Saturday, August 23, 2014


It was a rough seven-hour ride into the jungle to visit the renowned Palenque ruins, in the opposite direction unfortunately from the Guatemalan border to which we were headed. I’ve always had a hard time with destinations that don’t fit neatly within our route. Blame it on my OCD, or my debilitating car-sickness, but I have to really want to see something to go out of my way for it. And maybe I’ve become a little travel-jaded, but after seeing a couple of really amazing ruins, I wasn’t sure the trip to these would feel worth it. That little place the Incas built in Peru… those things everybody talks about in Egypt… I felt kind of spoiled as far as ancient civilizations go.

However, the Palenque ruins are the reason many travelers visit this region of Mexico. The Lonely Planet refers to them as a “national treasure”. There must be something to all the hype. I reasoned that we would never look back and regret that we WENT, but we may regret that we DIDN’T. So, we packed our bags and boarded the bus.

My impressions of Palenque? It’s touristy. Really, really touristy. The first place we’ve been in Mexico where we were charged the “gringo price” for things and were pretty sure we were being swindled most of the time. And it’s hot. Really hot. But that’s nothing new. And the ruins? They were cool. Reece was way more into them then I was, and for that, I am super happy that we went. But he was also on a heavy dose of cold medicine.

I hate to sound unappreciative, they were certainly an impressive site. An absolutely worthwhile place to visit. And I’m glad that we went so I could judge for myself and not always wonder if I missed out. I just wasn’t completely blown away for some reason. I think because history isn’t really my thing, so I’m more excited by a GIANT pyramid, then one with incredibly well maintained carvings.

One intriguing fact however – After the ancient city’s decline, it was completely engulfed by the jungle. They estimate that less than 10% of the total area has been excavated, leaving potentially thousands of structures still concealed in the surrounding wilderness. Spooky!

Anyway, here are some of my favorite shots from our day at Palenque. Okay, maybe I was just having a bad day. They are pretty damn cool…

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