Campeche Day 5-Edzna Archeological Zone and Fort San Miguel.
Awakened about 5 a.m by birds, I peered outside and saw that
it was still dark. About 6 it was quiet and I looked out of my
3rd floor viranda to a beautiful west-facing view of the gulf of Mexico.
Before breakfast in the hotel, I walked to waterside and followed
the seawall, which had a pedestrian walk, a runner's track, and a bikeway.
There were many old cannons which may have been used against pirates
who frequented the Gulf in the late 1500s Along the seawall I met
a man selling a stack of Panama hats. I bought one because the rest
of this trip would be made up of outdoor activities visiting Mayan ruins.
Breakfast was at 8:30 and the hotel put out a nice buffet with fresh
fruit, juices, and eggs.
We departed the hotel in two vans for Edzna ruins and Fort San
Miguel. "Edzna" must mean 'crazy driver' in Mayan! Both
van drivers drove much to fast, swerving around slower vehicles on the
two-lane road. We were all exhausted by the time we got there and
some changed vans for the trip back.
Our tour of Edzna began at 10:45 a.m with huts containing 12-foot
stone slabs with drawings on them. Our guide related that there
are 25 square miles in the Edzna site. Twenty to thirty thousand
people lived here. However, the stones used in the buildings came
from 260 KM away. The high temple with the steep stairs and the rope
up the stairs for stability of climbers has the legend that on May 3 the
sun shines in the doorway at the top and iluminates the stucco therein and
the Mayans knew to plant at that time. 120 days later, it shines
on the same spot and they know to harvest. I climbed this monument
using the rope in the pictures. I had a great view of the flat country
surrounding the site. The tour lasted about 2 hours and it got hot at the
Returning to Campeche, our driver let the first madman go ahead
and we traveled at a much safer speed. We arrived behind them at
the San Miguel fort before they had gotten out of the van. I asked
the riders in that van if he drove more safely and they said, "No." Each
van had a large cooler with iced bottled water and the air conditioner
felt wonderful. We passed crops of oranges, tomatoes, corn, date
palms, and watermelons.
We stopped at Fort San Miguel which is on a hill above the coast
near town. It is a beautifully restored fort with a mote, draw
bridge, and a cannon at each outlet. This beautiful site for photographs
may be my favorite site of the trip.
Fort San Miguel
We went down to the sea-level colonial city and had lunch at 3
near the old city wall. I walked past more old city walls a few
blocks from the sea wall then I followed the sea wall back to the Hotel
del Mar. It was warm on the walk, so upon my return I showered,
downloaded pictures and took my laptop at 6:30 to the lobby to show our
group the 'dailies.'
ex Templo de San Jose
Following cocktails, we walked to a nearby restaurant with second
floor balcony overlooking the Cathedral and Square below. It was
a pleasant evening, shirtsleeve weather, the cathedral was lighted,
our company and dinner was excellent. I enjoyed dinner and shared
wine with Lee of the U.K., who was inspecting this tour and who plans
to represent it to his clients in Europe, Ed Sanchez, US citizen who moved
to a lakeside community in Mexico years ago. We walked on many blocks
to a section of the old wall that had a sound and light show which took
place along the wall. At one time we walked along the top of the
wall, between 2 city gates, to move on to another scene in the play. Afterward,
we walked back to the hotel for another good night's sleep.