Wednesday, April 18, 2012

On The Road - 6

Although I had tried my best to describe to my sister what a cenote is, I don't think she really had a good understanding of them. I had already told her that when the meteorite hit the Yucatan some 65 million years ago, that it had thrown the land up and over all existing waterways, effectively burying all water sources underground. Over the ensuing years, some of these rivers and lakes have been exposed and are now referred to as cenotes.

She gasped and grabbed me for support when we emerged from the cavelike entryway to the downtown cenote in Valledolid. She was not prepared for what met her eyes.

From where one enters, it is 95 feet down to the water.

It is one giant cavern, open to the sky one side but still cavelike on the other.

Walkways and diving (viewing!) platforms have been contructed all the way around it.

Stalagtites still cling to the ceiling, covered with bird and bat droppings.

The view from the edge down to the swimmers.

The view from under the cave roof, showing the opening to the sky.

People, and not just the really young, dive from every place they can get a good foothold. With the bottom some 300+ feet below, there is no danger that they will hit their head.

Exposed tree roots cling to the sides of the cavern.

An altar adorns one niche in the wall.

Over on the left where that outcropping is and where you can just see people standing, is the entrance.

We spent quite a bit of time in there, just soaking it all in and watching the divers. When asked, my sister replied that no, she was not sorry that she had not brought her bathing suit! And I wasn't sorry that I didn't have mine either! Beautiful to look at, but it would give me the creeps to know that the bottom was over 300 feet below me.


norm said...

Google Krast Topograghy. The Yucatan's limestone landscape is classic Krast.
The first time I visited the Valledolid cenote, it was covered with green stuff and not every inviting but the last time I was there, it looked more like your photos.

Calypso said...

It would be hard to not get wet in a scene like that - should have brought the suits ;-)

Oh and if water is over your head, 7 feet or 300 feet below does not make much difference amigo ;-)

Ann said...


KfromMichigan said...

It gives me the creeps too!

Aimee said...

I am totally going here!

Babs said...

I'm so sorry I didn't go this cenote. I wanted to go to the sewing coop. I've learned I can't be at two places at the same time, darn.

AND I didn't buy enough at the co-op. GREAT regret about that.