The hard drive crashed on Saturday. Totally out of the blue. No warnings. No odd behaviours. Just fried itself. No computer.
Desperately tried to fix it and got it up just long enough to make a backup on the Clickfree external drive before it was in total ruins. This was not the type of Mayan Ruins we were looking forward to experiencing. This was Computer Ruins.
The next day was Sunday – everything closed. It turned out Monday was a Mexican holiday so most businesses were closed Monday as well. Murphy’s Law: computers will always crash on a weekend. Two days without my computer. We spent three long hours driving all over busy Merida going to a few computer stores listed on Google: they were either closed or non-existent.
While I scolded myself for being so dependent on a friggin’ computer, I felt like I had just lost my best friend. Scoured the internet on my Ipad, and found out there is only one reliable computer parts store in Merida. Can you believe it – a city of over a million people, and only one computer parts store!
I removed the hard drive myself, and with the help of my son by email, found out which hard drive I needed and which operating system disk. To make matters worse, the serial numbers on the bottom of my laptop were rubbed out and illegible.
Tuesday morning we had to meet the landlord of our new place on the beach at Telchak Puerto. Yes, we’re moving again – to a house on the beach. Truth is we are finding Merida a bit boring, and just another big city with tons of traffic and wild drivers zipping in and out of lanes often straddling two lanes. We waited one hour and the new landlady never showed, so off we went to Comput8 in the Gran Plaza Mall, which of course, was on the opposite end of town.
Leaving my computer there was like leaving a child on the first day of school: I felt sad and empty.
Long and short of it – $160 CAD later, I have my baby back, an almost-new computer. The store owner”, who provided top-notch service, managed to read the blurred serial numbers with a magnifying glass and he said it took 72 tries to guess the correct numbers but they finally discovered them through trial and error, saving me the $175 for a new operating system disk.
But then I could not retrieve my list of passwords which was in an email folder. (Note to self: save passwords in a word doc file). My external back up worked perfectly to save and restore all of my document files, but would not retrieve my email folders. After two days of trying everything recommended on the Clickfree backup site, my son accessed my laptop remotely and managed to retrieve them. They were buried insanely deep inside layers and layers of files, but he did get all my emails. My angel. Finally I could access all the passwords to get into this website some 10 days later.
Now to get on with the business of travel. We did go to some amazing Mayan Ruins at Uxmal last week. Uxmal is pronounced Ushmal.
There were large iguanas walking around and climbing the ruins, and chilling out in cool corners.
Looked like a whole family of iguanas here…
These Mayan Ruins cover a huge area and at each set of structures is a sign explaining what the ruin was, and the Mayan history of it.
One unique fact about the Uxmal Ruins is that they built structures with round corners as well as square corners.
Peeking through a doorway, one could see the grand stadium.
There was both an inside area and a jungle area at Uxmal. Only the high nobility lived in the palaces and grand structures. There were some common dwellings with original ruins.
This is also what we found in the jungle area.
An example of the early Maize (corn) crops of the Mayans grew along side the giant penises.
Stay tuned for the next post coming in a few days for an even bigger discovery just across the highway from the Uxmal Ruins. We were so pleasantly surprised…