I decided I wanted to see some of the other sights of the area. Bart at the bakery told me about a beautiful beach nearby called Xcacel. (pronounced Ish-ca-cell). It’s a private government-run turtle preserve and cenote (a sinkhole or surface connection to a subterranean river — see http://www.cancunsouth.com/act_cenotes.html). So I asked Dario, my bay patrol boss, if I could take a day off. I haven’t had one since I started, other than the day I had to go to the bank in Playa for the contact lens fiasco.
So I packed up my fins, snorkel and other supplies (peanut butter and jelly sandwich) for a day’s outing and bought a couple beers to take along. I caught the collectivo out on the highway and told the driver Xcacel. Naturally, he missed it and drove past about a mile or so that I had to walk back in the blazing sun along the highway. I must learn to speak up faster to avoid doing this.
Anyhow, I finally got there, hot and tired, but the surf was lovely. Nice, big, but not scary waves, clear turquoise water and a huge, deserted beach. A gang of French people was there, which was good because I didn’t want to go in the water all alone, since it was a place I didn’t know.
I played in the waves and even did a little body surfing. It was wonderful and refreshing. Then enjoyed a Sol cerveza con limon and sal (lemon and salt) — excellent. The cenote is about 300 meters down the beach and back in the mangroves via a nice sandy trail that turns into slippery mud, rocks and roots and several inches of water — tricky footing. But the cenote was well worth it. It’s a lovely little fresh-water pond surrounded by trees and filled with tiny fish. I slipped into the cool, clear water and snorkeled around eye to eye with little half-inch guppies.
I felt like a fish in my own aquarium. So quiet, green and peaceful. No one else was there and I glided in a little green water world with no worries or cares. Only the sound of bird songs and the soft rippling of the water. At first I thought there were bits of aluminum foil on the bottom of the cenote, but then realized the little glints of silver were the tiny fish turning and flashing in the sunlight.