Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Its time for another update! Going to Central America?

So anyway I have had quite a bit of work lately so things have not been to exciting on the photographic front. I have however been out of town quite a bit on business trips and have had the chance to shoot a little… although they have all been places were I have been tons of times. I did however go last weekend to a Doors concert (senza Morrison of course) which was surprisingly good. In a couple weeks I will find myself in Belize for work during a few days… so I am thinking about taking advantage of the opportunity and getting out and shooting some wildlife and archaeology. The issue then becomes that I will be close to Guatemala… and I will most likely end up going to Tikal…and then I may get suckered in (by my self) to going to Honduras to visit Copan and a few other sites… so if all goes well I will have quite the central American adventure. I have not really don’t to much traveling around central America… so I am a bit nervous about security and taking all my camera stuff… but oh well, that’s why I have the hardware in the first place. If anyone has any advice on this please send me a quick note!

Here are a few pictures I took last week passing by a few villages.

I love this picture... that sign is just so perfect

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Campeche and Quintana Roo Archaeology Extravaganza! (pt.6 – Coba)

Well this is it, the last leg of the trip! Coba is an archaeological site located about 70km inland from The site is very large and comparable to Calackmul. There is also a little town surrounding the site which shares its name. The town of Coba is very tinny and sleepy… there is not a terrible amount to do there unless you are interested in photographing the wildlife and exploring (which I of course am!). Anyway it had been a few years since I had last visited Coba, so I was excited to get some nice high resolution photos. Anyway here are the pictures! Thanks for reading.

Edit: mmm not that much arcaheology and plenty birds and reptiles eh? oh well... thats the way it goes I guess heheh.

Campeche and Quintana Roo Archaeology Extravaganza! (pt.5 – Tulum )

Tulum is (some say, but I am not completely sure about this claim) the most visited archaeological site in all of Mexico. Due to its proximity to Cancun and Playa del Carmen tourists pour in to the site in droves… and as a result it’s kind of turned in to a tourist trap with all the cheap nick knacks and BS which inevitably follows. The site itself is not really that big, and although there are some interesting buildings the best feature of the site is its location on a ridge overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Lucky for me when I got there this time there where not that many people there… and I also got a chance to shoot some interesting animals. The iguanas engaged in battle where particularly cool… although I felt a bit bad for the poor iguana having his back ripped out… but oh well, I guess you just have to let nature run its course. Anyway here are the pics.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Campeche and Quintana Roo Archaeology Extravaganza! (pt.4 – Kohunlich y Bacalar)

So today we got up really early and drove to Kohunlich. The site is way bigger than I expected it to be…. We ended up spending several hours just walking around and exploring. One of the neat things about Kohunlich is that the vegetation is really thick and made up in large proportion by these very large palm trees. The site is however landscaped in many areas, so you don’t have to machete your way through as much as you do in sites like Oxkintok or Coba. The most notable feature of the site is its four stucco masks found on a medium sized pyramid at the western end of the city. There is also what was once a fairly large residential are and ball court. All and all a very interesting place. Kohunlich also has quite a few interesting birds to photography… I actually feel like I got quite lucky. After we left Kohunlich we made our way over to the costal town of Bacalar. Bacalar is on the Caribbean sea but faces a very cool lagoon…as a result the colours are quite spectacular. Anyway I finally was able to get online tonight and upload all these posts... so other than that, I think I am going to take it easy this evening and rest up for

Campeche and Quintana Roo Archaeology Extravaganza! (pt.3 - Calackmul)

For hundreds of years, Calackmul was the most powerful city state in the entire American continent. It consistently pushed back the advances of other powerful centres such as Tikal… and basically reeked havoc upon any other power which dared to challenge it. The city is one of the most impressive examples of archaeology I have seen anywhere, and even rivals the great city of Palenque. Being one of the largest cities on earth of its time, Calackmul spread over approximately 70 square kilometres and was armed to the teeth. The size and amount of structures at the site is just amazing… one can only imagine the pooling of resources necessary to accomplish such a feat in a time when horses (or any other domesticated beasts) were inexistent on the continent (at least the Incas had Lamas) and no metals adequate for the building of metallic tools were available. Another wonderful feature of Calackmul is that it is enclose in a national park-biosphere which contains an amazing variety of wildlife such as primates, five out of six feline species found in Mexico, exotic birds and flora. Eventually of course the city did suffer a decline… and the very ready and willing city of Tikal exacted its revenge by looting the city and squandering its resources. Anyway here are the photographs.

Campeche and Quintana Roo Archaeology Extravaganza! (pt.2 - Xpujil and Chicanna)

Ok… here we go. Chicanna… yikes! What a site; I had no idea Chicanna was going to be so incredible. It is not really that big a site, and although it does have some fairly large monuments, those are not the ones that interested me. I heard somebody say that Chicanna seemed like “Mayan Baroque” and really I think that is a fair statement. The amount and quality of the detail was really impressive… especially in the monumental altar with the wide open mouth of the “Monster of the Earth”. This monument seemed to me reminiscent of the altar in the main pyramid in Ek-Balam (in Yucatan)… however this one is mostly made out of rock not stucco (although stucco is present). There is also a very interesting two floor temple adorned with rain god mask (Chacc) and hieroglyphic writing. The building is also square as opposed to the usual rectangular structure. Xpujil is an interesting site as well… although a tough act to follow after Chicanna, it is however cool in its own right. The main temple of the city is quite large and certainly noteworthy… it actually for some reason reminded me of the Oracle of Apollo in Dydima (Turkey) … although the feeling does not seem to communicate the same way in the photographs. Anyway enjoy the photos.