Sunday, February 28, 2010

A day at the beach! (Celestun)

Yesterday Chris, Baiba, my uncle Craig and myself got out to Celestun for a day of mangroves, bird watching and eating/drinking on the beach. its a rough life eh? We took a cool little trip through the mangroves on a little canoe and then moved along to the beach for a little further R&R... making sure ofcourse we made it back in time for the Olympic hockey final. GO CANADA!!! All and all it was a great day! Hope you enjoy the photos!

Chiapas 02/2010: Bonampak & Tres Lagunas

After our wonderful day at Yaxilan we spent the night in some very spartan but comfortable cabins in the Lacandon jungle. After a wonderful night of staring at the stars and getting some well deserved R&R we awoke early to visit the famous Mayan Archaeological site of Bonampak. Bonampak is ofcourse famous for its beautiful painted rooms, you can check out some more detailed shots of said murals on this previous post. After visiting the site we made our way to "Tres Lagunas" which is a wonderful jungle trail in the middle of the Lacandon rain Forrest.
Well that is it for this trip, thank you very much to everyone who came along, it was truly a wonderful experience... you were all fantastic and I truly hope to have the chance to go on more adventures with you all.

Chiapas 02/2010: Yaxilan

Well after a wonderful day at Palenque we all got to bed early so that we start early on our journey to Yaxilan. After a 3 hour drive we took a beautiful 45 minute boat ride down the Usumacinta to the site. The Usumacinta river serves as a natural border between Mexico and Guatemala and is littered with wonderful archaeological sites on both sides. As with my entry on Palenque I will be focusing this time more on wildlife than archaeology, but I have previous blog posts on that if you are interested.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Chiapas 02/2010: Palenque

I had the chance to visit Palenque twice last week (with two different groups) and as always I was going photo crazy. I have posted photos of Palenque quite a few times on this blog, but it is never hard to find new/interesting things to show. On this occasion however lets concentrate on the exuberant wild life! (with the exception of the first two images of course).

Beautiful detail of a stelae depicting Pacal (found on a monument complex around the corner of the temple of the foliate cross)

Nice panoramic view of Palenque taken from the temple of the cross

Hey there buddy! looking good

Do you think you could please come a little closer? there is some pineapple in it for you!

HOLY @#~@|! - at this point the howler is to close for me to be able to focus with my telephoto... I actually have to take several steps back to continue shooting (no time to change lenses in this kind of situation)

Sometimes you just get lucky and nature gives you a wonderful gift like this!

Beautiful little guy

I actually shot this hawk in the parking lot

Hope you enjoyed the photos, there are more on the way!

Chiapas 02/2010: Tonina

After coming down from the majestic Chiapanecan mountains, we made our way to the ruins of the ancient Maya city of Tonina ( house of stone in Tzeltal Maya). I had been wanting to return to Tonina for quite a while because of the amazing discoveries which have been recently made... and I will tell you, I was not disappointed, not at all! Tonina is Masive, the main acropolis with its seven levels is nearly 80 meters tall and is adorned with some of the most impressive stucco work I have ever seen (and not to toot my own horn, but that is a lot). The structure also offers some incredible views, a labyrinth and truly amazing stelae. Just to give you an idea of how crazy these guys at Tonina were... these were the people who took down Palenque (no easy feat by any strech of the imagination).

What is visible in this photo is only about one third of this amazing acropolis complex, I will post some panoramics soon.

View from the top (reminds me a bit of Mixco Viejo, but on steroids)

Facade of the Labyrinth

Stelae of Jaguar Bird Peccary (6 century)

Recently uncover tomb on the 5th terrace

A shot of some of the hallways of the 4th level

Ballplayer preforming the chicken dance? a bit confusing... he does seem to be wearing the elbow pads and everything, but he is depicted with another 3 characters (not enough to depict a team)... beautiful but a bit bizarre.

Stucco representation of an anthropomorphic jaguar! (HELL YEA!)

I call this guy the break dance, not very scientific I know... but just look at him, Wonderful!

This is so dam cool, A life size stucco representation of Lord Ah Puch (ruler of the underworld) performing a ceremonial decapitation). Notice the upside down sun disk to his left... just amazing.

There is just so much to see at Tonina, and photographs really do not do it justice... it is now more than ever a must see!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Chiapas 02/2010: The Higlands

For the past few days I have been enjoying myself immensely in the Chiapas highlands taking photos, eating pasteries and just relaxing. I consider myself fortunate to have had the chance to travel to this region on so many occasions and I really must say that I don't think I will ever get sick of coming here. Here are some of my favorite shots from the past few days... almost all are portraits, hopefuly I will be able to drag myself out of bed early tomorrow morning to get some nice architectural/landscape shots before the town springs to life.