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Photo Left: The stone Brian Tripped overPhoto Center: Some pilars in the middle of the junglePhoto Right: Some detail carvings at MayapanDay 18 – Tuesday 12/30/97

Long after a load nights sleep we are on the road at 0730 hours. Temperature this morning was a brisk 58’F. Our first stop is Mayapan ruins. Mayapan is an undeveloped ruin with a collapsed lava tube cave. The cave has a bamboo ladder (complete with vines holding the rungs on) to descend down into the lava tube. The Mayans believed the god of the underworld lived down here and would come to offer gifts and carved glyphs on the walls. Very cool! We decide to take a walk around the area, but there are no official paths so we are just walking through the jungle. Brian tripped over a stone and turned it over and it was a carved serpent head!! We were thinking that nobody has probably seen this carved stone for over a thousand years!! We find many more pillars which are now out in the middle of nowhere, some still standing, most have fallen over. It is very cool to see a site like this before the archeologists have come in!

All Photos to right taken at Uxmal

We then head to Uxmal, then Kabah, and finally tour Sayil for a full day of Mayan ruin tours. All these sites are wonderful and we can not believe the Mayan architecture!

Photo left: Kabah

Photo Center left: Kabah

Photo Center right: Sayil

Photo Right: At Sayil a tree has consumed an old building. This is how they found most of the Mayan ruins

We find the Hotel Sierra Sosa in Ticul, Yucutan for the night. I (Pam)must make this comment. The Berkely guide is incredibly accurate with almost all of their hotel info. If you read about this hotel in the guide you will find that the description is accurate right down to the woman at the desk. The only thing they failed to note was the noise level!

Day 19 – Wednesday 12/31/97 After an extremely long and noisy night… we set off at 0800 hours. Temperature this morning a chilly 60’F. We drove to the Loltun Cave and waited 40 minutes to find out the were on Central Time… not Eastern Time. We decide not to wait around and go visit more ruins in the area.Photo left: A temple at Edzna We go to Labna and then to Xlapak. Both are smaller ruin sites but still have some marvelous architecture. We purchase a Mayan dress (traji??) We drive then to Campeche, now 4,060 miles into our journey. We find the Hotel Colonial and check in. Campeche is one of the strangest towns we have ever been to. It still looks like an 1800’s colonial town with a wall around it. Just like Christmas Eve in Saint Elena, New Years eve here in Campeche was a fireworks festival.  As soon as the sun set the fireworks started and again at midnight the mass of fireworks was set off. Not sure how much these people spend on fireworks but it has to be a substantial part of their income!!!Photo Right: The quetzal (Guatemalan National Bird)

Day 20 – Thursday 1/1/98

New Years Day 1998! We are on the road at 0600 hours and it is now 67’F – chilly. We immediately see the Gulf of Mexico once we get out of town and we will be following the gulf shore now all the way to Texas – more or less. Today is pretty much a driving day as we drive through Escarcega, Villa Hermosa, Acayucan and finds a roadside hotel in Cardel to stay in. Mileage 4,646.

Day 21 – Friday 1/2/98

We begin at 0600 hours this morning. By 1800 hours we make it to the US border at Reynosa/McAllen, 5,237 miles into our journey. Strangely when they ask where we are coming from  and we tell them Honduras, Guatemala, and Belize the US border patrol just waves us through with no inspection. That means on our entire trip we were only inspected one time outside of Cancun… very strange and very different from the 1996 trip…. same truck… same two people…. We spend the night in Falfurrias, TX. Mileage 5,314.

Day 22 – Saturday 1/3/98

We start our day at 0815 hours with the temperature at 65’F. Today we just drive across Texas and finish in El Paso at 1735 hours.

Day 23 – Sunday 1/4/98

On the road at 0600 hours. We make Casa Grande (home) at 1110 hours. Final journey mileage 6,397. (10,293 kilometers) Back to work tomorrow….. what a trip! What and adventure!