I stood on the top of El Castillo. Climbed 91 large and uneven steps to the summit. Found myself 79 feet above the ground. Felt on top of the world.
Below me was the vast, sprawling Mayan site of Chichén Itzá. Beyond stretched verdant forest. The low, flat landscape of Yucatán extended to a wide horizon, where the brilliant blue of the sky met the vibrant green of the trees.
Nowadays, it is not permitted to climb El Castillo.
I entirely agree with the decision. The steps were beginning to look worn when I visited; the stone was becoming smooth and slippery; the climb had resulted in at least one fatality. In order to preserve such an important historical monument as the pyramid of El Castillo, so that it could be seen and enjoyed by future generations, it was vital that some kind of decisive action was taken.
I’m just glad that I stood on the summit first.