Stories

 

Tulum, Mexico


From the 4th of December 2012 to the 15th of January 2013

Zorro was stored on the other end of the lake, in a warehouse near the train station of Bex. With our backpacks, we left Geneva on December 4th for Tulum in Mexico, this little paradise we love so much.

At the bus station of Tulum, we were greeted by Pati, our friend from Geneva installed in Tulum since a few years. As always, Maria Luisa invited us to stay at her place in the pueblo. While we particularly liked staying in the Cabanas on the beach, Tulum prices aren't going down, so we gladly accepted her offer. With second hands bikes for less than 100 dollars, we could freely move between the beach, the pueblo and the cenotes.

  


Mi casa es tu casa

So many changes since our last visit in 2010. While the house of Maria Luisa was not connected with electricity for many years, it has now not only electricity but also a great internet connection. Aless took care of exchanging the 20 liters tanks of drinking water, filled the gas tanks, cleaned the clogged tapes, climbed the roof in order to clear the leaves blocking the rain water evacuation, etc.. Mi casa es tu casa made perfect sense...

Dogs story

You may remember the story of Chepi, the puppy we found hiding underneath our van (If not, click here to read the beginning of the story).). Two years later, Bobbi (he changed his name after a week) was in great shape. He was even more powerful. He lived his Mexican dog's life and freely walked in the isolated neighborhood. The family has extended. Since two weeks, he was the happy father of five puppies. In addition to the puppies and his destiny Ossa, he had a new 3 months old friend called Chambo.

      

At dawn, we were regularly awakened by the singing of birds, the cries of the geckos or Soleil's meowings (Maria Luisa's cat). One morning, it was the desperate cries of a dog which awaked us. After investigation, we found out that it was the neighbor's dog, tightened to a meter of chain on the street. Unfortunately they discovered that their daughter was allergic to the dog. While waiting to find him a new family, they left him screaming on the street. Heart broken by the cries, Maria Luisa agreed to temporarily host him with her dog Matiss. We discovered an association called Propuestos Cebipata, also called Fauna Urbana who unlike the local pound who kills dogs, sterilize them before finding them a family. Our one year old, black crossed lab, originally called Negro, renamed Neo, remained with us for the time of the sterilization and to find him a new family. After a month in our company, he joined Bobbi and the gang in this small Mayan family with few resources but a lot of affection for dogs.

    

Invited by the owners, Maria Luisa friends, we visited the fabulous site of Aktun Chen. A succession of caverns decorated with stalactites of all shapes and sizes. Some roots are piercing the limestone to the caves in order to drink the rain water which filters after a storm. Our private guide explained the long process of stalactites, stalagmites and columns formations; and the impact of the hand contact on mineral formations. The tour was followed by a swim in the cavern cenote of Aktun Chen, filled with translucent waters and pleasantly illuminated.

  


Sabine & Gérard

After 3 years in South America, Sabine and Gerard drove Central America before joining us for a few days in Tulum. As a short reminder, we met this French couple in Peru and spent some more time together in the Galapagos. It was a great pleasure for us to help them discover the treasures of this region.

We started with the Sian Kan Biosphere, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage. The site is bounded by the Caribbean Sea and reef to the east and by a series of lagoons, marshes, mangroves and tropical forests to the west. This ecosystem fits particularly to birds, crocodiles and apparently to Manatees. In Boca Paila, the lagoon opens to the sea like a river who's the current changes according to the tide. The sunset over the lagoon from the Cesiak viewpoint remained spectacular.

    

Not feeling exactly like a fish in the water, it was difficult to take Gerard to the Tulum reef from the beach by swimming. In order to give them a chance to discover the marine life of the region, we went to the creek of Yal Ku. A site where underground fresh water and seawater unites. A beautiful blend of limestone rock, mangroves, clear water, combined with tropical fish making this natural aquarium a feast to the eyes. Juvenile fish benefit from this protected area to grow to maturity before taking off.

As the first cenote we showed our friend wasn't up to the image Gérard had, we decided to take them to one of the most beautiful cenote of the region called Dos Ojos. It is a submerged freshwater cave, with an exceptional clarity. By the lack of light, there is very little life. However, the contrast between the natural light and the stalactites shadows revealed the magic of the fascinating Mayan subterranean world.

