Guest Blog : My souvenirs from Mexico and their meaning

This weeks blog is written by my daughter Priya, a budding blogger still at school.If you enjoyed reading her blog entry, don’t forget to like, follow, share and comment!

Some of my memories of Mexico are that there are a lot of tourist souvenir shops that sell tequila, sombreros, magnets and decorative shot glasses. However there are a few boutique shops which sell some really unique and charismatic souvenirs which tell a story at first glance.

This decorative purple skeleton represents a typical Day of the Dead tradition. This festival is a Mexican holiday that celebrates the lives of the deceased. The holiday is actually celebrated for two days. The first day, also know as All Saints Day, is the day to remember the deceased children. The 2nd of November is known as All Souls Day, meaning remembering those friends and family who have passed away.

The pink skull below represents a typical sugar skull that would be made for the celebration. The skulls are meant to reflect the happy and joyful memories associated with lost loved ones.

Another souvenir we picked up on the way back from a tour was a mini Mayan mask made out of Obsidian stone. Obsidian was widely used in the Mayan and Aztec times and it is created by the rapid cooling of lava. It is a strong protective stone and in the Mayan era it was used to make sharp objects, such as spears and knives. As a family we all thought that this was an unusual stone and we liked the peculiar design.

Guest Blog : Climbing a Mayan pyramid at Coba, Mexico

This weeks blog is written by my daughter Priya, a budding blogger still at school.If you enjoyed reading her blog entry, don’t forget to like, follow, share and comment!

Hi I’m Priya, and l recently visited Mexico with my family. When my parents told me that I was going to Mexico I imagined white sand beaches, poor WIFI and great beach selfies. Little did I know that Mexico had hidden wonders scattered all over the country.

I could have stayed chillin’ at the beach!

In my previous blog I talked about visiting Chichen Itza in the Yucatan Peninsula, which is a Mayan ruin and one of the new 7 wonders of the world. On the tour to Chichen Itza, our tour guide told us pay a visit to two other locations, one being Coba and the other Tulum. As a family we chose to go to Coba because we were able to climb the main pyramid.

From where we were staying in Playa Del Carmen, Coba was about an hour away compared to Chichen Itza which was almost 3.5 hours!!

Going to Coba was a quick journey, so for most of it our tour guide was giving the history of the Mayans and the ruins. When we arrived, our guide told us it is a mile walk to the first pyramid and it was already 35° Celsius and it was getting hotter, so next to the visitor center were ‘tuk tuk’ bikes. They took us all the way to the main attraction.

Before we got to the pyramid our guide told us some information. I have found some hyperlinks which is similar to the facts and knowledge our guide shared with us https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/mayan-ruins-archaeological-sites/coba-ruins/

The reason Coba was such an experience was because you can climb the pyramid. The central pyramid is 137 feet tall and has steps which are at least a foot high and extremely uneven so I suggest wearing trainers.

The view from the top is amazing, the surrounding areas is completely flat and other ruins can be seen poking above the tree line. On the way back from the pyramid on the ‘tuk tuk’ our driver took us round to the other ruins as he said we wont get to see them in the our tour it was a great experience going on the ‘tuk tuks’ and I highly recommend taking one instead of walking as it also helps the local people out as they are the ones taking you.

Our Tuk Tuk ride

Another great thing about Coba is that you are in the middle of the jungle and so there is tons of different wildlife. I saw lizards, gecko, loads of locusts and an eagle!! It is a great opportunity to see different wildlife in its natural habitat.

I am glad I went on this trip as I learned that Mayan civilization was advanced for its time but they died out quickly and suddenly, however a lot of their past life is there for us to explore and learn. I really enjoyed climbing the pyramid at Coba – it may not be open to tourists in the near future so if you have a chance to visit soon, go there before it becomes a site like Chichen Itza.

Thanks for reading

Guest Blog : go visit Mexico and get involved in their culture – Chichen Itza

This weeks blog is written by my daughter Priya, a budding blogger still at school. If you enjoyed reading her blog entry, don’t forget to like, follow, share and comment!

Hi, I’m Priya and I recently went to Mexico with my family. We stayed close to a small town near Cancun; called Playa Del Carmen on the Caribbean Sea.

As you may know there are many archaeological sites in that area. If you visit Cancun, then I highly recommend you go and visit one of these sights. They all belong to the native people of Mexico who are called the Mayans.

So, who are the Mayans?

They are an ancient civilization who were prominent in central America around 900 A.D. The Mayans were a huge civilization, at their prime, it is said that their population reached 22 million. They used to build temples for their Gods made from stone and only royalty would be allowed to touch it.

