Cenotes and Swim-up Bars

Well I'm back.  While I am glad to get back to doing what I love, I do majorly miss that easy pool access and the hammocks in the sun.  Weirdly enough, though, I had the least amount of post-vacation depression with this trip than possibly any trip ever.  I'm assuming it's because I love painting and blogging and working on this little business of mine, so getting back to it wasn't a chore.  Besides, I don't know how much longer I could sweat my brains out in that Mayan sun.  Holy SMOKES it was hot down there.  I guess that's what happens when you choose August to visit a hot country.... ha!

As promised, I've attached some pictures from my travels.  The pools were great, if not exceptionally warm.  The ocean was the most perfect shades of turquoise and cobalt.  My favorite part of my trip, though, was my adventure!  I hiked the Mayan ruins of Cobá, which were crazy cool (think Chechen Itza, only less well-known and not reconstructed for tourists), and then I got to explore Mexican cenotes, which are basically these amazing water-filled sinkholes.  The cenotes were one of the coolest things I have ever experienced.  I got to swim in one--the water was so crystal clear!  It was such an exhilarating experience because it was within a cave and dimly illuminated, so we were swimming in practical darkness!  Bats swooped around the stalactites as I took the precarious steps into the hole.  The water was cold but reviving and fresh.  I truly felt as if I went in that water and was cleansed and came out reborn.  Total hippie moment, but it was so surreal and beautiful I wouldn't help but connect to by spiritual side.  

Then, to make things even cooler, I got to rappel into another cave and zip-line through some jungle terrain.  Oh yeah, and I got to eat a homemade lunch with some ladies from a Mayan community and got smoked by a Mayan Shaman (it was a cleansing smoke ritual. The scent of that burning amber will stay with me forever!).  

So basically, it was the coolest. adventure. ever.  But enough of my blabbering.  Here's some pix!

View of the ocean from the swim-up bar at the resort.  The photo doesn't do the colors justice!

View of the ocean from the swim-up bar at the resort.  The photo doesn't do the colors justice!

Banana tree!

Banana tree!

I'm a total nerd and photograph all the animals I see on my trips.  I just love critters!!!  These little geckoes came out at night and hung out near the lights in front of the rooms to snatch up bugs.

I'm a total nerd and photograph all the animals I see on my trips.  I just love critters!!!  These little geckoes came out at night and hung out near the lights in front of the rooms to snatch up bugs.

gnarly skull at Cobá 

gnarly skull at Cobá 

The colors of this air plant totally inspire me!

The colors of this air plant totally inspire me!

Candid shot of me just hanging out at the pyramid at Cobá 

Candid shot of me just hanging out at the pyramid at Cobá 

Cobá 

Cobá 

Cobá 

Cobá 

Couldn't pass up a fresh coconut! (Mister Cheese is the boyfriend!)

Couldn't pass up a fresh coconut! (Mister Cheese is the boyfriend!)

rappelling into the cave.  Literally SO. COOL.

rappelling into the cave.  Literally SO. COOL.

(I'm a dork.) Everything illuminated here is from the camera flash.  Look how perfect that water is! 

(I'm a dork.) Everything illuminated here is from the camera flash.  Look how perfect that water is! 

umm, DUHH I had to capture the wonder of this dessert table. 

umm, DUHH I had to capture the wonder of this dessert table. 

Fruit peels, tea, and watermelon juice.  Breakfast of champions. 

Fruit peels, tea, and watermelon juice.  Breakfast of champions. 

Turquoise waters and tide pools

Turquoise waters and tide pools

Purple coral and spiny urchins.  The marine biology nerd in me was raging on this vacation!

Purple coral and spiny urchins.  The marine biology nerd in me was raging on this vacation!

does anyone else think this resembles a skull? 

does anyone else think this resembles a skull? 

my pool buddy

my pool buddy

It was such a crazy cool vacation.  Have you travelled anywhere that totally blew you away? I find that whenever I travel the colors really impact and inspire me.  What stays with you the strongest from a trip?