Location: Toniná, Chiapas, Mexico
We spent over eight hours on the bus today, but I got a chance to see a part of Mexico I have not seen before. The twisty mountain roads with peaks on one side and deep valleys on the other showed me how the indigenous peoples here have managed to preserve much of their unique cultures.
Our first stop was at Aqua Azul, probably the most perfect rest stop I have ever been to. Here there vendors offering the wonderful tiny delicious bananas that are nothing like the standard bananas shipped to the USA. And not only bananas, but fresh cut coconuts to drink, some interesting crafts, and prepared food and drinks. To top it off there is a lovely waterfall just outside of the parking area.
Then the ruins of Toniná. Marvelous. Our tour archaeologist is passionate about the Maya glyphs found on the stucco, stelae, and door lentils. He is a good story teller and presents a nice narrative of what went on here, sometimes giving a darker back story with information I would rather just not know. The pyramid is vast and has some interesting angles and passageways.
I look at the pyramids and temples and think back to my own experiences in building houses with all the meetings with the client, the architect, the decorators, and the engineers. Here they would have added the astronomers, priests, stone masons, stone carvers, and plaster artists. There must have been some lively discussions as to what was wanted and how it could be done. (And no doubt as in modern life, change orders affected the time and budget.)