When we woke up the next day, nobody had made plans. This was a change. It had seemed like everyday had an itinerary and we couldn’t really deviate from it. I’m by no means a control freak, but I like to have some choice in my schedule and this day was the first in a while where I could do whatever I wanted. Allison and I strolled into town and saw Dr. K and the gang waiting at a bus stop. They were going to Xunantenich,
a Mayan ruin twenty minutes away from San Ignacio. This was Allison’s first chance at building her Mayan unit for her history students, so we jumped at the opportunity.
Before we could get to the ruins, we had to cross a bridge. This was no ordinary bridge. There was a man who would operate a twenty-foot wooden plank that moved from one side of the river to next through a crank that pulled the bridge on a pulley. This was v
ery different. Once we got to the other side, we had to travel up what seemed to be a vertical incline that went forever. I haven’t been to the gym at all since I’ve been here and I was getting my work out on this day.
We finally got to the site and were ready to experience some history. Xunantenich wa
s one of the smaller villages during the Mayan time period. There is a lot of mystery with regard to Mayan life and how they came and went. Xunantenich disappeared before the Spanish Inquisition and, if I recall correctly, failed as a result of social and economic shortcomings. While they were very primitive, we owe a lot to the Mayans. During the classical period that had
developed language with hieroglyphics, political systems, they had religion, and even some credit them with inventing the wheel. They are a fascinating culture. They’re architecture is one of the most impressive artifacts we have, and I was able to climb them! How cool.
We decided to climb the tallest ruin there. Again, I got a good workout from this climb,but it was well worth it once I made it to the top. We had a view of so many cool things; on one side we could see San Ignacio; on the next was a forest of trees; on the next we could see Guatamala. This was incredible. To the right is a picture of Allison and me atop the tallest ruin at Xunantenich.
After our trip to Xunanatunich, we got back on the bus and decided to explore San Ignacio. We were hungry so we stopped at a place called Hannah’s. To this date, this is the best food I have had. First of all, they raise all of the meat they serve on a nearby farm. Anyone who knows me, knows that I love milk and I have been deprived of it for most of my trip here (I know it seems a bit immature, but milk tastes so good and it builds strong teeth and bones, so don’t judge me). I had two glasses of milk and for lunch I had the best pork curry I have ever had. It was simply amazing. Every bite was better than the first. It had a slight kick to it, but only enough to add a little bit of heat to the meal. The pork was perfectly cooked. Ahhhh, I need to stop talking about it as it’s making me hungry.
Once we finished our meals, it was time to head back. Since we hadn’t had a chance to see the village yet, Allison, Dr. K, and I decided to walk home. An hour and a half later, we were exhausted from walking what must have been five miles, uphill, in the Belizean heat. This was when I learned that MILK WAS A BAD CHOICE. It sat in my stomach. I could actually feel it curdling in me from all the heat. Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it was at this point that I decided maybe water would be better for me.
We finally got back to Cahal Pech and I immediately jumped in the pool to cool down. Needless-to-say, I slept well that night.