Friday, 19 October 2007

At Last, Becan

becan ix
Originally uploaded by

We visited Becan yesterday, a ruined Mayan city in the state of Campeche. Readers of The Joshua Files will know the significance of this place - no spoilers please!!!

After the carnival of Tulum, Becan was a wonderful experience. Can you believe that we were the only people visiting this amazing monument? Yes, for the two hours we were there we had the whole place to ourselves. No other tourists, no tour guides, no vendors hassling us. Just the sounds of the surrounding jungle. And the racket we made - two children can't be silent after all.

You catch a glimpse the summit of the tallest pyramid, Structure IX, over the tops of surroundings trees as you approach from the main road, Highway 186.

Closer though everything is shrouded in dense jungle, so you walk through trees and then notice stones and steps from the base of the temples, cool grey in the midst of green; leaves, creepers and a mossy ground. At Becan the temples really do appear to rise up out of the jungle.

Becan has four really huge structures which are quite well restored; Structures II, VIII, IX and X. There are a large number of other buildings too, but many are still swallowed by the jungle. I wonder why the place isn't more well-known. I suspect it's only recently been restored to this level. I saw photos of Structure IX years ago and the staircase was a pile of rubble. Now though, as you can see, this side of the temple is quite well restored, with the staircase good and sharp all the way to the top.

We didn't climb this one - there was a helpful rope but also a note saying 'please don't climb the pyramid'.

We did however climb Structure VIII, from where we took this photo. And my cousin Oscar and daughter couldn't resist crawling into a tunnel on Structure X, where they found a chamber with bats...

My valiant husband tried again to take some non-hideous photos of me for the publishers. About 90% were gruesome, but we do have some usable candidates now, especially if Photoshop can help out. The sun was beating down on us most of the time, and I was the only one allowed to use the brow-mopping cloth, so this 'photo shoot' was none too comfortable.


Lucas said...

Wow...Those pyramids look awesome!
Sounds great MG! I feel sorry for Oscar and...Alice is it? Bats are cute though. Not when they fly all around you. lol.


R1X said...

'Tis weird to think that you're actually there whilst I read about your protagonist being there - it's like some trippy fictional paradox!

Book is better than I imagined - any chance I can be the first to review it online?

Top stuff.

MG said...

Hey guys! I'm sitting in a lovely hotel in Playa del Carmen, all little thatched Mayan huts and tropical gardens, by the Caribbean sea.

When my daughter lets me have some time on the computer I'll blog about the other ruins we saw. Poor, poor Josh. The more I see of the jungle where I stranded him, the guiltier I feel. It is mosquito city! We were chewed alive after a few hours in there at the ruins, and we were covered in insect repellent.

R1X, I'm delighted you're enjoying the book. Of course you can review it. Amazon is right there...just be sure to post a spoiler warning if you're going to reveal too much plot!

Lucas said...

lol. I started a thread on amazon with my review aswell, ages ago now though, wether it's still ther or not, i don't know.
I agree with you, the book is better than i thought, judging by the cover of the uncorrected proof, i thought, yes this could be interesting. But you know what they say, Never, judge a book by it's cover (especiall when it's uncorrected and has no cover).