Sunday, 12 January 2014

Toniná - a site for those with a good head for heights!

Toniná had a reputation of being an aggressive city - much of the carvings show the ruthless way it dealt with its enemies and it still had the power to terrify me....

There is no way my pictures can do justice to the sheer enormity of this construction nor convey just how impressive a city structure this is so here are just a few samples

From a distance the plateau on which the site is built is impressive enough.

Then the building starts to rise from the plateau . The acropolis covers 7 terraces and it soon became apparent that we were going to be climbing them.

All of them.

It was very humid but it was possible to escape briefly from the sun - at least near the bottom.

Everywhere on the terraces are the remains of buildings. As an engineering feat this is incredible.

As is the usual Mayan practice, each new ruler built  over his predecessors structure, unlike the Egyptians who built new from scratch each time.

As a result the Mayan remains are like a time capsule with the archaeologists able to peel back the layers to the earlier rulers. Much of there work is very well preserved.

The view form the top. Yes it is very high indeed.

The following pictures are not for those of a nervous disposition!

Mayan steps are very steep, very uneven and there are no hand rails or nets to stop a fall. In the UK you wouldn't be allowed anywhere near the top of these structures. The Mexicans though are not so bothered about such things.

Going up to the top was bad enough....

But coming down was far far far worse - this gives you an idea of what the last bit was like. I was frankly terrified.

Fall here and there was little to stop you until you reached the bottom.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Misol Há

Definitely housebound today. Anyone knowing anything about the weather in the UK at the moment will know why!

With the coast being battered by storm surges and high winds more or less everywhere there really wasn't much of a decision to make. I don't fancy being swept away from a coastal path, blown off a hillside or hit on the head by a falling branch in a woodland.

A day to stay home in front of the fire and remember warmer sunnier days so back to Mexico and the falls at Misol Há

 Truly spectacular. It was the end of the rainy season so there was plenty of water streaming over the falls. In fact Misol Há means Streaming Water in one of the Mayan dialects.

The official website claims it as a 40 mt drop - I'm not sure it was quite that high but never mind.

One of the attractions is that you can swim in the pool but given the amount of water it didn't seem wise - not that we had time though. However these two were not deterred and were grateful I'm sure for the rope slung across the centre of the pool to stop themselves being swept down river.
The path down to the waterfall leads behind it and it was quite an experience to stand under it. I was glad of my rian poncho as I'd have been soaked to the skin with the spray otherwise.

 The camera was also wearing its waterproof jacket so I was able to take some shots out through the curtain of water.

I was the only one brave enough the try this!

The path goes on past the falls but becomes steep slippery and rocky and we didn't have time to go any further. 

The misty effect here is the  water spray. I was getting a bit worried now about my camera. It isn't waterproof and I was trusting the swathes of plastic to keep it dry so time to beat a retreat.

The camera  was a lot drier than I was!

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