Sunday, December 27, 2015

Photo-of-the-Week #243The Ancient Ones Stand, Tulum, Mexico, September 2003

Most of my nomadic travel finds me in the continental lower 48 of the United States. But, there have been those occasions when I have crossed borders and oceans to lands afar. The U.S. has so much land to explore and has been so much development during the approximately 500+ years since Europeans invaded the “New World” there is a vast abundance of things to see and learn. Of course, other than the native American Indian nations that inhabited this land before the Europeans and their antiquity, most of the historic cities, towns and structures in the U.S. are considered pretty modern compared to what one finds in Europe, Africa, especially the Middle East, and Asia.

I took this photo on one of my expeditions outside the borders of my native country. This was also one of my earliest uses of digital photography. The camera I shot this with was actually not much more sophisticated than my first Kodak Brownie box camera I shot black and white photos with. I got it for Christmas when I was probably 8 to 10 years old. True, this little digital camera was about half the size of my Brownie, but utilized, basically, similar technology. It had a simple viewfinder, a simple, fixed lens, a limited amount of memory only allowing so many photos before they had to be “developed” in the case of the Brownie or “downloaded” (no removable memory) in the case of this small Olympus digital.

This photo is of the ancient Castillo (castle) with the watch tower overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Tulum dates back to the 13th Century and is the only Mayan city known to have been built on the coast. It was a seaport trading city in its day. While it has largely been overridden by the jungle surrounding it, it is now a Mexican national park and, accordingly is maintained. Tulum is also an archaeological site, providing much information into the ancient Mayan culture. When I visited, in 2003, visitors were no longer allowed to climb on the ruins or go into the structures. Prior to restricting open access, the ruins were being ruined, no pun intended, by people climbing and chipping and leaving behind graffiti.

This site is beautiful and, I was there on a beautiful day in September. It is pretty darn hot and very humid in this region, so my New Zealand friends, who were also with me, and I shed our clothes to our bathing suits and took a dip in the beautiful Caribbean with other tourists. While it is a ruin, it is still remarkably well kept and I would highly recommend a visit to Tulum if you happen to go to nearby Cancun, a modern resort city, circa 1974, about 700 years newer.

Live free and be happy. EH    

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