On arriving in Cancun we made our way to our hostel where, at the reception, we were greeted with a bed sheet and a pair of ear plugs. Cancun’s reputation as a party town is well deserved. Not being a party girl I made use of the ear plugs, got some sleep and we set off first thing the next morning for Valladolid, a less boisterous town in the Yucatán that is close to Chichen Itza and cenotes which were our next destinations.
A cenote (pronounced say-NO-tay) is created over centuries by eroding limestone caves that collapse and fill with water either by rain or underground rivers. They come in all shapes and sizes, some with closed roofs and some with open. With over 6000 cenotes in the Yucatán we lucked into a great one that was only an hours walk from our hostel.
We descended the narrow, winding cement stairway of the Oxman Cenote into the underworld, or so the ancient Mayans believed. They also believed that all cenotes were sacred ceremonial spaces. At the bottom sunlight filtered through the open roof high above the crystal clear (45 meter deep) water, tree roots and vines hung all around, and vertical, blackened rocks reached way up. It truly felt like a sacred and magical place.
A group of young folks were taking turns gracefully flying off of a swing rope into the turquoise water. Naturally I wanted to try it. Standing on the sketchy wooden platform clutching the slippery dowel it looked way higher than it seemed and was much scarier than the youngsters made it look. I did it and was glad I did…but no one could call it graceful.
We have enjoyed some great street food. Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures. I’ll do better next post. I did remember to take a picture of our little homemade tacos. Fresh warm tortillas with chopped tomatoes, onion, cheese and doused with some delicious red Mexican blend of sauce. It wasn’t fancy but the freshness (and of course the sauce) sure made it yummmy.
Tomorrow we are off to Chichen Itza and then on to Merida.