1-8 April 2008

We left Cuba behind to start the next section of our trip – 2 months or so in Central America.  This trip will take us from Cancun, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, to (probably!) Costa Rica.  Exciting times ahead.

MEXICO

Anyone for a swim?  Beach at Tulum, Mexico

We spent just over a week in the Yucatan Peninsula area of Mexico.  Having had no particular objectives, the week turned out to be pretty much a diving holiday in Tulum.   We spent the first two days in Playa del Carmen catching up on admin.  Cathal had visited Playa at the end of a trip to Mexico 15 years ago, back then it was a laidback sand-road town with a great beach vibe.  He was disappointed to see that mainstream tourism has taken over and it is now like Costa del Sol.  Some development can be expected, but really the place is ruined! 

 One hour by “collectivo” local bus south, we found Tulum.  We rented a cabana at a small beach resort, a little outside of budget but worth it for the location.  The cabana opened up to an azure blue Caribbean beach, a stones throw from the Mayan ruins of Tulum. 

While here, we discovered the joy of diving in Cenotes.  Without getting bogged down in details, Cenotes are pools of water in the jungle that are essentially openings to the limestone cave system.  This extensive cave system was flooded at the end of the last ice age, and remains so today.  Some of the cave roofs collapsed, creating the Cenotes.  We had some fabulous diving experiences.  We jumped into the beautifully clear freshwater cenotes, which have names like “Two Eyes”, “The Bat Cave” and “Carwash” (locals used to wash their cars here before it was realised how important cenotes are!), and were taken through caverns filled with stalactites and stalacmites.  We could look back to the entrance to see the water turned an incredible blue by the sunlight filtering through.

I (Jane) took advantage of the time here to do the PADI Advanced Open Water Course, which I successfully completed! 

Cenote diving is such an amazing thing to do, I would recommend it to anybody planning on going to Mexico any time soon! 

 

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