This morning we were up and out on an excursion to see another Cenote and try and swim with wild turtles.
The Cenote was beautiful, just like the other one. A low cave entrance lead to an underground lake with holes in the rock roof letting in shafts of light. There was a school of tiny fish mooching around in the sun as we got into the cold, fresh water. Our guide said these were the fish that are used in Spa’s to eat the dead skin off your feet so not too worry if they start chomping at you.
We had brought our snorkels with us and bobbed around looking at the rocks and crevices beneath us. There were lights under the water so we could get a good look, but some of the caves went really deep down and just turned black before you could see the bottom. Terrifying to think of getting stuck down there!
A short minibus ride away was the cove where the turtles liked to hang out. They liked this place because there is a lot of seagrass to eat. Apparently they can eat 4-6kg of it per day!
After getting our buoyancy aids fitted, and enjoying the rough material on my sensitive back, we entered the cove. This has been highly developed just to cater for the tourists wanting to see the turtles with bars, restaurants, snorkel rental places, tour guides and vendors all competing for your attention. The authorities do their best to protect the turtles by sectioning up the beach, presumably to prevent too many people entering each area?
We got in the water and floated out to the underwater fields of grass to try and find an illusive turtle. We searched around for a while and saw some very pretty fishes, a ray digging a hole for something and what I’m sure was a big cow fish. Eventually a turtle was spotted and it seemed everyone scrambled to follow it, us included. We had our 10-20 seconds of time viewing the docile creature before we backed off. No one else did. It was just so crowded the poor thing must have felt mobbed and soon swam off out of our area. Those who wanted to risk the fine, crossed the boundary and followed it.
Neither of us like the idea of the turtles being captive so we only did this tour because they were “in the wild”. But you couldn’t really call what we experienced “wild” because it was just so hectic and managed with way too many people clamouring for one animal. We too are to blame for partaking in this industry, but I think more emphasis needs to be placed on respectful viewing distance and time or they will be scared away from this habitat.
That afternoon we had a huge lunch. We indulged in a pizza for a starter followed by a main course. The diet is out the window for sure!
We took a walk over to the Infinity pool further along the coast to see Julio and pay him the rest of what we owed him for the souvenirs. This pool is a lot more energetic with loud party music, enthusiastic entertainers dancing around and a foam canon filling the pool with bubbles! Aimi had eaten too much so went for a nap and I wandered off into the mountain of foam. I met a group of people from Kent who were also escaping the British winter and an American chap called Bryce, which is an awesome name. After several drinks and a bit of dancing I was a bit drunk.