Monday, March 14, 2016

Akumal trip March 2016

For Spring Break 2016, we flew to Cancun and rented a car and drove south to Akumal to stay for a week.

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We flew into Cancun, arriving around noon and spent a few hours fighting the spring break zoo to get through immigration, customs, and to get a car. It was pouring rain and lots of the roads were flooded so it took a while to drive down towards Akumal. We had a quick dinner and then went out to find our lodgings in the jungle.

After pulling off of the main road, we would drive about a kilometer through this kind of jungle to reach the place we were staying.

Here are two short videos showing where we stayed and our own private Cenote in the Yucatan Peninsula.

Here is our home away from home. It is a 2-story "Palapa", completely open to the environment except for the two screened in bedrooms on either end of the upstairs. A week without heat or AC. It did have electricity and running water, though. 

This is the swimming pool in the cenote below the house. Daily skinny dipping required.

The owners have a lot of interesting orchids on the property and here is an example.

Mara, one of the three house dogs, would make regular visits to the Palapa to make sure that we were doing OK. She liked to roll around on the floor or flop on the cushions. She is a Great Dane mix and is a lot bigger than she looks in this photo.

This is the upstairs seating area with one of the bedrooms in the back.

Here is the downstairs with the dining room table in the foreground and the seating area in the back.

The bathroom. Beautiful view, low water pressure.

 The cenote had some nice decorations and seating areas around it.

A nice view of the swimming area in our cenote.

Our cenote is called "Balum Ha" and it is part of the interconnected system of underground rivers and caverns in the Yucatan. Some divers have mapped out our cenote and how it connects to the other cenotes. A large map is shown in the Palapa.

Just north of downtown Akumal is a really nice snorkeling location called Yal-ku. A large amount of fresh water gets discharged in this little inlet, almost like a river delta. There is a lovely park and a lot of good snorkeling.

Here is where we dropped our stuff and put on our masks.

We made one day trip into Tulum to see the Mayan ruins and to walk around the town.  The ruins themselves are not spectacular, but the real estate is truly amazing. Tulum is built on a small bluff overlooking the ocean with several places to access the beach below.

Lots of big iguanas at Tulum, like the one on the rock behind Hunter.

We made a day trip to Chichen Iza in our little rental car to see the pyramids and other sites. It was about a 2 hour drive from Akumal. We did not realize that there was a time zone change along the way so we showed up about 45 minutes before it opened.  Here is a shot of the main pyramid and, because we were there before the tourist busses, there is nobody in the photo.

 The three of us in front of the main pyramid.

Hunter and Mike went scuba diving in one of the Cenotes with a local guide. We went to the cenote called "Tajma Há" a riff on Taj Mahal. We didn't have a camera, so the photo below was not taken buy us, but it is the same cenote.

Here is a video taken by someone else that shows the cenote from inside.

Our rental property had a sweat lodge and the local Shaman would occasionally hold ceremonies. We all took part one night and a big fire was lit to heat up large stones which were then brought into the lodge in waves.

Sherry and the Shaman.