For the first time in over a week, Jamie felt well enough this morning to watch the kids while I went for a walk. It has been an enormous amount of time since I was last able to go for a walk. I headed south ; down the beach but when I got back Jamie informed me that north was the direction of a walk he'd read about. Tomorrow I'll head northwards. :) For the first time since leaving Puebla, we had BLUE SKY today! Blue sky and white clouds and it was beautiful on the sea...
I saw an enormous amount of flotsam (is that the term for garbage from the sea?) stung all along the beach. It was simply amazing. The owner of the RV park, Pepe, has been asked to allow residents to do beach cleanup, but the garbage collected is very expensive to discard, so he has discouraged the project. Tomorrow I'll have to take some pictures of the garbage to even out the picturesque beach scenes.
When I got back, Jamie was still doing well, but not up to par, so we decided to go swimming. First he, then I, swam out to the reef to check out the coral and the fishies. As it turns out, he went out just a tad further than I did and was able to see enormous quantities of fishies, where I saw good numbers of fish. I have to admit that each and every time I enter the water I have a horrid "Jaws" fear. Despite some 15 years of competitive (AAU and Masters) swimming, I am a scardy-cat in the open water. Were it not for a kindred scardy-cat, I probably would not have had the courage to venture out. She was down for the day, having taken a cruise from New Orleans. Were I on a cruise ship, I'm not sure I'd have the vision to look for a secluded beach. The fish were lilac, purple, blue, yellow with black zebra stripes, transparent, yellow and white. They were amazing. The beachfront stays rather shallow for quite a ways until it encounters the reef where waves swirl and break in a frenzy. I was trying REALLY hard to stay away from the reef; you could see parts of it sticking up out of the water.
When we decided to come back to shore, we were surprised to find how difficult it was to swim back. The waves were large swells and would pull you back towards the reef. It was still an amazing trip. Many of the divers in this area rave about this reef; they say it is unique (in many ways, I'd suppose) that you can SWIM to the reef (and fish) instead of sit in a boat for 1-2 hours GETTING to the reef.
After lunch we decided to try to hit Cobá, one of many local Mayan ruins. They are supposed to be similar to the architecture of Tikal (where I REALLY wanted to go, but seeing as it is in Guatemala, and we will probably never get there) and the entire site is estimated to be 50km² in area and over 6500 structures. They have uncovered what seems like only a handful. Before entering the site, we doused our heads with water and it was very pleasant and "cool" walking through the site. It is about 2km from the entrance to the big pyramid (supposedly the highest on the Yucatan) and we all walked it in comfort. We passed a few structures but were trying to get the girls to the pyramid before the park closed and didn't do much exploration of them. There are no placards at the sight; no signs or information or guides, so it was nice to have the Lonely Planet guide with us to explain a bit of what we were seeing. Ellen stayed at the bottom of the gigantic pyramid while the boys and Sissy and I headed to the top. The view from the top was spectacular. We could see for miles and miles and kilometers and kilometers (don't want to leave the Canadians out) and all we could see was sky and jungle canopy. One of the smaller pyramids we'd passed could be seen sticking up out of the canopy.
We read in The Lonely Planet that there is a road, built by the Mayans that runs from Cobá to almost Chichen Itzá; some 100km. On the way back, we were a bit pressed for time and Ellen was done. Since the ruins are so spread out, many of the local Mayans hire themselves out to drive tourists around on tricycles and also rent out bicycles. He wasn't happy to take the 35 peso fare, as the normal is 50 pesos RT, but since we only wanted the return, he finally, with chiding and encouragement from his cohorts, decided to take the 35 pesos. Jamie was livid that he was asking for the full 50, but if I'd had it, I would have paid it.
The kids had a blast on the way back. We tried to talk to our guide about Mayan history and what life was like for typical Mayan children (back in the day) but he had no knowledge of Mayan history. He said that the language (which he speaks) is slowly disappearing also. Tomorrow we will vege and try to encourage Jamie to visit a doctor.