A Two-for - We'll Follow the Sun - CycleBlaze

December 30, 2018 to December 31, 2018

A Two-for

Two days for the price of one!

Rather than post about the same thing twice, this post will cover two of the days here in Coba as we visited the local cenotes.  That way if you are bored with cenote pictures, you can skip to the next entry (although, who would be bored with cenote pictures?!?!).

December 30

This morning we tried to get up at 7, wanting to be at the cenotes by 9:00, but the time change really through us for a loop.  What a weird deal, starting the day cycling in one time zone and ending the day in another! We realized that if we had really planned it out well, we would have been cycling on the day they switch from Daylight Savings Time to Standard Time - then it would have been a net zero.  But I digress.  We managed to get up eventually, have some toast and peanut butter (free breakfast here!) and head out before it got too far into the day.

Cycling out to the area where there are 3 cenotes was just wonderful.  It was still early so cool, the road was just perfect (we even got a downhill!) and traffic was pretty much non-existent.  It's about 7 km from our hotel to the first cenote, so we were there in a very short time.  Two of the cenotes here (Choo-Ha and Tamcach-Ha) are very close to each other, so we decided to pay for the entry to all 3 and do the final one (Multun-Ha) tomorrow.  The road into the cenotes was, of course, a dirt road, but this time it was not too bad so we can't complain.  We arrived around 9:30 and were the first people there - hurray!  Stopping first at Choo-Ha, the scariest bit was going down the stairs - they just seem to go down forever!  

Down..
Heart 1 Comment 0
Down..
Heart 2 Comment 0
And down!
Heart 2 Comment 0

Once at the bottom, we were in a beautiful underground cavern again, complete with stalactites and this time bats!  We could see them flitting about and hear their little squeaks, but other than that, the place was totally silent.  Wading into the water, we swam around and enjoyed checking out both the bats and the beautiful ceiling of this place.  It is smaller than other cenotes we've been in, but having it all to ourselves made it just perfect.  

Heart 1 Comment 0
Heart 1 Comment 0
Heart 1 Comment 0

We spent a magical time here before eventually hauling ourselves out and heading over to the next cenote on todays's agenda, Tamcach-Ha.  There were a few people here already, but it was fun (once we made it down the very long spiral stairway) to swim out into the water and watch the much braver young people jump from the two platforms jutting out from the stairway.  One is at about 5 meters and the other at 10 - yikes!  The noise that someone makes as they land in the water sounds thunderous in the cavern.  It was also a little amusing to watch a young couple arrive.  She posed for many pictures in different spots and I wondered if they were ever actually going to get wet, but eventually the camera went away and they both enjoyed just swimming.  Sometimes you do want to work to get the best pic, but I would hate to have that interfere with our enjoyment of a moment like this one.  We did climb out onto a rock for a pose ourselves, reminding me of one of my daughter's favourite Instagram posters, Celeste Barber.  She takes model poses and then tries them herself to much hilarity.  I love someone who doesn't take themselves too seriously!

Heart 1 Comment 0
Heart 1 Comment 0
Here's our normal selfie
Heart 1 Comment 0
And this is "the pose" we saw others doing. Hmmm.... I think we will stick to selfies, thank you.
Heart 1 Comment 0
The way in and out
Heart 1 Comment 0

Cenotes finished, we enjoyed the lovely ride back into town and weren't quite ready to head back to the hotel, so we rode past and up to just outside of Coba (all of 1km) to where we had seen a Starbucks sign.  We haven't seen a Starbucks since we were in Merida back at the beginning of December, and thought it would be fun to have an actual iced decaf.  I've had the odd cup of coffee with no ill effects, but prefer decaf when I can.  We ordered our coffees and went to sit on the nice patio.  This is at a pretty swanky resort, so the pool was pretty special and the rooms looked like the bungalows we had at Hotel Okaan.  As we sat enjoying the quiet atmosphere, it began to rain.  Just a few drops at first, and then the skies opened up and it was a real downpour!  We laughed and scooted up under the umbrella we were sitting at and continued to enjoy our coffees.

