Mayan Circle Part 5
Today we had an excursion to the Palenque ruins, Miso ha waterfall and Agua Azul. I had never heard of the Palenque ruins until that day so I didn‘t know what to expect.
To my surprise the site of the ruins seemed larger than Chichen Itza, even though a large percentage still remains unexcavated. There were large stones and walls with carvings of Mayans. We saw a large bed that was made of stone and was once used by the Mayan king. It reminded me a lot of the beds in the Flintstones cartoons.
We climbed to the top of the temples for a better view. The steps were made of rock as well and had been worn down by previous climbers and would have been slippery if wet. Good thing it was not raining. Otherwise it could have been dangerous.
Our guide Francesco was knowledgeable in Mayan history and had excellent English skills. He also brought a folder of photographs to show us more clearly the carvings in the stones. He also had a Mayan calendar explaining all the animals and the characteristics of that person. Because I was near the front, he asked for my birth date. According to the calendar my symbol is the Jaguar and am powerful, beautiful, smart, quick, a leader… it basically says I’m awesome. The Mayan zodiac is much better than the Chinese Zodiac or Celestial Zodiac animal I’m stuck with.
After our one hour tour, we bid farewell to our leader and Francesco who joked he hoped to see us in the after life. The bus continued to our next two stops, Miso ha waterfalls and Agua Azules. Miso ha Waterfall is well one of the more popular tourist sites from Palenque. It’s one waterfall about 20m in height, with a pool at the bottom you can swim in. I was impressed that it was still clean and no garbage was left lying around. The park connected ropes from one end of the basin to the other, which made it possible from one end of the pool of water to the other,. You also had the option of following a bridge to walk to behind the falls.
Miso Ha Falls was crowded with a lot of many tourists. At first there were the complaints when the driver said we had 30mins to enjoy the falls. After visiting the falls, most of us were done with the falls after 10mins. The driver anticipated us well.
The final stop was Aguas Azul. Aguas Azul is not a waterfall, but it’s not a lake either or river. The best way to describe it would be a river with a bunch of small waterfalls. The water is shallow, and there are lots of little private pools of water. A single stream connects them all and keeps a steady water flow. There are some tiny water falls or Jacuzzi like jets formed by the rocks. What makes this area popular is the color of waters when it turns a magnificent blue. If you’re unlucky and it had rained recently, the water would be a brown instead.
The Aguas Azul had restaurants and vendors.. I wanted to head towards the far end of the pools to where it was less busy. I purchased fresh cut pineapple and empanadas to eat on the go as I continued towards the end
We eventually found a good spot to swim in. There were only 5 other people, compared to the 40 people at the earlier stops. I was amazed at the color of the blue-green-turquoise water.
The initial dip into the waters was chilly, but with each step further, the coldness seemed to fade, and the wonders of the Aguas Azul was for me to enjoy. It was nice that the water is a bit chilly, otherwise the water would have been more crowded. It’s like you have to prove how badly you want to swim.
In some areas, there was a shallow level of water floating over the roads, and I laid down on that and let the water trickle underneath me. There was a massage station and from the water falls and had fun trying to stop the waterfalls. It’s great that despite the popularity, I still had the waters pretty much to myself. My tour leader said this was the first time she had seen the falls a blue color, usually it is a brown color. I also tried out my water proof pouch and took as many photos as I could in preparation for the snorkeling trip in Caye Caulker.
After 2 hours of wading in the water, it was time to head back to Palenque for our final dinner. Most of us opted for more casual unorganized dinner options and walked along the main streets in search of a restaurant.
The restaurant we picked was because of view it had over the main square. It had two levels, and it faced the main street as well as the plaza. I hoped the food would be tasty as well.
I had trouble deciding if I should get s swiss enchilada made of three cheeses, or mole enchilada.
The waiter recommend mole enchilada and I decided to give it a shot.
While we waited for our meal, we ordered drinks and munched on the complementary tortilla chips and salsa. Spicy!
A half hour later, other people from our tour spotted us and joined us for a drink as well. Finally our meals arrived. My enchilada was covered in this brown sauce, that looked a lot like gravy. There was probably more sauce than Enchilada. I took a bite of my meal. I didn’t like it. It was this sweet-salty tasting sauce. I used my fork to slide off as much sauce as I could, but the enchilada was soaked in it. I guess ‘mole’ is not short for ‘guacamole‘. Curse my Spanish skills. I should have ordered the Swiss enchilada. I hate ordering a meal and regretting your decision.
When I thought about it, it had been a while since I had an amazing meal worth the money. I was slowly getting impatient with trying new things and wanted to be happy with what I paid for. Other people on the tour gave up already, and decided to go to Burger King that night. You get what you pay for., in this case the customers were happy with that.
I find it funny when I read in tourist books about how the Mexican food I’m familiar with is actually Tex Mex and not real Mexican food. I don’t care if it’s real or not. It tastes good. Give me my burritos, Nachos, Enchiladas, Quesadillas.
Ewww. Mole, pronounced Mole-lay in Spanish. I can still remember the awful taste.