Saturday, July 3, 2010

Week One in the Yucatan

You can travel for miles on a two-lane white road through acres of scrub jungle, low-growing palm and banana trees, and green pirule trees with flowers on fire, the color of ripe oranges and burning embers.  You will see men and boys ride on the shoulder with bikes weighted down by neatly stacked bundles of logs, uniformly about two feet long with both ends carved to a rounded point.  You will see a nation of homeless dogs, some bloated and attacked by angry flocks of vultures, and bulls the size of a small cabin. What you won't see is a single cactus, or any standing water. Here in the Yucatan, mysterious home of the Maya and a culture of extremely friendly locals in spite of their history with foreigners, there are no lakes, no rivers, no lagoons.  There is water on all sides of the Peninsula, the Gulf of Mexico to the west and north, the Caribbean to the east, and beneath this lush, moist, wild landscape, flowing silently to these sources, is the subterranean system of caves, rivers and sinkholes called cenotes.

In our first week of a 5-week journey through the Yucatan and Chiapas, the Hillers family unwittingly embarked on a week-long cenote tour of the Yucatan, satisfying the kids lust for swimming and the parents desire to get out of the sun.

Mas ... tarde.