Monday, October 13, 2014

Mi Aventura

Suited up for the adventure
Perhaps they shouldn't have sold me the ticket ... perhaps I should have asked more questions when they said the words, "extreme sports," but they did and I didn't so the adventure was on.

I only wanted to swim in a cenote and the salesperson kept saying, “Yes, Yes … swim all you want.” I should have known. So Manuel picked me up at 10ish and it was just Silvia, a Mexican woman from Puebla, and I on our way to Tecoh, a Mayan village about an hour away that has a big cave with nine cenotes … and we would swim in the last one. 

This wasn’t sounding like what I had in mind. But Manuel is an interesting guide and slips back and forth between Spanish for Silvia and English for me pretty well. Silvia’s English is better than my Spanish but we’re both at the pidgin level so it is challenging. Tecoh is a charming village and the cave is on the edge of the village.  There we meet our actual cave guide who doesn’t speak English at all but proceeds to hand me a hard hat, knee pads and a light. 

Tiny stalagmite
I assume this equipment is just for drill forgetting that I am no longer in a litigious country and down here, if they give you something, you better know you’re going to jolly well use it. The mouth of the cave looks pretty harmless and as we drift down into the darkness, there is little to see. Soon, however, we are seeing some stalactites and stalagmites, mainly tiny ones.

Then we arrive at Cenote #1. It is beautiful and I’m ready to get into the water, it is already getting warm, but after a few pictures, we are off to the next one and then the next. It’s a hazard being the tallest person in the group and probably several inches taller than the average visitor. My hard hat is the first thing I feel grateful for (other than the light, of course) since it keeps banging no matter how much I stoop or bend.

Silvia and our guide
We continued in this way through Cenote #6 when it got truly interesting … hands and knees interesting … thank you knee pads! There is something about not knowing where you’re going, not being able to communicate with the person who has your life in his hands, and not knowing if it’s going to get worse and how much longer it’s going to last and how much hotter it’s going to get and if you can even do this and if there’s an alternate way out … and … and …

This part probably only lasted about a half a block … but it was a long half block!
All of this happened at the small Mayan
village of Tecoh ... this is their church.

Finally we reached Cenote #9 … the swimming cenote and as I slipped into the flashlight lit water, it was absolute heaven. Crystal clear water, complete silence, tranquilo y perfecto! For twenty or thirty minutes I forgot about the return trip back to the surface of the world. 

As it turns out, however, knowing how long the tough stuff would last made it not so bad and we were soon on the surface and off to another cenote with a very civilized set of stairs descending into the cenote.
Mayapan ... our own private world
for the afternoon.

The next stop was something I didn’t know we were going to do … and as sometimes happens, it may be the most memorable thing we did.

We stopped at the Mayapan ruins, a smaller site than Chichen Itza with a major difference … and advantage … no people. We had the ruins to ourselves … again the silence and the feeling that we were alone in a lost world.

Mayapan Observatory


Dinner at a typical Yucatec restaurant where Silvia knew what to order and here I am … safe, secure and officially an extreme sports enthusiast … a designation that I think I’ll retire on this day. 


  1. Wow, Joyce. What an adventure! (I applaud your courage.)

  2. I am extremely envious! To have that to yourself...makes it even more magical!

  3. wow....caves, underground pools and lost civilization...all in one day. One to remember and cherish, for sure!

    1. Definitely ... since I do not want to repeat the crawling through dark places part again!

  4. Being of my height, there is no way I could have done this particular adventure. Thank you for sharing so I could enjoy (?) vicariously.

  5. Becky ... how true ... this was a little people place and I felt too tall. Thanks for coming along vicariously.