El Caribe

I started the new year in "El Caribe" (or The Caribbean) and ended up in Hell, literally. The town of Hell in Grand Cayman offers a horrific limestone landscape that likely gave the town it's name. The juxtaposition of the beautiful island and this vision was startling. Incidentally, Hell offers a unique passport stamp.

From here, I headed to the Mayan ruins of Xunantunich in Belize. A woman in white with fire-red glowing eyes is said to appear by "El Castillo" (or the tower) which ascends some 130 feet from it's bottom steps (add another 100 feet or so since it sits on a tall hill). It's one of the few pyramids left that visitors are allowed to climb. It's a treacherous though with no handrails and very small platforms, but I did it! On the bus ride home, I had a dream of a very tall 20-foot woman/being dressed in white feathers, yellow glowing eyes, hair that became tree roots, and a horned crown. I had not heard the story about the woman in white until after I shared the dream with my travel companions.

The Yucatán peninsula was the last stop and here I visited the ancient ruins of Chichen Itza which is a mainstay on the show Ancient Aliens. Our tour guide repeatedly emphasized that the Maya were not from outerspace. Um, okay. Though Mayans are not believed to have sacrificed humans, remains have been found in one of the towers on the site. There were plenty of street vendors who had a bounty of exquisite Mexican crafts to offer the nearly 2000 people who visit the site daily. 

The sea was fairly calm and we had a full moon while on the cruise. It was absolutely stunning the way it lit up the sky. Going to the Mayan ruins was definitely a bucket list item for me, and yes I rewatched the excellent movies The Ruins and The Shrine on the plane!