Cruise Wrap-up, Days 2-3, Part 2: Lamanai

Welcome to Lamanai-"Submerged Crocodile"!

You really do have to understand a little of the history of Lamanai, and its place in the ancient Mayan world to appreciate the pictures properly.  From NorthernBelize.com:

[Lamanai] thrived for over 3000 years. The city of Lamanai began its regional supremacy around 1500 B.C. Extending from the formative years of the Mayan world to the preaching friars of Spanish colonists, Lamanai flourished and supported a vast community of farmers, merchants, and traders.

Three thousand years! It’s hard to even comprehend a civilization lasting that long.  I sometimes wonder if ours is going to last out the century.

…of the 700 buildings within the complex, less than five percent have been excavated and explored.

At one point the city had ~35,000 inhabitants. After visiting compact Tulum, Lamanai sprawls in the jungle like an ancient equivalent of Los Angeles. It’s hard to grasp the immensity of the site in one abbreviated visit. And what we see as tourists is a drop in the bucket to what’s out there, overtaken by jungle growth.  Everywhere you look there are mounds like the one shown here–this is the debris of hundreds of years covering the buildings that once stood here.

As the Classic Period came to an end in the ninth and tenth centuries, many of the neighboring Mayan cities proceeded through a period of decay to final collapse. Lamanai survived this time of upheaval and continued trade with sites in the northern part of the Yucatan Peninsula on into the Post-Classic Period. Copper, tin, and bronze objects flowed into Lamanai from sources in west Mexico, the Oaxaca Valley, and probably middle Central America.

Lamanai, possibly because of its “out of the way” location, survived while other Mayan cities declined. It wasn’t until the Spaniards arrived in the 1600’s that the fall of Lamanai was finally achieved, mostly through the introduction of disease.  Of course this was all in the name of Christ, because God knows the heathens needed to have their souls saved, right?

If you’re curious to learn more about Lamanai and/or Belize, you can find detailed information and maps about the site here (a different site than NorthernBelize.com), by the way. I printed out a ton of info from that website that I made into a booklet, and it was very helpful.

And now, on to the pictures…

Me playing travel guide.

"You are HERE." Or actually, we were-they let us climb the High Temple.

I love that they added an 's' to "feet."

W as Great White Hunter on the steps leading up to the Jaguar Temple. I may post another picture of him playing Great White Slaver in PoJ later.

Our first view, after a hike thru the jungle, of the Mask Temple.

Back the way we'd come...

Each section is where the new king or regime built atop the old. They didn't destroy their predecessors buildings--they just built right over the top of them.

Mask Temple - full view

I was amazed that they let us climb all over the temples-and pleased. You really couldn't get a sense of scale if you weren't right up next to them.

A short walk brings us to the highest and one of the most important structures at Lamanai, the High Temple.

The High Temple in its entirety. It's hard to see how very tall it is, but at its highest it towered over the jungle at ~112 ft.

That yellow line in the center of the steps is a rope hanging down to aid tourists to climb. That and a “Be careful, if you fall it’s going to hurt!” are about all the cautions a tourist gets.  I love a place where you’re actually responsible for your own actions.

An artist's rendering of the High Temple as it was in its full glory.

Ad going up

It's steep!

Taking a break that the first level. See how tiny those people are down there?

A view from the top.

On a clear day...you can see to Honduras.

The view in the other direction.

And finally, all three of us at the top.

A funny story about the previous picture.  The guide offered to take our pic.  “Yes,” I said, “please!” When we three went to pose by the edge though, he looked at W and said, “Excuse me so I can take their picture,” meaning Ad and I. We all laughed. “Nope, we’re all together,” we said. Later he offered to take another picture, the one you’ll see with me on W’s lap in the boat. Apparently he’d gotten used to the idea that I was with both guys by then.

Climbing back down. It was actually scarier going DOWN than up.

Taking a break in the shade in between the residence area and the ball court that fronts the Jaguar Temple.

In the Ball Court in front of the Jaguar Temple.

You can really tell that the jungle is starting to take over the excavation again. And how this must have looked when the archeologists first discovered it!

Relaxing in the boat on the ride back.

And that’s it for Day 3. Well, except for me dressing up in paint, a sequined g-string and pasties and some rocking high heels–and little else!–for Mardis Gras night…I have a picture around here somewhere…

Oh yes!  Here it is…

And that, my lovelies, concludes our digital tour for the day!

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2 Responses to Cruise Wrap-up, Days 2-3, Part 2: Lamanai

  1. […] we were at Lamanai. (In case you forgot.)  And then…we were back on the […]

  2. […] the non-kink stuff we did on that cruise in my other blog, A Poly Life: Days 1-3; Days 1-3 Part 1; Days 1-3 Part 2; Days 4-5.  Oh wait, there’s a bit of kink in there, too! I just realized that. LOL  You […]

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