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Curses! I am falling behind again, for you see, with my departure from Mexico imminent, all folk who have not visited yet rushing to do so, and I am using this to try to reach the remaining corners of this land that yet hold interest (though not all is possible – each place you go interests you in the next town). Fear not though, I’m taking notes on my impressions on each place, so as not to try and fudge entries by looking at photos weeks after the event. Also, there will be more than just archaeological sites in entries to come - I'm aware it gets monotonous to read about constantly.

After Palenque, we went on a little tour that had seemed dangerous, what with the drug and people trafficking of the area in question, but turned out to be quite easy and non-threatening: we got a minibus from the new Palenque town down to Bonampak, a small Maya site known for beautiful murals. From there, the bus goes south to the border with Guatemala, the Río Usumacinta, up which one takes a motor boat with canopy north to the archaeological site of Yaxchilán, which looks out over the river. The setting is sublime. Here, we saw more wild monkeys and the excellent, though lazily-named, Building 19, amongst the other ruined buildings. The later is a 2-level complex with tunnels and stairs and rooms, devoid of light, and teeming with families of bats which whine in warning and then swoop. It was sweet.

However, being a tour across large distances, there was little time at Yaxchilán and once cannot faff, as we did, at the outer building clusters and still hope to see the main complex in full detail. What was nice about the tour, though, is that it is not the usual where your tour guide is your new groovy best friend you are paying to be your best friend and who makes you get up and do the Macarena or some crap; you get a bus driver who doesn’t speak English beyond saying “Back here in one hour” after dropping you somewhere.

While it would have been nice to go to Guatemala, and we could almost reach out and touch it from the boat, but this will have to wait for another day, along with Belize.

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