I hope you’re keeping up with the blog posts, sorry that they’re coming a little thick and fast! We’re trying to stay on top of it so that we can remember all of the details for you 🙂
So, another day and more exploring to be done. Yesterday we decided to check out one of the most famous attractions in the area, the Grand Cenote. As I mentioned yesterday there are lots of underwater lakes in the area since the erosion exposes the groundwater, and the Grand Cenote is one of the most well known of these lakes. As well as being very cool geologically, these are a great place for snorkeling since you see lots of fish and sometimes turtles.
We got there in the morning before it got too busy and were pleased to discover that the Cenote is surrounded by some really lovely gardens.
We had a quick stroll around, and found yet another bird. We’re a little low on birds in this post, so take your time to savor this round of ‘name that bird’:
I’ll admit, we were taking our time walking around since there was a mandatory shower before entering the Cenote, and the showers looked pretty damn cold. Sadly though after our walk it could be avoided no longer, so we braved it and made only a few squeaking sounds when the water hit us…
Unpleasantness over, we were off! We rented ourselves some snorkeling gear, and got ready to start exploring.
The water in the Cenote was somehow even colder than the shower, so I faffed around and insisted on taking more pictures while Rob bravely entered the depths:
As you can imagine I decided not to take our fancy camera into the water, and instead shamelessly borrowed this photo from another website!
Anyway, as you can see it’s basically underground caves that you can paddle around in, and they were really quite spectacular. There were lots of fish swimming around (in fact fish spotting was so easy that we kept bumping into them by accident…) and the stalactites and stalagmites were beautiful. As well as that there were also scuba divers exploring the area, and watching the scuba divers was really interesting. They were a lot deeper than us, and so we couldn’t really see the area unless they were there because they would then light the area up with their torches. It was very beautiful seeing the caves illuminated, although I don’t think I’d like to be that deep underwater myself!
As well as the interesting fish I was also really interested by the bats in the cave. They were hanging from the ceiling in little groups, and occasionally flying around to move positions. They were very fluffy and cute, plus occasionally some of the more delicate tourists would see them and freak out with is always amusing.
After exploring the Cenote we headed to the beach for a little more snorkeling, further up the coast. I was very excited to explore Akumel beach, since apart from being stunning it is famous for the Sea Turtles that live there! Until a year ago you were able to swim right up with the turtles, but they have since put a stop to that since understandably it was not doing the turtles much good to have people messing around with them all the time. You can still swim near the area where they eat and usually catch a glimpse of them though, which was still plenty exciting for me!
We parked down in the shade and swam on out, and it was freaking awesome! The turtles are apparently missing the attention of local tourists since they were swimming up and down just on the other side of the no-swim line, so we got to see their little heads bobbing up and down in the water! Again, sadly no pictures for the sake of our camera so here’s one I borrowed earlier:
They were literally that close, just swimming up and down and looking fabulous. This was extremely exciting, and got even better a few minutes later. I was looking underwater with the snorkel to see if I could see anything, and one of the turtles swam under the rope and started eating the seaweed on our side of the beach! I was floating about two foot over him, watching him slowly chow down on sea grass. The water was actually not very clear, so I could only see him from that distance, but it did mean that no-one else was crowding around and bothering the poor turtle. I followed him around as he ate for a few minutes, but then I lost him when he crossed back over into the turtle zone. Still, good times! He was pretty big at about three foot across, and seemed very relaxed. A definite treat, despite the murky water!
After that excitement (and me possibly perforating Rob’s eardrums with my squealing) we decided to head on further down the beach. The neighboring bay is called Half Moon Bay, so we walked on over there to spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing. We found a bar that had hammocks, tree-houses and a mariachi band, so that was us very much set for the rest of the day. I spent a little time exploring the wildly unsafe tree-houses, and then settled down to read. Pure Bliss ❤
More soon! Xx