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Our visit to Palenque started out overcast

Which perfectly matched our overcast, ominous moods

We also happened to go on the one day a week that the historical site is free to all Mexicans

Still, there were places that were plenty peaceful and empty

We didn't take pictures of ourselves for the first set of photos because we were mad at each other (can't remember why now)

Ancient ruins just look more lost amid the jungle

The sun is starting to come out

My favorite one, which I call the Hobbit House

Sun, sun, sun

Fabulously intricate carvings

Playing with the diorama setting on my camera

Don't they look a bit like models of the real thing?

Climbing to ruins always seems to be a good workout

He's always going out on ledges and then getting too scared to come back

Hmm, looks like we may be friends again

Hardly anyone visits the side buildings, but we do because we have to see everything

This building gave me the feeling of an old Scottish fortress

Inside there are stone beds. Sleeping technology has come a long way.

You can't get a greener roof for your house than one where a tree is growing out of it

Me? Go in?

Wha? Beautiful.

* * * * *

Tomorrow we leave the small hippie colony of El Panchan. At dinner today we sat above a man who had two piercings in his nose: one through the bridge and another through the nostrils. The picnic table outside our cabaña has been commandeered by friendly half-naked men smoking and chatting in the dark, their cigarette tips like fireflies. Last night I thought I heard drums in the distance.


But animal noises are the ones that dominate the night here. The whirring, clicking, chirping, and peeping of thousands of insects and frogs. And, chillingly, the barking growl of howler monkeys in the distance, sounding like the synthesized cries of a B-level Hollywood monster. At the ruins today they were directly above us. We saw their unexpectedly ordinary-sized bodies shaking the trees but, as with the chimpanzees in Uganda, could not get a decent glimpse of them. They spent their time in the canopy with what must be gorgeous views while we apes, tail-less and naked, were stuck on the ground.

The jungle is always wet, and nothing dries here. All I can smell is mold.


Posted by chschen 05:00 Archived in Mexico

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