe was lost.
Maya Blue puzzled scientists for a long time after the rediscovery of the maya ruins. Recently, however, it was determined to be a misture of mineral (montmorillonite) and vegetable (indigo) dyes, on a white clay base (palygorskite).
Today, the Templo de los Frescos is closed to the public and extensive work is being done to preserve these paintings (even a resistent pigment deteriorates after a few centuries in the rain forests). Since I had gone to Tulum mostly because of these frescoes, I was disappointed (but it should teach me to research throughly when planning!)
Watching the sun
Favorite thing: On the sides of the main temple (the Castillo), there are two small buildings, easily overlooked. They are, however, critical to the site, as they mark the days when the rains start and end.
Since there is little flowing water on the Peninsula, the crops depend on rain to grow and must be planted and tended accordingly. If the rains are late or last too long, food may be scarce.
These small temples mark the start and end of the rainy period. As the picture shows, there is a small hole on the back wall, turned towards the sunrise. On the dawn the sun shines through this, the rains should be expected.
Favorite thing: Tulum, in the Maya language, means the Wall and is a reference to the wall that surronds the site on three sides (the fourth side is defined by the sea and the cliffs).
The wall is about 2 meters thick and originally had 5 gateways, resembling small tunnels (only one is used today). Even though it is impressive, the wall was not a defensive fortification, but rather a ceremonial separation of the religious and political center from the everyday city outside of it (wich cannot be seen today).
Favorite thing: There is a large toilet facility at front of the ticket office.
Give the lady 30 pesos when she handle you the napkin.
Toilets are very clean, however the water to flush them has dark brown color. It looks like watery doo-doo. It is normal and does not smell.
The water to wash your hands is clear (I guess purified), and there is plenty of soap.
Most faucets in public bathrooms ( in TULUM, COBA, CHICHEN-ITZA, CANCUN AIRPORT) have sensors so you don't have to touch anything after you wash your hands.
Great Little Town.
Favorite thing: Playa del Carmen is the town located closed to the Mayan Riveira. It is full of energy! There is great shopping (souviners are significantly cheaper here than at the resorts), it has many bars and restaurants. The people are very friendly. I highly recommend a morning or night spent in town!
- School Holidays
the ruins of Tulum
Favorite thing: The ruins of Tulum are not as spectacular as other mayan sites, yet their location overlooking the turqouise sea make them breathtaking and unforgettable - this despite the small size of its buildings.
Tulum is a recently given name: in the mayan language it means wall. This ancient city is in fact surrounded by three stone walls on three sides and the caribbean sea on the last side. its orginal name was Zama, which means dawn.
Fondest memory: The most impressive sight is the castle, el castillo - which, although not the most important building, is for sure the msot eye-catching. it's located on a natural platform over the sea, and from behind it you can walk down to a wonderful beach - crowded, but among the top three beaches I have been to.
Fondest memory: I found this guy chowing down on the leaves at El Castillo. There are quite a few iguanas in the area. Apparently they were considered a delicacy by the Maya at one time which isn't surprising as they would be an abundant food source. So chow down Iggy before someone eats you!
Picture with the Mayan Warriors
Fondest memory: Get your picture taken with some guys dressed as Mayan warriors. Some people may consider it a tourist trap but I liked it. It only cost $1 US for these guys to pose with me for a picture. Cheesy? Yes. Fun? You bet.
- Arts and Culture
Favorite thing: At the bus stop for the Tulum ruins you can catch one of the performances by the Volodores. These colourfully dressed men spiral upside down from a pole 60 feet in the air while only attached by a rope around one ankle. One lucky guy gets to play a flute at the top until all members reach the bottom. This is well worth watching if you have not seen it before. They do it roughly every 15 minutes.
- Arts and Culture
There certainly are Iguanas in Ruinas Tulum.
Favorite thing: Here is a cutey ,I like to call him Al ,a nice big size Iguana , he could be a she ,I really don't know .
I have no idea why this Iguana is sticking
his / her tongue out to me .
I did not nothing anything ,oh well it is a cutey and a big one ,and by golly Iguanas were everywhere around here .
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