Sunday, October 24, 2010
We´ve eaten at a few carts along the side of the road. The one thing about this that have to say is whatever Mexico is doing to its beef, the U.S. better adopt pronto. From a mexican cart I´ve had one the best burgers ever. I haven´t had ground beef taste like that in years. It puts every restaurant I´ve been to to shame. Cheaper and more delicious. And no case of the runs. Sometimes you might get that from McDonald´s.
40 feet above the water, and shallow water at that. Our guide had to go up, climb into the slide, and help him out. Perhaps a weight limit would be advisable.
Colleen has been very demanding. She peeled and cracked a coconut, to get to the milk inside, only to find it was rotten. So she found a more healthy looking coconut and went for a second go at it. It turns out non rotten coconuts are harder to get into. One of the cabana staff came by and saw her working tirelessly on this coconut. He told her it wasn´t right and there would still be no milk inside. She stopped and giggled and thanked him. He then said would go grab some coconuts and open them for us. We told him it wasn´t necessary, but Colleen must have given him some kind of look, because he showed up with two coconuts opened and straws poking out of the top for us to enjoy.
We watched the full moon rise last night, then the sun rise this morning. Sometimes you´ll see pictures of a full moon next to a sun, or in mid-day. The sheer mechanics of this are mind boggling, as it is impossible. However, I did see a full moon in daylight, but the circumstances must be right. It should be about a day after the true full moon, that way the moon wont set as the sun rises. As the sun rises, you can watch the moon lower in the sky, all the while the sky becomes more blue. After the sun completely rises, the moon should still be above the horizon. You also have to have no clouds, did I mention that? That one is important.
Oh, yeah, we crashed a wedding. I´m glad no one did that to us. We were looking for a party on the beach and we found one, just not the right one. That´s the problem with having a wedding on a public beach, it might get confused with some other celebration, like a moon rising party.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
We snorkled in the Grand Cenote. Fresh non-salinated water is and pretty much always has been a bit scarce in the Yucatan. Cenotes are collapsed parts of the underground water system (all that limestone has come in handy) that can be really helpful ,say, if you´re building an empire. Usually there are ruins nearby. Cenotes were considered sacred and various things were thrown into them to encourage benevolence from the rain god. Pottery, precious stones, people (children seemed to be a favorite), etc. Alas, no special items were discovered but the underwater stone columns are breathtaking. You could probably go quite a ways through the whole underwater river system if you were so inclined. It´s all been mapped, so some enterprising person has. Those branching off parts were deep and dark. Matt and I preferred to stay in the brighter fun areas. I guess we don´t have the hearts of cave explorers. Fish nibbled on Matt and we saw a turtle.
When they dropped us off they pointed out that just off the beach of our hotel was a small cenote, under water. Matt was up for yet another swim so we went out to take a peek. I´ve never seen anything like it. Visibility was terrible up on the top of the water. It was oily and swirly looking. I thought, "maybe it´s just so warm on the surface" because when you dive down, the water is fine. I thought it was strange but then we found the small cracks and 2 ft holes of the cenote. The oily substance isn´t oil, aha it is the cold fresh water gushing up from these underground rivers. There must be a current that is pushing it, and then it roars to the surface and the mixing of the temperatures creates motion and shift and blurs the water. You could see the different waters, it looked like clear smoke coming up from a fire. I took an underwater sip of the cenote. Fresh and delicious. Not salty at all. The fish seemed attracted to the area as well, must be something to eat, or maybe they like the cold? Hmm, doubt it. Since then we´ve dried off and stopped for ice cream. Matt had chocolate and I had rum and almond it turns out. Having a fine time and might be a bit adventuresome with a more local dinner tonight. This might spell gastronomic disaster but nothing ventured, etc.
Monday, October 18, 2010
Our cabana is much smaller than I imagined, though I´m sure that just means it´s cuter than any of the other places we could have stayed at. We are right on the beach which makes swimming fun and convenient. The town of Tulum is about a three minute drive away and while I´m on the subject, driving here is much easier than I imagined. It´s still different than the United States, but it seems the rules are you drive at least 20 kilometers over the speed limit, don´t worry about people on the side of the road, go around them, but go around them as close to them as you possibly can and don´t slow down for speed bumbs until you´ve already passed them.
Our first night here we experienced both the glory, and the depression of arriving in the off season. We ate dinner at a nearby hotel, where we were the only diners, so service was great. However, you could clearly tell there was a mood in the air, that most of the dollars have stopped coming in, the locals who work the area are starting to settle down from the hustle and bustle and there is a more laid back approach to just about everything.
We were exhausted after traveling and were asleep by 9pm. We slept for twelve hours. We agreed to take it easy the first day. Go swimming, grab some pesos from an ATM, go shopping for some sodas, beer, snacks, a cooler and ice to keep it all cold.
The showers are a bit salty, even though every one has drilled into the local aquifer. Which means that too much fresh water has been pulled from the aquifer and the carribean sea is now seeping into it. The salty shower means I never feel clean, but I guess that´s a small price for living on the beach.
Today we´ve seen the Tulum ruins, which was very cool, but not quite the all day event we imagined it would be. I´m not sure what´s ahead, but I´m looking forward to our stay here.