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k at e & j o j o ’ s g r a n d a d v e n t u r e i n

On th e Ferry to Isla

1:30p m

It’s ov ercast, u n b e li eva b l y wind y, choppy and b u m py. We’re ta king th e ferry to magica l Isla Mu je res, th e Island of Wom e n, th e island of ou r d reams. I’m s itting on th e dec k lea n ing aga inst a stac k of ru b b e r d ingys, as it’s muc h too wind y to sit on a n op e n b enc h. Th e music pla ying is peacef u l and Enya-like. Th e ocea n rea l l y is ‘ca ri b bea n b l u e’. Th e practica l l y-p erfect-Goddesses a re v e ry cont ent. We a re i n paradis e.

The sea that calls all things unto her calls me, and I must embark. kahlil gibran

“Large tiered fountains trickle a calming water flow amidst a courtyard filled with large trees, rocks, shells, a beautiful tiled swimming pool, little nooks to sit and relax in, and most wonderful of all … hammocks.”

“The last tequila, the aged, is worthy of sipping slowly; advised even, as it is full flavored and the aging enhances its fiery burn as it goes down.�

“It was relaxing, and we sank deep into the natural rhythms of the way life is supposed to be … calm, peaceful and easy.”

“the inscription on the empty Tomb of the [whiny] pirate mundaca reads, ‘As you are, I was; as i am, you will be’ … in spanish.”

“casa de los suenos … the house of dreams … is divine decadence at it’s finest. the view of the ocean is breathtaking, and sensuous beauty is everywhere.”

“it was as if i was reborn in that hour … cleansed and whole again to start the next phase of my life.”

“it’s such a magical feeling, to swim with the dolphins. they’re intelligent and kind, and feel like nothing i’ve ever touched. soft, velvety … almost like solidified air.”

“we set up camp on the couch with the low table, gazing out at the blue, blue water and sipping the most delicious tequila mojito’s.”

“We gathered shells and sea treasures and greeted the sun. It was a moment full of reverence, gratitude, and an ancient sense of belonging, simply because we are women.�

“we sat enjoying cappuccino and watching the meridians enjoying their sunday afternoon before going to the cathedral – at 472 years, the oldest one in north america.”

“peon contreras was calling our name, a wonderful little restaurant that spilled out of it’s doors onto a paved causeway. plastic tables under unbrellas, cute little sexy waiters, and live music!”

“we partook of a long, leisurely lunch at the luxurious Hacienda xcanatun. tall, stately royal palms rise out of the manicured lawn, surrounded by carefully tended trees, shrubs and flower beds.�

“yacxim, our mayan shaman, left us with a wonderful message: don’t think so much. spend more time in your heart and less in your head. open up, feel, love completely and fully.”

“the magician’s pyramid is front and centre and commands attention from every vantage point.”

“it was a place both new and familiar. at one point, as i wandered across the open courtyard, a voice whispered to me, ‘so, daughter of uxmal, you have at last returned’.”

“the afternoon was growing late, and the sun cast a mesmerizing golden glow over the aged stones.�

“Each city had a gigantic archway where the sacbe entered the city, and they werre identical edifices.�

“there is a door in each wall and two windows in each of the east and west walls. these mark the solstics and the equinoxes. On the spring equinox, the sun rises directly through the open doorway.�

“I get the impression this was a scientific community, a university to study time and the stars. Maybe they were the calendar makers.�

“the cenote appears like a green and turquoise jewel amid layers and multi-steps of limestone. fed by underground rivers, it’s always fresh and full of lilies and small fish.”

“izamal is called the yellow city, because all the city centre buildings, the old ones around the monastery, and the pyramids are painted yellow oche.�

“izamal had three pyramids, but in the mid 1500s the first and largest was destroyed, and a huge franciscan monastery and church was built on the same spot from the same stones.�

“kinich is an oasis of lush, tropical beauty in an ocean of yellow stucco buildings and tiny, narrow streets. we had a fabulous lunch there!�

“they have a little palapa set up right in the restaurant where mayan women bake corn tortillas over an open fire using a gas barrel lid for a skillet.�

“the first glimpse of the great pyramid through the trees is truly awe inspiring. it’s so majestic, rising up from the manicured lawn and towering over everything in the area.”

