… standing at Tulum’s El Castillo and gazing off into turquoise wonderland, I couldn’t imagine this being a theater for war and conquest or home to any gods of death. Possibly, after thousands of years of hardships, starvation, sacrifice and fright the Maya were simply tired and sought a simpler, quieter life. Who could ever blame them? There’s no doubt that this would be the place to do it. Nearing the end of their rule and broken from a hard existence, maybe Tulum is where they came to . . . well . . . retire. Luckily for them, their world of hell is encircled with a ring of heaven.  Just as American seniors flock to the warm climates and the tranquil beaches of Florida, the Maya may have come here to find pleasures in the sea and comfort in the weather – just like an ancient stone and stucco version The Villages, only without shuffleboard and macramé. Possibly the newly seafaring society took recreation in boating and water sports, created traditional handicrafts for export and sale to those relaxing on the beaches and to serve centuries-old pulque cocktails to parched sun worshipers of a different kind, just as is done today. I wonder if archaeologists have ever uncovered late postclassic beach chairs or thatch cabana bars.

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