I walked to a local cervezeria around the corner from the hotel, and the locals were friendly and talkative.
Unfortunately, they had fleas as well as beer, and my ankles were so bitten up after one beer, I had to “flee” the premises. One of the locals told me that the fleas like us lighter skinned people, as he was too scratching his ankles as we talked. Those with more indio blood didn’t seem to be affected by them.
I eventually rode around town and found the little touristy corner and had dinner and another couple of cervezas before turning in.
The Archaeological ruins at Pelenque.
Well this is really why I came over here. I had heard these ruins were extensive and impressive and they are. There is no parking lot to speak of at the ruins themselves, so there are cars strung out along the twisting road for a half a mile before you actually reach the ruins. The beauty of a motorcycle is that you can almost always find a parking place, and I did, about 50 yards from the park’s entrance. There were numerous kids trying to get me to sign them up as a guide, but I felt like seeing the ruins without any talk. I’ll read up on them later for any background material I want. So I put my Ipod on repeat play, and fired up Neil Young’s “Cortez the Killer”, a song I’m continually drawn to both here and at home, but somehow it seems a perfect accoutrement to walking these amazing Mayan ruins.
Here's the song, with a link in case the embed doesn't work, if you wanna get inside my head at the ruins of Pelenque, (if you want to complete the recreation of my experience, turn the heat in your house up to the max, put on a down coat, and wait till you're saturated in sweat
From Wiki: “Unlike the Aztec
and Inca Empires
, there was no single Maya political center that, once overthrown, would hasten the end of collective resistance from the indigenous peoples. Instead, the conquistador forces needed to subdue the numerous independent Maya polities almost one by one, many of which kept up a fierce resistance.” I can’t help but think this may translate to at least some of the strength of the Zapatista movement in these parts as well.