Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Ballum Na Excursions

Second day, first excursion. First, let me just say, that I hope to be able to try some frog legs tonight. We were kept awake last night by the loudest frogs I've ever heard. I thought they were getting ready to mount an attack on the room. Then about 2 or 3 in the morning it started to pour rain. It was what you'd call a gulley washer.

9am the van leaves out. It's just me and Mike, a driver and the tour guide. This van we were in was not going to break any land speed records, let me tell you. We were on some pretty crappy dirt roads but even on the paved roads I think we topped out at 25mph.

Did learn that the resort owns 13,000 acres!!! The people that work at this location all live in the village just outside of the, for the lack of a better word, compound. Our tour guide, Nate, doesn't have electricity. Just think how different everyday life would be without electricity, or maybe how much simpler. The owner of the resort donated about 60 acres to the village so they could have more land to build new homes on. This is where Nate lives with his 3 kids. We drove through many small villages on the way to the ruins and saw many a people bathing or doing their laundry in the creek.

About an hour later we arrive at the ruins. There was no parking lot, just a grassy turn out. Again, we are the only people there.

We are making our way to the site. This place was discovered by a guy that was looking for treasures so he was not too concerned with preservation. Basically, he took a bunch of TNT to the place. They said that the height of the activity was around 750AD. As many as 10,000 people lived nearby.

Nate showed us around. There was a rubber tree on site. That was cool to see rubber from an actual rubber tree. They actually used the rubber to make a basketball like ball and played a game similar to basketball. One major difference, the loser was offered as a human sacrifice. Man, I bet LeBron is glad that tradition has changed!!

Off to our lunch site. Again, about another hour drive.

A glimpse of the roads we traversed.

This was our lunch site.

There are the prettiest flowers all around. I'll have to devote a whole post to just those pictures. Here is an action shot of lunch.

BTW, I would have never guessed that vacations would make me an expert on peeing outside with nature. Let's see, this makes the third, no wait, fourth, country that I've had to squat in the woods to relieve myself.

After lunch, we dove in for a swim. Well, it was more like a goofy, pansy walk on slippery rocks and into cold water. You just had to take the plunge and then you were OK.

Don't worry, we didn't have to go rescue him...we made it out all by himself.

It was hard work getting up to the falls. There was a strong current. We only took a brief swim but it was fun stuff.

When we got back 'home' we asked to see the jaguars being fed dinner.

They were let into their cages and they threw in the chicken. The cats would catch the first pieces in their mouths. Not something you get to see every day. Well, it looks like another storm is brewing, we may have to go frog gigging tonight!!!

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