Kathy quickly became comfortable with the latter and so that’s what we got.
The drive along most of the
35 miles out of
We bumped along past lots of brush, now and then a home or two (most of which were up on stilts because of flood seasons), and a few monkeys. It took us about 45 minutes to go the four miles to the turn off for Altun Ha, a Maya ruin in the area.
Altun Ha was at its height (with about 10000 people living at it) from around 200 to 900 CE. The parts of it that are excavated seem to suggest it was a major ceremonial center.
Its largest excavated Temple, the Temple of Masonry Altars (the building you’re seeing over Kathy’s shoulder), has a single stairway going up to the altar at its top and inside excavators found tombs with bodies of what they believe were the high priests.
Also found at Altun Ha was a 15 cm high jade head of Kinich Ahau, the Maya Sun God. As with many other Maya sites, between 900 and 1000 CE, some kind of disruption –a revolt? a regional conflict? a Mayan “church rummage sale”?--seems to have happened to cause the population to decline severely.
After Altun Ha we bumped out way back to the main highway and headed north to Orange Walk, the second largest town in
On the way back, since it was getting toward sundown, we decided to stop by the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary to see if—even though we didn’t plan to go out in a boat-- we could spot any Jabiru storks, which supposedly make their homes there during December and January. The road into the sanctuary, however, was “under construction” (read—even more full of ruts than the trail to Altun Ha) and after about ½ hour driving on it and seeing no birds at all, we decided to turn around.We got back to