Mayan Adventure – Day 6

The day started with a hatha yoga class at the Wellness Centre.  You’d think I would have learned to avoid this place but clearly I had not learned my lesson.  The class was  more active than the Kundalini class and afterwards I was ready to scuba.

I began by assembling my needs for the dive.  Mask, fins, dive boots, snorkel, defog, towel, dry shirt etc.  I also brought a change of clothes for later as it can be quite chilly out of the water.  I realized at that point that I had lost all sense of what constituted clothing.  One of my epically ugly $20 bathing suit specials had become pretty much my go-to outfit, from the beach to the dinner table with few stops in between.  As an homage to at least covering my butt I had taken to wearing linen trousers rolled to the knee, like a winsome J Alfred Prufrock with a profound sense of colour blindness.  My hair was a tangly salty mess, I had given up on makeup about twelve seconds after deplaning and there had been a decided paucity of deodorant applications.  Salty, sandy sweaty and brown.  I sounded like a questionable law firm.

I had signed up for my dive through the Akumal Dive Shop and I made my way to their departure point to meet my dive master, Adiel.  The shop limits the groups to six divers per boat and I was buddied up with Randy, the second Edmontonian I had met in as many days.  He, like Gina, was very friendly and helpful.  (I found myself wondering some hours later if I should move to Edmonton as the populace seemed so overwhelmingly nice but I immediately wrote the idea off as having taken too much sun).  Randy was in print advertising sales by day, had been vacationing with his wife in the area for some twenty years (in Akumal specifically for six) and was the veteran of over 200 dives.  He was the perfect person to be buddied with.  The reef itself was only a five minute boat ride from shore and the day was perfect.

00_09_JA_Bahia-Principe-AKUMAL-aerial-view-small Dive 1 mapaArrecifeEnews

We went to a depth of about 60 ft and the visibility was unlimited.  (Again, I don’t have an underwater camera so these pictures have been cobbled from the web.)

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The bay in Akumal is known for its sea turtle population.  Alas, I did not see one at depth but there was what looked like a barracuda and several smiling eels.

tulum_akumal_snorkeling2eel OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The dive was over in a flash.  I went back to the Turtle bay cafe for a delicious fish burrito and seriously considered extending my trip for a couple of days so I could get some more diving in.

Fish Burrito

The flight wouldn’t have been a problem but my villa was not available and frankly it didn’t seem worth the money or hassle to have to move so I put that thought away.  Next year I will book at least ten days.  Maybe more.

I went home and rinsed off, donned an outfit that was a marginal improvement on my sodden bathing suit and went back to Playa del Carmen for an authentic Mexican meal at La Cueva del Chango (The Monkey Cave).

Monkey Cave sign MC Menu

The restaurant was located at the end of the Quinta strip of a shaded street in a beautiful garden with a fountain.

The Monkey Cave Monkey Cave Rd.

I was visited by a shy little cat whom I failed to seduce into staying (perhaps some food would have helped) and was a table away from a magnificent spanish matron who made smoking look good to me for the first time in decades.  I ordered rare grilled tuna the came in a deep brown sauce with an emphatic chili kick.  Rice was on the side as was a surprisingly cooling salad of chopped avocado and pickled onion.

Seared Tuna

It was very quiet and relaxed and just what I needed.  I grabbed my (by now requisite) sipping chocolate and made my way home.


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