After a good nights sleep, we decided to ditch breakfast and just meet the rest of the group to kick off our day.
Today we were splitting into smaller groups for our own optional activities. Some were heading to see more ruins at Uxmal. However Kate and I, and most the others decided to visit something only seen in this region (since we were to see more Mayan ruins later on)… cenotes!
You may remember I mentioned one in the last post, however what was important about the ones we were to see today were that they were not just for looking… but swimming! We were going to get to climb down into giant limestone sinkholes and enjoy the beautiful blue waters.
So on we jumped onto a smaller bus that our tour leader Dieber organised. He was an absolute champ today… as we had quite a few, he got us our own bus for the day so we have super flexibility on what we did. And he got us discounts! He was already proving himself to be an awesome tour leader.
After an hour we arrived seemingly in the middle of nowhere. What was greeting us were some locals, some horses, some carts, and a thin rail line. Yep, we were jumping on the horse drawn carts and making our bumpy way to our first cenote.
It was all part of the fun and made it seem like what we were about to do was extra special. But to be honest, the carts were not just for show… there was no why any other vehicle was making its way where we went!
After about 15 minutes we arrived to a hole in the ground and some steep steps. Donning the board shorts, we made our way in. Holy Cow.
It was incredible. We were greeted with bright blue waters in a decent sized underground cavern. After watching Dieber jump straight in, I followed. Warm waters! It was glorious. It was so amazing to be swimming in this cavern, with only a small beam of light shining into the blue waters. Kate especially was loving every second.
I took my little cheap Canon with me, but we instantly rued not having a waterproof camera, as no photos were ever going to turn out great. But that didn’t matter. We were just soaking up every second.
Time came to make a move, and because we had flexibility in our schedule, Dieber organised a visit to another cenote. This was impressive, although the initial impact of the first was lacking. The waters were a bit colder too, so no one in our group elected to swim. Rather it was stopping for some lunch, and heading to a third and final that Dieber had heard about but not seen.
This final one, Yaxbacultan, was arguable even more dramatic than the first. A steep narrow ladder straight down into another big sinkhole. We decided to swim again in this one, swinging from a rope into the warm waters. Another great experience, but nothing could compare to the first we encountered for the day.
All swum out, our group made the way back to Merida…
I had a quick wander around some more, but right now we are relaxing before some more dinner, getting ready for an epic 9 hours of travel tomorrow. But it should be worth it, for tomorrow we head into the Mexican jungles to Palenque! There most likely won’t be updates for a few days as I’m told wi-fi will be elusive. But see you in a few days with jungle stories!