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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Cozumel, Mexico Cruise : Of Ruins and Agaves


Wazzup Pilipinas!

The cruise ship you see here is our ride to Cozumel, Mexico - the start of our sort of Caribbean cruise gone loco. Loco because we had no tour guide so we found ourselves going back and forth in the ruins (talk about a daring exploration), and sometimes getting lost or going around in circles. But it was an exciting and thrilling experience - with dried throats and death-defying thirsts the entire afternoon).

For some historical background, we have learned that the Conquistadors first saw Mexico from the shores of Cozumel while searching for gold. Today, visitors to the island continue to seek out gold and silver jewelry in the shops of San Miguel while having a great time in its many local bars and restaurants. Plus, the waters around Cozumel's sheltered coral reefs make this one of the best snorkeling areas in the world.

Cozumel is an island in the Caribbean Sea off the eastern coast of Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula, opposite Playa del Carmen, and close to the Yucatán Channel. Cozumel is one of the ten municipalities of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo.


Don't miss the opportunity to explore the ruins of the ancient Mayan city of Tulúm, majestically perched above the turquoise Caribbean. The site was occupied as far back as 600 A.D. However, it was most densely populated around 1200 A.D. You will be struck by the pyramid-shaped El Castillo, which dominates the city from atop a forty-foot cliff. The nearby Temple of the Descending God provides equally excellent insight into the architecture of the Mayan people, who gained considerable achievements in the arts and sciences, only to decline and vanish for no apparent reason.



It was a very pleasant day to go out on a tour of Cozumel here in Mexico. The sky was all with white fluppy-looking white clouds like cotton candies.

I must have picked the best day to go on a trip and explore the beauty of this Caribbean island. The island is mostly known for its many ruins and the agave or mezcales plant.

 



 








For each ruin, a plate planted on the grounds fronting the ruins were setup for the knowledge and information gathering of tourists. Beats asking the tour guide every time.

 
  
 
We can see the agava plantations all over the place.
 
Agave, sometimes called "Century Plant" in English, is common throughout Mexico and the Southwest United States. Its uses are incredibly varied: it has been used for its fiber, for food, and in ancient times the thorns were used as needles and for blood-letting ceremonies. In recent times, the sap, called aguamiel has been converted into agave nectar, a natural sweetener with a low glycemic index. However, its most common use throughout time has been to make alcoholic beverages.



After going around the ruins for several hours (because we lost our directions), we finally found the path going back to civilization.

The folks back at the tourist center saw us all exhausted and weary. Well, at least we can boast that we made it on our own (due to the lack of a contact person to call or even a compass to tell us which way is north or south, or even a map).



There were several of these paintings on tarpaulin billboards displayed around the area where some agaves are also planted.





To identify the ruins are more of these tiled signage spread out on all the historical ruins.




Well, since we do not really have a tour guide with us, and the locals are not really knowledgeable about the accurate facts surrounding the ruins, I had to rely more on research online.

More stories are available about our adventures in Cozumel, Mexico soon.


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