A few hours after arriving in Mexico Basswood sent a message saying he was in Valladolid. In the weeks before he left for Mexico he spent time on the internet learning about the history of these cities and ruins that he planned to visit.
For a few years now he has been interested in learning about the cities of ancient civilizations. He is very interested in trying to figure out what happened to peoples that built cities and pyramids, with stones that seem impossible to move let alone fit together so perfectly. Why were some of their cities conquered or deserted? Why were some of these large cities built so far from water sources or on top of hills with such steep sides they are so hard to climb up to?
Anyway, I want to learn a little about the places he visits and include some of what I learn in the blog here.
Valladolid (Saki in Maya) is in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. It was named after the capital of Spain, which was Valladolid at the time. It was first built in a marsh, and then: "On March 24, 1545, Valladolid was relocated to its current location, built atop a Maya town called Zaci or Zaci-Val, whose buildings were dismantled to reuse the stones to build the Spanish colonial town." I got this information from Valladolid's Wikipedia page here that said the police there speak good English and like to give directions. (I thought that was interesting.)
Next, Basswood was in Chichen Itza. The name Chichen Itza comes from the Yucatec Maya name which meant "at the mouth of the well of the Itza." "The earliest hieroglyphic date discovered at Chichen Itza is equivalent to 832 AD, while the last known date was recorded in the Osario temple in 998." The site includes a large stepped pyramid. "Chichen Itza is one of the most visited archaeological sites in Mexico; an estimated 1.2 million tourists visit the ruins every year." From Chichen Itza Wikipedia page here.
I wish I was able to visit these places with Basswood. He has such amazing insight and attention to detail that I could never pass on fully in this blog. I did go meet up with him on one of his first trips. He spent four months in Hawaii and I went over to "make sure he was able to find his way home." He had hitchhiked around the big island and then spent most of his time working at a farm that grew IMO's (Indigenous MicroOrganisms click to learn more) to help their crops grow better. When he travels and he wants to stay somewhere for a while, he likes to find a farm where he can learn a natural way of growing crops. He will then work there for room and board.
Anyway, back to meeting up with him in Hawaii: I left Minnesota the end of March. My airplane was delayed half an hour because it had to be deiced before we could fly. Now, as I said before I am very cheap and never thought I would buy a ticket to Hawaii. With Basswood's help I was able to get from Duluth, Minnesota, to Hawaii for $320. (A ticket on Delta cost $1300 at the time.) The catch was that I had a two day layover in Las Vegas. (I had never been there, and it turns out it is not really my thing.)
I am having computer trouble. I will finish this story tomorrow.