I want to be where the people are
I want to see
Want to see ’em dancing….
My 24th birthday was right around the corner and this (artificial) red head was ready to have her Little Mermaid moment. Not the moment where she makes the mistake to join the human populace and get legs. I mean the under the sea moment, where I’m best friends with a couple of fish and my hair looks AH-mazing underwater.
(Real talk, Disney didn’t mess up my expectations of love. It seriously messed me up on what realistic hair expectations should be.)
I could totally be Arielle. Mind you, when I’m rolling around the beach singing about how great it would be to have legs, it’s a ‘you’re-drunk-please-use-the-legs-you-already-have-and-leave’ moment. Less of a Disney masterpiece, more of a real life shitshow disaster.
But back to my actual Little Mermaid minus the glorious hair — swimming in cenotes and with sea turtles in Mexico.
Let’s start with the simple lesson of ‘WTF is a Cenote?’ I’m glad you asked and am pleased that I can quench your thirst for knowledge.
A cenote is a sinkhole filled with groundwater that was naturally created by the collapse of limestone bedrock. The water in a cenote is always extremely clear, as it is filled with rain water that has been slowly filtered by the ground. In ancient times, cenotes served as the only source of freshwater for a majority of the Yucatán Peninsula. Cenotes are still a source of drinking water today!
The most well-known cenote, the Sacred Cenote, can be found in the vicinity of Chichen Itza. According to post-conquest (Spanish) sources, Mayans would sacrifice objects or humans to the rain god, Chaac. From 1904 to 1910, the cenote was dredged and items along with human bodies showing wounds consistent with human sacrifice were found. Luckily in the Cenotes, KDanks and I snorkeled through, there were no bodies. Just crystal clear blue waters and 8 other tourists.
I bet you’re wondering, ‘what does human sacrifice have to do with your Little Mermaid moment?’
TBH, (thankfully) nothing.
I just figured you could further your education and it serves as a very casual reminder that your Starbucks order being wrong is not the worst thing in the world, Susan.
Also KDanks and I visited the cenotes and swam with sea turtles on the same day via a specific tour, so it just made sense to include them. #yourewelcome
Going back to me channeling my inner Disney Princess. While I mean Disney Princess, I have a feeling my underwater grace is similar to Dory’s. Grace may be the wrong word but whatever.
So swimming with sea turtles was an amazing experience. While it’s not guaranteed that you’ll actually see any (believe it or not, sea turtles do their own thing and are not required to show up when you’re available), it’s a pretty high probability as the tour takes you to a beach where sea turtles frequent.
There are also plenty of other snorkeling options if you’re a monster and snorkeling with turtles isn’t your thing. You do you, Boo Boo.
I tried getting a selfie with a turtle, but those little flippers are faster than I give them credit for. I also tried humming Under the Sea to solidify my friendship with them, but got a mouthful of water instead.
So I’d rate my experience an 8/10 success. Points docked as a sassy crab did not pop out of the sand and try to tell me how to live my life.
Sigh. There’s always next time.
Either way if you’re hitting the beaches soon, be sure to check out any snorkel tours that let you appreciate wildlife the way it’s meant to be; gawked at from above wearing a life vest hoping one of the turtles will ask for some fin.
Also Please keep in mind how awesome these animals are and help us preserve them and their habitats. Recycle, reduce your carbon footprint and donate to organizations protecting sea turtles for the future.