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Mayan Riviera!!

16 of the best days of my life!!

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December 5th- 21st, 2009
My birthday present from my dear Roland, was a trip to the Mayan Riviera in December! At a 5 star resort, all inclusive and the bonus was we got certified for diving!!


    
Deer outside our room every morning. Our favorite spot to reflect on the days adventures.
    
Our maid would make up special animals with the towels every day. Roland would draw a picture with his thankyou note, and when we returned they would make what he drew.
    
Beautiful foliage around the resort. A spa complete with COLD water!!
    
What can I say. It was a 5 star resort, and it WAS a 5 star resort. Pretty nice Birthday present.
    
Just too darn much fun. Thankyou Mr. Jean for all this.
    
Roland stopping to say hello to all the animals along the way.
    
Certified Scuba Divers!!! Yippee!!!
We spent 5 days doing the skills and tests required to become PADI divers. A true lifetime experience. Was more involved and harder than we thought, but we DID IT!!
    
Roland goes back out to the boat after our last fantastic dive to give the captain a tip. They took extra time to chase a school of dolphins for us. Was exhilarating!!
We had six excellent dives in the ocean, saw huge schools of fish, performed ballerina dances on the ocean floor, complete with FULL back flips!!

Celebrating our Victory!!
    
Took a stroll along the beach one afternoon and caught some excellent shots.
    
Away from the resorts the scenery is totally different.
    
Lizards everywhere. The local fishermen would throw a handful of fish into the air and the seagulls would fight over them, mid flight!
    
Supper in the Mexican restaurant.
    
Our coffee partners every morning.
    
We like to head off the beaten path and get a real taste of the places we visit. This time we climbed to an authentic Mexican hot spot overlooking the strip.
    
When I went to the washroom I discovered no running water!! The toilet was a hole in the floor with a pile of shavings beside it!! Too funny.
    
Daily scene from our spot on the beach.
    
Love the color of the water, and the sand!
    
Washing the sand from your sandals when heading home from the beach.
    
Local musicians would stop by your table to serenade you with a song. 'Twas Christmas, so Roland said I had to have a picture with Santa!!
    
XCARET!!!
This was a HUGE wow!! A true ancient Mayan ruin in the middle of the jungle. Underground rivers and caverns everywhere.
When you first enter the grounds there are hundreds of parrots sitting around. Later in the day we would see an awesome show, unexpected, from these colorful feathers.
    
Burial grounds, hideaways, a fortress amongst the ruins.
    
A huge butterfly dome was full of many different species of these colorful flutter bugs.
    
Gecko’s everywhere. and some of the most beautiful flowers I have ever seen.
    
The colors are so vibrant, and the artistry of the plants themselves a wonderment.
    
This orange and red trumpet against the sea of green was my favorite. Plants grow right out of the rock walls. Amazing.
    
I think there are 9 different ruins within the walls of this place. Hundreds of thousands years old.
The dark bricks in the middle of the path were the link to the main attractions. Otherwise you would not have a clue where to go!

The monkeys were the highlight of the animals for me here. They made me laugh so hard I couldn't stop! One was swinging back and forth on a vine while his buddy was sleeping peacefully in the tree beside. The swinging one decided to swing up and greet his sleeping buddy, only to miss the top. He grabbed a branch on his way down, bent his buddies tree right over knocking him to ground from his peaceful slumber! The rudely awoken chimp took off after his buddy running all over till he captured him and gave him such the roughing and scolding it was priceless!
    
To save on electricity they built this round tower for the shower and toilet house. Gravity feeds the water down and everything is built on a slope. Quite ingenious.
    
Navigating the way to the Mayan river entrance. We are heading to snorkel the underground river at Ixtapa.
    
It's a real river, not man made, with fresh water in the middle and ocean water at the end. When we entered the water I was surprised to see schools of guppies and mollies!!
    
Water fall on the left. Sweat lodge on the right. Built overlooking the river.
    
Interesting that there was no baby Jesus in the nativity scenes. Guess he arrives Christmas eve!
Breath taking black panther. He was performing for us, prowling, grunting, on the move always.
    
Cheetah. Another of the many waterfalls.
    
The Mayans were extremely inventive in their creations!
    
Ancient cemetery with miniature statues complete with stained glass windows and doors.
    
Amazing the detail they go into. The one on the left above is only about a foot high!
    
Acrobatics of years gone by. They would make the wheel spin around with the four of them on it. % of them went to the top of the pole and as they flew through the air they would unwind and lower themselves to the ground.
    
Back downtown with Roland about to play Mexican guitar!
    
We had the bestest steak ever at this little restaurant. Soo tender and juicy.
    
Strolling the strip downtown Mayan Riviera. The guy with the wings scared the heck of Roland as we were strolling by.
    
Who is that person hiding behind those glasses!! And love the shoes! LOL, half way through our trip I hooked my favorite pair of sandals on the sidewalk. Got some glue from the hotel store, lasted until 2 days before we had to come home!
    
Every night was a new adventure. We went into town twice and strolled the strip and listened to the music and watched the entertainment.
    
And had laugh after laugh after laugh!
    
I was quite surprised how little there was for Christmas decorations. I would have thought with how festive the Mexicans are they would have lit up the entire village.
    
They did have some dancing in the streets on Saturday evenings though.
    
We took one day and headed out to some underground caves to go diving! That was a real huge wow.
    
We had to put our hundred pound air tanks on in the parking lot and then carry them down these slippery, sloped stairs to the cave entrance. That was a real balancing act!
    
At the cave entrance we had to enter the water and get our orientation from our dive master.
    
What an amazing feeling to be underwater, breathing, no sunlight and surrounded by rock walls! They had a little rope that went along the floor of the caves that we had to suspend ourselves above so we didn't get lost down there!
    
The stalagmites were unbelievable. never seen them underwater before.
    
Little cave openings led off everywhere into the abyss. You could not tell if you were heading up or down and was hard to keep your buoyancy. Both Roland and I hit the top of the caves a couple of times. You would almost get stuck there as the rocks were of course, coarse! Roland also found out that when you hit your head on a rock underwater, it hurts just the same as above water!!
    
The second phase of our first dive I didn't clear my mask proper. Thought it was no big deal, but it was. I could hardly see half way through the dive and that is NOT a good feeling when you are cave diving and you are the last person of the groups for the day! Just kept telling myself "You have air, it's okay".
    
We are both thrilled that we did the cave dives, but not something we look forward to doing again. We love the bright colors and marine life in the reef dives much better.
    
My BCD (Buoyancy Control Device) didn't work for these dives and it was also faulty for our ocean dives. I had no problem to take the regulator out of my mouth and blow up my BCD. The only problem I had was taking my mask off and then refilling it with air, underwater! Every time I would take it off I would snort water up my nose and bolt to the surface in the pool. but guess what, can't do that when you are in a cave and 60' below the surface!!
    
Was one of the best experiences in my life though. Not something you could do if you were the least bit closterphobic.
Another trip comes to an end and more amazing memories stored in the memory banks.
This trip was much more tropical than Mazatlan.