We spent the day visiting the Mayan ruins of Bonampak. Although small in comparison to neighboring ruins, Bonampak is known for its impressive, well preserved murals. Structures on the site date from AD 580 to 800. It was discovered by non-Mayans in 1946.
Vibrant orange and bright white growth on rocks:
The murals show ceremonies involving priests and nobles, rituals like bloodletting, and war scenes. The murals were created with a fresco technique, using lime plaster that becomes an integral part of the wall when dry. They have been preserved through antiquity due to a leaky roof that covered the murals in transparent calcium carbonate.
Lintels over the doorways:
We decided to take public transport to Bonampak because we would need to return to Frontera Corozal to cross into Guatemala. We hate backtracking on the bikes. Heather rode her bike as she is heading north. We knew that we’d have at least one combi and one taxi ride to get to Bonampak. In reality, we had three transfers and it was a bit combersome waiting for the three rides and negotiating rates. It was 27 miles away and Heather almost beat us there.
Because we travel by bike, we rarely have to rely on public transportation. Today we got a feel for what it would be like to travel like a backpacker. The encounters with locals near tourist areas are very different then what we’re used to. It’s less friendly as we’re looked at as objects of income and less as people of interest. On the way back we decided to walk part of the way and then hitched a ride on a tractor for the last few miles to the main road where we flagged down a combi.
Tomorrow, we cross into Guatemala!