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Friday, August 30, 2013

Day 127 Friday August 30, 2013

I am in Corozal Town, Belize. Corozal Town is a town in the nation of Belize, capital of Corozal District. Corozal Town is located about 84 miles north of Belize City, and 9 miles from the border with Mexico. The population of Corozal Town, according to the main results of the 2010 census, is 9,871. Corozal was a private estate before becoming a town in the 1840s, mostly settled by Mestizo refugees from the Caste War of Yucatán. Much of the town was built over an ancient Maya city, sometimes known as Santa Rita; this may have been the original Pre-Columbian town called Chetumal. Corozal Town was badly damaged by Hurricane Janet in 1955, and was substantially rebuilt afterwards.

I plan to leave my bike and gear at this hotel and with a backpack I will catch a boat in the morning and go to San Pedro and then on to Caye Caulker, towns on islands in the Caribbean Sea, then make my way back here. More will be revealed.

Some photos from around Corozal.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Day 119 Thursday August 22, 2013

I stayed in San Cristobal for over three weeks and did not publish a blog because what happens in San Cristobal must stay in San was easily my favorite place in Mexico so far. That is my story and I am sticking to it!

I am now in Palenque and went to the Mayan ruins, by the same name, today. I took a jungle tour from a young man named Fausto.   It was very interesting and we explored some of the approximately 90% of Palenque that has not been excavated. I saw my first wild monkey....actually two howler monkeys having breakfast.

Palenque was a Maya city state in southern Mexico that flourished in the 7th century. The Palenque ruins date back to 226 BC to its fall around 1123 AD. After its decline, it was absorbed into the jungle, which is made up of cedar, mahogany, and sapodilla trees, but has been excavated and restored and is now a famous archaeological site attracting thousands of visitors. It is located near the Usumacinta River in the Mexican state of Chiapas.

Palenque is a medium-sized site, much smaller than such huge sites as Tikal or Copán, but it contains some of the finest architecture, sculpture, roof comb and bas-relief carvings that the Mayas produced. Much of the history of Palenque has been reconstructed from reading the hieroglyphic inscriptions on the many monuments; historians now have a long sequence of the ruling dynasty of Palenque in the 5th century and extensive knowledge of the city-state's rivalry with other states such as Calakmul and Toniná. The most famous ruler of Palenque was Pacal the Great whose tomb has been found and excavated in the Temple of the Inscriptions.
By 2005, the discovered area covered up to 2.5 km² (1 sq mi), but it is estimated that less than 10% of the total area of the city is explored, leaving more than a thousand structures still covered by jungle.

This is my guide Fausto. This city was abandoned and given back to the jungle 1300 years.

These howler monkeys were through with their breakfast and resting....these were the best shots I was able to get of them. Fausto told me that there were twelve monkeys in this group.