I’ve got a bit chided on Facebook recently about being here in the Mayan Riviera of Mexico which is major mainstream tourist land even replete with a SuperWalmart….which, is pretty unlike me as I generally prefer to be off the Gringo trail.
Why I decided to come here I’ll talk about more in my next post but beyond practically feeling like I’m back in the US, a benefit of being here is that there are a plethora of things to see and do, and since I’m here I’m trying to make the most of my time although I’m still pretty sick with a head/chest cold.
So yesterday, I crossed another goal off my bucket list, I went scuba diving with Phantom Divers out of Playa del Carmen in a cenote, Cenote Dos Ojos, which is located just north of Tulum, Mexico.
A cenote is basically a flooded sinkhole and here in the Yucatan, they were sometimes used by the Maya culture for sacrificial offerings.
Cenote Dos ojos is a sinkhole with a flooded cave system which can partly be snorkeled or entirely scuba dove, and I of course, chose to dive it.
Cenote Dos Ojos is part of a very large underwater cave system that is still being explored. So far, it has been mapped out to over 51 miles! and has over 28 sinkhole entrances.. the entrances themselves are what we call the cenotes.
The Dos Ojos system is actually one of the top three longest known cave systems in the world and as I said, is still being explored.
Unlike most diving I do, which is saltwater… Dos Ojos is freshwater and quite cold which required a 5mm suit and more weights as we are less buoyant in freshwater.
The Cenote Dos Ojos dives are shallow, between 5-7 meters and both were 40 minutes long. It’s cave diving, so lighting was all done by flashlights and let’s face it, there isn’t much to see beyond a few very small fishes, and underwater stalactites/stalagmites….
I again was shooting with a goPro Hero 4 silver, and I’m not really happy with my photos. Days like today make me wish I have been back in the US for a resupply and to order a dive casing for my normal camera because the pictures would be a lot clearer. The combination of a lack of sunlight, paired with me moving, my flashlight moving and no control over shutter speed resulted in a lot of blurry photos…
After we were done with both of our dives, each exploring a different branch of the Cenote Dos Ojos cave system, we packed up the gear and headed back to Playa.
I walked the 5th street strip for a bit before heading off to have an authentic Mexican lunch at El Fogon, for $8.95 I had Bean & Pork soup, chips, vegetables, two pork chops, grilled onions, a baked potato, charred peppers with cheese, guacamole, fresh flour tortillas and a strawberry juice. Not Colombia-cheap prices, but a legit Mexican-authentic post diving meal for sure.
Today, I was supposed to dive Cozumel, but really need to get over this head cold, so am taking it easy the next few days so I can continue on with some crazy adventures.