Tuesday 31 October 2023

1987 Travel Journal: Xel-Ha

    I tried unsuccessfully to hitchhike to Xel-Ha, which is just eight miles down the road, but finally gave up and paid a cabbie to take me.  Xel-Ha seemed to be a rerun of what had happened to me earlier at the Tulum ruins.  When I arrived at Xel-Ha, the shop keepers were just starting to open up their stores.  The place was empty, and alone I quietly wandered along the beautiful clear water, blue lagoons, watching the yellow and violet fish dart around and feed.

    At the main lagoon a handful of people were beginning to wade into the water to start scuba diving.  That was enough encouragement for me, so I quickly went into the washroom, changed into my swimming trunks, and proceeded down the slippery steps into the water.  Strangely, the water was cold on the top and warm underneath, just the opposite of what I generally experience.  There was a bouquet of spectacularly colored fish hovering by the rocks.  I followed them around as they explored the underground tunnels between the rocks.  It was all beautifully fascinating.

    On one of my periodic checks to shore, to make sure my camera bag was still there, I was surprised to see how many people had suddenly arrived.  Xel-Ha is apparently Stop No. 2 for the tour companies.  Just as suddenly, all of those people were in the water, splashing and heading in all directions. 

    I was beginning to get cold, so I made my way back to shore and secured a little space to call my own.  I then began playing the In & Out beach game: get hot and dry, go into the water, then get cold and wet; go back to shore.  I played the game for a while, then suddenly, just as quickly as they had arrived, the tour bus crowd had disappeared, leaving Xel-Ha once again a place of quiet beauty.  

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