Thursday 2 November 2023

1987 Travel Journal: Xel-Ha, Turquoise Water

    I wandered down a path that ran along one of the clear turquoise tongues emanating out of the Xel-Ha lagoon, watching the colorful tropical fish and scampering iguanas.  I cut through the bush to another path, following the sound of surf, then walked along the shoreline, scaring the iguanas down into the deep crevasses cut into the limestone, before circling back to Xel-Ha.  

    Xel-Ha was again packed with tourists, as the second wave of tour buses had obviously arrived.  It immediately made me feel burned out, and so I began walking the half mile down the road toward the highway, determined to try my luck at hitchhiking again, hoping to make my way back to Tulum and my hotel room.

    It was when I got to the highway that I began feeling the first raindrops, which quickly changed into a torrential rain.  I was too far away from any shelter, except for a very thinly foliaged tree, whose trunk protected me a bit for the first three minutes.  After that I was completely saturated, despite the towel that I had hastily draped over my head.

    It was a dilemma.  My so-called “shelter tree” was off from the road, so drivers  couldn’t see my feeble attempt at hitchhiking, but I didn’t want to leave the tree, even though I was soaking wet, because it did give me a tiny bit of protection compared to the “wall” of rain that was falling on the road.

    After about 15 minutes of the tropical monsoon, a Costa Rican vacationer and his wife, in a rented car spotted my plight, and mercifully turned around to pick me up and drove me back to Tulum hotel room.  There I immediately took off my wet clothes and hung them on a balcony chair, hoping they would dry before tomorrow.

    I then went down to a thatched roof restaurant for lunch, and feeling in an adventurous mood, decided to order something I had never had before—conch.  It was very tasty and I was glad I had tried it.  I spent the afternoon napping and reading the very boring history essay book, which inspired more napping.  

    For supper, I was back at the restaurant, and this time ordered fried fish, and that was exactly what I got, a fish; including the head and fins.  I was happy that at least it had arrived gutted.  The restaurant cat was quite eager to join me for my fish meal.  Several times it tried to climb upon the table and I had to shoo it away.

    Tomorrow I am catching the bus to Cancun.  Whenever I ask which bus I should take, I get a different answer.  It is either, 6:00, 12:00, or 7:00, and every hour after that, so I guess I will just get up early and stand by the highway and wait.

Take a look at my paintings:


No comments:

Post a Comment