9 Thoughts - Part Two

February 10th, 2018

4. fascination underwater world - salty

In front of Belize is the world's second largest barrier reef. After a long time we decide against a break on one of the islands. However, snorkelling off this incredibly beautiful coastline is not something we want to miss. In Xcalak, in the south of Mexico, just before the border to Belize, we spend a few relaxing days and take the opportunity to paddle out with the kayaks and explore the underwater world. The trip in a kayak alone is fantastic. We enjoy the view of the coast, the tranquillity and expanse of the sea. After briefly wondering how we will get back into the kayak we tie our boats to a buoy and jump into the lukewarm water. We really enjoy the time in the water, try to discover as many different fish as possible, swim with them, gaze at corals that seem like leaves in the wind. Then one of my absolute highlights of the whole trip happens: suddenly four rays swim towards us and float past us. I have seldom seen anything so impressive. The moment engraves itself into my memory and as suddenly as the rays appeared, they disappear again in the depths of the mysterious underwater world.

5. health is our most important asset

All four of us stayed in the van for several days at the same campsite in San Cristobal de Las Casas, weakened by food poisoning, in order to regain some strength with bouillon and rice.
We often take our body and health for granted. Only when we don't feel so good do we realize how much our body achieves every day. All the things it makes possible for us, carries us everywhere, lets us climb mountains and explore the world. To be reminded from time to time that we should take care of our health is not only bad. To see how powerless and energyless we are when the body is not working makes me realize that health is perhaps our most important good and I want to take better care of it in the future. Our entertaining but serious escapade in San Cristobal at least has its merits.

6. fascination underwater world - sweet

In addition to the great experience off the coast of Mexico, we also unpack snorkel and diving goggles in the fresh water. In the Quintana Roo region there are hundreds of cenotes - subterranean limestone caves formed by the collapse of the ceiling, some of which form large tunnel systems. After preliminary research, we decide on the well-known Cenote "Dos Ojos" at Tulum, which is also famous for diving. As usual, we set off early in the morning and are almost the first to stand at the entrance of the facility. Due to the frosty temperatures we are still reserved and first look at the two "holes in the ground" from the shore. From there we cannot even begin to see what we will discover under water. Above the water level we see the edge of a cave which forms a circle around us - around the middle of the hole, which is filled up by the collapse. At the beginning I still find the dark expanse at the edge of the cave below me scary, but then we notice the divers discovering the cenote below us. With their flashlights they illuminate the limits of the cave, lighten passages between limestone columns and hidden niches in the depths. The coming and going light of the flashlights allows us to discover the underwater world more and more, to better recognize and understand the tunnel system and its dimensions. In this way we realize that a completely different, mysterious underwater world exists here. I imagine coming back here as a diver, exploring more of this world and also giving the snorkelers on the water surface an insight.

This article was written by Madlen after 4 weeks of accompanying us through Mexico and Guatemala.

To be continued.