Monday, December 10, 2007

Hidden Worlds

What a weekend we just had! We have been itching to take a little trip and have a little adventure off the island for a while now. But where to go? What to do? Then I came across this place just south of us in Akumal while reading this blog:

I can't get Blogger to add the correct URL for this blog so I am just giving you the link for now. It's the Blog of Jonna and Mimi who live in Akumal. If you are not familiar with this blog yet, you should follow the link and give it a read. Two really interesting people and three interesting dogs!

We booked a room at a hotel in Playa del Carmen earlier last week, as well as booking a ride on the SkyCycle for 10 AM Saturday morning. I also contacted Jonna and Mimi and let them know we were going to be in their neck of the woods.

So what exactly is a SkyCycle? Take a look at this.

It's a seat that hangs from a cable with a bycycle pedalling system attached. You sit on it and peddle your way along a cable at your own pace. Kind of like a Zip Line without the zip! Perfect for old farts and out of shapes like me!

After our brief little instuctional speech, we were loaded onto this truck to be taken to the start of the ride. The driver warned us to duck when getting on, but he failed to mention the other two bars also!

Needless to say, somebody bumped their head pretty good! And no, it wasn't me!

This outfit of Hidden Worlds has spared no expense in transporting their customers around to the various venues. Here's my view of the driver....and the motor too!

The entrance to this feature reminded me of the start of some sort of carneval ride. The bikes were all lined up just waiting for the riders to board.

Finally, instructions over, trip to the start over, sliding into our harnesses over and actually getting on board was over and we were off!

At times the going was slow. In fact, the action came to a complete standstill. We were told several times to always stay on the other side of the support of the guy in front of you. Once they passed a support, you could enter onto that stretch of cable. Otherwise the cable would be become overweighted and hang down. Then it would be hard peddling uphill to get to the next support. We were all very observant of this rule.

We passed over and through the tree tops in total silence. I must say though, I was not overly impressed with the section of jungle they choose to string the cable through. Same old palm trees and scrub brush that is visible anywhere in the Yucatan peninsula. Except that we were seeing them from a different angle, it was same old, same old. There were a few interesting places along the way. Like this cenote:

We were deposited in the cavern opening of another cenote. It was full of very shallow water upon which Hidden Worlds had built some walkways. The place was full of stalagtites and stalagmites and some very interesting rock formations. I thought this one looked like a buffalo and everyone agreed. What do you think?

While we were registering for the ride, I turned around and thought I saw a familiar face. Sure enough, it was Mimi from the Blah Blah Ginger blog! She was there with their friends, Country and Sky to go on the ride too! We all hooked up and went on the ride together.

Here's Mimi climbling the stairs that lead up to the jungle. She and I decided to take a little jaunt up there and see why they built a staircase there. Guess what? It didn't lead to anything except the path that the workers used to get to the cave we were at.

B and L and I had originally thought we were going to snorkel in this cenote. I took one look at the entrance to the cenote and the claustrophopic space behind it and decided to give it a pass. I knew if I ventured into that vast water underworld, I would probably end up hyperventilating or something so I just stayed behind.
At least I got to visit with Mimi for a bit and send her off on her way.

This is the entrance to the snorkeling part of the adventure. The dark line in the middle is the boardwalk just under the surface of the water. This leads you to the deep water beyond. You can see an orange marker ball in the middle distance of this picture. It was here that the snorkelers went into the water and disappeared around that corner. Spooky stuff to me!

Eventually the brave ones amongst us returned and we finished the second half of the trip with no problem. The cable did descend and take us under some rock overpasses that were filled with water. They were actually small cenotes that were open to the jungle at each end. This little bit was very, very cool.

Even though I had a good time, I would not call this a most excellent adventure. Especially when you consider the cost. A whopping $75 US per person. I don't think we'll be going back.
Back at headquarters, we caught up with Mimi and crew and decided to all head to Akumal for lunch, to see the girls' condo, do some reef snorkeling and, most importantly, for me to meet Jonna!


Nancy said...

I'm envious! I would love to meet you and also Jonna and Mimi. Someday, maybe.

And even though you weren't too enthusiastic if I am ever in the area I would probably take the zip line, too.

CancunCanuck said...

Sounds like a nice experience, I would have absolutely done the snorkeling though. I suffer from claustrophobia in enclosed man-made spaces, but never in caves for some reason. I'm so envious you met Jonna and Mimi, how fortunate!