Just 27 km from Valladolid, the exploration of Ek Balam, its Mayan ruins of course, and also the natural surroundings and their inhabitants, is a peaceful and nourishing experience.
A delicious array of textures, tones and shapes is found within the construction of walls and buildings of ancient Mayans. I wonder how big a role esthetics played in the design of the structures, and how much utilitarianism. Walls are known to have been as thick as 3 metres for fortification and as high as 4 metres.
Several structures at Ek Balam were constructed with attractive rounded corners. Were there practical reasons for this, or did it simply please the ancient Mayan eye?
The popular straight edged Mayan arch is found near the entrance to the site grounds.
Climbing the pyraminds is permitted at Ek Balam, and views across the jungle are to be earned by reaching the top.
The incredible Turquoise-browed Mot Mot (above) is spotted by Aaron White and captured with his zoom lens, to his great delight. Below, another shot of the exotic bird is to be appreciated.
Climbing the treacherously steep pyramid is the only way to view the fabulous carved images high above. (Photos below by Aaron White)
Making the often deserted ruins its home, we see a large iguana basking on the upper reaches of the pyramid, perhaps competing for territory with its fellow creature, the ruins dog who arrived at the foot of the pyramid, barking and wagging her tail madly until she was fed.
The vast numbers of Mayan ruins which remain standing today are truly cultural and educational treasures, with their clues and insights into ancient civilization—to be deeply cherished and protected by modern people.
Clearly, the perfect ending to a day of exploration at Ek Balam is an ice cold coconut!