Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Spring Celebrations as Spa Lines Up with Stars; Delving into the Mayan Past, EMILY LY L BOYNTON Finds Her Mexican Escape Is an Energising Experience

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Spring Celebrations as Spa Lines Up with Stars; Delving into the Mayan Past, EMILY LY L BOYNTON Finds Her Mexican Escape Is an Energising Experience

Article excerpt

Byline: EMILY LY L BOYNTON

STANDING in a eld with my hands raised in the air, I have to admit I feel quite silly. e idea that I might catch the sun's rays with my ngertips seems even more ludicrous, but encouraging bystanders are telling me to imagine my body being lled with a powerful energy.

We are gathered outside one of the world's greatest monuments, the Kukulkan Temple at Chichen T Itza. A Mayan archaeological site and one of the Seven Wonders of the World, it's is an awe-inspiring network of temples in the Yucatan Peninsula, dating back to AD 600.

e reason for my ailing hand gestures is the spring equinox, which happens in mid-to-late March every year. Along with the Autumn Equinox in September, it's a big celebration for the Mayan people.

e Mayans were pioneers in astrology and each of the four sides of the Kukulkan temple has 91 steps - one step for each day of the year - with the top platform making the 365th. It's a remarkable structure and during the spring and autumn equinoxes, the sun aligns at an angle to create the shadow of a serpent creeping down the steps of the pyramid, connecting the sun to the earth.

I'm so caught up in the celebrations, I quickly forget about any embarrassment. In reality, my energising holiday started two-anda-half hours away at Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa, on the Riviera Maya. Situated on a white sand beach amid lush greenery, the former private residence is made up of 63 low-rise whitewashed rooms and suites.

Days can be spent lazing by one of the three swimming pools, playing tennis, or wandering along the delightfully deserted beach.

Unlike the busy beaches at nearby Playa del Carmen, here it is possible to walk for miles without seeing another person.

A short boat ride from the hotel is the world's second largest coral reef, known as the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef or the Great Mayan Reef. It covers an area of 1,000 kilometres from Isla Contoy on the eastern part of the Yucatan Peninsula, all the way to Honduras. …

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