The first month we moved here, some good friends passed through town and took the girls to a favorite cenote. Since then — for eight months now — every time we set out to explore another stretch of beach or freshwater swimming hole, we hear, “The beach cenote!! We have to go to the beach cenote!!” And though eager, ourselves, to visit this clearly-magical coupling of two natural wonders, their first trip had been by combi (VW bus-style public transportation), and the route changed slightly each time they tried to give us directions.
“Ummm, yeah, it’s totally north of town, like five or ten minutes.”
“No, wait, I’m pretty sure you hang a left at the main road. Oh that’s south? Yeah, that’s what I meant.”
“There’s a sign past that one dirt road just before you get to that bright-colored building that’s falling apart. Yeah, turn there.”
“It’s really easy, just go right and then left and then go straight until you see the water!”
Needless to say, we’d never been — that is, until we heard some new friends describing one of their favorite cenotes, just a stone’s throw from the beach. We eagerly awaited the weekend and promptly packed a picnic.
The following photos start at the beach, pass through the swamps and end up in the cool, clear waters of the first semi-brackish cenote I’ve experienced. Just the slightest taste of salt in the water was a sweet reminder that the underground caves that feed this region’s 7,000+ cenotes also connect to the sea.
Our picnic spot offered both shade and fresh coconuts, the treasure hunting was endless and fruitful, and though the beach was too rough for swimming, a two-minute tunnel though a magnificent mess of mangrove took care of that.
looks fantastic…..can we go with you in July?
This reminds me of the imagery in The Lacuna . . . pretty dreamy.
I was thinking of The Lacuna as well. I just finished reading Kingsolver’s Flight Behavior about the plight of the monarch butterflies.
This looks wonderful.
Oh yeah! Another Kingsolver story with a Mexico connection – I read it this winter. I actually just picked up her book Homeland (1989), which isn’t about Mexico, but it IS about a lot of the family themes that Beth writes about here, too. I hadn’t thought about all the Beth Berry/Barbara Kingsolver overlapping themes, but there are many now that I do.
Lovely and evocative
Looks like a crocodile trail through the mangroves and very beautiful indeed.
I think you are so right-on. We have traveled throughout Mexico and other Latin American countries.
For the last 11 years I have been volunteering in preschool classrooms in the Head Start program in the Mission District of San Francisco. This is primarily a Latin American Barrio and I want to extend your revelations to much of Latin America. There are families from almost every Latin American country and although their particular cultural backgrounds differ in music and the fine and culinary arts, their love of family and their craftsmanship are similar.
Before I move to Cancun in February, I frequented the “beach cenote” too. I have fond memories of a relaxing cool dip in this natural pool with the added benefit of exfoliation by the small fish. Enjoyed your post and look forward to more.