Friday, January 16, 2015
waiting for the spinning to stop
I love Palenque. But you already know that from my visit there two years ago.
Of all the Maya cities I have visited, Palenque has the perfect mix of social, political, and religious elements to make it readily accessible to the modern traveler. And, if the traveler is willing to set aside anachronistic thinking, it is possible to step back several hundred years to imagine what it was like to see a magnificent city at the height of its power.
That accessibility is provided through the eyes of one man -- Pakal -- the ruler who essentially left Palenque as a legacy to us. The buildings we now see at the site were built by him and his sons. His tomb is there. His wife's (the red queen) tomb is there.
On my birthday night, I could hear the howler monkeys calling deep in the jungle. When we headed out on Thursday morning, there was a light mist in the air.
There is something rather mysterious about visiting a site like Palenque when the mist lies heavy on the jungle. It plays havoc with photographs, but the atmosphere was thick with ancient tales.
Unfortunately, I will not be able to share much of our visit with you today. I have plenty of photographs and accompanying text, but the hotel in Coatzacoalcos, where we are spending the night, has internet so slow, I could hire a liveried footman to deliver hand-engraved stories to each of you in person before the piece would show up on Mexatriate.
Despair not. Let me direct you to my 2013 visit to Palenque -- high flying adored. I promise that I will file my current Palenque essay as soon as I can. Even if that means waiting for my return to Barra de Navidad.
Tomorrow? We are headed toward Veracruz. If all goes well, we may even make it to Xalapa -- home of one of my favorite peppers and Mexico's second largest anthropological museum.