Neil’s Website

Photos from our Holiday in Mexico and Guatemala

I've set this page up as a record of our holiday on the Yucatan peninsula. In the same way that the link on this site to "Thailand" really means "Thailand and Cambodia" on these pages "Mexico" covers our holiday in Mexico and Guatemala.

The plan was to get in some diving and visit as many Mayan sites as possible in three weeks.

We flew into Cancun and started with a few days in Tulum to get acclimatised, do some diving and visit the ruins there, and at Coba then headed over to Valladolid to visit Chichen Itza and Ek Bahlam.

From there we went to Merida and spent a few days there and visited Uxmal before taking the bus down to see the ruins at Palenque.

We visited the ruins at Yaxchilan and Bonampak on our way into Guatemala to stay in Flores and visit Tikal. We returned to Tulum for the last few days for more diving.

Background to Mayan history.

The Mayan civilization existed in Mesoamerica (roughly western Honduras, Guatemala, Belize and Southern Mexico), from about 1000 BC until the arrival of the Conquistadors.

Mayan history is usually divided into the Pre-Classic (up to 250 AD), Classic (250 - 925 AD) and Post-Classic periods (925 - 1500 AD). The Classic period is the time when a specific form of calendar - the Mayan Long Count Calendar - was used to date monuments.

During the Classic period the main centres of Mayan power were in the south. At the end of the Classic period there was a collapse of Mayan society, particularly in the south, and many cities were abandoned. During the Post-Classic period the centre of power moved north to Chichen Itza.

Mayan society was organised into warring city states. After battles low ranking captives were enslaved, while high ranking captives were tortured and sacrificed. Sometimes the captives were sacrificed years after capture to coincide with an auspicious date.

The Mayans didn't have metal tools, the wheel or pack animals - it's amazing what you can achieve with slave labour and a complete disregard for Health and Safety Legislation.

You can find more information here.

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While we were away I used some software on a flash drive to directly edit this website. I used portable versions of Firefox, Thunderbird and Nvu from Portableapps with FastStone Image Viewer to resize the pictures. I used PStart as a launcher application and Remora USB Disk Guard for security (you only need to encrypt one small folder). This meant I could use the software I wanted, set up how I liked on any PC in any Internet Cafe.

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© Neil 2015