On Top of the World at the Xcambo Mayan Ruins in Mexico

We were on top of the world, or at least on top of the ancient Mayan ruins at Xcambo, during our 2016 Cruise to Mexico last summer.

We were on top of the world, or at least on top of the ancient Mayan ruins at Xcambo, during our 2016 Cruise to Mexico last summer.

Remember that time that we were intrepid explorers climbing all over ancient Mayan ruins? Climbing up to the top of stone pyramids and getting the same view that the Mayans had over 1500 years ago when they stood at the same pinnacle of their trading village? Living the adventurous life, without minding the sweltering 100-degree heat and the blistering sun? Not blistering because we put on lots and lots of sunscreen? Wearing funny hats (mostly me and not Laura) because that is what explorers do?

Those were the good old days, even if they really weren’t all that old, but rather just over 6 months ago. It was a fun time, perhaps one of the most fun adventures out of all of the adventures that we have taken so far. Lots of things have happened since that time, even though it really wasn’t all that long ago. But the constant events of the last several months make it seem like quite a long time ago.

If it weren’t for something going on seemingly every weekend, we would strike out on another adventure, even if it were something closer to home instead of in a faraway distant land such as Mexico. But for now, we will have to content ourselves with the memories of good times past and of fun excursions such as fighting with a chainsaw to cut trees along the horse pasture fence. Yes, we do have our own adventures, even without leaving our house, thanks to the never-ending struggle of man (and woman) against nature against a fence. Or adventures of hearing coyotes howling through the darkness on a chilly night as we are feeding the horses. Or of raising a teenager whose ideas of how things should go do not quite always fall in line with our own ideas. So as you can see, we do have plenty of adventure, but it doesn’t always involve exotic locales and ancient ruins. Nothing to complain about too much, I guess.

But still, sometimes it is fun to get away from all of the normal stuff and do something different, such as the view that we got while we were on top of the pyramid at Xcambo in the above photo:

A view of the Mayan Ruins at Xcambo in Mexico

All of those small lines of stone were where the walls of the Xcambo buildings used to be if you are wondering. And the circular stone thing near the middle was probably a well, I would guess. So cool to be able to see it from up high like that. It is easy to see why they believed that the taller your structure was, the more power you had, so that common folks like us probably wouldn’t have been able to climb up there if we had lived back then.

So yes, that is quite different from what we have at home. But the secret is to enjoy what you have while you have it, with the people that you get to enjoy it with. Because if you have the right company with you, just about anything can be enjoyable, whether it is exploring ancient ruins or fixing a fence. Yes, I have it pretty good.

God has also given riches and wealth to every man, and He has allowed him to enjoy them, take his reward, and rejoice in his labor. This is a gift of God, for he does not often consider the days of his life because God keeps him occupied with the joy of his heart. - Ecclesiastes 5:19-20

About the Photos

For the first photo, I didn’t use that fancy new piece of equipment known as a selfie stick that seems to be so popular these days. Instead, I used the natural selfie stick, the one that is attached permanently to my body, or in other words, my arm. That 2.5-foot distance combined with a fisheye lens produces much the same effect as a selfie stick, and it is a lot easier to carry around, too.

For the second photo, I worked with the colors a good bit to give it an “old” feel. Of course, these structures were originally built over 1500 years ago, and they definitely did not have cameras back then, so “old” is relative here. But I did try to do something different. Check out this before-and-after view to see how much was changed:

Xcambo ruins in Mexico - before and after

Photo: Each photo is a single Raw exposure, processed in Photoshop. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M10
Lens: Rokinon 7.5mm f/3.5 Fisheye Lens
Date: July 19, 2016
Location: Xcambo, Yucatan, Mexico

2016 Cruise to Mexico

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Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through Burnsland.com, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.