Day 19

6am bus to Palenque, arrived at 3pm (the bus went on the longest route possible, giving us plenty of time to argue about whether Chris had booked the wrong bus [Chris edit: he hadn’t]). We arrived at our jungle digs and hung out by the pool for the afternoon. Human life was pretty quiet but the wildlife was booming - could hear the howler monkeys all night long!

Day 20

Awoke early to head to the Palenque ruins - on leaving the hostel we were convinced by a charismatic guide to accept a tour for an extortionate price, and then realised he wasn’t even the tour guide when he led us to an elderly gentleman called Victor who would be our guide for the day. Victor set about dispelling all the ‘myths’ about Palenque - firstly he told us the ‘Mayan’s’ did not exist in that they never called themselves Mayans, it was a named imposed by the Spanish Colonists (so far so true), then he explained the bones of the ‘Red Queen’ (found in one of the tombs) were recently tested and discovered to be male bones (no evidence of this can be found on Google), and later he went on to tell us his grand theory of history - that Palenque was repeatedly conquered by groups of people from across the world long before the Spanish - people from China, from Egypt and from India who added their own styles of architecture and decor. He then proceeded to point at things and say ‘Look! Chinese dragon! Egyptian figures! Taj Mahal!’ etc, much to our amusement and the confusion of others around us. According to Victor “history books are rubbish”. We were quite on board with his theory, until he said he got most of his information ‘from my dreams’. Riiiiiiiight. It was certainly entertaining, and if anything it was interesting to consider the similarities between different cultures which were on other sides of the world from each other. We also went on a walk through the jungle next to the ruins, where you could see there are still many more ruins yet to be uncovered and excavations are still underway, but whatever they find, we can be sure Victor has an alternative theory! After all that fun, we got the bus to Lake Bacalar and arrived at 3am in the morning, and were shown to our humble abode (a ropey looking tent with holes in).

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