By Sara Moses
We left our hotel in Valladolid after an early breakfast in order to be first visitors at the Mayan ruins of Ek Balam. This place was so unexpectedly satisfying.
The ornate decorations here were surprising, as was the view across the jungle to another temple.
This is a ruin that is still open for public climbing. I have a “thing” about heights. Scrambling up was easy enough, just a VERY steep staircase. Coming down was a nail-biter. But I couldn’t bite my nails because I was too busy gripping the rough and uneven stairs.
I made everybody stand in rainbow order. Trust my gay clients to tell me that, in this lineup, ochre is most closely related to chartreuse.
Our seaside lunch was fresh fish tacos with blistering salsa. If you look closely, you can see our colorful visitor!
During our boat ride, we of course did the restorative sulfurous masks (it took years off!).
Tonight we checked into a former Hacienda, now converted into a hotel, with cottages for each of us. We celebrated a low-key New Years Eve with the musical accompaniment provided by a local young man whose beautiful voice filled the open-air dining room. This local dance group then came out and entertained us with traditional dances of Yucatan, and we had a pinata! What a lovely way to send off the year!
For the first activity of 2016, we made a visit to Xcambo, a Mayan site with an old Catholic church built right on the Mayan holy ground.
It’s hard to describe, but this relatively small archaeological site felt really homey. We climbed the temples and relaxed in the shade while this family had a picnic and played soccer in the plaza.
When we arrived back at the hacienda, there were tangerines waiting for me.