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The Second Phase Begins

Ancient Ruins!!!

sunny 30 °C
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OK, so I didn't get a chance to finish the blog post that I started in Mexico City so I'll finish it now. But first, an update...we are now on the second leg of the Mexico part of our trip. We have entirely cleared out of the desert and are now as close as we can get to Guatemala without actually going there...Soon enough though. Anyways, we have now visited 18 different cities throughout Mexico and are running a smidge over bugdget with todays rather large and extraordinary purchases. Apparently $30 per day does not work so well within Mexico itself. I'm still mighty confident that $30 will be more then enough when we actually reach Central America. But o well, we have been eating well, seeing and experiencing great things and having a wonderful time. I'm not even getting swindled by the vendors or artists in the markets...well, not too much at least...umm I think. :)

So, back to the tale. After our journey to get the camera fixed we had a dinner invitation to attend. Stephanie (from way back in San Ignacio) and Jonathan her boyfriend, asked us over for Fondu. (See picture below) She gave us great directions, but since Mexico is so damn big it took us over an hour to get over there. We had an awesome time having a nice meal, drinking a bit too much wine and talking up a storm. Stephanie is heading back to Germany in April to finish her last year of school and Jonathan is a budding stock broker. A junior broker if im not mistaken. So cool! Great people and hopefully we will see them both again.

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So the next day was Teotihuancan. The giant pyramids just outside Mexico City. The most interesting thing we learned about the Teotihuacan was that it wasn't the Aztecs or Mayans that built it. As far as we could find out, the Aztecs that inhabited the area and used Tenochitlan as their main city actually used this site soley for ceremonial purposes as they believe that the people who built it were gods. So even the ancient civilization of the Aztecs were unware of the even more ancient civilization that built it. The fortunate thing for this site was that when the Spanish came through, they were unaware of Teotihuacan and the site was saved from destruction. So anyways, we managed to arrive their at a fairly decent time as there weren't that many people their. Or at least not nearly as many as we had expected. I only spotted three old age tour groups and one elementary school field trip. Not bad. So as you enter the Teotihuacan ground the first area is an enclosed courtyard that seems about a kilometer square, and is surrounded by mini flat top pyramids. This area as we found out was basically an exclusive members only area back in ancient times. The area would have been used for political and administrative purposes only and the common class was not allow to enter. At the back of this area was a small pyramid that was currently being reconstructed. It was amazing to see how much destruction and degredation occurs over time and how much restoration must sometimes be done. The bottom half of the pyramid was almost completely restored with the most amazing works of giant sculptures that adorn the entire front face. And in direct contrast, the top half was almost entirely eroded away. It will be truly amazing to return when this part has been completely restored.

On to the main attractions...two giant step pyramids. Admist both pyramids was a massive ancient city carefully laid out and with a purpose to each area. The first pyramid we visited was the Sun Pyramid. The name for this one is apparently now in dispute, as new evidence of worship towards water or the water gods has been uncovered. This one I believe was also the bigger of the two, I could be wrong but it seemed a much longer climb then the second one. I could just be me though. The nice thing about these step pyramids is that they have outer terraces that ring around the entire structure...hence step pyramid. The beauty of this is that their is no real need to get to the top fast in order to enjoy the experience. There were so many people at the peak but the most enjoyable time was just sitting on the edge of one of the lower terraces and gazing towards the city and the Moon Pyramid. Simply an awesome sight! Although being directly at the top point was cool :) From up above ground we were able to see a ton of interesting mounds that surrounded the grounds and we realized that the majority of the city is still underground and unexcavated. It is a shame really that this is no longer a priority of the government or the whomever has control over the site. It doesn't take anything away from the experience though and actually makes it interesting to use your imagination to try to invision how big this place really was!

So on to the Moon Pyramid. After about twenty minutes of walking straight to it, we finally got to the steps. As I said, this site is massive and definetly take an entire day to properly explore it. The beauty of this one is the absolutely unmatched view. Their is no better spot to gaze at the ancient city then from the steps of this massive structure. (You can see the picture below) We even saw a woman meditating off to the side on one of the terraces. Maybe I'll start reading my Buddism book and look into trying that at the next ruins we visit :)

So this day was absolutley awesome but utterly exhausting at the same time! It was about 30 degrees outside and we were climbing steps all day. lol! So after visiting our first ancient ruins, both of us can't wait to see more. Good thing this phase is the ancient ruin phase. :)

Hopefully this gives some insight to our day at Teotihuacan. Im probably missing a bunch of good stuff like the amazing Indian Food restuarant that we tracked down that evenig. But I'm pretty sure Tess will catch you up on that and anything else that I missed with her next post. By the way, were in San Cristobal de Las Casas right now, just incase you were wondering.

Until next time,

Jay

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Posted by JungleBlog 20:14 Archived in Mexico Tagged backpacking

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Comments

Truly unbelievable/amazing, 18 cities!!!!
What a experience for the two of you, I thought that the Mayan Ruins were breathtaking, your pictures say it all:) Looks like you two are healthy, it must be all those fatitas/tacos lol
and a little sunshine never hurts anyone, nice to have canon back,
The journey continues...

Miss you lots

Love Mom/Dad/Chad/WHitney/Nikki too!!

by kabby

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