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Photos/Pictures of

The Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico


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Photographer's Log: Oct. 2004

    "This set of pictures was taken over the week of December 15, 1995. The only reason this page exists is because it represents the kind of pictures one takes as a typical tourist who never really thought about photography even as a passing interest. I never really though seriously about photography till around 1997. Still, at the time I shot these pictures here, I thought they were really great; I had fantastic reviews from my friends and family, and even the people at the photo lab were impressed. Since this still happens today, I never really if I ever really improved! :-)"

(Note: Similar touristy pictures can be found here.)

Travel Log: My first vacation with Backroads!

cancun, latin america, mexico, vertical, yucatan, photograph
I arrived in the resort area of Cancún, where the beaches are soft and sandy, the water has lots of rocks, and the bars are full of college kids who were... uh... studying! Yeah, that's it! Studying! The entire town is pretty much like a never-ending frat party. Though I took lots of pictures, I lost my camera in a Mexican Toga at Señor Frog's. After a few more margaritas, I actually found it again a few bars down the road. The next morning, I left my wonderful friends that I'd just met the night before to meet the Backroads group in Chichén Itzá to see the architectural ruins of the Mayan Indians.

Chichén Itzá
horizontal, latin america, mexico, temples, yucatan, photograph
The Mayans lived in this region between the years 1200 and 1600, back when Señor Frog's great, great, great grandfather was still a mere tadpole. They (the Mayans) were very sophisticated in many areas of architecture, accoustics and astronomy. For example, they had two separate calendars for the Sun and the Moon, which meant that you never really knew when your birthday was. Some would claim several birthdays a year, which helps explain why the Mayans lived to 80 or 90 years old! They built enormous pyramids and other structures with such detailed accoustical precision that their voices could be heard miles away. The problem was, there wasn't really anyone to talk to that far away, so they stopped building these things.—

Top-Down View
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Sacrificial Temple
chichna, horizontal, latin america, mexico, yucatan, photograph
Mayan "Soccer" Field
horizontal, latin america, mexico, soccer, yucatan, photograph
When they weren't killing each other, the Mayans developed a funky game where you try to get a tiny rubber ball through hoops high above the ground using a netted stick, sort of like lacross. The game would end when anyone would get a goal, which may have taken several days. In the spirit of the culture, the winners were awarded by (you guessed it) sacrafice! (No wonder the game took so long to end!)
Mayan Beach
latin america, maya beach, mexico, vertical, yucatan, photograph
Yes, the losers were also sacraficed, but it was less honorable to be sacraficed as a loser than as a winner. Needless to say, no one really ever got good at this game.

One very fascinating fact about the Mayans is that, as sophisticated as they were about architecture and accoustics and calendars, they never discovered or used the wheel. We suspect they probably killed the guy that did. "Did you kill him?" "Yes. He almost got away in this car, but we got him first."

Same Beach
horizontal, latin america, mayans, mexico, yucatan, photograph
The Mayans lived inland for almost 400 years to avoid the hurricaines on the waterfront, but wars eventually forced them toward the beach anyway. No one really knows what happened to them after that, but ancient etchings in stones found in neaby caves seem to suggest that they "hung ten" often.

"The Jungle"
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cozumel, horizontal, latin america, mexico, yucatan, photograph
The Yucatán Peninsula is a great place to visit, and a very relaxing, simple bike tour. There are no hills whatsoever, as the entire peninsula is flat jungle sitting on top of limestone. It is hot and humid, but fortunately, there are plenty of cenotas, underwater rivers that can be accessed through holes in the ground. Usually, getting to one requires going through deep caves, but if you're daring, you can just jump in from the top and avoid the $5 entry fee.

The picture on the left is a "bar" on the beach of Cozumel, an island off the coast of Mexico. It's got great diving, snorkeling, and of course, plenty of drinking.

Tourist who drank too much
latin america, mexico, skelton, vertical, yucatan, photograph
This particular place plays reggae all day and makes the best mexican food ever. We hung out here for several days, even after the rest of the group returned home. So, all in all, this mexican trip was the epitome of relaxation, fun, a little education, mild genocide, and other fun activities.

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