Mayan Pyramids: A Solar Anecdote

Mayan Pyramids: A Solar Anecdote

I have always been dazzled by the magic of the sun, perhaps because of its radiant yellow color that emanates an infinite number of tonalities and reflects the best cloudscapes.

I love to appreciate its versatility! Our planet’s nearest star burns with fire, with heat, and with light — that is, with life.

If the sun is already a feat, admiring it in its various stages is a masterpiece.

Jacó, Puntarenas. Costa Rica.

I delight in its luminous rays, no matter the circumstances in which we find ourselves.

Usually, we run into each other on Central Avenue. There, I often watch sunsets surrounded by hurried pedestrians who, like me, confabulate in the same place and moment.

Or from a bus, through a glass showing me a panorama with scenes interrupted by buildings that obstruct my vision towards the west. But simultaneously, their concrete walls are mixed with a degraded sky of seductive colors.

I can remember breathtaking sunsets in which the cool breeze brushed my skin on the beach, sunsets at low temperatures, in which my body was a silhouette of a diving suit, and only my eyes witnessed the transition from day to night.

Manuel Antonio, Puntarenas. Costa Rica.

Timid sunsets that hid behind the clouds, or on the contrary, were so powerful in their luminosity that it was impossible to look at them before the security of their presence.

Bariloche, Argentina.

I can also remember sunsets with people who made me feel “butterflies in my stomach,” with whom I spent laughing and photographing the spectacle before our eyes.

La Fortuna, Alajuela. Costa Rica.

Both sunrises and sunsets delight me with their splendor, their strategic function in the workings of the Earth make me seek explanations between physics and mathematics, from quantum mechanics to the Big Bang theory. But I always end up forgetting these scientific explanations, seduced by the majesty that only happens in front of my eyes.

Barranca, Puntarenas. Costa Rica.

I am sure that I have seen more sunsets than sunrises. Getting up early is not exactly my best skill, so starting the day with an eye toward the east is not what predominates every morning.

Isla de Flores, Guatemala.

Namtso Lake, Tibet.

However, my traveling essence has given me the most unpredictable sunrises, such as the magic formula for finding beauty in details.

Isla de Flores, Guatemala.

As part of my journey in Guatemala, a world-renowned country for being the cradle of Mayan civilization, visiting Tikal was one of the desired itinerary plans.

I was excited to examine the lands of one of the oldest Latin American civilizations, and for me, that was the general plan.

Once people got to the hostel on Flores Island, they all talked about the same thing: the Mayan pyramids.

Then I heard travelers still astonished from entering the Mystic Land at dawn, surrounded by the full sounds of nature, where they had followed the footsteps of a stranger to the pyramids that would be the setting for an epic sunrise.

On the other hand, I heard astonished travelers telling how they had seen an imposing sunset from the top of one of the oldest pyramids in the world.

I also wanted an experience like that! And I began to imagine myself there, to visualize a whole civilization that lived in harmony with nature, cultivated their own food, and built mythological architectural works.

It was easy to coordinate my visit in Tikal to watch the sunset from the heights.

But first, I had to go through Tikal, listen to it, and visualize it — that is, understand it.

Their wooded territories surprised me. I really felt that the company of a guide was important so as not to get lost along the way.

It scares me to think of the difficulties I could have had if I had left the National Park without the guide at night, after sunset, or how long it would have taken me to find strategic points during the day.

The tour was developed in the company of interesting fellow travelers, who took the same tour.

All of them from different countries, languages and beliefs. We were in a tangle of possibilities filled with truncated itineraries, some improvised, and others meticulously programmed to be there.

International plans that are complex to program with friends or family, but without imagining, there are people from other parts of the world with your same interests and you can share your same hobbies with strangers as if you had known them for a long time.

That is one of the gifts of life that I value, trust in others, because I refuse to believe that evil surpasses human kindness.

Animals and plants were part of the journey of yesteryear that I tried to simulate in the XXI century.

The sky was beginning to darken, it was clear that the sun was about hide behind the horizon, while I was enjoying the breeze of the wind at the top of a Mayan pyramid.

A legendary moment of my journey through Guatemala.

The sun was shining so bright it dazzled my eyes, even through the lens of my camera.

I struggled with my instincts … I wanted to photograph, but at the same time I wanted to simply enjoy the sunset without technological artifacts in between.

In the end, I did a little of both.

Sometimes I feel that photography is a graphic cry for what words cannot express, but I still I wanted to share this “solar anecdote” with Chessi Bofa’s readers.

His color was so intense; I now understand why the Mayans danced in honor of him.

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