|Beginning the steep climb|
|Steps that lead to what might have been a communal plaza|
We really did not know where these trails ended, only that we were getting higher and higher with no end in sight. We had hoped that at some point we would emerge to see the grand pyramids of Palenque. When we thought we could not go another level higher, we saw a couple of park employees and asked where we could see the pyramids. One of the men motioned in a direction as in "over there." We headed back down and concluded that the other trail was the one we wanted. By now we were both out of breath, soaking wet, and tired.
We continued on, however, stopping to rest with the hope that neither of us would pass out. It was so steamy my glasses were fogged over, so I removed them and carefully placed them on a nearby boulder while I attempted to take a photo. By this time we were both utterly exhausted, disappointed that we had not seen the pyramids, and though neither of us verbalized it, were ready to leave. We got almost all the way back down to the entrance and suddenly I realized that I had left my glasses on the boulder back up the mountain. Horrified, I had no choice but to turn around and will myself to make the climb once again. To make a long story short, I retrieved my glasses, made it back down, joined Alan and headed to the van. We literally peeled off our clothes and collapsed as the dogs, in air conditioned comfort, ecstatically wagged their tales at our return.
Back down off the mountain, we saw a small sign that we had not noticed before. It indicated that the pyramids were a mile or so down the road. At this point, I could not have cared less. We rested a bit, cranked the van and headed for Mérida.
Palenque...we'll see you another time.