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Reisverslag Holbox and diving in an aquatic museum
5 december 2015
Holbox and diving in an aquatic museum
The next morning we did not really have a set time to be leaving for the island so I had my first proper sleep in in ages! And a sleep in here means waking up around 9.30AM. However we then received a message that we were leaving in 20 minutes. Unlucky for us this person is not European in his times so while I was still washing my hair I already heard the honk of the car. As a woman that I am I multitasked a thousand things. Washing my hair, brushing my teeth, packing my bags you name it. We left and it was supposed to be around 3 hours however our friend driving did it in 1.30 haha! We arrived in a small town called Chiquilá and from there we took a small boat to the island. The man driving offered us a tour around the island in his boat so we kept that for the next day. Arriving at the island the first thing I noticed; there are no roads. Literally everything is sand or mud. We walked into the town which was really close as the island is even smaller than Isla Mujeres and looked for the hostel. The hostel “Los Arcos” is placed in the middle of the main square where the small park and all the restaurants are. Our friend who had been there already insisted we had to get a room with air conditioning as there were a lot of mosquitos. Living in Cancun I had already had my fair experience with mosquitos but this island… As we opened the 2 doors to the room we entered and there was an immediate attack of mosquitos! As it was still early we decided to look go around the island. There were some people driving golf carts and people driving bikes. As the island was small and it was nice weather to bike we decided to hire some bikes. Only to realize after a good 15 minutes there were literally no roads. As I haven’t done any exercise in the past months and I had to bike in the sand and it was 30 degrees I must say it was a challenge. We biked on the beach and it was so calm. The white/grey sand beach with in the distance green/blue ish water. There were very few people which made it very peaceful. We decided to go into the jungle only to be stuck in the mud after a few seconds. I got lucky and could get out without getting my feet dirty however later on that was a different story. The sun was going to set so we followed the guys as they knew the best spot to see it. However they did not remember perfectly how to get there as they are all sand roads and plants. We first ended up at a garbage burning place, then literally drove straight into a cemetery and then decided that maybe that wasn’t the way. As it was getting darker I could feel the mosquitos coming closer so we sprayed on tons of insect repellent. As it had rained a few days before there were huge mud pools everywhere. We had to go through a huge water pool to continue the road so I thought that if I would go with a lot of speed through the middle I would get out perfectly. Not the case. As it is grey mud/water you cannot see what is under there. Which is how I got stuck in the middle of the pool in a big hole. I had to put both my feet in the mud to prevent myself from falling and as I grabbed my chanclas from my feet I could feel my feet sinking into god knows what was in there. After that we drove on the beach to the spot with the wind in our back. While we waited for the sun to set we looked around the beach for animals. Because of the wind direction the water would leave a lot of animals on the shore who got stuck and did not survive. Which is how I saw an ocean cockroach! Let me tell you something, they are HUGE. Around the size of my stomach. A really hard shell with a tail and when you turn them around they have these yucki shrimp feet bah! I did save 2 starfish though As the sun was setting these amazing orange and pink colours took over the whole sky and slowly started changing into purple. It was beautiful! It all reflected on the water. It was also getting quite cold and windy so we decided to go back. As we had to go through the jungle again I got stuck AGAIN in the mud with my feet only this time I screamed and panicked because the slight second that you stop, you get instantly covered with mosquitos! I had more mosquitos than skin on my leg waaaaaah. I drove as fast as I could and slapped them away. Back in the hostel our bikes were all grey from the mud, also our legs, shoes, clothes, hair everything! We went into the room that was packed with mosquitos and took a shower. We then went to look for dinner. It is crazy expensive on this island but it has the nicest restaurants and concepts! I went to get a hot drink at a café because it was cold, I then went to bed exhausted!
The next day we had breakfast at a small place in the sun and later took our bikes again to the beach, however after 10 minutes we just stopped, parked our bikes and spent the next 4 hours on the beach. It was so relaxing and peaceful. No sound but the ocean, no one trying to sell you things and no music. Just pure nature. This island is so untouched and new. I loved it! I really hope that they won’t start building big hotels and roads on there because it is really one of the few places that is really ‘pure’. I also liked that they encouraged the concept of keeping the island clean and sustainable. We brought back the bikes, took our stuff and went to the small boat for the tour. He first took us to ‘Bird Island’ which is a tiny island literally packed with birds and forbidden for anyone to enter! We could only go up this wooden lookout where you could see all kinds of birds in the trees. We then went around it and went to look at flamingos! A whole group of them was just near an island in the ocean. (Holbox consists of various small islands but is also surrounded by a lot of small islands). There was another lookout but as it was all such untouched nature again there was a mosquito attack so we all went back screaming and running to the boat. Then for our last stop we went to another island where you had to pay 10pesos and then was able to enter the island and see the cenote. However it is technically not a cenote, it is kind of a lagoon in an island in the ocean. It did look like an open cenote though. We walked past the cenote and walked up the lookout and on one side you could see the ocean and the cenote and on the other side, I am not kidding, it looked like the Sahara. It was so weird! I was definitely not expecting that! What a difference in nature. We dipped our feet in the cenote and listened to a Mexican man telling stories about the pirates of a long time ago. Later we went back to Chiquilá and then back home.
