Originally uploaded by mgharris
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.