Friday, December 21, 2012

End Of The "World" Palenque, MX Mayan Ruins

The Peace that was in the Palenque Mayan ruins, is no more.

Our first visit to the Palenque ruins was in 1984. We were ½ our age, full of little knowledge but eager to explore. We don’t remember much about the area around Palenque, the town or even where we stayed, but the sight of these ruins captured us. They had recently been excavated, everything was open, some of the bas reliefs were covered to save them, the grounds were cleared out and we were 2 of the handful of visitors that day.

We were able to descend into the tomb of King Pakal, located in the Temple of Inscriptions and directly view the sarcophagus lid—where there is much to-do about it being a drawing of a spaceship with the King as the pilot, if you listen to the ancient astronaut theorists. No more; the entire stairway is blocked off, no one permitted to climb.

Temple of The Inscriptions
1984 Photo of Sarcophagus LId

We meandered around the grounds today with about 2000 others, guides galore, some Mexicans, many tourists—many different languages spoken, many craft vendors: jewelry, purses, hats, clay carvings, leather artwork, paintings, you get the picture. But this time they are stretched out along the walkways and eventho not barking for business, they are intrusive.

And the tourists, come by the busload and travel in herds. Much like little ants climbing the ruins, looking about, taking pictures and scurrying down just to do the same thing to the next temple mound.  Not sure if they stop to smell the oldness and what used to be the sacred-ness of this site.

Noise and activity have definitely raised their ugly heads here—all in the name of commercialism.

We did find an area that is little traveled—Grupo C—which had not been excavated when we were there last. Grupo C is located east of the north group, down a path, over a bridge, near the Queen’s Falls and a bit past the turn off for the museum. It took some effort, but worth the walk. Secluded, dark, mossy, quiet and seemingly untouched, we were reminded of our first visit to Palenque. Few venture here.

We will return tomorrow, it’s the end of the Mayan calendar! Rumors abound of groups planning to gather at 11:11a.m. (we don’t understand the significance of the time, or how it was calculated) in the central plaza for “ceremonies”—we gotta get good seats in the shade for this spectacle!

Speaking of which—enjoy these photos of some of the “seekers” that have made a pilgrimage to Palenque for this event…..


  1. Wish we could be there!!!
    Much love -

  2. Maybe you'll be there at 11:11 and stay until 12:12 on 12/21/12. Hummm. Seems like it should have been 9 days ago.

    Commentary and pics are great. Thanks for letting us enjoy the experience along with you.