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Photos from Ek Bahlam

The day after we visited Chichen Itza we went to see the ruins at Ek Bahlam, about 30 miles north of Valladolid.

We couldn't find a collectivo, and ended up taking a taxi. It was a bit like Mad Max - the taxi had a 3m radio aerial welded onto a frame sticking out of the front, the boot was filled by an enormous amplifier and there was an in car DVD player with a small LCD display stuck to the windscreen with duck tape. I'm not sure if this was for the driver or passengers.

We didn't expect it but the driver waited a couple of hours in the car park to take us back. I'd misunderstood him and paid the return fare when we got there.

The ruins were a nice change from Chichen Itza. The site is small and quiet - there were hardly any other visitors while we were there. Although the original city was very big, the excavated area is compact. The best restored areas are around the entrance at the Gemelas and the Acropolis, which are at opposite ends of a rectangular plaza. On either side there are very large unexcavated mounds. One of these mounds is in good enough condition to see parts of the original structure so you can imagine what it looked like, and get an idea of how archaeologists can decide how to reconstruct.

The highlight is the entrance to the tomb of Ukit-Kan-Lek-Tok which is half way up the Acropolis. This is a massive stucco sculpture in the form of a Flower Mountain mask covered with life sized statues. The open mouth of the mask forms the entrance to the tomb.

According to information at the site 85% of the stucco is original.

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© Neil 2015