My wife and I were visiting Ixtapa and because we are lovers of the Mayan Culture in the Yucatan Peninsula and have seen Tulum, Coba and Chichen Itza we decided to visit the ruins at soledad de maciel near the village of La Chole. Getting there is a drive from Zihua, it takes about 50 minutes while you drive south on Highway 200 thru two towns and one military checkpoint. At mile marker 214 is where the turn off for the Zona Archeologico where the roadway to La Chole begins. When we arrived, we first visited the museum which I must say is well built and very modern. We saw saw some amazing archeological artifacts along with a lot of information about the Xihuacans, mesoamericans and how they lived. It was all in Spanish so I had to do some rough translations for my wife as I am still trying to become fluent. We finished and were greeted at the the archeological site down the road by "eric" who had an identification as a tour guide. Eric showed us around the large main pyramid and told about the rains and the tsunami which wiped out the tribe in 1351. He showed us the ball court and explained how the calendar worked which was really interesting. Eric told ya that his father was a cigar maker that lived in the village of La Chole and that he had built a house on top of another site where he had found some mesoamerican artifacts and had them on display at his home. Well, we were already here and we love the Mexican culture so we loaded Eric into our car and we all cooled off with a cervesa and we drove with him to the village of La Chole, about 1km from the site and we visited the town church where they had on display large carved rock bearing the face of tichitlan from the archeological site. We then visited the home of Eric's father, a man named Francisco who invited us up to his tiny home which I barley could stoop down into. We met Eric's two sisters and his brother in-laws and their children... This home was apparently built out of bricks used in one of the original pyramids and rested on top of another un-earthed archeological site that Francisco found 50 years ago and started the village of La Chole on top of. He showed us some small stones and other clay items and then pushed the cigars on me. I like to smoke a good cigar but these looked a little suspect, I bought them from him anyway for 200 pesos and we fired one up- not bad! Francisco then proceeded to hug me and my wife and tell us how much he loved us. Then it was time for his wife, Agatha to cook us some corn tortillas with beans and fresh cheese from one of the local cows. I am telling you, I was waist deep in Mexican culture and it was only getting better. My wife and I ate the beans and tortillas and I finished my cigar. We then said our good-byes and loaded back into the car and gave Eric a ride back to the archeological sight.
It was a great experience for a couple of curious travelers from America who love the people and culture of Mexico. I recommend the trip to the site and hopefully you can meet Eric and his family, we feel lucky that we did. Muchas Gracias señor Eric!
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