There was one place at the ruins of Tulum where I couldn’t see other tourists. I could stand on the rocky bluff, overlooking a small, white-sand beach, and beyond that stretched bright and varied blues of the Carribean sea and sky.
An ancient Mayan watch tower stood out silvery-grey on the opposing overlook. Light ocean breezes helped cut the warm, wet air. A fat-ass iguana inched across a hot volcanic-looking boulder. With the hordes of tourists pushed out of my mind, I could imagine the history.
Tulum was a prime trade center, due to its location at the convergence of maritime and land routes. Ocean boats could make trips along the coasts, apparently from as far south as present-day Honduras and Nicaragua.
Cargo and shipping and trade and boats and ocean. 1200 A.D., 2012, 2200. We will continue to trade with one another, and that root in history and travel gives me the satisfaction I crave in my day job. Without this short moment of unobstructed view, however, I might have passed by in a swarm of tourists, nodding and admiring the beauty, but oblivious to my clear and specific connection to these remarkable ruins.