November 8, 2013
Day three was mucho mas bueno. We left semi-early and hit the cenote at Ik Kil, which was amazing. When we first looked down into that seemingly bottomless sinkhole, we almost didn’t know what it was. We were the first ones there, and we got to see it pristine, vines and roots trailing down into the water, dark but for a few sunbeams. My first thought was, “I don’t want to swim in that.”
swim in that!” So we rented a locker and a life vest for Bunny and narrowly
missed being the first ones down there. That would have been incredible, but even so it was pretty ridiculously cool. The water is cold, and full of
friendly black fish who may or may not have eyes. When I first stepped down the ladder, I wasn’t sure I could bear to immerse myself in that water, but soon the effort of swimming warmed me up enough that it was okay. Swimming is hard! And there was no shallow end–a cenote is basically a hole straight down into the earth. The sides are sheer cliff, but it’s rough enough that we eventually found handholds and even a ledge. On one side, plants grow at the water’s edge, and hanging vines and the roots of trees above trace the earth-side edges of the hole. Water trickles down in small waterfalls. Heavenly. I will admit that on my first swim across I had a moment of panic. It’s rare that I swim in water over my head, and being away from the walls–in fact, not knowing if any of the walls offered purchase–was a bit like being thrown down a well.
|The view from the top.|
poverty-style shacks, made of scavenged lumber. Some look like husks,
unfinished cinder block squares. Some are honest-to-god thatched roof cottages. Some look like they could be here in Seattle. But the thing most have in common is a big front “room” that’s not enclosed in any way. Laundry was hanging everywhere, and people were idly standing by the road, or sitting on curbs just watching the road. I really wonder what it is that people in these villages do.