June 27, 2008

Uxmal:  Site of Lost Grandeur

Twenty years ago, my friend Mark Schalit and I took a vacation in Mexico's Yucatan peninsula. We traveled from Mérida to Cancún via a tour bus. Naturally we saw lots of Maya ruins.

We had a few little adventures. The airline lost one of Mark's suitcases--poor Mar-Mar. The tour forced us to stay overnight in a fleabag hotel in Chichén Itzá, and we almost didn't get a seat on the outbound bus. But as compensation, we saw the spring equinox light up one of the Great Pyramid's rattlesnake staircases.

In Cancún we split up. I wanted to explore the land and its history while he wanted to hit the beaches by day and the discotheques by night. On our last day, our departure time changed and I had to find him in an hour. Luckily, I knew him well enough that it wasn't a challenge. He was lounging on the patio of one of the big hotels, and I guessed which one on my first try.

I was still employed at Northrop then, doing programming for the corporate office. So I wouldn't say I was a full-fledged writer. But I wrote various things after hours at work while I waited for the traffic to die down.

After the trip I penned a series of travel articles on our trip. I tried to peddle them to travel magazines, but I didn't have much hope. With no track record in the highly competitive industry, a novice like me had little chance to break in.

I did publish part of one article, but the others have remained in my files. Since they cover Mesoamerican Indian topics, they're relevant to this blog. Therefore, here's the first of a four-part series. Enjoy!

Uxmal:  Site of Lost Grandeur


writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
That pyramid's 'rattlesnake staircases' are in fact tribute representations of Kukulkan. writerfella as a Kiowan and a Tanoan Maya knows that very well indeed...
All Best
Russ Bates

Rob said...

Yeah, yeah. I was describing what they look like, not what they represent.