Xcaret is a ecopark that is expensive but definitely worth it!! I have some beautiful pictures but can't get at them right now so instead you'll have to make do with my descriptive attempts and your imagination. There is so much here you could spend a week walking around in order to see it all but easily the biggest attraction is the sunken river which you can swim through; crystal clear water filtered through limestone rock winds along towards the sea, overhung with jungle. Then there's the animal and butterfly park, the shows; such as an ancient form of fire hockey and so many beautiful lagoons where you can (for extra money of course) swim with manatee or dolphins or turtles....
But hang on I'm geting ahead of myself. This is two days from the end of our trip and I, we, are starting to feel the tension of returning home. For one, we've spent a fair chunk of our money and whilst we had it to spend I in particular was determined to make what could be my last ever holiday completely what we wanted it to be, and utterly hedonistic! Yet somehow that little ... or these days... not so little... gremlin that sits on my shoulder whispering his evils; from the logical "you still have bills to pay for your home" to the extreme "who are you to deserve this kind of thing" is very much alive and well. Rubbish! I hear people cry, but completely believable to me as my self-esteem is and has nearly always been so incredibly low. So here I am crying over the decision over whether or not to actually go to the one attraction I so disparately wanted to experience when we booked this trip.
It is D who takes charge, picks me up and bails me out. How incredibly strong he is to constantly reassure and tame the wildly oscillating hurricane that is me! Long story short - we are going!
Once we have arrived there is no question that his call was the right one. The park is beautiful from beginning to end. After a wander around we seek out the lockers and gear for the sunken river and off we go down the darkened wet stone steps, once again I have that atmospheric feeling of footsteps trodden repeatedly over time... immediately ruined by some (sorry to stereotype here but unfortunately true) extremely loud, fat Americans in bright pink life jackets making the biggest girly fuss about putting one toe into the cold water. Beautiful.
Words unnecessary between us we determinedly walk straight into the admittedly freezing water and swim confidently towards the tunnel... those guys are not keeping up with us! The river is beautiful, sometimes almost pitch black as it winds through caves yet at other times lined by tall cliffs and their overhanging jungle vines with bright sunlight seeping through. Right before the end of the swim there is a section where you go right through a series of tree roots; a tangled glory of nature to be embraced and marveled at.
The park makes it extremely difficult not to run about and point with excitement like a small child; or to use Imagine It terminology; to "Ocscarise" and in that way is worth every peso!! If I didn't believe that already then here comes the undeniable evidence... we are about to swim with dolphins!! Amazing beautiful creatures; just being in a sea with them is glorious in itself, but under the guidance of a trainer we are taught to ask the dolphins to perform simple tricks such as rolling, splashing and "singing". We are given a small talk about wild dolphins and can stroke the patient and quiet female dolphin as the trainer explains about their lifestyle and telling of gender etc. However clearest in my mind is the velvety soft feel of the animals skin contrasting with the hard muscle underneath that has such power but yet immense serenity. As a final bonus the trainer gets two dolphins to leap in the air right over the group; thus demonstrating perfectly what I have just explained.
Then, alone in the middle of the pool, I wait, legs braced straight behind .. I am first to give this one a try and determined not to mess it up especially as it is by my own spontaneous insistence I go first among a small unsure group. Two dolphins swoop round behind me on the trainers command and each putting a nose to one of my feet lift me into the air til I am pushed above the water like superman. Such a rush of speed and yet it doesn't hurt at all... so easy for them; as I said in my previous post to be wholley in an experience like this I forget all else but the marvel of the world around me. In this case the natural worlds ability to make each second incredibly and indescribably precious. The essence to living is not the length of time you spend breathing, it is the experiences you accumulate. A day that begins with panic, transforms to ecstasy. The same way this trip has made me feel about so many elements in life and I am beginning to believe. Hopefully I am eloquent enough to allow you a glimpse to let you believe too. If not... watch the following... (PS this is an incredibly brave move for me to show you; you'll recognise me by the phoenix tattoo'd on my back but please don't judge my appearance.. or my editing skills.. its late vx)
Ok also I have just spent hours and its bloody well come out half screen, sorry guys but I'm going to bed before the laptop makes friends with the wall!!!