Where are we now? Would you believe Palenque, Mexico. We are in a jungle named the Lacandona Jungle. Let me give you a better idea. We are in the provence of Chiapas and around 100 miles from the border with Guatemala. Now that you know where we are maybe you can tell me. I have no idea except the hotel is in the middle of what appears to be a jungle.
We started our day leaving Veracruz at 8:30. We had previously been told that this was be the longest bus ride of the tour and would last approximately ten hours based on the condition of the roads.
I had not slept much last night since I wanted to make sure that I slept on the bus. We stopped at around 10:30 for our normal restroom stop. The countryside is very lush and pineapple and sugar cane fields were plentiful on both sides of the road. We saw very few field workers. I was told that these were large commercial farms.
We finally stopped for lunch at about 12:30 at a large local restaurant. We were served platters of a local dish that had various meats and vegetables. The dish is called “Parrillada”. You then make tacos out of them. The tacos that are made here are made with a sort of corn flat bread and not the large chips that we use. One item that was unique was dessert. We were offered various flavors of ice cream served in the skins of the fruit flavors. An example is apple ice cream that was served in the skin of an apple. I have never seen this sort of dish done this way.
It was then back into the bus for a two hour ride to an archeological museum in the city of VillaHermosa. VillaHermosa is the capital city of the province of Tabasco. As soon as we arrived it started to rain. We were all given light rain gear and met the local guide. Of course, I left my cameras on the bus. The museum was situated in a rain forest area and has been open for over sixty years. There was an animal named a “coati” running around. It looks like an ant eater with fur and a beautiful raccoon tail. There were also large areas of screaming monkeys, alligators and reptiles. The local guide showed us the stone structures that were excavated from an archeological site named “La Venta”. La Venta was built by people called “Olmeca”. The site was built more than 1000years ago and way before the Aztecs and Mayas. The Olmeca constructed large faces carved into large stones. The faces sort of reminded me of the pictures I have seen of Easter Island and the structures there. Having no camera I would advise people to google this site and see what I mean. One interesting face, was this large face where the subject had what looked like a helmet on his head. Some people say that these people saw aliens and they were depicting what they saw. Also, the tour guide told us that when they dug up many of the bodies, their faces were facing the sky.
It was then back into the bus for a three hour ride to our hotel. We went over some very rough roads and arrived at our hotel in the dark at about 8 PM. The internet is horrible due to us being in the jungle so I am writing this blog from the lobby. We were told that we would hear screaming monkeys all night long. I started to have visions and memories of the African Bush.
Tomorrow we visit some ruins that are not well known and traveled. We will also be exploring Palenque and the surrounding area. Fortunately we will be here for two nights. Laundry is a necessity.