Yesterday afternoon I went to Casa Cenote in Tulum, a little north of el pueblo. The enterence was 50 pesos, and they close at 5pm.
It had been so hot all day, and the only thing I wanted to do was to cool down with a swim. I texted my friend, and he felt the same. We got sandwiches to go and he drove us a few minutes out of town. We left our stuff in the car, but it is also possible to use lockers at the place. Only a few people were in the water swimming or in canoos. The guard chilled in his chair in the shadow.
The water was a bit cold, but it only took me a few minutes to get in.
The water was amazingly clear, so when wearing a snorkle it was easy to see the bottom.A cenote is the window to the subterranean rivers, my friend told me. Two tunnels connects Casa de Cenote to the subterranean rivers, a third connects it to the ocean about 50 meters from the entrance. It did not take too much effort to swim, since the water is a mix of saltwater and freshwater.
I had a bit of trouble with my glasses. Water was entering, because they were too big for my head. My friend let me borrow his, and thereby I was able to enjoy the place. Big rocks where decorating the bottom, and between them swam a couple of colorless fish of the size of my hand. The rocks used to be the roof of the cenote, but the roof has crashed and made the cenote open. I followed my friend, and did not see much above the surface of the water. One place, Iittle bobbles of air were dancing towards the surface while the sunrays made their way downwards. It was beautiful. Suddently, noticed I had come close to she mangroves, and the first thing that came to my mind was that there might be crocodilles in there. I raised my gaze above the surface, and the sight of my friend comforted me. I looked down again and discovered that when looking towards the shore, I a whole new world was opening up to me. I saw the roots of the trees. The roots only went down a few meters. Some were thin others thick. They formed a sacred forest underneath the water. I had never seen anything like that before. It was magical. Some branches had small yellow plants glowing on them whereby it looked like they were glowing. It was astonishing. Now I understand why cenotes are seen as the enterence to the underworld in Maya mythology. Under the roots of the trees a new world must begin. A world I will only get a glimpse of through my glasses. I cannot dive, because of my ears. My friend, however, went all the way to touch the rocks on the bottom. He is a professional diver. He told me that once he entered one of the tunnels with two others. The roof of the tunnel had started to crash above them. Rocks fell on them, and dust made it hard to see. He was scared but had to keep calm. You do not want to panic if you only have bottled oxygen. Luckily they got out, but the story says something about how fragile the ground is.
My friend found a rock to seat on close to the end of the cenote. I joined him. For the first time I had goosebums in Mexico! An italian family who Explored the area partly in two canoos partly snorkling were talking laudly. They looked like they were having a good time. A type of Duck dived down and swarm towards one of them. I expected her to scream any time but it never happened so I guess the duck found another way. You had to swim or row through a narrow piece of water to get to where we were, so when the italians left, the place became completely quit, and different types of rather big birds showed up to enjoy a spot on one of the many branches with green leaves. I felt very cold. The sun was hiding behind the trees behind us. I did nevertheless not have any choice but to jump back into the water. We saw the last part of the cenote, and then we swam back as quick as my bad swimming skills allowed us to. My friend tried to teach me with signs how to move my body. I followed, but was not too fast. Even though I have been attending many classes as a child, I never really had the interest to swim correctly, whereby my way of swimming resembles that of dogs. When we got up my lips were purple, my feet were white, and I felt cold. We ate the sandwiches we had brought on the beach across from the cenote, and we had a cold beer. The beach was rather clean today. Currently, the area has a problem with the algee sargasso. I did not stop feeling cold until we came back to town.
Every sunday there is salsa at “Zebra”, a hotel on the beachfront, from 9 to 11. I went and tried my best, but I still have a lot to learn. All the locals look pro, so I did feel a bit akward to dance around among them. A life band was playing, and time made me loosen up a little. It was a great place to socialize. Yesterday the crowd was mainly people who live in Tulum.