Heart 1 Comment 0
Heart 1 Comment 0
Just before the skies opened
Heart 1 Comment 0

Eventually the rain ceased and we noticed some cyclists bringing out their gear to head out.  They had panniers, so we knew they were touring - wow!  Only the second set of tourers we have seen on our trip!  We, of course, went up to chat and find out about their trip.  They are a group of friends from Mexico City and are cycling from Merida to Chetumal, just before the Belize border.  They are travelling a lot lighter than us and still complained about having too much gear.  I think this is something that most of us struggle for the first few tours - how much to bring, what do I really need, what do I wish I had brought.  It was nice to hear the same complaint from someone else!  We ended our chat and wished each other safe and happy journeys and we headed back down the road to our hotel.  

We enjoyed a quiet afternoon, snoozing at watching some football before walking down towards the water to try another place for dinner.  Our choice tonight was right on the lagoon, so the view was lovely.  There was only one other table occupied as we were seated under the overhang of the palapa.  We both ordered a chicken dish and were very pleased with both the service and the food.  While were enjoying our dinner, we noticed the sky over the lagoon turn darker and darker and it was obvious that rain was imminent.  Coba is just a few meters away from where we were sitting and we wondered what they do in such a situation with people climbing the pyramid - do they tell them to get down?  Leave them to figure it out by themselves?  Whatever, in very short order it was again, raining torrentially and the two people sitting out exposed had to quickly pick up there things and run for cover.  We were just inside of the rain zone, so other than a few little sprinkles, stayed safe and dry.  We laughed and chatted with the owner about the rain and how different it is from the rain we get in Vancouver.  This rain is just so intense for a time and then, poof, its over!  I thought about anyone up on the pyramid and hoped that they would be able to get down safely - its 40 meters high and 120 steps we are told, so it would not be a great place to be in rain like this!  

Eventually the rain ceased to a few little sprinkles and we paid for our meal and left, making sure they would be open for dinner tomorrow night.  Our hotel is having a "special" New Year's Even dinner - for 600 pesos each!  So, of course, we have declined and were looking for a more reasonable place to enjoy dinner and this place is perfect!

Back in our room, we will stay in and catch some more football before hopefully turning in early.  The party last night didn't go on too long but we hope they don't have a repeat performance tonight!  Tomorrow we will cycle out to the last cenote and then spend some time doing some bike maintance.  I have to say, we were a little worried about spending so many days here in Coba as it is such a small place, but we are just really enjoying this place.  Come to think of it, we have pretty much enjoyed every single place we have been since we arrived here!  

December 31

Well, last night was one for the books! We were in our room around 7 watching some football and catching up on the blog when all of a sudden all the power went out! We looked out our window and could see that the power was out all around us. No one seemed to care much though, some still swam in the pool by starlight, others sat with their phones for light and chatted. We pulled out the cards and used a light from the bike so it was just like a camping night - fun right? Then, to add to the excitement, the rain started up again.  A full on deluge that lasted for quite some time.  We enjoyed listening to the rain while holed up in our cozy little room all safe and warm.  It was a perfect evening, really.  

We can have fun no matter what!
Heart 2 Comment 0
Thank goodness for strong bike lights!
Heart 1 Comment 0

Eventually, around 9:00, the power came back on and the world returned to normal.  We had been all set to go to sleep early, but there was a rather boisterous group just outside our room on the lovely deck, so we switched the football game back on and watched that until things became quiet and we could fall asleep.

