It has started. We flew into Villahermosa on Saturday night and ate some seriously delicious tacos. I have been living in Guadalajara for more than a year and have therefore eaten some really good tacos, but these had pineapple on them (and I'm not a person who puts pineapple on my pizza) and I could add cucumbers marinated in Sevilla orange juice. Sevilla orange juice is amazing.
Since we didn't have time go to out to any of the Olmec sites around Villahermosa, we went to the La Venta museum where they brought a lot of the best things they found from that site a long time ago. It would have been better to go to the real site, of course, and museums are never the same, but I liked this one and seeing Olmec heads in Tabasco was good.
We also tried to go to church, but the first building we tried at 9 AM had the insane schedule of 8 AM and 12 PM. Their parking lot is tiny so the wards can't overlap, and I finally came up with a good reason for why they start so early while we we driving last night. Anyway. We then found someone who rode with us to a different building that was supposed to start at 9, but after driving through many very large puddles and bouncing down some dicey roads, the church was closed because of construction in front of the building so no one could park there. At that point we went back to the original church to drop off the nice man, changed our clothes, and drove off to Palenque.
Palenque was amazing. It didn't take us as long as we'd thought it might (we'd planned on staying a second day, but since we left Villahermosa a little earlier, we had enough time to do the entire site on Sunday afternoon), but that doesn't mean that we didn't love it. We parked down by the museum rather than up by the ruins which was nice because there are two different routes to the pyramids from the museum and we were able to take both easily that way. You don't want to miss the cascades if you go. The museum is worth a stop too, definitely.
The pyramids there are huge and wonderful and we had a great time exploring. It was rainy most of the time but it's never cold there so it didn't bother anyone. We could climb up most everything except the Temple of the Inscriptions. It's jungly and not too touristy, and it wasn't too crowded. We all loved it and it's unquestionable one of the best sites in Mexico. It's a little isolated but well worth the trip.
All the sites in this part of the country are open from 8 to 5, so we left not long before five and drove up to Escarcega so we could make it to Calakmul today. We'd thought it wouldn't work to see that, but we found a place near it with ESPN for my son to watch the football game tonight and it all worked out, so Calakmul is next. I'm hoping for howler monkeys and my football-watching son is hoping for jaguars.