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Stop 26 - Palenque

Happy birthday to me - not!

sunny 34 °C
View Waite World Tour on carlagregory's travel map.

After our non-event visit to San Cristobal we celebrated my birthday by getting on a bus and driving backwards to go forwards; on to Palenque - the city in the clouds!! Except there were no clouds....

We stopped into Palenque for a couple of days thinking the only thing we'd do was visit the ruins. If I had my time again I'd probably stay a little bit longer. The town itself is not much to look at but there is quite a lot to do surrounding it. We stayed in a gorgeous street with so many trees around us. It felt as if we were staying on the edge of a jungle. Birds making noise and flying around, iguanas sitting on rooftops and large butterflies were all the norm as you stepped outside. The weather was hot and steamy during the day with beautiful blue skies then rainy at night.

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Our first day was pretty lazy and we walked around the town. In the afternoon we went to their zoo. It was more of a wildlife rescue centre than a zoo but it had some pretty cool animals. We were the only people there so had incredible views of all the animals. As we arrived it was feeding time for the jaguars. They have a black jaguar which is partially blind and he looked gorgeous!! Unfortunately we didn't get many pics of him because he was so dark - its hard to make out the features. They also had a spotted jaguar who again looked absolutely gorgeous.

One thing the zoo is doing is rescuing and breeding the scarlet macaws. Supposedly the local population was extinct so they have rescued some and started breeding and releasing. They are free roaming throughout the zoo and you see and hear them everywhere. Occasionally they venture into the town and on our second morning we were lucky enough to have a pair of them in a tree at our hotel one morning. Lucky might not be the right word as they make one hell of a racket.

Also at the zoo were many hawks - James was happy with this. A few crocodiles, lots of turtles, spider monkeys, howler monkeys (just hanging out in the trees - not actually an exhibition...) and ocelots. Our visit was a very nice surprise. We didn't realise it was there until the morning of our visit and we had the most amazing time just wondering and looking at all the animals.

The following day we took a visit to the ruins. This was the reason why we visited Palenque and OMG it is just beautiful. Here's how our visit went:

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Me: "WOW!! This place is amazing! James, don't you think its beautiful?"
James: "Yep, its beautiful"

5 mins later...
Me: "I just cant get over how beautiful this place is! Can you?"
James: "Yep, its beautiful"

5 mins later....
Me: "Oh wow, I don think our photos will show how beautiful this place really is. James, are you seeing how beautiful it is?!"
James: "Yep, its beautiful"
Me: "Lucas, don't you think its beautiful?"
Lucas: "If I walk up those stairs you owe me $7"

So, in case you're not getting it - the place is BEAUTIFUL!! I just loved it! What they have uncovered and restored is only 10% of the city. There is still a lot more out there covered by jungle. I really loved this place and its probably been my favourite ruins to date.

After the ruins we went to go swim in a waterfall. No one actually told us they had massive storms come through about 3 days earlier. These are the same storms that hit us in San Cristobal. Trees were down, logs and branches were sticking out of the water which was all brown and rushing so fast that it meant there was no way we were going swimming. DISAPPOINTING!!! As we were there with a tour group we were stuck there for a couple of hours. We walked down as far as we could, it looked pretty but it would have been better if we could swim. So we went and waited in the field and drank beer.

I have put up limited photos of Palenque - there are more I just need to get off my behind and upload them. Watch this space!

There was so much more we could have seen / done whilst in the area but time is of the essence and we had to move on. Moving slowly closer to Cuba - one more stop in Mexico before we get on the plane.

Posted by carlagregory 18:14 Archived in Mexico

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