“we had read that from the parking lot of our hotel there is a path leading to the ruins of ‘old chichen’, pre-cursor to main chichen and about 500 years older. of course we decided to check it out.”

“we wanded along the path for 10 minutes or so before we came across beautiful, majestic, crumbling temples and what must surely have been a palace.�

“it was breathtakingly beautiful and hauntingly peaceful. ‘ancient’ does not begin to describe how old these stones are. curious carvings abound; everything is decorated, and every decoration is meaningful.”

“the ‘platform of skulls’ where important people were laid to rest.”

“the huge ball court, used for the ‘major leagues’. there is an engraving showing the losing team captain holding the decapitated head of the champion. apparently it was an honour to be sacrificed in this way!”

“the place of 1,000 columns, where the market used to be.�

“Ek’Balam, the shadow jaguar or star jaguar, was the most astonishing pyramid by far. it’s massive, both in width and height. we counted 97 steps to the top.”

“on one side they reconstructed a throne; a huge jaguar mouth with lots of intricate carvings and relief sculptures covered with the smooth stucco the ancient mayans used. the result is breathtaking.�

“the front half of coba, 120 large steps that go straight up. the view is spectacular, 360° of jungle stretching out to the horizon.”

“it’s a 30 min hike from the parking lot to the great pyramid, so we hired a ‘mayan limo’ to take us up. these are 3-wheeled bikes that have a seat in front for 2 [small] people and a young mayan boy who pedals.”

“tequila ice cream. what’s not to love?!”

“the ancient fortress of tulum sits high atop the cliffs overlooking the ocean. it’s a huge area both beautiful and haunting. this is where royalty and upper society lived,�

“the city was surrounded on three sides by a huge wall, and on the fourth side by sheer cliffs that dropped down to the ocean.�

“there are virtually no carvings at tulum; only one temple has carved faces at the four corners. one with eyes open and the other with eyes closed, symbolizing birth and death.�

“the sun was shining bright and only a few wispy clouds scuttled across the blue, blue sky as we strolled leisurely down to the hub of this sleepy little town.”

“we sat at a table on the sidewalk, enjoying coffee con leche, the balmy weather, the view of the beach, and the echo of rolling surf.�

“the sunrise was glorious. it spread out across the sky, tinging the clouds on both horizons. the waning moon clung on, shining valiantly, but soon faded as the sun rose above the clouds.�

and p enn i less. We d i ned i n th e resta urants of th e e lit e, and wa l ked among th e beggars i n th e m ercado. We con v ersed wi th th e peop l e of th e land, thos e who proud l y ca l l th ems e l ves Maya n, and wa l ked pa ths that ma n y ge n erations hav e trod .

Fe b rua ry 16, Da y 14 I occ urs to m e that this jou rn e y, this oddys e y into anc i ent Mexico has also b e e n a jou rn e y into m y sou l; a re-birthing, a ti m e of c leans ing, hea ling and p reparation for th e second half of m y life. I a m ret u rn ing hom e a changed woma n. I hav e lea rned muc h about mys elf, life, and relations hips. We hav e s e e n a broad s pect ru m of life, both anc i ent and mod e rn, affl u ent

We touc hed stones that w e re anc i ent before b e ing cut and placed into arc hetect ura l l y s u p e rior feats of engi n e e ring ov e r 2.5 thousand years ago. And th e y stil l stand toda y, thos e myst e rious p h enoms. We asc ended th e ta l lest of pyra mids and vi e wed th e world as did th e high p riests and ru l ers long ago. We desc ended into cav e rnous c e ynotes wh e re anc i ent peop l e ca m e to s wi m, hea l and wors hi p. I fe l t age less e n ergy cours ing u p from thes e pow erf u l places through th e soles of m y feet and th e pa lms of m y hands. It has b e e n a grand ad v en t u re, and I a m forev e r alt e red .

k at e & j o j o ’ s g r a n d a d v e n t u r e i n

Kate & Jojo's Grand Adventure in Mexico  

Photographs and captions of the Mexican Yucatan

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