Merida

Merida was our first "Mexican" town in Mexico. (I don't count Cancun as Mexican) We arrived after spending the day in Chichen Itza, its a nice place. We were bang in the centre of town which was very nice to walk around, the place had a nice feel to it, friendly people and some good food with insane drinks.

We had a trip out to the cenotes. A cenote is a sinkhole which is filled with water, the Yucatan Peninsula has lots of them. We went to three about an hour's drive out of Merida. Just getting to them was half the fun, we drove into this little town, then got onto horse drawn railcars for a long walk out to the scrub.

The rail network is from the days of the old haciendas. They would transport the henequen back to the hacienda by rail. It reminded me of the sugar cane trains in Queensland.

The cenotes themselves are amazing. The first one we went to is just a hole in the ground with a ladder poking out of it, and it's a small hole too. With my backpack, it was a bit of a squeeze. You go down the ladder, its pitch black and you're standing on something wooden. Slowly your eyes adjust and you can make out the top of the cave, you strip down to your bathers and jump off the edge, hoping for the best.

It is a complete leap of faith. It was about eight foot down to the water which is warm and fresh and crystal clear. There are holes in the rock above which let in light and eventually you'll be able to see the inside of the cave. The water is about 20-25m deep and you can see the bottom as if its just there. Absolutely amazing.

The next cenote had a bigger hole leading into it and was probably my favourite. A little more light, more room. It was great. The third one was the biggest and had the most people. I swam right to the end, which was about 60m from where you got in. You could see in the wall the large black opening to the cave system, a very creepy feeling.

Apparently its possible to go underground from one cenote to the other, but considering they were about 15 minutes apart above ground, if I was going to be doing it, I would want a very good air supply.

I still can not get over the clarity of the water. Clear is not the right word for it, it was almost as if it wasn't there, just a blue tinge. I was surprised at how warm the water was, about 23C someone said, so you can just laze there and let everything else just pass you by.


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Merida Cathedral
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Government Palace in Merida
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Merida Cathedral
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Covered walkway between the cathedral and museum of art in Merida
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Plaza Grande in Merida
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Merida Cathedral
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One of the entrance ways to a hacienda
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Abandoned machine house of a hacienda. Here they would process the henequen, a type of agave cactus which they turned into rope
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Stone walls in the village of Chankanan, on the way to the cenotes
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Our horse and rail cart (truk) to take us to the cenotes
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Sophie and Michael
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Sophie and Michael again
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It's 7km to the first one
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Tamryn and myself, heading out to the cenotes
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Cenote Bolonchoojol, Apparently called the Nine Holes Cenote because there are nine holes in the roof
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Cenote Bolonchoojol - to get to it you climb down a narrow ladder
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Cenote Bolonchoojol - Then it opens up to this huge space
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Cenote Bolonchoojol - With crystal clear water
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Cenote Bolonchoojol - Thats over 20m deep
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One of the openings of Cenote Bolonchoojol. Don't fall in, its a long way down
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One of the truks passing us
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Another of the horse drawn truks
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Making our way on the old hacienda tracks
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Our group lazing back at Cenote Chansinic'che
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Going for a swim in the cenote
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More fooling about at Cenote Chansinic'che
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These were over the roof, not sure if they're wasps or some kind of swallow
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The Mexican group fooling around the cenote
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Imelda, James and Mathijs, leaving Cenote Chansinic'che
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Jumping into the cenotes, yes, I do hold my nose
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Mathijs Leaping into Cenote de Chelenta
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Lazing about the cenotes
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Cenote de Chelenta
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James on the steps of Cenote de Chelenta
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A temporary bull fighting ring in a town we passed
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Courtyard of out hotel (Hotel Caribe in Merida
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Windows details of Casa de Montejo in Medina
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Casa de Montejo in Medina, just your average home of a conquistador
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There was a dancing demonstration at the front of the City Hall in Merida
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Imelda and her drink in Medina
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Michael and his drink
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The gang and their drinks
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Sophie and her drink
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After a drink or two, things start to get strange...
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Fishing boats on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico near Campeche
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Last modified: May 27 2012 04:08:46.
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