Mexico Part Cinco – Turtley Fantastic!

We’re now in Chetumel, the Mexican border with Belize, waiting for a parcel from home to arrive (various geeky bits, books and much needed moisturiser for me) – it hasn’t arrived yet and the Correo (post office) is shut on Sundays, so we’re here for at least another 2 nights, if not more. It’s very hot and humid here, but not as many mozzies as there were at the beach, so far at least..!

We spent most of our days in Tulum lying in the shade reading our books and chilling out, but we did find time to build quite a large sandcastle, which Ise was rather proud of.

And I got a picture of one of the “baby dinosaur” lizards – this one was as big as my arm!

We ventured into Tulum town one evening for dinner and stumbled across a tequila fair, giving out free tasters. Ise of course, had to try them all, just to get an objective opinion. They also had men making cigars in a tent and in front of them, a huge cigar, which was about twice as long as The Gool, pretty impressive, though I’ve no idea how anyone could smoke it, unless they had a mouth as big as my head.

On our last day in Tulum we did some snorkelling. We hired the equipment and a guide and he took us to one of the nearby cenotes, Dos Ojos (pronounced O-hos, with a throaty H sound) and we were the first people in the water that day. The water in the cenote is cold and fresh (not salty) and so clear – the visibility is great, but there’s not much life in them, just a few small fishes at the surface near the light entrances. We saw some cool birds at the entrance with beautiful coloured feathers (purple, green, turquoise, blue) and long straight tails that swing backwards and forwards like the pendulum on a grandfather clock.

Underwater in the cenote we could see some really pretty rock formations, stalactites (above) and stalagmites, some meeting to form pillars. One of the formations looked like a mother holding a baby. In the last cave, “The Batcave”, we saw lots of sleepy bats in among the stalactites, who weren’t too keen on us shining our torches on them to get a good look – they squirmed and hid their faces with their wings – very cute. I like bats a lot because they eat mosquitoes! There is a resident photographer at the cenote who takes pictures (if you want him to) and then you can buy them at the end if you like. He very kindly let us have 3 for the price of one and I like this one of Ise underwater.

Then in the afternoon we went to nearby Acumel to snorkel in the sea (much warmer, I didn’t need a thick, full-length wetsuit!) because I really wanted to see the turtles that live there. We had only been in the water about 5 minutes before another snorkel group spotted one and we swam over to have a look. It was totally magical – the turtles are really serene, beautiful peaceful creatures. They come up for air every so often and they let you get really close to them, especially if you don’t move much and are quiet. One swam right in front of me and looked round at me with its friendly, curious eye. I could have happily spent all day watching them munching on sea-grass and swimming about.

We swam further out to the reef too and saw some very pretty fishies (including stripy yellow, black with luminous spots, bright orange, smart black ones with big floaty fins) and a whole shoal of electric blue ones that moved together as one to eat and to deter predators that were bigger than them. I wanted to get back to the turtles though, so we went back to the warmer, shallower water and Ise spotted a little one before long. We followed her for a bit, then she led us to a much bigger one – about a metre and a half in diameter. She was so calm and let us get right above her while she stayed still. If we’d put our feet down, Ise could probably have stood on her back, but I don’t think she wanted to be touched. Our guide said I could try and stroke her shell, gently, but when I dived down, she got spooked and swam off pretty quickly! It was definitely the highlight of our Mexican trip, for me anyway – I love turtles.

More pics here and more news as soon as we have some.

Love Gude x

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6 Comments so far

  1. Mathew Fisher on July 26th, 2009

    I’m recovering from swine flu as I write this!
    Hooray for turtles!
    You’ll both be donning the scuba gear before you know it…!
    Keep the stories and pictures coming.


  2. Gude on July 27th, 2009

    Oh no, we heard that the UK was a hot-spot for swine flu – looks like we left just in time!!

    Yes, we’re trying to save some money for scuba where there are more cute creatures and beautiful colours – as much as i like rock formations, i find animals much more interesting  :o)

    Hope you’re okay and someone is looking after you while you recover? x

  3. Claire, Adam & Izzy on July 27th, 2009

    Hi love, really enjoying the updates – usually have to read them on the iphone as getting on the laptop is a rare occurrence!  Turtles and snorkelling sounds AMAZING … and keep the “I’m loving/missing” bits coming, I like those!  🙂   xx

  4. David on July 27th, 2009

    That is one helluva cigar! Don’t think even I could get my big gob around that! Good on the Gool sampling the tequila… It had to be done 🙂 Glad you had fun snorkelling and I can just imagine how much you enjoyed the turtles. All of the different fish must have been an impressive sight too. Oh, quality sand castle!!! Love to you both. xxx

  5. Sam on July 28th, 2009

    Hey hey hey, good to see you have managed to get some snorkling in, turtles are great aren’t they? Lumbering hulks but with an unrivaled grace. Love your new found stomach bruv, not what I remember!! Stay safe, stay wet.

  6. Kit on July 29th, 2009

    Great pics 🙂  x