Saturday, 5 January 2013

Vacaciones en México: Parte 2

Hee, hee, hee - still no rain. Unless I'm very much mistaken, I think that this 5 day dry period for us beats anything that we had in 2012. That's obviously the answer: if we want it warm and dry, move to where it is.

Yesterday we decided to do something more energetic than sitting by the pool and/or beach and took a tour described as a 'jeep safari' into a local national nature reserve, the Si'an Kaan. It turned out to be a long day but one that we were glad to have done.  Briefly, it involved:

* A 2 hour jeep drive (we jeep-shared with a Bulgarian couple and took turns at the wheel) from Tulum down a narrow peninsular (Caribbean on one side and a large lagoon on the other) down to Punte Allen. A somewhat isolated village of around 700 people who made most of their living fishing for lobster (70% of the time) and tourists for the remainder. I should mention that there was no road and the track gave us a nice bumpy, rock and rolly, dusty trip.

* From Punte Allen (after a chicken taco snack from a chicken taco shack where they had the chicken taco knack) we embarked on a small flat bottomed fishing boat to head out to sea. It was great for wildlife and we got up close to turtles (leatherback or loggerhead?), manatees and dolphins. This gave me a great opportunity to show how accomplished a wild-life photographer I am. It's wonderful to have the skills to capture such vivid images as a lasting memory of our trip. I know my ITC was quietly impressed and showed she was by rolling her eyes and laughing. 

Well, the turtle was there 10 seconds ago - honest.

Just missed the manatees by a similar margin.

And this is where the dolphins had frolicked a short while before. What a display!

*  After all this aquatic wildlife, we headed to a mangrove swamp and did a little bird watching (cormorants, frigate birds, pelicans, egrets and a large raptor that refused to be identified).

*  Thence to a coral reef for some snorkeling. The ineluctable consequence of this was my having to get into the water. It had to be an over-the-side instant total immersion job - definitely not my preferred style. Luke warm - much relief at not having to scream on entry.  The fish sightings were good and my ISC and I both thought that the variety was better than every other place we've snorkeled at other than the Great Barrier Reef.

*  Off next to some sandy shallows for a bit of a swim and then back to Punte Allen for a buffet, at which they served a rather delicious rice pudding and a ghastly 'special' coffee. We did miss the chicken taco lack at our second visit to the chicken taco shack. Will we ever go back for another chicken taco snack at the chicken taco shack?

*  Back into the jeeps for the return journey. Same road. Same bumps but taken from a different direction. Did that make them better? No. The only difference was that it got dark and this added an interesting dimension to dodging potholes and fallen palm fronds. Dodging potholes we do in Cornwall but we seldom have to contend with palm fronds.

We got back to the hotel almost exactly 12 hours after we had left. And then we faced the difficult decision of where to eat. It's a hard life but we managed it.

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