From Tiajuana to Tulum

I made it to Tulum! That means I have spanned the country of Mexico from east to west: Tiajana to Tulum; and from north to south: Monterrey to San Cristóbal de las Casas. During my 4-month Fulbright, I did not travel to Tiajuana, but rather it was on my first trip to Mexico, in 1989, when I made a cross-country puddle-jump flight from Tiajuana down to Guatemala City , at the heels of Hurricane Mitch. I unofficially copiloted a 2-passenger fixed-wing Cessna150. It was the craziest thing I have ever done. Such a small aircraft is suitable for local flying, for example, around your city and state; not transnational flights. I live to tell about it as a testament to the saying that “ignorance is bliss”.

Tulum is quite a bit smaller than I thought, yet quite a bit busier with daily commerce and tourism. The ruins of the Mayan civilization are nice. They are like the ancestral beach resorts of the high Mayan priests. There are sacred caves that still are filled partially with rain or river water called cenotes. About an hour drive from Tulum is a cenote that I visited with my British friend, Chay, called Cenote 7 Bocas (Well with 7 Mouths). This was a true cenote because the caves were joined together by underwater passages drilling with stalactites! I wish I could have taken pictures underwater for you , but my smartphone is not that smart.

It was an eerie feeling just walking down the wooden ladder into the first Boca to the platform. Ropes were tied to guide you from platform to platform. This helped me initially. The first sensation when I jumped in was that rainwater is cold. No natural hot spring here! My rented mask helped me to make out the stalactites in the cave under the pale green waters. I couldn’t help but imagine that the guide at the reception area said NatGeo came here and measured the cenote depth at 150 meters. That’s half of the Empire State Building. So, I kept my head above the water.