A Travellerspoint blog

up early and to the ruins

of Mayan Palenque

View 1985 on 1985 trip's travel map.

Monday 9th September 1985

Up early and to the ruins. No entrance charge. The mists are still clinging to the jungle canopy. Howler monkeys make loud growling barking noises further up the slopes. Grand views over the plains. Ornate detailed bas reliefs, friezes and calligraphy decorate the ruins and stelae. Secret tomb down two long steep flights of steps under the main pyramid. The copy in Mexico city is easier to view but the setting and descent add great atmosphere.

The palace is riddled with high corbelled vaults, roofs supported by false arches, which because of the technique are high and heavy, trilobate spaces lighten the load. T shaped windows, the symbol for the wind god, expressing a wish for aircon perhaps. Baths, aqueduct from nearby stream and unusual tower. Missed the septic tank. What remains of the stonework is very fine and beautifully embellished. Tiny ball court. Many more ruins in surrounding jungle. Armies of men keep the vegetation cut back on this little bit. Many french people visiting the site today.

Back to hotel for lunch. Small village close to the ruins, but locals seem totally fed up. Chat to a grubby american from New York who has been travelling latin america 2nd class, and it shows. Wonder if I look as bad. He enthuses about the Brazillians: open hearted, proud, optimistic.

5pm bus to Merida. Several other foreign travellers on board for a change. Mother and wriggling brat sit next to me, but mercifully get off fairly soon.

Posted by 1985 trip 10:27 Archived in Mexico

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