Feb 22, 2016

Cancún- Chichén Itzá

This is my last Cancún post. It has been so enjoyable for me to comb through all of my photos choosing those that I wanted to share.

Our last outing was a full day trip to Chichén Itzá. As soon as Erik invited us to Cancún I knew that I wanted to include Chichén Itzá. Even though I knew that this civilization was much later (600-900AD) than the Book of Mormon time (600BC-400AD, plus the brother of Jared flashback 2600BC-600 BC) I was still excited to learn more about these Lamanite descendants.

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GORDON AND JOANIE AT Chichén Itzá

Somehow I'd forgotten this verse of scripture from Mormon 8:8
And behold, it is the hand of the Lord which hath done it [caused the destruction of the wicked Nephite people]. And behold also, the Lamanites are at war one with another; and the whole face of this land is one continual round of murder and bloodshed; and no one knoweth the end of the war.
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We went on a tour bus with wonderful Mayan-descendant guides who taught us about the Mayan civilization. But I was still a bit startled with the savage and brutal warring that went on. This wall depicts decapitated enemies heads stacked up on poles.

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It was mean to intimidate enemies.

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Even this Mesoamerican ballgame, that oddly reminded be of quidditch, ended badly.

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This Stone Ring is located 9 m (30 ft) above the floor of the Great Ballcourt; the players could only use their hips, elbows and shoulders to get the ball through the hoop.

The captain of the winning team decapitated the loser captain,

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whose blood spurting out turned into seven snakes.

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The ruins of Chichén Itzá are quite extensive including this building, referred to as the nunnery, with elephant trunks on each corner. (Now that isn't me making this up... this is what our guide told us.) This evidence seems to support the Book of Mormon prophet who spoke of the beasts of burden used to help them in their work, including the elephant.

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Another startling aspect of this National Park was the presence of vendors set up pell-mell throughout. I can't even imagine something like this in Yosemite or Zions!

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Our guide warned us against purchasing from these vendors. These carved masks, depicting the Mayan Yin and Yang, smell heavily of petrol and would not be allowed back through customs!

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After a short bus trip from Chichén Itzá we stopped for lunch at an *Mayan-approved* cluster of shops.  Then on to one of the many cenotes (sinkholes) found on the Yucatan peninsula.

The plan was to swim there, I'd even brought my suit. But all I could hear ringing in my ears was the advice *don't swim within two hours of eating*! So I left my cute new *babing-suit* to languish on the bus while I took the 95 stairs down to the bottom to check things out.

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VIEW FROM THE TOP OF THE CENOTES

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VIEW FROM THE BOTTOM

Notice the tiny white speck at the end of the red arrow? Yup, that's Gordon!

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I was pleased with my physical stamina as I cooked back up those same 95 stairs. Sure makes a difference when I'm used to walking at 4800' elevation and now I'm in oxygen-rich sea level air!

Our Caribbean vacation was all that I'd hoped for. It was wonderfully restful and diverting. I'm so grateful to our Erik for making this possible. Thank you again son! 

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