X is for Xunantunich
Anuradhapura, Kanchanaburi, Chichicastenango, Chefchaouen, Xunantunich……. I can rattle off place names with 3 or 4 syllables but don’t ask me to remember anything shorter (and don’t get me started on people’s names – I was always useless!).
I wrote my first vignette in February 2019. Wasn’t I the lucky one to visit Belize last April – so no need to resort to XMAS MARKETS after all! (although I was also looking at XENAGOGY which is defined as a guidebook).
I love ‘walls and stones’ as my ‘pride and joy’ graciously calls them (usually with the addition of some choice expletives!). I’ve been lucky enough over the past few years to work my way through a few sites in Central America.
And I know the ones I like best.
Chichen Itza is amazing of course, but, being accessible from major tourist centres, its so busy and overrun at times by bus tours. We recently got to Teotihaucan which, although very close to Mexico City, we at least made an effort and used public transport.
But such wonderful places deserve more than a day-long round trip – they should involve a bit of a trek to truly appreciate their awe and splendour. The closer to Heart of Darkness the better! I like it when access means visiting for a few days – finding accommodation close by and then setting off the next morning to enjoy several hours without the confines of a bus tour schedule.
Tikal is one such place, where (unless you’re going to fly in and out on the same day of course) you’ll probably spend a night or two in Flores before approaching the fabulous site though the jungle.
With Xunantunich, you need to go one step further. Access is via the town of San Ignacio, in western Belize, close to the Guatemalan border. To get to the Mayan city, you have to cross the Mopan River on a hand-winched ferry. Brilliant!
Every day for the past week I’ve been receiving ‘rediscover’ photos from last April and the latest batch are from Xunantunich. I hope I appreciated those ‘walls and stones’ enough when I was there. I think I did.
(Bird’s eye view from top of the pyramid)
Before you go….
Thinking of heading to Belize some day?
Have a look at these…..