2 hours from our hotel was Chichen Izta, which is a massive Mayan temple, and is one of the new seven wonders of the world. 

 Chichen Itza stands 98 feet tall and it has 91 steps on each side which totals 364 steps. Plus the one large step on the top, the Mayans created 365 steps – matching the number of days in the year. The Mayans were ahead of the game, by understanding time and how the earth rotates the sun. The temple is a huge pyramid like structure in the middle of a clearing in the centre of the jungle!

 When I first saw it, I was in awe of its size and condition, as it was very well kept. I stood there wondering, how on earth did they build this.  IT WAS SO BIG!!!

There are also other ruins on the site, such as a Mayan sport court. They played this game that was similar to hand ball (and Quidditch!) but much harder, they have to use all of their body to get the ball into a goal over 3m above them. It was very interesting to hear and see what they did for entertainment. Our guide told us that the winners would sacfrice themselves at the end of the game as a reflection of their devotion to the gods. I was surprised to hear that, as was everyone else. What an amazing place!

I learnt a lot from going to Chichen Itza and it was definitely worth it.

My advice when visiting this site is to go as early as possible, many tours leave at 7am and get there around 12, at that time it is intense heat and very busy. If you want a calm cool(er) time then try and get there as early as possible.  😀

In my next blog I will write about my trip to the Mayan ruins of Coba.

Quickfire questions on life before and after Osteotomy procedure.

So this blog is written by Priya. We met with my surgeon Mr Minhal Chatoo at the One Hatfield hospital on 8th May and he recommended Priya interviews me to share how life has changed pre- and post- Osteotomy.

Hi, Priya here. I thought of a bunch of questions to ask my dad about his progress.


This is Hertford Castle, near where we live and where we went for a walk.


How has the pain around your leg changed since the Osteotomy operation?
Every day and every week I notice that the pain is getting less. However I do notice new pains appearing. The swelling in my leg is still there but is gradually reducing. The Osteotemy does entail bone cutting, drilling, cutting deep into flesh, muscle and many nerves. It does take a long time for the healing process to complete.

What life changes have you made since your first diagnosis?

I have made an effort to lose weight and eat the right foods. I have cut down alcohol, sugar and some types of meat. I have had to stop jogging due to the impact on my knees however I have now started going to the gym more where I run on the treadmill, use the cross trainer and lift weights to strengthen my core. If I can lose more weight I may be able to run again.

How has the operation influenced your life now?

To be more aware of long term health. I know I cannot run as much or kick a football about as much, so I need to find new sports/pass times to get involved in. Also life is about longevity so doing the right exercise is key.

How might the operation impact others around you?

As his daughter I have seen a urge in my father to lose weight and really exercise more. The effect this has on me is that as a family we go out and walk in different new locations on a weekly basis. This is a more active effect on my life and it’s for the better, as we are also eating healthier and experimenting more activities.

How do you think you can help others?

If you are young enough and want to continue having an active life, there is an alternative to a knee replacement surgery. The operation does give you the chance to defer such an intrusive operation for a number of years. The psychological impact of getting your life back to a normal balance is very important.

Priya’s travels in Malaysia

I recently got back from Malaysia where I stayed for just under 2 weeks. I originally flew to Kuala Lumpur and got a connecting flight to a beautiful island called Langkawi. Langkawi is a stunning island that is covered by lush rainforest. I was lucky enough to stay in the rainforest and I saw loads of animals: spiders, lizards, butterflies, tons of monkeys and a scorpion.

  Langkawi is home to a cable car which is at the top of a high mountain, the best views of the island are seen from there. With a skybridge as another attraction it was definitely worth  going there. A mangrove tour at the north of the island was extremely fun with views of Thailand and a bat cave that smelt horrible!

The beaches were beautiful and the people were lovely and heart warming. Crab, lobster, tiger prawns were just a few exotic foods that we ate. Overall I really enjoyed this holiday and highly recommend the island to whoever wants to go to Asia.

A picture i took on my iphone.

Then I went to Kuala Lumpur (also known as KL) and it was completely different! There was lots of light pollution and pollution its self from all the inner city traffic – KL was very busy and was very cosmopolitan with people from different backgrounds everywhere, but mainly Malay, Chinese and Indian heritage.

Chinatown was packed with foods. sounds and smells I’ve never witnessed before. The Petronas Towers were amazing and even better at night. The shopping malls were crazy as they were huge and one even had an indoor theme park. It was a enjoyable experience because it was a big contrast from where we had recently stayed.

Overall, Malaysia is a country like no other, because the people were kind and the cultural differences didn’t matter.