Last week, Ricardo said three very wise things to my two teenaged boys:
- “Don’t drink the water on the Mayan side.”
- “As long as you show Customs this receipt, they will know that it’s a decorative letter opener, and not a knife.”
- “You are very lucky. Parents want to give our kids everything, but it’s the experiences like today that mean the most.”
As our tour guide during a day-long trip from our hotel on the Riviera Maya, just south of Cancun, to the Mayan ruins in Coba, Ricardo of Mayic Travel was the de facto director of that meaningful experience. He encouraged us to climb up the 120 uneven steps of an ancient Mayan temple with no guardrail and missing steps. He brought us to a Mayan village for a tasty lunch that rivaled the meals at our hotel, and he took us for a swim in a cenote, a natural well that is hidden in the jungle (just past the gift shop, where they sell the hand-carved obsidian “letter openers”).
And because of Ricardo’s dedication to making sure everyone on his tours have fun, including the two ladies from Vancouver and the three couples from Kent, England, who joined my kids and me, it will be a day we will tell our grandchildren about. Like how the ancient Mayans believed that the sun had to be pulled from the darkness each night by human sacrifice. And how there once were some 50,000 Mayans living in Coba, where we toured, and how their calendar was amazingly accurate. And how archeologists just recently discovered there was a queen among the Mayans, showing that some women were rulers. Also, how there are 120 steps going up the temple and 240 coming down — or at least that’s what your legs will feel like. And he was right.
Also, avoiding the water, and making it through Customs, no problemo. Gracias, Ricardo! And thanks to my sons for coming along on this magical trip.