Yay! Finally! My final post on our Yucatan trip! It seems I'm winning this race against time to publish all my pending posts before the year ends!
And for this final post we have a place with a very curious and very Maya name: Oxkutzcab. This, of course, required another bus trip. Though since this was a very small town, the bus we had to take was... er... the quaintest of them all? But it did its job and got us to town, where we then hopped onto a cab to go to our main destination: the Loltun Caves (from Maya Lol-Tum, or flower stone).
We decided to go for the caves instead of trying to visit a cenote. Cenotes are famous for their beauty, and they're a very specific feature of Yucatan. But the best ones were far east of us, and we didn't fancy spending too many hours travelling, so we figured we'll be back in Yucatan anyhow, and went for these caves instead. And that was a fantastic decision, as you'll see.
We joined a small-ish group, and entered the caves guided by a funny guide. You know, the kind of guide that is actually funny, and not simply annoying with endless bad jokes and ridiculous claims. First of all, this guy had a really heavy Yucatan accent, and my inner linguist was loving it. But he also shared legends, a bit of history... he was a good entertainer!
Plus, the caves are not really that touristy, so the paths are a bit rough at times (which for me is a good thing), and the place looks nicely preserved.
And it's huge. You could so easily get lost here! And there were some hollow columns that, when you knocked on them, made a sound whose pitch depended on which part of the column you were knocking on! You could make a small concert there! I've seen many caves, but I had never seen that. Cool!
But as with many things, the best was for last. The guide insisted we look just ahead and down, not to lift our eyes until we had reached a certain point. We obeyed. Then he said we could look up. And wow. Wow. One of the most other-worldly places I must have seen in my entire life. Just wow.
We would have spent hours in what seemed like another dimension. Actually, I stayed there quite a bit after the group had left, looking at those openings into the jungle from the bowels of the earth, gazing at the play of light. I really had to make an effort to drag myself out and leave the place. So impossibly amazing.
After such an incredible experience we took a cab back to town, and strolled around, since we had plenty of time before the next bus. The local church was pretty, though it was closed and we couldn't get inside...
And the market was colourful with fruits, vegetables and whatnot, including some avocados so big I thought they were a sort of pumpkin! And since we were hungry (and I was curious to try stuff), we went for some food in the market, like some "buried tamales" that were delicious, and some sweet bread. Very simple fare, but I was very happy. And full!
Yucatan, you certainly left a mark on us, amazed us, and showed yourself off before us! We must so definitely come back!