Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Our Honeymoon: Day 4

Tuesday held all sorts of adventures in store for us. Or should I say Edventures? Chris and I woke up to this beautiful scene outside our porch at around 7am. We had rooms service bring us a big breakfast, which we ate outside and then headed off to join Edventures Tours for a day of fun.

After meeting our personal tour guide, Chris and I headed out to the ruins of Tulum, an ancient Mayan city to begin the day on a cultural note. Sadly, my shoes had other plans and attempted to ruin the day by cutting into my heels while we were exploring Tulum. Luckily, Edventures is awesome and Eduardo himself found me waterproof bandages and gave me a pair of water shoes to wear for the rest of the day. Such service!

Our first iguana spotting in Mexico!

Chris is standing in the entrance to the city. The walls were erected the entire way around.

This is when we started to realize that seeing an iguana was pretty commonplace. They were all over the ruins.

The big temple is built right next to a cliff, overlooking the ocean, which you can see just past Chris.

We did spot an animal slightly more rare than the iguana, called the Coatimundi. It's a member of the racoon family and native to South America and very southern parts of North America.

Yet another iguana.

After Tulum, we got my feet bandaged up and our tour guide, Fonzy (Alphonse), posed an interesting question to Chris: "Do you know how to drive an ATV?" We had no idea we'd be ATVing on this trip, but were delighted by the surprise. So they plopped Chris and I on one ATV and Fonzy took a fellow tourist from Germany on another ATV and we were off into the jungle.

Here's Chris and the German traveller standing by a crazy military-looking German truck. Anyone else thinking they should have acted out a certain scene from Indiana Jones?

Chris and I on the ATV (I swear I'm trying hard not to distract him as we cruise down bumpy dirt roads.)

After 15 or 20 minutes of driving, we arrived at our destination: this open-air hut, pictured below. Here we met up with two zipline instructors, who gave us a two-minute tutorial on ziplining after getting us into our gear.

Here we are on the first zipline platform, just before my first experience flying through the jungle on a teeny tiny cable. haha

The guide told me not to use my hands, so I ended up going down backwards part of the way. lol

Chris showing off his no-hands technique.

After three ziplines, we ditched the gear and helmets back at the hut and headed over to our next adventure: cenotes. These underground rivers form caves over a really long period of time. In some spots, the caves partially collapse, which is the case of the cenote picture below. There I am jumping right in. The water was so clear and still that you couldn't tell when you were going to hit the water, making the big splash a big surprise.

Here we are exploring the cave.

More exploration. Fonzy used an underwater camera to capture these pictures for us.

After checking out the fishies in this first cenote, we headed over to the second one, which was much darker. You can see from the picture below of us standing in the only entrance/exit to the cenote why it's so dark in there. lol It's still completely underground.

Inside the cave.

They gave us flashlights to use inside the cave. Chris scared the crap out of me when I was in front of him by shining the light on a tiny fish that was close to his flashlight, which projected a giant shadow on the cave wall next to me. I thought a giant shark was going to get me!
 After the cenotes, we hopped in the van and headed over to the town of Akumal, which means "turtle's nest" in Mayan. Here we went snorkeling in the ocean where the sea turtles come to lay eggs. We were lucky enough to spot 4 different sea turtles, a sting ray and a variety of other fish.

From there, we went to Yalku, which is what they called a "natural aquarium." It's a spot where the cenotes meet the ocean, so freshwater is mixing with saltwater. You can feel warm and cold spots and you can even see where the waters are mixing. It makes everything look very painterly. You can see how we're very fuzzy looking in the picture below. We saw hundreds of fish here, including Caribbean Clownfish and the entire cast of Finding Nemo. haha

It's crazy how much we were able to see and do in just one day. We had a blast and Chris declared that he had discovered his new "best job on the planet", which belonged to Fonzy and the others at Edventures. haha So much fun!