|The road from the main highway to the resort|
|The H10 Ocean Coral & Turquesa—still an amazing place to live la dolce vita|
|This is not a tourist brochure—this is the pee stop halfway to Chichen Itza on the toll road|
Before we got to Chichen Itza, however, ladies and yentlemen, we were going to stop at the cenote Ik Kil, a very big sinkhole where we were going to have a chance to swim as well as eat lunch. For some unfathomable reason, our tour bus was the first to arrive on this particular day, and Sabine and I immediately beelined for the cenote—and no kidding, we were the first and had this entire cathedral of nature to ourselves for the next ten minutes before the hordes arrived and transformed serenity into frivolity. But by that time we had already soaked in the immensity of this underground cavern that has a 90-foot-deep pool and just a small opening at the top where the sunlight enters. (Visitors enter through a TNT-facilitated tunnel.) Wow, at least for me that was worth the entire trip.
|Cenote Ik Kil: Entrance ...|
|... hole in the ceiling ...|
|... and 90-foot-deep water, as pristine as it comes before we entered|
The buffet-style lunch in this out-of-the-way place featured cochinita pibil, a pork stew that involves slow cooking in banana leaves and that brought back memories of last Thanksgiving when Martha, Alan, and I feasted on this Mayan delicacy at their now-sold residence in Lubbock. Good, very good stuff! Thanks to the on-board free beer, expertly dispensed by a happy-to-serve helper, we were able to off-gas a few cochinita burps before arriving at Chichen Itza. Alejandro, aka Alex, made clear how much time we would have, that we were to have English and Spanish-speaking groups with their respective guides, and that the bus would leave at 4:30 p.m., so pleece, ladies and yentlemen, be rrready! As a true Yerman, I kept taking mental notes never to pronounce a G again and rrroll every “r” in sight.
|One of the so-called Wonders of the World—don't Wonder why|
|OK, so maybe I looked like this in my days as a gainfully employed lecturer....|
|Caracol—one of the few circular structures at Chichen Itza|
|We weren't sacrificed to the gods, but our legs were chopped off, nevertheless|
|Late in the afternoon, even rubble looks dramatic|
|Chac Mool is waiting for your still-pounding heart to be placed on his midrift|
|Sabine, about to board the vessel of choice for her first open-water dive|
|Taking the plunge for the first time—dude, this is virgin territory!|
|SCUBA: Some Come Up Barely Alive! Sabine far left, moi far right|
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Next trip: Waco and a cyclocross race. And then it's turkey time. As if I could eat anything after all that float and bloat....