    

In order to introduce them the different types of cenote, we went to Casa Cenote, where crystal brackish water snakes through the mangrove, sometimes creating small natural tunnels, ideal for apnea. Thousands of small fish nest in the roots, crabs defend their territory on the sandy bottom while cormorants dive for a prey.

To complete the range of natural aquatic environments offered by the region, we went to Laguna Kuum Laan. An ideal place for sunbathing and swimming in fresh water. In the middle of the lagoon lies a cenote with a depth of 80 meters (they said...).

    

To continue the chapter of "Mi casa es tu casa", with our friends, we helped Maria Luisa spreading the compost in the plants. To do so, we moved a large storage box which was next to our room. To our surprise, we discovered a beautiful 2,5 meters long boa which has made its nest. aaaaAAAAAAAHHHHH VECINOS! Maria Luisa called her Mayan neighbors to her rescue. They delicately placed the animal in a bag. We had the choice of giving it to a shaman who would turn it into a magic potion, but chose to release it in the jungle not far from the house. Given the size of the reptile, Soleil, Maria Luisa's cat could have been his next prey.

After 40 days in Tulum, time has come to leave our friends and reach Florida, for a very special meeting we were expecting.

Click here to read the following story in Florida, USA.

See the album "Tulum, Mexico - December 2012"

Tulum, Mexico


From the 16th of March to the 24th of April 2013

Shortly after we arrived, Maud and Seb our French friend with whom we traveled for two months in Brazil and Paraguay, joined us in Tulum. For two weeks, we guided them around the region.

In order to present a new therapy, our friends from the Spa Móvil Tulum asked our help for the realization of a photo and video shooting of an aquatic massage called Janzu. In a crystal clear cenote, Liliana was guided by Fabio for a series of relaxing movements. Aless had the manager's role while Celine was both the cameraman and the editor. This was the first time I filmed with the aim to make a promotional video. After two days of editing and some further adjustments, here is the result : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=di0jM71qtMg

    

Further this experience, Maria Luisa offered us to spend a few days in a beautiful holiday house located on Tulum beach, in exchange of a video visit to be published on the house website. Once again, we took this as a game. This time, Aless was behind the video camera, Maud behind the photo camera, Seb was opening the doors and I took care of the edition. Here is the result : http://www.vrbo.com/17349

    

Since our friends just accomplished their dive certification in Honduras, we took the opportunity to go out for a few dives. Five years ago, when we jumped into the water of the cenote Angelita, a crocodile was floating at the surface. We could not believe our eyes, but that did not prevent us from diving. After two-three meters of murky water, we continued our descent into the crystal clear fresh water, exploring the cylindrical cenote. At a dept of 30 meters, we plunged into a very dense layer of sulfur, dissimulating both the natural light and our torches light. Below this dark cloud, we found branches and leaves casted by the forest. Back to the surface, the crocodile had disappeared. When we dove into this very particular site with Maud and Seb, the different water layers were not as pronounced. We pursued the following two dives in the cenote Dos Ojos which we had rediscovered with Sabine and Gerard in January. It's an amazing place which really gives the impression of being inside a cave. We navigated between stalactites in the light of our torches. For a change of scenery we reached the island of Cozumel for two beautiful dives along the coral reefs. I do not remember having already dived with such good visibility in my life.

    

Upon arrival, we visited, Bobbi and the whole family. Neo expressed a lot of joy seeing us, and so did I. He quickly got used to his new family and environment which allows him to live freely. Unfortunately, a devastating disease killed most of the puppies, but Neo, Bobbi and Ossa seemed spared. The day before we left, when we returned to say goodbye to the little family, Neo was not at the rendezvous. He suddenly left us, carried too, by this devastating disease. The positive side of this sad story is that he has lived three happy months, surrounded by children and dogs to play with, rather than screaming all day long attached to a meter of chain in the street. A big hug to you Neo.

  

Another warm thanks to Maria Luisa who once again welcomed us with her heart in her cozy little house.

Two days before our departure, Maud and Seb accompanied us to Cancun where we are always welcomed by Mariana. After a brief visit of Cancun hotel zone, we left the Tacos for the Malakoffs.

Click here to read the following story about our trip in Europe.

See the album "Tulum, Mexico - December 2012"