Friday, November 11, 2016

Palenque Ruins: Monkeys FTW

A quick Google of Palenque will instantly fill your mind with wonders of the ancient Mayan world. Angelo had been already so I did this trip on my own. Being the only English speaker on my bus, I only had one broken Spanish conversation with a girl from Guadalajara from 5 AM to 10:30 PM. It felt like a silence challenge or something. But, I also felt like Lora Croft running around this place on my own.

Look how tall this ruin is compared to me! And these trees totally blew my mind. You can't really tell but they were basically metallic.

I happened upon a family of howler monkeys. If you ever visit the jungle and you hear something very very loud that resembles a growl and a car backfire at the same time, it's probably a howler monkey. You can hear them from miles away. I had NO IDEA what that noise was but I said fuck it and wandered off to find it (yeah, smart move, I know). You should have seen me creeping down these ancient Mayan steps alone looking directly at the location of the sound. Once I finally spotted the thing, I was instantly filled with relief. 'Ok good, a gorilla isn't going to maul me today.' Don't worry, I was prepared to haul ass in the other direction if I needed to and there was an armed federale just up the steps and around the corner. 

I took some video and walked around the ruin just below the tree that currently housed about 10 monkeys. Including, a baby. Yes, a little black face. It cried just like a human baby! I could die. So happy. At one point two of the larger monkeys looked right at me and howled with all their might. So I decided that was enough and backed away up the stairs. 

There are boards posted in English so you can learn a lot about the site without a guide. Although, I'd have loved to have one. 700 pesos was too much for me alone. I waited around for a bit hoping another bus would roll up but no go.

It is so fun to climb the ruins! Many sites, like Chichén Itzá, are all closed off. Not Palenque! You can climb the huge stairs and walk through the rooms. I don't know how much longer they will allow this so I completely basked in it. It's so much different to see the world from their eyes, rather than looking on from the bottom.

It had always been a dream of mine to lay on the steps of the colosseum in Rome. Well, that can't happen haha So, I decided to take the Temple of Inscriptions instead :)

We are headed to Guatemala next week. I'm nervous to work with the children but excited as well. Wish us luck!