Visiting ancient temples and pyramids does something to the mind. If you let the ambience embrace you, take the time to sit down in silence and just try to imagine what the people who built these structures pointing to the sky were thinking, how they felt, how powerful it must have been to listen to howler monkeys in the distance. How big, yet very small, they must have felt when looking out into the vast jungle. Thinking about what this place meant at some point in history really adds to the experience, and it’s a powerful one if you let it be so.
We visited the ancient Maya city Lamanai, which in Yucatec Maya means submerged crocodile, on Sunday. We went there by car as the boat leaves very early, and drove through various Mennonite villages on the way. Lamanai is much smaller compared to the other similar places I’ve visited – but therefore also far calmer and more peaceful. More authentic if you wish, as tourists in matching fluorescent caps have a way of killing the vibe.. There were very few people in Lamanai apart from us, so we really got to be alone with the structures, climb them all the way up, and take in the sounds when walking through the jungle. One thing that stood out for me in Lamanai was the proximity to water, and that you could see the river once getting to the top of one of the temples. Beautiful.
For my other pyramid experiences, see: Tikal, Palenque & Angkor Wat