Day Nine

Trip Start Oct 29, 2007
Trip End Nov 09, 2007

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Flag of Mexico  ,
Wednesday, November 7, 2007

To Coba and Punta Laguna we go today!  The ruins at Coba are situated in the jungle about 30 miles west of Tulum.  You pass through quite a few Mayan villages and many tourist shopping spots for beautiful hammocks, blankets, ceramics and the like.  We'd gotten a late start again and wanted to get to Coba as soon as possible, so onward we go.  The road from Tulum to Coba is as straight as an arrow and they're doing some improvments so it really is an easy drive.  There's actually a roundabout when you get to the turnoff to Coba.  Funny, we are seeing more of these at home but it was the first I'd seen anywhere in Mexico I'd been.  The ruins here are not as popluar as at Chichen Itza but are every bit as important archaeologically.  Built in between two lakes there were over 50,000 Maya who lived in this great city between 400 AD and 1100 AD.  The main pyramid Nohoch Mul is the tallest structure in the Yucatan.  We didn't get to see all of the ruins, but we plan on going back in the not too distant future......and next time we won't be walking but renting the bikes instead.  If you wish you can hire a driver, a Mayan man - a human powered tricycle with cart that you can ride in.  Climbing to the top of the main pyramid was exhilirating if not just a little scary. This is definitely not recommened for anyone afraid of heights.  Jill started up with us but headed back down.  There is a rope that you can use to steady yourself and could save you if you needed it to.
It was so hot and you are quite sweaty by the time you read the top, that we were pleased to go inside of the ruins and enjoy the strangeness and coolness of the air flowing through some holes in the walls.

The ballfield.........much smaller than at Chicen ItzaAmazing ruins at Coba

Nohoch MulAt the top of the big pyramidLake in the background.....

Mayan A/CJill awaits us at the bottom

After we left the ruins we ate at a rustic, little restaurant called El Bocadito.  The food was cheap and was just fair, but at least the beer was cold. 

Restaurant we ate lunch at

We drove on past the intersection that turns back to Tulum towards the Punta Laguna Monkey Reserve.  We arrived just in time to catch the last tour which was highly recommended.  Our guide was a young Mayan man (when I recall his name, I'll update this page) who taught himself English and spoke it quite well.  He said that a lot of people want to take the walk in the jungle alone and they are too noisy thus not able to see the howler monkeys.  The guide was 25 USD for our group.  Well worth it!  We gingerly stepped and walked into the jungle and didn't speak but in whispers and low voices.  It wasn't long before we came upon a family of howlers high up in the trees.  It was quite amazing to see these creatures swinging in the treees above us.  The best time to see them is in the early morning and also before dusk.  Next time we'll try the morning and spend more time.  We wanted to see the lake before we left and what a perfect time to see it - at sunset. 

Punta Laguna Monkey ReserveOur tour guideLook hard and you'll see the howler monkeys

Punta Laguna Sunset - beautiful!

On the way heading home, the little Mayan children were still out and about, so I stopped to take a picture of them beautiful as they were.  I handed them all a few pesos and receive a lot of smiles.  What a great day of exploration in the Yucatan!

Mayan village children
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