Dulce Vida: II

February 27, 2013
Towards the end of our trip we sought adventure. We tried to snorkel at our hotel but the waves made it impossible. It's still a beautiful sight.

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I knew Akumal Bay has calm water much of the time so we drove over to snorkel. We borrowed gear from our hotel, but rented life jackets at the dive shop at the urging of the conservationists (heavily suggested to protect the coral). I never thought much about it previously, but we loved that there was no need to tread water. It made the day leisurely rather than exhausting. It was a lengthy swim out to the coral, but it was worth the effort. The sealife was beautiful and plentiful. I wish I had photos to share, but this next photo was the only one taken that day.

The photo that killed my Canon Powershot D10.

It was the photo that killed my Canon Powershot D10. I've taken the camera in the water hundreds of times without issue, but it seems this time the door to the battery compartment hadn't sealed tight. Moisture quickly filled the camera. I managed to get one shot before it fried. I was completely bummed that I wouldn't be able to capture any of the amazing fish we saw.

The following day we went back to Akumal but this time we snorkeled in Yal-Ku Lagoon. This place is a real gem. It is a spring fed by Cenotes (freshwater underground rivers), the freshwater mixes with sea water from Yal-ku's inlet to the sea and it has the most amazing display of tropical fish. The freshwater is crystal clear and the seawater is a bit murky, the inlet currents are incredibly strong and the cenote waters are quite cool. It's quite the experience. We snorkeled for hours. It was the most amazing excursion we've done to date.

I learned schools of fish are fun to watch in fish tanks, but I don't like being surrounded by them. Those little buggers freaked me out. They would nibble on you too, if given the chance. It was wild seeing needle nose gars in their natural habitat. We kept them as pets a few years back. I also learned I'll never dive. You see, just snorkeling into large rocks made me claustophobic. Panic set in immediately. Fortunately, I was able to get my head above water in a hurry (diving wouldn't allow that - so, it is completely out of the question). I'm happy to report, I didn't let it get the best of me. I calmed down and tried again. I was able to see there was no reason to be concerned. I snorkeled the tighest of spots without issue. Kellee 1, Claustophobia 0.

The next day, we went to the Cristalino cenote. By now, I was sunkissed sunscorched so I knew there would be no snorkeling for me - my butt was badly burned. Frank wanted to check it out. He was second guessing when he felt the cool water, but he took the plunge and eventually got used to the chill. This cenote is surrounded by jungle and mangroves. The fish are mainly small. They're known for giving a nice pedicure. The underwater caves are the sight to see. I understand divers can actually get to cenote Azul from here. Wild.

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Cenote Cristilano

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Puerto Aventuras is nearest to our hotel. We travel here often for trips to the Chedraui. We'd stock up on cigars, cerveza and pastries. It was quite a bit cheaper than Walmart and the Soriana at the Centro Maya. We decided to see what was behind the gates and it's lovely community catering to tourists. It reminded me of Summerlin. This area is probably most popular for swimming with the dolphins. The were a sight to see.

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Back at the hotel we enjoyed our encounters with inhabitants. There was Estaban our guard iguana. He loved to sunbathe outside our door.

Estaban, our guard iguana

There was crabby and herman the hermit crab

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Hermit Crab

The birds dining at sunrise were a trip to watch

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All in all, Al Cielo in Xpu-ha is our slice of heaven. I cannot wait to return.

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