UPDATE#13 05/01 thru 05/02 PART A  

Howdy Everybody,

The adventures of 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and thru 04/30/2010 have been published on the website.  We continue with the latest edition.

 UPDATE 2010 #13  05/01/2010 to 05/02/10 (PART A)

At last update, we were traveling on a Yucatan adventure in Mexico.  Welcome back to our continuing adventure…


     Our morning started with the drive west to the coastal fishing village of Celestun.  The daytime temperatures have been excessively hot, much hotter than normal.  The area is well known for the large gatherings of flamingos.  We had hoped to get a boat to go see some.  Since our last visit to this town, the boatmen have organized a cooperative and have set the prices very high.  It used to be a bargain.  A 1-hour trip will now cost you about $60.  We declined.  At least they were honest in telling us that there were no flamingos in the area now anyway.

     At the shore and beach, the wind was offshore, making it very hot on the sands.

     Lots of Mexican families were seeking relief in the gulf waters.

     Remnants of the old, square lighthouse and the lighthouse structure currently in operation…

     At this beachside palapa, La Playita Restaurant, Judy got to enjoy the “pescado relleno” (fish fillet stuffed with seafood mix, then breaded and fried).

     An ice cream salesman struggles to push his bicycle cart through the soft, sugary sand.

      During the return trip, we spotted the remains of an old hacienda.  Many years ago, the area was very productive in raising hemp and making rope from the sisal fibers.

     Merida’s new animal park, Animaya opened on April 30, 2010, which is Children’s Day in Mexico. The park’s full name is, Animaya, Parque del Bicentenario…

     We couldn’t resist the ride across the lake and back on “El Teleferico”…

     Another fun attraction was the miniature train that circumnavigates the park.

     It was fun watching the kids playing, especially on this airplane feature…

     A large zoo area houses lots of creatures, big and small…

     “My, What Big Teeth You Have…” ;  “All The Better To Chomp You With, My Dear…”


     We returned to the historic center of Merida for another wonderful evening…

     The seats of the Teatro Peon Contreras were filled to capacity.

     The evening entertainment commenced with a huge guitar ensemble.

     The main event focused on the Ballet.

     Many, many of Mexico’s ballet dancers assembled to perform a special tribute to a renowned Maestra and Professor of Ballet Dance at the University in Merida.  She has provided her teaching talents for 45 years of service to the arts.

     The tremendous respect for this honored Profesora de Danzas was clearly evident…


     The breakfast area at the Hotel Dolores Alba…



     UXMAL is one of our favorite Mayan archaeological sites.  Having visited here numerous times, I continue to be amazed by its magnificence.

     Very unusual because of its rounded, curved sides, the Pyramid of the Magician (sometimes called, the House of the Dwarf) rises dramatically to its temple structure at the top.

     There are 150 steps, which are flanked by masks depicting the rain god.

     Most of the ancient city's extensive construction took place while Uxmal was a major Mayan capital (circa 850-925 AD), though after about 1000 AD, Toltec invaders took control and most development had ceased by 1100 AD.

    The area, known as the Nunnery, contains a series of four temples, or structures, positioned around a quadrangle courtyard…

     One of the friezes depicts a pair of feathered serpents, including rattler tails and a man emerging from the snake’s mouth. Numerous human and animal figures are interspersed.

     The ball court area…

     Prehistoric-looking Iguana roam freely around the grounds…

     The Governor’s Palace…

     View of the Nunnery and the Temple of the Magician…

     House of the Turtles (or Temple of the Turtles)…

     The Great Pyramid is older than most of the buildings on the site and dates about 750-850 AD. The temple at the top bears carvings of birds and is most often called the Temple of the Macaws.  Just ask Judy, that’s one heck of a lot of steps…

     The beautiful, but unfortunately in near ruin, the House of the Doves…

     Fred descending the steps of the Great Pyramid…

     Facade of the “House of the Doves”…

    With Judy standing on the path below, I am delightfully reminded of my very favorite poem by Robert Frost: The Road Not Taken (1915).

      …and I quote:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

     Traveling independently, we were able to move around the site easily.  Since most visitors were in groups, we could avoid any crowding.

     North Long Building in the Nunnery Quadrangle…

     Leaving Uxmal, we continued along the PUUC Route to explore more fabulous sites.


     The Kabah area was inhabited by the mid 3rd century BC. Most of the architecture now visible was built between the 7th century and 11th centuries AD. A sculpted date on a doorjamb of one of the buildings gives the date 879, probably around the city's height. Another inscribed date is one of the latest carved in the Maya Classic style, in 987. Kabah was abandoned or, at least, no new ceremonial architecture built for several centuries before the Spanish conquest of Yucatán.

     The Palacio in the Palace Group…

     The Palace Group…

     The most famous structure at Kabah is the "Palace of the Masks", the façade decorated with hundreds of stone masks of the long-nosed rain god Chaac; it is also known as the Codz Poop.

     The massive repetition of a single set of elements is unusual in Maya art, and its use here is a unique effect.


    Sayil first was settled circa 800 AD, in the Late Classic Period, possibly by small warrior groups. The city reached its greatest extent around 900 AD, when it covered an area of approximately 3 square miles and had a population of approximately 10,000 in the city and an additional 5,000 to 7,000 living in the surrounding area.

     Sayil began to decline circa 950 AD and the city was abandoned by 1000 AD.  This probable pattern of rapid growth, followed by significant decline, appears typical throughout the Puuc region.  Arqueologists suggest that Sayil was governed by a local royal dynasty.   Their wealth and power appears to be based upon their control of the best agricultural lands.

     The Great Palace is the largest and most well known building at Sayil.



     Xlapac (or Xlapak) is a small Maya archaeological site located in the heart of the Puuc region, lying directly between the two sites of SAYIL and LABNA.  These site dates from the Late to Terminal Classic periods and was situated in an area best suited for agriculture activity.

     The decorations at Xlapak are well preserved and include masks of the Maya rain god Chaac.



     Labná translates from the Mayan language to mean, “old or abandoned house”. Labna is one of the five main Puuc region sites, which include Xlapac, Sayil, Kabah, and Uxmal. At its height, this site had an estimated population of about 4500.  The style of all the buildings is usually defined as late Puuc (9th-10th century AD). 

     It includes the principal palace, consisting of more than 60 rooms.

     The architectural style characterized by stone mosaic friezes made up of masks, latticework, and other stylized elements (i.e. zigzags representing serpents).


     Perhaps, one of the most beautiful of all Mayan arches…

     …a watchtower, El Mirador, sits atop a pyramid that is mostly in ruble.

     The Temple of the Columns…

     This day is not over yet, folks...  We have a lot more of today’s activities to share with you.  Our late afternoon and evening adventures will continue in the next update edition.





       We sincerely hope that you will review the previous years of compilations to give context to the current editions.  Please let us know if you have any special suggestions and thoughts.

     REMEMBER:  The website is now fully active and you can visit it at any time.  You can also review any of the previous logs from the years 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 to learn more about the crew and their many adventures.  Enjoy.


   You may contact us via email anytime.

Thanks for allowing us to share our life and adventures with you.

Lotsa Luv,

Fred Reed and Judy Law



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