This is the story of the two hour mountain climb, back in January, that I dragged Carmelo on, so I could find some old ruins, and act as Indiana Jones in the process.
If you read my previous blog about the Orquideas Moxviquil, otherwise known as OM or the Orchid Botanical Gardens, then you will already understand the difficulty of the steep trek that is behind the orchid gardens and you’ll know that it costs 50 pesos per person to enter. It is this trek, in Chiapas in Mexico, that I decided I needed to revisit because I was so fascinated with the Moxviquil Ruins.
Although I was keen to go, I didn’t want to go alone into a remote mountain in a foreign country so I tried to beg, bribe and cajole Carmelo and Giselle to join me. Of course they resisted for about half an hour until finally Carmelo, who probably felt sorry for me, decided to come with me.
I profusely offered him payment but he refused – still so grateful he came on this trip.
What compelled me to go was this burning desire to find the excavated archeological site of the Moxviquil ruins. I had googled it and only found one pdf about the dig which contained two black and white photos of the site. It unfortunately did not reveal where this site was. The only clue was a map that showed a trail to Ojo de Agua on either side of the site and the mention of school children from Ojo de Agua being asked to up the mountain every Sunday to fetch artefact for the Na Bolom museum.
The walk was more difficult than I had remembered and it could’ve been because I was climbing up to broken bits of rock to check out if it was a human made structure of some sort. It meant scrambling up a steep hill over bracken and forest debris and then giving a small yippee at each find.
Carmelo got to rest often because he would wait for me on the track. Although it was because he couldn’t be bothered following me, it worked out well that he stayed on the path because I would’ve lost my way otherwise.
We had arrived at the site at 2pm which is when they stop letting visitors in because the park shuts at 4pm. At around 3pm when we still hadn’t reached the peak of the walk Carmelo began pushing for us to get back to the gardens. I tried to hurry along but I couldn’t help but follow any clues that might lead me to the site.
Unfortunately, I didn’t find the official site but I did find enough scattered evidence of residential structures that left me feeling that the bumps, scrapes and bruises from the numerous slides back down to the trail, was all worth it.
I did find a deep square hole in the ground, a deep circle hole in the ground, and slabs of rock that appeared to make a shelter.
On a side note, if anyone is planning on finding the site and you do get there, please could you send me photos and a map of the track to get there??? 🙂 🙂 🙂 Thanks in advance.
This museum is very small but it is listed as the number one place to visit in San Cristobal De Las Casas. It is not near the centre so does take a bit of a detour to get there. We stayed a few blocks from it for a few days so I made a point to visit it. After having visited, I don’t think there is much to see there. Again, Carmelo was the only one who obligingly joined me. However, the significance of the place is that the money you spend entering here which is only 30 pesos, supports the preservation of Mayan culture in its current state as well as historical. For this reason alone, I do think it is worth seeing.
With regards to the artefacts from the Moxquival archeological site, there is plenty to see and you will find the same two black and white photos of the site on display as well as the same map I found online on display here too. Of course, the other alternative is to simply donate online 🙂
If you are interested in seeing their library though, they have an extensive collection of all things Maya from the region, including stuff regarding Palenque.