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Friday, May 28, 2010

Punta Gruesa: discovering the Maya in Chaccoben

After nearly two weeks of limited diving due to bad weather, one of the boat engines malfunctions and required maintenance in Chetumal just as the weather improved. With many discouraged G.V.I. expedition members the staff at Punta Gruesa decided to treat everyone to some culture while the boat was out for repairs for the day. We piled into two vans and headed off to the Mayan ruins of Chaccoben, about an hour and a half from base.

They were pretty good - not massive or epic in comparison to more recognized tourist trap ruins, but still a lot of fun to explore. Massive temple structures, courtyards, trees and common gathering areas. The ability of these rock and stone establishments to survive the age of time is impressive. I was left with many questions such as what they must have looked like when they were first constructed, what was each structure used for, were there more settlements and huts in the area? What would it have been like walking through a thick jungle and coming across these? Now overgrown with vegetation, weathered away from the rain and sun it was all a little Tomb Raider/Indiana Jonesesque.

Besides some sweltering humidity and swarms of mosquitos in some parts everyone had a good time! The day wrapped up with some lunch at the A.D.O. restaurant (best rates for food in Mahahual) and some internet time. It was incredibly chill. We had a few drinks and watched the England vs. Mexico Football (soccer) match. England won 3-1!

Can't complain about a day like that. Ruins, food, drink, internet and some football! To top it all off, the next day we were back into regular diving on base.