Mexico Part 3 ~ Adventure In The Jungle…

1 11 2011

Friday, October 7th, 2011 ~

Once again, breakfast, shop, load up tanks… We met up with David C Ruiz and Richard Wilde, who were heading out to Tux Ka Paxa. They gave us directions, in case we wanted to join them, and check out this cave. They were still doing exploration in this one, and had found mastadon bones in it. Most of them had been removed by INAH (Archaeological team), but there were still some left, apparently.

We decided to give it a go.. Steve and I were in one vehicle, and Oren was in another. Once we made the turn-off from the highway, the directions were a little bit of guess work. Go past the baseball camp (which we did see), to a T, follow nasty jungle road until you are near the end, and turn left, follow to a bump in the road… you know what I mean… Kind of like, “Turn left at the red barn,” kind of directions. ūüôā

We made our way through some insane jungle road, and actually got to a part that we weren’t sure was even road. We even saw a Puma crossing the road! We were about an hour or so into the jungle, which was a little unnerving.. especially when we saw a couple of people on bicycles, on dirt roads, with shot guns on the handle bars.

The road where we saw the Puma…

Road that wasn’t road anymore…

Clearly, this was not the way. We headed back, and had decided that we were going to thumb the jungle.. until Oren decided to make a turn. Er.. Ok.. I guess we’re going, too. When we caught up to him, we also caught up with David and Richard…

Hmm.. think it will fit?

Well.. we gave it a go.. Steve and I sat on the tail gate, and it was just enough to get under.. *Phew!* Oren, then Steve and I followed.

Ahh.. our destination.. Tux Ka Paxa…

There was a bit of a restrictive entrance, which led into some absolutely huge cave. There were absolutely massive rooms. Some were very highly decorated, and some had stubby stalagmites. We swam for quite a ways, before reaching a T, where we headed to the left, to get to the mastadon bones. I was in the front, Oren was #2, and Steve was #3. We came up to the INAH cones, which were where the bones were. We saw some small ones, and one really large one. This was pretty amazing!! We actually had to change direction to see the larger one, and some of the smaller ones, that were labeled, below one of the shelves.

From here, we¬†made our way back, and in. ¬†What an incredible experience…

Bottom Time ~ 1 hour, 41 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 39′
Water Temp. ~ 77 (but felt a bit chillier in spots, for some reason)

When we got out, there was quite a bit of rain, and we were smack dab in the middle of the jungle. Since we were sheltered in the basin, we decided to hang out there for a while, and chit-chatted. The downpour did not seem to be letting up, so we decided to get out anyway. We doffed our gear, changed under a palapa (thank goodness for that), and got on our way. David and Richard were going back in.

Back to the shop, dropped tanks, hotel…. nap…

After my nap, I decided to head to the buffet, and grab our dinner table. There was a fellow there, who said he would only seat our group if we were all there, at that moment. We had been getting a big table all week, and it had not been a problem.. until now. It wasn’t like it was busy, either. The fellow said he would seat me, and I could eat on my own.. Um.. yeah… no thank you… So I left. I went to go back to the room, and my card wouldn’t work, so I went to the front desk. Since I was there anyway, I asked the girl if there was a problem with seating large groups at the buffet. She looked at me like I was nuts. I told her that I had gone to get a table for our group, and she then looked at me like I was giving her the gears. She immediately called the buffet, and asked the fellow what was going on. I guess they had a little chat, and she told me to go back, and I would get the table. “Thank you very much, wonderful lady.”

Steve came with me, and when I came in, they called the same fellow over, and he brought us to our table. Everyone else trickled in, and that was that. Sheesh…

Saturday, October 8th, 2011 ~

Today, Oren, Rasa, Michel, and Kim were heading home. It was Frankie, Richard, and Jen’s¬†exam day¬†for C2, so we decided to wait, to go for our dive. We hung out at the shop, checked e-mails (internet was unreliable at the resort.. it didn’t work if it was raining), and harassed Angelica. Exam time was over! Congratulations! w00t!

Steve, Frankie, and I headed next door, to Minotauro. None of us had been there, so Chris drew up a map for us. It was back gas only today.

There was a nice staircase down to the water, leading to a rather swampy area, and then to a really nice basin.

As we went down to get in  the water, we saw Mike and Sayed, coming in from a sidemount dive. Fancy meeting you here! We were planning on the upstream line, instead of the downstream sm stuff.

There was a slightly narrow entry and passage going in, and then into some cool cave (aren’t they all?:p). The halocline was in about 40′, and there were a few places where it was a bit messy to pass through, but it wasn’t too bad.

We took the third jump to the left, and there were many jumps in this cave. There was also what seemed to be survey line everywhere. We swam through some narrow passage, and through an area where you are swimming just above the halocline, making it look like a river below us. Just wicked!

There were spots on the main line, where it seemed like the stalactites and stalagmites had been dipped in chocolate sauce. That’s what came to mind for me, anyway.

We turned the dive before our turn pressures, as we were close enough to them, and we were going to be getting into some really tight spots. We did not know if there would be a place to turn around or not, so we opted to turn. Such cool cave!!!

Bottom Time ~ 1 hour, 22 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 48′
Water Temp. ~ 77

Same routine.. back to shop, resort,¬†and nap… After dinner, myself, Steve, Frankie, Mike, and Jen walked over to The Pub, for a drink with Richard. He was leaving in the morning, so we had to have a congratulatory drink! Oh.. and dessert! We had quite a few laughs, then made our way back, and.. zzzzzzzzz….

Sunday, October 9th, 2011 ~

Breakfast, shop…

Today, Steve and Frankie headed over to Grand Cenote, so that Steve could show him the Boa Restriction. Eric, Andy, and I decided to take a trip over to Chichen Itza. Neither of us had been there, and we decided to be tourists for a day!

Between the three of us, we split the cost of a tour guide, so that we would get a bit of a clue as to what we were looking at. Alfredo was our man!  He gave us some really great information, and I think I probably took close to 200 pictures. I will narrow it down to two.

The main pyramid: The Mayan Calendar…

The Observatory…

There were so many cool buildings and structures, and all three of us were really interested in the history behind them.

Thank you, Alfredo! You da man!

I must also add that when walking through the vendors area, we watched as a wasp attacked a very funky and beefy looking spider. The wasp killed it within seconds! It was a very bizarre thing to see!

We did purchase a few souvenirs, which were, “almost free!” :p

Another myth that was put to bed was that the world was going to end in December 2012. It is just the end of the 52 year calendar cycle, and the beginning of a new cycle.

On the way back, we were stopped by the Federales. They actually asked to see Eric’s license and car rental agreement. It was a little odd, but they sent¬†us on our way. *Phew.* We made it back to the resort, met our “peeps,” had dinner, and told the day’s stories!

Monday, October 10th, 2011 ~

Steve’s ear was bugging him a bit, so he and I decided to have a beach day. We slept in a little, then walked over to PA, for some ear drops. We noticed that there were some other creatures in one side of the dolphin area. They had a nurse shark, and some sting rays.

We walked back to the resort, where we hung out on the beach, and had a couple of girly drinks. Just a really lazy day, which was nice.

After dinner, we all watched a fellow¬†paint pictures with just spray paint and a flame. His work was absolutely amazing, and a couple of us bought one. He was really fun to watch!¬†We then went up for some crepes, then to Frankie’s room, to watch some of his footage! A great way to cap off the day!

Our last week of Cave Diving Goodness coming right up, in Part 4 of 4! Stay tuned! ūüôā

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