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The Lost World of Quintana Roo Hardcover – 1963

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Hardcover, 1963
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Amazon.com: 6 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Entertaining read, amazing portrait of a harsh land that has largely disappeared 28 Jun 2013
By Claudia Taylor - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book because my work often takes me to Quintana Roo and Belize. It didn't disappoint! It's amazing to read about how Quintana Roo (now known to foreigners as the Riviera Maya) was pure jungle at that time. Peissel's ill-advised travel and incredible luck also make for an entertaining read. Pluses are the antiquated points of view that are occasionally expressed (about bandits, indigenous people, Belizeans, etc.) and the powerful descriptions of lifestyles in a harsh land. Recommended for people who like adventure and those who are familiar with Q. Roo--you won't believe how different things were there just 50 years ago.
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
A True Adventure! 13 July 2009
By R. Spell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had heard of the desolate past of the Riviera Maya, that it was so barren that Castro trained his troops for the Cuban takeover and no one knew. THIS BOOK FILLS IN THE PICTURE OF HOW BARREN a piece of land this close to heavily populated areas could be. Between schooling the author, Michel Peissel, hears about the Mayan culture and with prodding from a partner agrees to explore approximately 250 miles of coast from Puerto Juarez (now Cancun) to Belize. The partner never shows making this a solo adventure. Starting from Mexico City he makes his way to the unofficial capital of the Yucatan Peninsula, Merida and then travels by bus on a very poor road to the coast of what is now Cancun. Hard to imagine that in 1960 you stand on a desolate beach that is now so overbuilt while waiting for a boat to take you to Isla Mujeres. THERE WAS NOTHING THERE in what is now Cancun! From Isla Mujeres to the island of Cozumel. From there he takes a homemade boat of two teenage Indians along with three passangers who appear to be bandits (they appear later, good guess on occupation).

The Yucatan coast was inhabited by cocaleros, small huts existing on fish, turtle eggs, tortillas and other food of the land. When parking the boat in a natural harbor he sees his first Mayan Ruin. THIS RUIN IS 300 YARDS FROM MY HOME IN PUERTO AVENTURAS! To see the first picture of this ruin ever made that no so many take for granted was fascinating.

Peissel makes his way down the coast walking from cocalero to cocalero looking for boat rides to Tulum and then to Belize but really just ends up walking and discovering ruins. Very fascinating! The largest ruin is currently call Coba and have many, many structures. He discovers 16 ruins, 14 of which had never been viewed by an outsider it is determined.

When you read this you realize that this man was very, very lucky. He had inappropriate provisions and was forced to live off the benefit of the Indians and others and fortunately, they assisted him. Well, at least until late in the book.

I strongly recommend this book if you have traveled to the Yucatan and want a feel for the history of the coast! A very fascinating tale!
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Great Read. 21 Dec 2010
By Aligator2213 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I read this book 2 summers ago after a trip to Mexico where I visited Chichen Itza. It being my first trip to Mexico, or outside the country at all for that matter, I became very interested in the country and these ruins that I saw. This book was a great! It was so interesting to know that some of the "touristy" and built up areas that I saw while on my trip were completely desolate just a few decades ago! Definitely read this book if you like a good adventure story that incorporates history!
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A Fascinating, Wonderful Read 27 Feb 2012
By Mary Lou Martin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I just finished this book today. I live part time in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico and it was recommended by a friend who'd obtained it on loan from the Merida English Library. Mr. Peissel so impressed me with not only his courage and determination, but his ability to convey his experiences in words. The book also contains black and white photographs and hand drawn maps. Living among present day Mayans, I found the book so gratifying in that it confirmed some of my very basic observations about this very gentle, noble, intelligent and humourous race. A dry text outlining findings among Mayan ruins this is not; an exciting adventure tale with unique insights and observations based on personal experience it is.

I'm going to try and get my own copy. The Merida English Library has wisely undertaken a restoration job on this now aging book, reinforcing its spine and corners with leather. Well worth the time and effort and I commend them for their foresight. A wonderful read, especially if you've visited the Yucatan and seen the truly great civilization that has been discovered here.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Great Adventure 15 Sep 2010
By Hortensia - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is a great true-life adventure. Amazing to think that 40 years ago the Yucatan coast was so barren. As the previous reviewer stated, the author of this book was really lucky. He took a great risk, with little preparation, but survived to tell the story. If you like true-life adventures, you'll like this one.
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