I recently had a brief trip to the Yucatán, to the eastern-most Mexican state of Quintana Roo. It’s a sun-drenched part of the world, humid and lush, with a feel of history all around you. Traveling with a Mexican friend who knew the area, we explored some of the best food the peninsula had to offer, but also took in some of the ruins that the mighty Mayan civilization left for us to discover. The ruins of Coba were one of the sites we explored, and I even climbed the steep stone steps of Nohoch Mul pyramid to get an amazing view of the dense forests.
The weather was sweltering, slowing down the exploration of these beautiful rock ruins, bleached brightly by hundreds of years of sun. But I did manage to climb Nohoch Mul, which was much steeper and more precarious than I was hoping for such a hot day. By the time I got to the top, vertigo and fatigue nearly made me fall down the 138 feet stone pyramid. Once down on solid ground, it was fascinating to stroll through the various remains of this ancient city that once held 50,000 people. The ballgame courts felt like an ancient racquetball hangout spot, and wished they were somehow still in use. And the Mayan civilization’s calendar that predicted 2012 was the end of the world rung through my head. I figured it was good to pay my respects while I still had the chance.