Day 4--- Friday, June 20--- After a delicious breakfast at the hotel with bags and people packing the van totally full, we said adios to Merida. We experienced Chicken Itza and Ek Balam through self- guided tours. Both are ancient Mayan monuments built about 1000 years ago. Chichen Itza is one of the 7 Wonders of the World! The monuments are spread out over a large area with many tourists and vendors. The monuments are impressive with amazing carvings on a grand scale. A scavenger hunt for particulars such as serpents, skulls, feathers, Mayan gods, and geometric designs helped us pay attention to detail. I wish I could go back in time to see this area to see it alive in color with daily and ceremonial activities. The most adventurous and bonding experience so far was climbing to the top of several buildings including the Ek' Balam Acropolis.
We had lunch at Las Mestizas in Piste. Again, delicious foods, sauces, and drinks (like jamaica) were everywhere! I am grateful to our group's 'guides' for their recommendations, explanations, and interpretations.
We were so pleasantly surprised to go to Juan's house to meet his wonderful family, delicious ice cream, and learn about his wife's craftwork with hammocks and embroidery. The experience was extremely impressive and their charming hospitality unforgettable!
We are staying one night here in Valladolid which is the hometown of our driver and protective friend Juan. The hotel, Casa Quetzal, is dreamy with authentic furnishing and decorations.
Gotta go enjoy a pool side chat!!