Today the sun was shining as we got up early, ate our breakfast and again rode out to the cenotes to catch our last one, Multun-Ha, which is located about 2 kms past the first two, most of which is on another dirt road.  We were wondering what shape it would be in after last night's rain, so approached the turnoff with a little trepidation only to find the gate closed and locked!  Oh no!!!  We quickly turned the bikes around and headed back to the ticket booth a short 300 meters away.  There we asked the fellow at the booth when the cenote would be open.  He laughed and pointed to another guy and said "When he gets over there and opens it! You are the first ones here today!" Awesome!  Our new buddy jumped on his motorcycle and headed back towards the cenote and we followed in his wake.  The dirt road was not too bad - a giant puddle at the beginning the only real indication of the amount of rain that had fallen last night.  In a very short time we arrived at the cenote and, knowing the routine, changed into our swim wear, had a quick rinse in the shower and headed down.  They are very careful about people entering the cenotes here without any sunscreen or any other things that might pollute the water of the cenote, so they ask you to shower off before entering - fair enough! 

Possible tiny home?
Heart 1 Comment 0
The ride out this morning - note the blue sky!
Heart 1 Comment 0

Again we went down, down down a spiral stairway until we reached the cenote.  This one is totally inside a cave with the only outside light coming from the narrow entryway.  It was spooky, particularly as there had been the power outage last night and as we swam, we were always thoughtful of being near the ropes, just in case.  As the first cenote yesterday, we had this one to ourselves for the entire time we were there, which was again, just magical. If you are very still, you can look into the depths of the water, it is just so clear.  People like to snorkel in this one and I can see why.  I almost wished we had rented snorkel gear, but maybe another time.  For this time we just enjoyed our swim, and Jim enjoyed playing around with the GoPro.  If we ever get the footage off, I will try to come back and post some here.

Heading down yet again
Heart 1 Comment 0
Heart 1 Comment 0
Cenote selfie of the day!
Heart 1 Comment 0

Cenote #3 done, we climbed back up to the real world, changed into our clothes and headed back into town.  We could see a big black cloud approaching and knew that rain was once again imminent.  We weren't too concerned about getting wet since the rain is so warm, so when the downpour began, we just laughed and rode through it.  It reminded me of when I was a kid, riding my bike in the rain and getting so wet I was soaked - so much fun!  Really!!!  

On our way out on the not so very rocky road
Heart 2 Comment 0

We arrived back at the hotel and wanted to have a hot shower only to be told there were no clean towels due to the power outage yesterday - oh well,  mañana!  We changed into dryer clothes, had a little snack and spent the afternoon writing and looking for information on upcoming places.  Later in the afternoon we will head down to have an early dinner where we ate yesterday, then come back to our room, grab some beers from next door and celebrate New Year's as we pretty much always do - going to bed early!  Every other year we have gotten up early on New Year's Day to watch the Rose Parade and then a day of football.  This New Year's Day we will get up early so we can climb the pyramid at Coba!  Wishing you all a very Happy New Year and for all our cycling buddies, many happy biking days for you in the year to come!

Heart 3 Comment 0

Today's ride: 20 km (12 miles)
Total: 736 km (457 miles)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 5
Comment on this entry Comment 4
Michael ReynoldsWas going to ask you how the cenote water doesn't become stagnant and dirty, you kind of answered already with the bit about the showers. I guess there must be a slow flow in and out thru the aquifir? Very odd, these cenotes.
Oh, and Happy New Year!
Reply to this comment
2 weeks ago
Sue PriceWell, that's how they keep them from really getting dirty, but it is interesting how they all stay so clear and fresh. Even when there were bats flying around it didn't smell like bat guano, which is pretty stinky! I will see if I can find out for sure, but I'm guessing you are correct that they are all part of an underground aquifer and connected. Whatever, they are delightful and you should really come and try them out!
Reply to this comment
2 weeks ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesA nice New Year's greeting - thanks, and best wishes.
Reply to this comment
2 weeks ago
Sue PriceTo Steve Miller/GrampiesThanks Steve! Sending good wishes your way too and especially for Dodie!
Reply to this comment
2 weeks ago