Thursday, November 15, 2012

From Isla Aguada, Campeche to Uxmal, Yucatán


On Sunday we were to leave the lovely campground of FREEDOM SHORES and the delightful hostess, Thelma. Of course, not everything goes as planned. We were all set to move, but the air system that powers the brakes and suspension was not getting to its normal pressure. The rear air pressure gauge has been reading zero for a few days and I felt that since the system, as a whole, was functioning properly that it had to be a problem with the signal to the gauge. However, this time even the front pressure was low, so I shut the engine down and I could hear air rushing out of someplace.

I donned my FPC blue coveralls and prepared to get in place under the motorhome. I ran the engine again and shut it down and dashed under the coach. The air leak was not coming from the area I suspected, but high above the engine. Oh, no!!! Not under the bed again!!! Yes, under the bed again. Fearing the worst, I opened up the access panel to the engine and had Helen run the engine for just a moment. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the leak was just under the access panel  only a few inches from the sensor that feeds the gauge. With little to work with, I ran electrical tape around and around until it was built up enough to use a hose clamp. After starting the engine I found a small leak and another hose clam took care of that. Satisfied for the time being, we started our 200 mile trip to Uxmal, (pronounced oos-mal).  After some miles, the rear pressure gauge showed a decrease in pressure, hovering around 60 psi, so the red warning light would go on and off, but never dropped too much. I felt comfortable continuing to Uxmal. It was a good choice as there were no problems.

Uxmal is a Mayan ruins where several pyramids have been discovered and to some extent, restored. We were in time for the light show Sunday evening, but to be honest, I didn’t get much out of it. It was all in Spanish and the story was not understood at all by me, though the light show was interesting.


The next day we went to actually tour the area and we were not disappointed. We were among the very first to enter the grounds and we had the sense to hire a guide.


This was a very wise decision as he was extremely knowledgeable on the Mayan culture and the history of this area. Uxmal means three times, for this area was settled and deserted three times over thousands of years. It thrived during periods of much rain as the only water source was rainwater stored in a vast number of cisterns. During periods of prolonged drought, the Mayan people would venture back into the jungle to places where water was available. Later, a new group would move back during rainy conditions and build new temples on top of older ones.


This is the Dwarf Pyramid, supposedly built for the gods in one night by a dwarf working with a large number of elves. It has the distinction of having a round or oval base and structure instead of the rectangular construction found elsewhere in the Americas or the world. Also, standing where the photographer stood, clapping your hands gets an echo that sounds like a bird and is supposed to be the call of the Quetzal bird.


Viewing this building, we were told that the ground we were standing on was actually on the roof of other buildings below. The the guide led us to the side and showed us two more levels below. On the lowest level was a round hole that archeologists drilled to see how far down the ruins go. They determined another 29 feet or so.


This is the main pyramid and the only one we were permitted to climb. Helen and I passed on the climbing part. In fact, we opted to take the graded path around the pyramids to avoid some of the long steps we took on the way in. The above picture is the only restored face of this pyramid.


This picture is taken of the same pyramid as above, but in the original state. The truth is that many of the hills in this area are actually temples or pyramids that have yet to be restored. The Yucatan people of today have no idea of just how much of a Mayan civilization is covered by the hills and vegetation of the state.

There is so much to see that this short discourse cannot do it justice. Our friend Sue recommended the book “1491'’ which is a comprehensive study of the Americas before the coming of Columbus. It makes the case that the Americas were more advanced in many ways at that time than Europe. To see the unbelievable extent of Mayan temples, built by hand, using hard rock for tools…….well…it’s mind boggling.

Since the air pressure was no problem on the way to Uxmal, I decided to wait until Progreso to do a more permanent fix.We are in Progreso now I have fixed the air line. In another blog I will talk about Progreso and Mérida.




  1. Glad to see your brake problem was minor, bet your glad you packed your blue coveralls and a tool box.The pictures you posted of the ruins and tour were great, looks like you are enjoying yourself s, hope you have a swimming spot for the girls so their not dissapointed. Not much going on had to have the windshield in Donna's car replaced today, it failed the safety inspection for being cracked. it's been cracked for a couple of years but it has gotten worse. $50 deductible so it wasn't a big hit.Hope all is well and the weather is warm for you guys. Be safe out there. were following along with you. Sam & Donna.....

  2. We also did the light show at Uxmal a few years ago, and we also were unimpressed!

    Where have you been staying, and at what prices?