This morning, we finished our tour of the Salar de Uyuni and of south-west Bolivia. We stepped out of our dusty Land Cruiser 4WD, we transferred into a minibus, and we made our way to the Chilean frontier (having already technically left Bolivia two days ago). Our first of many introductions to the differences between these two countries, upon crossing the border: the first sealed, properly signposted road that we'd seen in a month! Chile really is a very, very different place to Bolivia. It's like stepping into another dimension.
In between our Uxmal day tour, and the Uxmal evening light show, the Uxmal road trippers went to a corrida in Santa Elena. A corrida is a kind of rodeo / country fair affair. We got some seats on the top level of some rickety stadium-ring stands, and watched a gang of Mexican cowboys and matadors have fun with a bull. Check out the video.
For us 5 Uxmal road trippers, the Uxmal ruins themselves were definitely the highlight of the day. Uxmal is probably one of the least visited of Mexico's must-see ruins, and yet (I think) it's also the best. The light-jungle surroundings, the serene environment, and the very impressive pyramids and temples, all combine to make Uxmal a great Maya site to visit.
The 5 Uxmal road trippers stopped in Santa Elena to grab a nice, cheap, Mexican lunch. Our first try was an over-priced restaurant in the middle of town. But after a bit more in-depth searching, we managed to find a family-home-slash-little-restaurant joint that opened up especially for us, and that treated us to a massive taco feast for a very reasonable price.
At 8am this morning, 5 backpackers piled into a Mexian rental car, and took off on a day-long road trip to the Maya ruins of Uxmal. We covered a big route through the area south of Mérida, and then we visited Acanceh, Mayapán, Mama, Labná, Kabah, and Santa Elena, as well as Uxmal itself.