Thursday, 9 July 2015

mayans remain

These atmospheric 'ruins' at Palenque more than live up to expectations.  We were there at the beginning of June. I went there with a feeling that I was going to receive some guidance.  It came in more tangible way than I had imagined.   Rather than intuitions rising from the stones (though perhaps they did!) the guidance came from a real Mayan guide, a tour guide in fact (descended from, yes, the Mayans who lived here long ago) who gave us a wonderful tour and a description of life in those times, even what they ate.  He said go to San Cristobal (de las Casas).  Soon after we did and we have been here ever since.

pyramid of the moon

almond, avocado and mango tree at the Mayan ruins, Palenque

Prior to this we had gone along with the storied that the Mayan people had in some mysterious way 'disappeared'.  No, many were killed in the Spanish conquest, many also escaped, probably mostly to the Lacandon jungle, the mountains and to what is now Guatemala.  The 'ruinas' at Palenque were deserted before this though and no-one is quite sure why and where to.  The surrounding jungle is so magical.  We tasted mumo leaf growing there amongst other edible plants.  The Mexican dish of tamales is made by wrapping mumo leaf around the corn dough with a filling, so delicious and loved by Mexicans. and me too.  More on Mayan Mexican food later.

unexcavated ruins in the jungle

On reaching San Cristobal we found ourselves immersed in wonderful Mayan culture.  Sixty per cent of the local population is indigenous and the culture permeates the town.

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