January 15, 2013

Day Two: Excursion in Progreso, Mexico

Our first excursion port was Progreso, Mexico.
 Progreso is basically directly south of New Orleans,
which made for easy cruising.

We booked all of our excursions when we booked our trip,
so we were able to get both of our first choices.
Our Progreso excursions consisted of biking and cenote snorkeling.

We had both visited a cenote before back in Cancun,
 and decided biking would be something fun and active as well.

The group convened with our guide, who was absolutely fantastic.
There was about an hour+ drive to our bike location,
but our guide kept us entertained the entire ride.
I'm kind of a history nut, so learning anything about other cultures
 and their past history is RIGHT up my alley.
 I wish I had a better memory, because we learned some very cool facts.

Once at the 'bike shop' we were given bikes and helmets
and then we were on our way.

Ummmm, yeah, I'm not a biker, haha!
I'm an athlete that can bike,
but I don't really think it will EVER become my thing.
C on the other hand, is a major bike enthusiast
and loved every minute of biking.

 The excursion consisted of biking to two different cenotes
and then an authentic Mayan lunch.
About a mile or so down one road, our guide pulled off to the side
and we realized we had arrives at the first cenote.
 [Play video #1]

This cenote was not as big as I imagined, but it was very very beautiful.
The water was a gorgeous blue color
and the greenery everywhere enhanced the natural view.

Before we were 'allowed' to swim in the cenote,
a Mayan Shaman performed a blessing for the group.
Mayan lore believes that evil spirits can rest in cenotes
so people must be blessed before swimming.

The Shaman gave us lessons on different herbs
 and chanted different blessings.
 And, if you tipped him he gave you an EXTRA blessing,
which I found kind of interesting.
But, tourism is how these people make a living,
so I guess I really can't blame him.

Once we were blessed we were able to jump into
the cenote and swim around.
Carnival required everyone swimming to wear a life vest,
which was pretty lame-sauce.
I guess, better safe than sorry right?

The water was pretty chilly, but we got used to it quickly.
There were lil fish everywhere and if you remained still enough
they would come up and nibble on your toes or hands.
We saw some big fish near the bottom and I kept my distance ;)!

We stayed at the first cenote for about a half an hour or so
and then it was on to our next destination.
 [Play video #2]

 The next cenote was about a mile away and
this one was much darker and alil creepier too.
As you can see in the video
there were a ton of stalactites hanging down.
The water was much cooler in the second cenote
because of the lack of sunshine.

Only a few people in the group, including myself
actually swam in this cenote.
I enjoyed swimming around,
although the darkness slightly creeped me out.
 I stayed where I could see, wuss I know.

We all were pretty hungry after all of the activity,
 and were very ready for lunch.
We were served authentic Mayan foods and man were they delicious.
Simple, and very different, but so amazing.

Everyone was pretty tired after the fun day,
so the ride back in the van was pretty quiet.
I know both C and I grabbed a quick cat nap
before we arrived back to port.

Neither one of us wanted to even CHANCE being late to the ship,
so we did very quick souvenir shopping and then reboarded the ship.
We used the downtime to read and nap before dinner.

After dinner, one of the clubs was having a 'country night'
so we HAD to go check it out.
They played some old school country and there were a few couples
 that really knew how to line dance.
 We chose to stay at the bar and watch, instead of joining in the fun.
I didn't want to show them up ;)!

 We stayed for a couple of drinks and then headed back to bed.
We had to get up even earlier the next morning for COZUMEL!
[Play Video 3]


Jenn said...

Looks like a LOT of fun! And, I enjoy the background music to the videos...I was wiggling in my seat at work listening and watching :)

KRISTIN said...

Omigosh so fun! I am still incredibly jealous. :)

Carolyn said...

OK. You're right. The excursion music is extra spicy. Makes me want to mambo. BAHAHAHAHA.

I had no idea what a cenote is before this post. Looks like I learned something today! That second one looks CREEPY.