On Tuesday we had our final German exam at Anahuac which went very well! After that we went to a very popular beach club in Cancun called ‘Mandala Beach’ to celebrate Fenja’s birthday. Our friends were waiting for us inside and the entrance is 300 pesos. However they tried to sell it to us for 400. I got into a discussion and only when I said that my friends were in there and had already paid they let us in for 300. The club is obviously placed on the beach but It also has a pool with a lot of seats and beds around it. Also it has a few of those huge beach beds a bit further. And of course huge music speakers with, I must say, shitty music. Anyway, you pay the 300 pesos but then you can spend that on food and drinks within the club. So I did enjoy a few drinks and snack while dying of the heat there. We spent a few hours there and I noticed that the ocean had gotten so beautiful! I had not been at that beach since September when it was still with the seaweed but that had all disappeared now! Gorgeous! Later that night we went with all of our friends to a Brazilian all you can eat restaurant. The waiters come by your table with huge pieces of meat and cut it straight onto your plate. Interesting!
Wednesday we went diving and it was the most perfect and beautiful day ever! We went with just one other American man and our diving instructor on a boat to the MUSA, aquatic museum of art near Isla Mujeres. We left from a hotel in the lagoon and drove straight to the ocean as they are connected. I know I have said this before but I could still not believe my eyes that that water was a real thing. It went from sky blue to green to dark blue and it was just incredibly beautiful. No matter where you were you could see at least 10 meters down without a problem. It felt like I was in a pool! Now the museum was so cool as well! The concept of this museum was to help the coral reef and the underwater life of Cancun’s coral reef. As a lot of people go diving and snorkling etc. they want it to prevent from damaging which is why they came up with this new concept of making several statues made of special material that would improve the growth of coral and therefore the life of many sea animals. The first statues that we saw were from a huge bomb and some frames. Later we saw the famous statues of big groups of people all together. And the cool part was that you could not only see the coral and plants growing on it and see all the fish play around it but also the time that was put into these statues. Every statue was different there were pregnant woman, children, old people, people from different ethnicities, people that were screaming or praying. Just so cool! Also quite scary sometimes… There was also a life size car somewhere there! We went up the boat again, took a break and then continued our second dive at the coral reef. This was also such an amazing experience. I had never imagined for it to be so big. I was like a snail compared to the size of that coral reef. Our dive instructor showed us various animals by using hand signs. We saw a lot of lion fish and lobsters and Fenja even saw a small piece of an octopus! She also showed us the weirdest green plant/animal things that looked like a fat cucumber but bright green with orange spots. And then not to mention the enormous groups of fish! Yellow, black, white, blue, any colour! One fish caught my eye because it literally looked like a painting. Every single scale of the fish was different. It looked a bit like a camouflage. Dark green with silver, black, white and blue spots. Beautiful. I am so happy I still got to see this and got the opportunity to take this diving course.
Today I had my last exam which means I have a 2 MONTH HOLIDAY NOW! Also this was my last full day in Cancun… so sad! Even Cancun got sad as it rained really hard the whole day. On the way home we got so soaked we got to the point where we did not care anymore and jumped in puddles, danced in the rain and stood under the mini waterfalls falling from the rooftops created by rain. We had a goodbye lunch at our favourite French café and went to spent the afternoon at our friends (and german teachers) house where we ordered pizza and watched Eat Pray Love. It was weird saying goodbye to them.. although they have been the only ones because I haven’t seen so many people because of exams and will probably not see them anymore! I said bye to my teacher as well, she was so cute and fun and actually taught me some German!
Tomorrow morning I will leave to Bacalar (7 coloured lagoon) with 3 friends and then continue my trip to Belize and Guatemala with Fenja. I will probably be back the 12th of December to go to Mexico city on the 13th. I can’t believe time has gone so fast. I enjoyed every minute of it though. Sorry for my grammar/spelling mistakes I am almost falling asleep. Kisses!
Foto's bij verslag (7)
6 december 2015 05:46 | Door: Javier y Norma (abuelos)
Muy querida Ana Laura, una vez mas nos has llevado de la mano a través de tus interesantes relatos. Hemos disfrutado cada uno de los momentos descritos cual si los hubiésemos experimentado .
Nos congratulamos al constatar que tu estancia en la Universidad Anahuac en Cancun, ha satisfecho tus expectativas didacticas, culturales y sociales. Te felicitamos por tu aprovechamiento. Ha sido, sin duda, una gran oportunidad para tu formacion. Besos.