Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Into The Biosphere

After we had explored the beach area, we stopped for a quick breakfast at one of the Mama and Papa places in town for a quick bite to eat. We were heading into the biosphere after that to do some exploring and shelling. My friend is very environmentally aware and she had also brought large garbage bags along. We planned on taking shells and garbage from the beach. Something, I assure you, we found plenty of!

As we headed into the brush area that lines the beach road, P stopped the car in the middle of what seemed like nowhere. He announced that he had a surprise side adventure for us. (He knows how much I love a good adventure!) We were going to visit a little known and probably less often visited cenote! (sink hole, underground river, or swimming hole) We crossed the road and pushed through some very dry brush and found this path.

I was a bit suspicious of just how "rare" this cenote was if the path could be this well worn. When asked why it was so worn down, P replied that it was used by crocodiles going from water place to water place. I didn't know whether to believe him or not, but I kept as close to the middle as I could anyway. Just to err on the side of caution!

It wasn't long before the path ended and we were greeted by this wooden walkway.

It reminded me of the kind of walkway one finds in NOB parks and wetlands. A lot of them built by the CCC during the depression. I don't think that that was the case here though.

Here's a close-up, lest you think walking along it was a piece of cake. Plus it kept getting hotter and more humid as we got deeper into the shrub jungle.

Oops. This is out of sequence. It is the view throught the bushes that lined the dirt path. Once in awhile there would be a gap and this is what we saw. Vast flatlands of tepid, stagnant water, dotted with the decaying limbs of bygone trees.

These trees had probably been damaged by previous storms or hurricanes. We were very close to the Gulf of Mexico here and the storms probably rip right onto shore.

Hide and seek. Find the heron.

I think some of the stumps are old mangroves. At least the root system seems that way. Mangroves are a very important part of the eco-system here. Destruction of them is one of the main reasons Cancun is decaying and eroding so fast.

Now here's something you don't see very often on this blog. A picture of me! Usually I am behind the camera, where I prefer to be! I wanted to show you that the way was not always easy and not always fun. This had better be one heck of a cenote! It took us about 25 minutes to get to it.

The jungle growth along the way was very lush and interesting. And buggy. Still, it was a fun walk and we stopped often to admire various plants and to point out spiders, centipedes and anything else that caught our attention.

Finally, the sidewalk ended at a pool of water and there we were!

Not exactly the kind of cenote that one wants to take a swim in. Or even put your feet in!

It was more like a shallow marsh, but the setting made it very special and it was full of all kinds of fish. And other unmentionable stuff.

We lingered there just long enough to get a good sense of it and have a little rest. We had to get back to the car and, more importantly, to the water bottles that we have left there. I didn't think it was going to be that long of a hike so I didn't want to burden myself with too much stuff. Lesson again learned. Never leave your car in the Yucatan without your water bottle!

Next we'll delve even deeper into the biosphere and hit the beach.


lisa said...

Those kind of walks are the best, ones that are easy going and you can just enjoy looking. We have a park that goes to a water fall that is similar to your walk, trees and plants and things then you are at the look out to the falls! Its good to see the face!

Anonymous said...

That boardwalk looks like a real toe-stumper!!!

Isla Chica

KfromMichigan said...

I'd call that an adventure walk! To bad you couldn't cool off at the end.

Anonymous said...

Did you fall into the swamp??

O Robert

Steve Cotton said...

And here I was hoping for a nice croc tale!