After having such an early night I awoke just before my alarm which was a nice change. This was turning into an expectedly restful holiday! Today I had booked with ceynote experience to go diving in the ceynotes (underwater cavern systems) that Mexico is so famous for. I had a cup noodle for breakfast in the room before my guide for the day picked me up from right outside my hotel. We drove round to the small dive centre where he took care of all the paperwork and got us all geared up before driving to the ceynotes. He also started the slow, long process of burning my mask, something you have to do with all new masks to prevent them fogging up while diving and which I definitely did not have the skill to do myself. It was a 45 minute drive from Playa del Carmen to the ceynote park. He explained en-route that we would be diving in 3 ceynotes, firstly the pit, a deep dive and then 2 separate dives in dos ojos. I was diving alongside an American couple who were very friendly but maybe not the most skilled divers despite their hefty number of dives.
When we arrived Nicolas took us down to the pit to see where we would be diving and explained about all of the rules and practicalities of diving in a freshwater ceynote. For one, less weight is required because of the freshwater and it’s really important to have good buoyancy so as not to bang into any of the stalagmites or stalactites. The Pit was busy with divers and as we descended down we saw a lot of other groups. We then continued in a circular motion around the edge checking out all of the formations and the beautiful shots of the sunlight shining in through the surface of the water. I love the peaceful tranquillity you get when you are diving and down in the caverns it really is like another mystical world.
After an hour we headed back to the surface to the delight of the warm sunshine, it’s chilly down there in the darkness. It was a long slog back to the car with all of our heavy kit being wet but after drying off and getting some heat back we were back on form and heading off the dos ojos. The main difference between the 2 sights are that dos ojos is really popular with snorkelers whereas the pit because of its depth is not. We parked up and immediately saw how busy it was with the orange life-jacketed tour groups. There are 2 dive lines at dos ojos and so we did 2 dives one on each of the lines. The first is called the Barbie line due to a toy Barbie being eaten by a crocodile placed along the line. The snorkelers were not an issue since just as the line began you disappeared down into the cavern far away from any life. Dos ojos is much more like diving in a cave with less natural light and more narrow swim-throughs in between stalagmites and stalactites. It was absolutely beautiful however and the most interesting cavern I have ever dived in. The second line is the bat cave line because… you guessed it! You end up in a small cave with a tiny hole full of bats. Unfortunately just as we were starting this dive my camera decided to die meaning I didn’t get any footage of the cave and the cutest little bats. Out of the 3 if I was pushed the last dive was probably my favourite but I could not recommend enough to others to give ceynote diving a go, there is certainly less life but it’s such a cool experience.
Because we were doing the 3 dives ceynote experience provided cookies and then a sandwich lunch for in between the dives as well as water and juice. It meant that as we headed back to Playa del Carmen from the final site, I was not absolutely starving but just slightly peckish. We headed back to the dive shop where I paid and then thanks for the recommendation from Nicolas headed out to El Fogon for dinner. This is a very popular local chain restaurant (I didn’t know this at the time) and was just around the corner from the dive shop. I ordered a huge bowl of mango juice and the tacoloco (a huge burrito stuffed full of 4 types of meat and cheese). It was enormous but very tasty. A fantastic day of diving I made my way back to the apartment for some Netflix and blogging. Solo travel is not so bad!