02 June, 2008

First excursion - A Cenote

Okay, you'll just have to wait to hear about Flyingpops swimming with Dolphins (sure she'll get around to writing about it sooner or later), and skip right on to our first trip out and about (a 0730 pick-up, which meant an early alarm and a very slim window to throw down some breakfast in the main restaurant...bleugh...), even so we *still* had a short wait for the coach to come and get us, working on "Mexican time" which is always slightly late, usually by around 10-15 minutes (a bit like "Spanish Time" or "Corfu Time" but not quite as bad)...anyway, this trip, they absolutely didn't stop feeding and watering us (unlike some of the later ones), the journey started with hot coffee and mini-cakes (just in case anyone *hadn't* managed to get to their restaurants...a few pick-ups later (actually about 6, by which time Flyingpops was muttering things like "It's been an hour now and we're *still* on the same bit of road!") we finally headed off into the jungle (along a narrow, although still amazingly straight road) -
Mexico #161
- I suppose all in all we were on the road for about three and a half hours, the longest bit being a trek through several tiny villages -
Mexico #163
Mexico #165
- a strange mixture of ancient and modern as the jungle dwellers experience the joys of forced globalisation -
Mexico #162
- (past army patrols) and then to the first stop of the day, a little retail therapy -
Mexico #168
- the ubiquitous cheap (and correspondingly low quality) silver -
Mexico #172
- locally carved obsidian -
Mexico #170
- and then a huge amount of junk imported from China (that was best avoided altogether) -
Mexico #169
- and then, very excitingly, to our first experience of a "cenote", now, I didn't realise this before we got to Mexico, but *no* rivers flow overland here, all of the fresh water travels underground, only occasionally revealing itself when cavern roofs collapse - these gaping holes in the landscape were like an oasis in the desert to the jungle dwelling Mayan people (and still are to a certain extent), this particular one was a particularly impressive example, just over 100 feet deep -
Mexico #175
- with handy stalls happy to take a few pesos to lend you a life-jacket -
Mexico #177
- should you feel the need (as Flyingpops did feeling a bit hot and bothered from the coach journey) to climb down the steps -
Mexico #180
Mexico #182
- and throw throw yourself in -
Mexico #181
Mexico #183
- (an action shot) -
Mexico #185
- anyway, after this we headed back up, Flyingpops had to buy some new clothes (as no-one had warned us there was going to be this opportunity to get soaking wet) and then we headed back to the coach, where there was a kind man handing out beer, coke or water (and he spent the rest of the day walking up and down refilling up glasses) -
Mexico #193
- next stop was for a spot of lunch at a hotel about 10 miles from our final destination -
Mexico #195
- which was a buffet-style affair (yes, again) but wasn't *too* bad -
Mexico #196
- we finally found the coach waiting for us (hidden at the back of the car park, even though we had been told to meet it round at the front) and began the last leg of the journey to the destination we had been dreaming of seeing, one of the wonders of the modern world -
Chichen Itza #2
- more in my next post!


Flyingpops said...

I have to confess, I was a wee bit scared before jumping in... but I did it and got such a rush of adrenaline I had to do it again!

Anonymous said...

Shit WHAT a DAY!