Friday, May 20, 2016

Adventures on my mom's birthday ~ Coba Ruins, Mexico

My mom's birthday fell at the end of the week during my yoga retreat in Tulum, Mexico. As I thought about how I would spend that day, I considered spending the day alone, in solitude and silence, honoring her with loving thoughts and maybe drawing mandalas all day.

Well, anyone who knew my mom would know that a "day of solitude and silence" would never have worked for her. Ha! And no way would she expect me to take a vow of silence - even for an hour, much less an entire day. In hindsight I realize that my idea of solitude and silence was brewing in my mind as a way to prepare myself for the possibility of being friend-less on this trip to Mexico. And we all know how that played out! ;o)

As it turned out, my group of yoga friends had an opportunity to take a really awesome tour on my mom's birthday. We got to climb Mayan ruins, hike through the jungle to see spider monkeys in their natural habitat, receive a blessing from a Mayan shaman, zip-line across a lagoon and into the jungle, and we even swam in an underground cave/cenote. And, we got to have a really great meal at an authentic Mexican restaurant that my mom would have loved! I couldn't have planned a better way to honor my mom on her birthday if I had tried!

There were so many activities on this day, so I've decided to break them up into a few different blog posts. Today is part one...
We left our resort around 9:00 that morning and were taken to Coba ruins. There were several structures in this area, including the one shown above that we were able to climb to the top. It's estimated that these structures were constructed between 50 BC and 100AD.

There was this really cool tunnel that was designed for air flow and mosquito control. And by "cool" I mean that standing in this little breezeway was a great way to cool down because the temperature was at least 10° less than outside of the tunnel. As we learned about the design of these structures, I was blown away at the ingenuity of the architecture. How did they know how to do that?

The Mayans were short people, yet their stairs were so tall. Man, even with my long legs it was a lot of work walking up these structures.

And there was this really cool tree...

I noticed this at the end of the day when I was flipping through my photos. Can you see a really large tree angel here? Her tall body, with arms stretched out to the Heavens, and there's even a little "face" carved in if you squint your eyes. I love her.

One of the super cool perks of this day was that our tour guide had arranged for us to be bike-taxied in to the Coba structure. It was hot that day, and the walk through the jungle would have taken up a lot of our valuable time. The photo above is of Kat and me, with our bike taxi driver. We loved him.

Here's a shot of the roadway, with another bike taxi in front of us:

Gosh, the Mayan culture was brutal. This was a really interesting and also creepy-to-me thing to learn. See this slanted structure with that little ring at the top?

The structure was the playing field for the "game of the ball" and that rectangular shape and grid in the center was their record of scores. There was an identical structure just opposite of this one too - a side for each team. Players would work to get a ball (about the size and weight of a bowling ball) into that ring at the top - without using their hands! And! Guess what the winning team got as a prize? Their captain had the honor of being beheaded and sacrificed. Eeeeow.

There are rumors that this structure will be closed and that tourists will no longer be allowed to climb up the face of it within the next year or so. Here I am, taking a break (heat and really tall steps...), almost at the top of Coba.

Coming down was a little easier - we sat on our bottoms and came down that way, one tall step at a time.

I had a few loved ones comment, as I posted photos of myself during this week, that I looked so happy. Ah! I was so very happy. I was having the time of my life with sweet new friends, amazing adventures, and being far away from the typical responsibilities of my [all-in-all amazing] life.

This day, my mom's birthday, was packed with adventures and activities. I know she was smiling down on me all day long!

I'll share about more of my adventures from this day in my next post.
Thanks for tagging along with me!


Patio Postcards said...

That looks like an amazing day & what better way to honour the woman who gave you life than to live it - out loud & fully.

Becky said...

That looks like such a wonderful day and what a way to celebrate your Mom x

Ruth said...

I've now got a tear in my eye and a lump in my throat ...

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