Mike and I explored the Mexican Yucatán Peninsula for 2 weeks of flyfishing (Mike), diving (Stacey), snorkeling, Maya ruins, a colonial city, cenotes, quite a few hammocks and lots of great food.

When Mike flew home I headed to San Cristóbal de las Casas in Chiapas for 2 weeks of Spanish study with a small group in tow. We lived with host families and visited area sights including villages, museums, and ruins.

When the group flew home I bused to San Pedro La Laguna on Lake Atitlán in Guatemala for a week of planning for future growth of the Beca Project (link below) and meeting our sponsored kids and their families.

When our daughter Mariah and her husband Greg invited us to share a timeshare in Quintana Roo between Christmas and New Years, a new chapter to this blog was added. HAPPY TRAILS!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Tulum Ruins and more Cenotes

For the 1st time since arriving in Tulum, we spent the whole day together. After a quick breakfast in our room we headed to the Tulum Maya ruins, arriving shortly after they opened - highly recommended. We pulled our little Hyundai rental car into the very closest slot in the huge parking lot which was practically empty and wandered in as venders were unlocking. When we walked out an hour and a half later (still early in the day!) the lot was nearly half full with vans and huge buses from Cancun and Playa del Carmen and there were easily a hundred people in line for the bathroom.

Didn’t Like: You can’t climb on the ruins or explore inside; most of the buildings you can’t even touch; it was hard to “feel” the place with so many roped off areas. Liked: Gorgeous blue sky and picturesque clouds, beautiful grounds and interesting buildings and perimeter wall, nice grassy areas, incredible setting overlooking the sea, lots of big lizards (really big).

From there we drove about 6 miles north of Tulum to the Dos Ojos (2 Eyes) Cenote, another sinkhole cave. We enjoyed the jungly hike in despite the heat and near 100% humidity, snorkeling in the cool (cold at 1st!) water, swimming with the small fish and around interesting cave formations, the view of the world from inside, and the swallows and gorgeous motmots (my favorite type of bird, I think) nesting in the stalagtites.

Casa Cenote was a few miles closer to Tulum, a canal-like open cenote lined with mangroves. We crossed the road to the beach and snorkeled there, too; there was a decent representation of Caribbean reef fish but the visibility was poor - like diluted milk from the fine sand.

Back in town we cleaned up and ate our fabulous leftovers; no microwave or stove meant we put the fish, shrimp, squid, and octopus in the coffee maker carafe to heat. :-) After a long nap and time to catch up my journal, answer emails, and organize for fishing, we shopped for dinner at a local produce market - mangos, tiny apple bananas, 2 types of plum (at least we think they were plums), apples, and some small red and yellow hairy-looking things that turned out to have a sweet whitish/clear pulpy center, like a skinned grape, with a small pit in the center. The perfect dinner: everything cut up and mixed with the yogurt and granola we bought at the big store in the tourist part of town - the little neighborhood store we prefer caters to locals and doesn’t stock them.

Time for the last game of the NBA Finals (and local rum with lime and pineapple juice for Mike). HAPPY TRAILS!

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