A Pyramid at the Xcambo Mayan Ruins

Hello, Pyramid

A Pyramid at the Xcambo Mayan Ruins

Back when I was growing up, pyramids were found in Egypt. Maybe that was because of the popularity of the Treasures of Tutankhamun exhibit that was touring the world during my childhood years. Or maybe that was because of growing up in Memphis, Tennessee, and often hearing about how it was named after Memphis, Egypt. There was even a pyramid built in Memphis, Tennessee. But it was not used for a tomb. Rather, it started life as a sports arena and now houses a Bass Pro shop.

Later on, in my teen years, I learned that pyramids were built in other places besides Egypt. Who knew? This realization was probably either first made or reinforced by the Mexico pavilion in Epcot at Walt Disney World, which resembles a Mayan Pyramid.

When we were making plans for our 2016 Cruise to Mexico, we knew that we wanted to visit a Mayan pyramid if it were possible. In choosing our shore excursions, we skipped Chichen Itza, perhaps the most well-known Mayan pyramid, and instead, we chose to visit Xcambo. Its pyramid and other structures were not as large as the Chichen Itza pyramid, but that was okay because Xcambo had two advantages: You could actually climb on its structures, and the trip included a stop at the beach.

In the photo above, you can see several of our fellow travelers on top of one of the pyramid structures in Xcambo. From this angle, you can see that the pyramid is not imposingly tall, but that was just fine. Once we climbed up all of those rocky steps, we were out of breath enough that the height was just right for us. And besides, the view from up there as pretty nice.

Touching History

This was actually not the tallest of the pyramid structures in Xcambo. So once we had caught our breath from climbing this one, we climbed the other one, too. In fact, we climbed on everything we could there. We even climbed some things multiple times. Why? I guess just because we could.

There is something interesting about being able to touch something historical. And if it is something large, there is something interesting about being able to climb on it. Why do museums and other places put up signs telling you not to touch something important? True, that is partly because the important thing is usually old, and with age comes fragility. But it is also because everyone does want to touch the important thing. It is almost an instinct that we have without even being told to do it. Our first impulse is to reach out and touch. To feel.

Touching something makes us feel a part of it in some way. Climbing on these 1500-year-old Mayan ruins made us feel a part of it. Not that we felt Mayan in any way. But rather that we were there where these ancient people had actually spent some of their time. We shared just a bit in their experiences from all those years ago by climbing on what they had built way back then.

One of these days we might visit Chichen Itza, Tikal, and some of the other sites, even if we can’t touch those. But that is okay because we have already touched this bit of history at Xcambo.

You can see more from our visit to Xcambo at the 2016 Cruise to Mexico Trip Report.

Bible Verse

Remember the days of old; consider the years long past. Ask your father, and he will tell you, your elders, and they will teach you. - Deuteronomy 32:7

About the photo

When I went back through the photos of our visit to the Xcambo Mayan ruins, this one jumped out at me because of its composition. I have another photo looking straight on at this pyramid, but this one caught my attention more because of how the corner seems to be pointing to me to draw me in. This was exaggerated a bit by the fisheye lens, and maybe that is partly why it appealed to me, too.

The clouds were also spectacular on this photo, so that was another draw for me. Cool clouds always seem to catch my attention, for whatever reason. Especially when they are light, happy clouds like these are.

I brought out the colors quite a bit in this photo because bold colors also stand out to me. Thanks to the Nik filters and color curves in Photoshop, I was able to give this the color palette that I remembered in my mind, which might be just slightly bolder than the colors that we actually saw there.

Photo: 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

World Bible School

Burnsland Email

Burnsland avatar
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.