“. . . the first sign of the spectacular lies thirty kilometers due south of Uxmal. The claustrophobic canopy is broken by a large grassy expanse several football fields square and shorn short enough to be fit for a Saturday scrimmage. Laid out like a piece of green pool table felt it supports the still relatively lost city of Kabah. Anticipation grew as we pulled our car into the empty pull-off parking and grabbed cameras and guidebooks. A coral-style gate, a small one-room stucco “ticket booth” and a few shirtless attendants accompanied by a handful of chickens and dusty dogs, mark its entrance. In the distance, a man with a machete straightened his bent back, wiped the sweat from his forehead and squinted to examine the newcomers. His job – the backbreaking task of manicuring the perfect lawn with the single sword. Certainly a chore with an unachievable completion. It’s unclear whether Kabah is part of an official and organized park system or if it’s simply on Joe Bare-Chest’s property and Machete-Man is the excavation team. Either way, the forty or so peso fee is a steal, no matter who the recipient.

Laid out on that fine carpet of greenery are complexes of massive monuments – a stunning fossil of a once magnificent city. The beauty and tranquility of the ruins is remarkable. To my own surprise, this was the first time this day that I stood speechless, in relative awe at the massive, glistening white limestone structures and the even more remarkable setting. Thinking back to the Dovecote, I envisioned this clearing as only the visible tip of a potential iceberg of courtyards, colonnades and quadrangles.

Obviously wearing my wonderment on my face, a soft-spoken man grinned and waved with his arm to the south and to a large complex with a steep staircase – the apparent locally preferred starting point for navigating the grounds.”

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