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Friday, April 24, 2015

Cruising the Caribbean - Day 6 - Tulum Mexico

April 10, 2015
Cozumel Mexico.  - My spouse and I have been to Cozumel more than once and because of that we really weren't too interested in doing the touristy things there.  The one thing we never had done was to travel across the straight to Mexico and visit the ancient ruins of Tulum.  In reading up on this trip the one excursion that was highly recommended was the Tulum Mayan Ruins Express so that ended up being the excursion we went for.

I was very pleased with our guide.  He had been an archeology major at a university in Mexico and he was of Mayan decent.  He was very knowledgeable about what he was telling us.  The trouble was he told us so much stuff it's gone in one ear and out the other but during the time it was fascinating.  What I also like was because there were so many other tours there he got headphones for us and we were all on the same frequency so he could talk to us about the different ruins.  If you ever do the tour that is definitely the way to do it.  It cut out so much of the distracting background noise of other tour groups.  And the tour groups were of people from all over the world and their guides were  screaming to be heard.

Here are the images I came away with.  This was telling you about the park area associated with the ruins.
 And this was the sign for the actual ruins.
 This used to be the actual entrance into the city.  Now it is closed off to preserve it and everyone goes in through a different way.

This was withing the compound walls and was the first impression you got of the place.

Now for the rest of the images.  The guide took us to this diorama of the area so we could see what he was talking about.
Years ago they used to let people climb on the building but now they realize how destructive that can be and you are not allowed to go on the buildings.  Because of that they guides take you into the field and talks to you there.  It was a hot day and our guide tried to get us under some shade and was appreciated for that.

Tulum, Mexico

the one thing I notice was that the building material used was limestone.
 The iguanas are kept in reverence and so it was pretty common to see them running on top of the ruins. 
 The palace

 The temple
 Temple Castillo -Tulum, Mexico April 10, 2015
 This is what would be facing the ocean.
Castillo - Tulum Mexico, April 10, 2015

 I like this because you can see how the area overlooked the ocean. 
God's of the Wind Temple at Tulum Mexico April 10,2015

 Here's the wall with all the vegetation growing on it.  I can understand how difficult it was to find some of these ruins and for them to be able to restore things to there former glory.
 Another iguana guarding the ruins.
 This was the map as we were leaving.  I think it should have been when you entered or given as a handout but then I think too many people would have hold up around it and you would have been lucky to get a brief glimpse of it.

I did get a closer image of the section that was in English.

If you like ancient stuff like I do this was definitely worth the effort to go see.  I highly recommend it. 

Wikipedia on Tulum
The map from Wikipedia

We had one more day at see and then we were back in Galveston.
I'm going to include the few images there left of the cruise.   As you can see the Navigator of the seas wasn't the only ship in Cozumel on that day.  They made sure you got onto the right ship. 

Oh what a fantastic trip / cruise that was and until we go on another trip--  That's all folks. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Crusing the Caribbean - Day 5; Belize Crystal Caves.

April 9, 2015
 Today we woke up in Belize. My spouse and I  were planning on tubing in the crystal caves while my son wanted to go ziplining first.  We knew it was going to be a busy day in water and as such I did not bring my camera because it wasn't waterproof.  All I had was my cellphone and it was supposed to be in a water resistant  case but not waterproof.  Needless to say I didn't get any pictures much to my regret.  The Crystal Caves were some of the prettiest caverns I have ever had the pleasure to visit.  I must say if you ever get a chance to do the tubing in the crystal caves I highly recommend it.  In fact I liked it so much I could see my family taking another cruise just so I can do this excursion again.  I absolutely loved it until the very end when we had to transverse the Lagoon by ourselves and my arms weren't long enough with the tube I had. Other than that it was extremely fun and interesting.

Here's the few pictures I did get of Belize
 It was pretty flat and undeveloped the area we were in.
 In the distance i could see some hills rising up and could tell that was our destination.  As we got to the area, the bedrock looked to be limestone.  Having the caves in limestone made sense to me and it was obvious this particular cave was a sink hole.  The natives used it as a source of fresh water.  Also there was a very good clay in it that they could use to make their pottery.
The tour did include a lunch but our tour guide had taken so long we barely had enough time to get changed back into our cloths out of our swimsuits.  We had to gobble down our food.  I was hoping to get some pictures that they had taken but we couldn't do that.  I thought I would also be able to pick something up in the souvenir shop but the bus was leaving and we didn't even have enough time to do that.  If we missed the bus then we would have missed our way back to the ship and I didn't want to take a chance with that.  In the end I had to settle for my memories but what fine memories they are.   

After a fun day it was back to the ship and the water.
 The sunsets sure were spectacular.

Wikipedia on Belize

The next day we were on to Cozumel Mexico

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Cruising the Caribbean -Day 4; Roatan Honduras- Monkey Town

The highlight of Gumbalimba Preservation Park is Monkey town.  To get there you have to go over the Pirate bridge.
The monkeys are in and area that is surrounded by water.  This is for there own protection.  But in this area they are completely free to move about however they want to.  We had to wait to cross the bridge because it was so rickety and narrow.

In the information on the park it listed the area as having spider monkeys, white face monkeys and howler monkeys.

This is the sign when you enter the area.

Also in the area we heard this munching noise and was curious as to what was making it.  They told us that it was the rabbits that were native to the area.  They didn't look like any rabbit I had ever seen before.
I expected them to go to the guides like this one did.

We were told don't go to the monkeys but if they come to you its okay.
There was one monkey that was guarding the area where his mate was hanging out.  He ended up giving us the best pictures.

White headed capuchin monkey at Gumbalimba Preservation Park, Roatan Honduras
 I couldn't believe after I turn away and was looking elsewhere he was like phoow now I can relax again.
I was not expecting them to get so friendly with me and my husband.  And I definitely wasn't expecting one to get on me. But she seemed to like my husband better.  They warned us that they usually like going to the taller people. 

As we were leaving we also saw some chickens that were native to the area too.

Wikipedia has this to say about monkeys./White-headed_capuchin
 I was surprised to find out their names is white-headed capuchin because they called them white faced monkeys.

The next day we were in Belise.