Monday, January 9, 2012

Mani - More Than Just a Convent or a hunk of Delicious Poc Chuc

There are two main reasons to visit Mani: to eat Poc Chuc at the reknowned Principe Tutul Xiu restaurant or to visit the monastery/convent/church as part of your hurried pilgrimage along the so-called Convent Route. I say hurried and so-called because the main attraction of the Convent Route, the churches, are closed after morning mass and not reopened until late afternoon for the evenings entertainment. Which means that if you are trying to visit all the churches along this heavily promoted route, you will inevitably be disappointed as you will encounter more than one of your intended destinations closed up tight.

But I digress.

A visit to Mani is full of photo opportunities, from the inside of a corner store where an old man with a people skills challenge and wearing heavy eye mascara will find you whatever you need from behind the giant wooden counter to the dog atop a wall superimposed on the church where Friar Diego de Landa committed his atrocities in the name of the Catholic faith. There are also colorful door fronts on the stores and somber paintings over the convent doors. Random Mayan stones forming part of a buildings wall tell the story without saying a word, of how a Mayan temple - once home to kings, high priests and governors - was desecrated and its stones used to build something as mundane as a house for common folk.

Bring your camera to Mani and in the perfect warm light of a Yucatecan winter afternoon, revel in the history and colors around you.