Ian and Nina's Big Adventure
we are now in Palenque in the middle of the jungle.. staying in a jungle hut at El Panchan just near the entrance to the national park - lovely place with an amazing restaurant that serves wood fire oven pizza and fresh pasta! seriously gorged ourselves....There´s live music every night at the restaurant, people playing guitar, mexican folksongs/ south american songs..lovely..and fire dancers and drumming after. The only problems with this place is the heat - extreme and uber humid, we´re wet with sweat from morning to night and the HUGE spiders that like to camp out in our bathroom. EEK!!! They´re apparently friendly though and not poisonous which is something.So yesterday we went to see the ruins of Palenque, a major Mayan city. Absolutely stunningly beautiful and really interesting. We hired a local guide with a french couple we met, he was called Nacho and was brilliant. Spoke English, French, Italian, German and Norwegian and knew everything about Mexican history. He explained to us abouit the Maya calendar, farming methods (plant maiz at the soltices and vegetables and full moon´- methods still used today), 2 different religions (one for upper class, one for lower) and the whole theory behind the buildings in Palenque - they were built on the equinox lines and at specific points so the sun would shine on thm in the morning, midday and afternoon and illuminate the carvings of the kings, heirs etc so the people would think they were chosen by the gods. There were some beautiful carvings. Interestingly he told us that the legend of Quetzalcoatl (the plumed serpent god) was actually a white man, probably a viking with big beard and moustache, who came over way befre Cortes. He was killed but said he would return and became a legend and so when Cortes came they believed he was the returning legend and the Mayas etc joined up with him. This was also because they were under the control of the evil Aztecs and wanted to get rid of them. I haven´t explained anything very well here as it´s all coming out in a jumble but it´s really really interesting so i´m trying to get some down so i can remember!!What was also great were the howler monkeys in the jungle surrounding the ruins - really funny watching them do all their acrobatics and they seemed to be just as interested in us, climbing down the branches to stare at us and scratch thier heads!My wrist is pretty much better, i still cant bend it backwards but i can use my right hand now and it´s not swollen anymore so that´s good.Tomoorow we´re going to go to San Christobal de las Casas which is in the mountains so won´t be so mentally hot. we´ll be there for 3 days or so and then we are going to meet Vicky in Tulum.. hopefully...