Jan 7th: Today was truly amazing. On our first day off we decided to travel to the town of Izamal. It’s the center of the Yucatan State. We went to the town center and climbed to the to of the hill, were a monastery dedicated to Anthony of Padua was. It was literally one of the most beautiful buildings in the city. I saw frescoes of the life of Christ, 500 year old murals of the Virgin Mary, and a large worship hall made of teak wood. After our visit and with the help of a monk, we went to the top of the town pyramid. The ancient Mayans built the structures as a means of appeasing their gods, and as a method to track time. Standing on top of the ruins I felt the weight of time as the structure was easily a few thousand years old. My descent was filled with a sense of wonder at the panoramic vista. Later that night I went to the Cacalchen Bull fiesta. A Carnival like atmosphere was there including children’s games, cook-out areas, etc… At the center of it all was a flimsy wood and twine Bull Ring. Contrary to popular beleif, most Mexican Bull events do not allow the killing of the Bull. Instead a bunch of local men run after and coax the Bull into chasing them! Despite the potentially fatal consequences, the crowd seemed to enjoy the event.