Day 1 Cancun - Merida via Chichen Itza

Trip Start Jun 26, 2007
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Trip End Ongoing


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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Day 1 Cancun - Merida via Chichen Itza

A new day, a new beginning, a new adventure. This statement rang true for me and 7 other fellow companions as we met up with our tour leader (Jenny) for the first time this morning. We all signed our disclaimer forms and loaded our bags on top of our minibus, with the exception of Mike (from England) who had no bags due to the airline company Mexicana losing his bags between Miami and Cancun. However he remain optimistic he will have his clothes back within a few days but for now he is stuck with the same clothes.

The itinerary today was just the one stop to the world famous Mayan site, Chichen Itza which has recently been voted the 8th wonder of the world before driving to Merida for the evening and that was exactly what we did.

The 205km journey to Chichen Itza from Cancun took about 3 hours, driving on the best roads in our 3 week trip, but that that didn't stop the guys at the back feeling sore after passing over numerous speed bumps (or Topes in Mexico) too quickly. For lunch we stopped just outside Chichen Itza where we were treated to a great buffet lunch (50 Pesos) from our food kitty * while we were entertained by some Mexican dancing.
After our early lunch we headed over to the ruins of Chichen Itza (which was included in the price), where we stayed for just under 3 hours admiring the Mayan architecture and the famous El Castillo pyramid. Although personally I think the site is over-rated especially compared to the other Mayan ruins in Mexico, ruined (no pun intended) by the vast hoards of tourists and the numerous Mexicans vendors trying to sell you souvenirs targeting every tourist wearing the luminous orange entry bracelet. Maybe a local guide could have provided some more insight compared to the lonely planet's brief description. By the time three hours has passed we were all ready to board the bus for a few more hours driving to Merida.

Chichen Itza 01, Chichén Itzá, Mexico
Chichen Itza

Arrived in Merida just before sunset, just had enough time to shower and change before being given a 40 minute tour night tour of Merida by our guide, Jenny. Where we walked around the bustling town square, visited an art gallery depicting the fall of the Mayans in a handful of colourful paintings and walking straight into a Cathedral and their Sunday evening mass, lets say we didn't hang around long.

Afterward we ate and went out for a few drinks allowing the group to get to know each other better. First opinion of the group is positive and their doesn't appear to be any big personality clashes but initial looks can always be deceiving.

The 8 people travelling on Trek America
Name         Nationality
Mike          English
Me         &nbs p;  English
Bobbie       English
Mo            English/Tanzanian
Lina           Swedish
Seung        South Korean
Andre        German
Bartusz      Polish

*each member paid 1100 Pesos or (110 US Dollars) for the food kitty which should pay for meals when we aren't in hotels.
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