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Many Adventures of a Nomadic Poet A young poet with Asperger's makes travel his passion, and away he goes...

Tale of Stone Lady

BELIZE | Thursday, 16 February 2012 | Views [1788]

As I'm in the car with Matt, Claire, and Maddi, I was thinking of going to Spanish Lookout to hopefully meet some Mennonites but I decided to go along with them west toward Guatemala. They were discussing visiting the Mayan ruin of Xunantunich (pronounced "su-NON-tu-NEECH"). I had them drop me off so I could get some water and I at first opted not to join them but as they were sitting there waiting for the car ferry I opted to get back in the car. We were on our way to the ruins, which were remarkably clean because Prince Harry is scheduled to make in appearance here in a couple of weeks. Admission to the ruins is only BZ$10 (US$5) but it turned out to be the most worthwhile $5 I spent on my journey. Xunantunich means "stone lady" but it sure seems like the kind of place which, once upon a time was a beautiful blonde bombshell transformed into a set of stone buildings! It is magnificent! The site has only been excavated within the last 20 years and mounds and symmetry clearly show there are many more buildings to be unearthed. The largest structure is El Castillo.

Ascending the stairs I make my way higher, and halfway up the four of us notice howler monkeys in the trees leaping from branch to branch. What a majestic sight! Despite the fact the sun is beaming down on me the view is breathtaking! Guatemala is only a stone's throw away and you can see the entire site from the top of El Castillo. 

With my arms high in the air I could have stayed up there for a long, long time; reminiscent of when I was on the Sydney Harbour Bridge pylon. When you enter an opening of El Castillo or just about any building of any Mayan ruin it'll be nice and cool, though often filled with graffiti. For some reason idiots have to write things like "Kelly was here 8-11" but seriously, isn't a photo enough to certify that you've been here? It's also annoying that people leave their Coke bottles lying around! These ruins are special and they should be preserved for the next person to see. A girl dropped her camera as we were descending but I got it and brought it back up to her. Thankfully it didn't break. Matt told me about how he and Claire spent several months in Australia in the mid '90s and how before the age of digital cameras you could only take about three or four photos in one place, and that you didn't actually see them until you got them developed. Ahhh, the beauty of digital! Claire was ahead of Matt, Maddi, and I when she signalled for us to hurry. There was a large black and silvery lizard in the field. Honing my wildlife photography skills I get clever to get one my best wildlife shots! 

This is a black iguana; one of the biggest lizards I've ever seen. It was very hard leaving Xunantunich, and I strongly recommend going if you're in the area; it'll be the best $5 you'll spend in Belize if not all of Central America. Afterward we all had a picnic lunch of sandwiches made with tinned ham. Tasty after a steamy walk through (or date with) "Stone Lady." And yes, "magnificent" is Xunantunich in one word!


Tags: maya, ruins


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