June 26, 2016: Lamanai

Today we visited Lamanai, a city of Mayan ruins, which is translated to ‘submerged crocodile’ in Mayan. The site was the longest inhabited city within the Mayan Empire. While there, we saw three temples, a ball court, hieroglyphs, royal housing, and a sugar mill that was built by the British in the 17th Century.

IMG_1073The first temple we saw was the Masked Temple, which is located farther away from the others.

Screen Shot 2016-06-28 at 3.11.35 PMWe then came across the High Temple, which is 30 stories high. While we did climb this temple, we used a wooden staircase that wrapped around the back for most of the climb. The stairs on temples are steep and tall, seemingly counterintuitive because the Maya were short people. The reason the steps were built this way was to force kings and priests to their knees as they climbed towards the divine.

The Jaguar Temple.

Screen Shot 2016-06-28 at 3.12.01 PM

The sugar mill, which was built by the British Honduras Sugar Company, was not operational for long. Manned by inexperienced workers and overused, the equipment was worn down and the mill was eventually abandoned.

We traveled to and from Lamanai by boat, getting new views of the New River. The boat ride took about an hour and we often stopped to look at wildlife. Our guide spotted a spider monkey sitting in some branches that were leaning over the water. He guided the boat over to the tree line and gave Anna a piece of fruit.

Screen Shot 2016-06-28 at 3.11.16 PM

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