After flying to Chetumal, the visually unappealing capital of the state of Quintano Roo, we rent a car and begin the 38.5 kilometer drive to Laguna de Bacalar. Two kilometers before arriving, we stop to look at the crystal clear Cenote Azul. At 300 meters across, it is the widest cenote in Mexico, with a depth of 150 meters. There is a rope stretching across the water in the event one
|CENOTE AZUL – 2 KM. DE BACALAR, QUINTANA ROO|
wants to hang onto something. The only way to the cenote is to pay an entrance fee and walk down flights of cement stairs to a very large and uninviting restaurant. It was noisy and there were plenty of people in the water, so after a close-up look, we leave without taking a swim.
|LA FUERTE Y VISTA DE LA FUERTE – BACALAR – THE FORT AND ITS VIEW|
THE LAGOON: Breathtakingly beautiful. Absolutely gorgeous. Powdery, white sand gives complete clarity to the water, which changes colors dramatically in almost in evenly defined lines of several brilliant tones of turquoise and blue. At its longest point, the
|“SAC-HA” – LAGUNA DE BACALAR|
the lagoon is 42 kilometers and at its widest,
2 kilometers. Complete surface measurement is 42 square kilometers. The water in the lagoon is fed by underground cenotes and the water is warm – probably 78-80 degrees. We swam, kayaked and boated for five days at all hours at different areas of the lagoon.
Favorites: “Sac-Ha” – at a narrow point of the lagoon on a sandy strip of land facing dense palm groves on the opposite side. A line of palapas for shade and no one there. The sign near the mangroves advises to keep off the astramolites, a word I can´t remember hearing before.
These are rock-like, living structures formed by bacteria and usually found in shallow waters. For two billion years, stromatolites pumped oxygen in the ocean, which is why we are all alive.
“Los Rápidos” (“the rapids”) – These are not actually rapids, but a narrow part of the lagoon where water seems like a river, moving fairly quickly and strongly in one direction. Fun for swimming and kayaking.
|“LOS RÁPIDOS” – LAGUNA DE BACALAR|
In a boat – swimming in the Cenote Negro, which is one of two cenotes inside the lagoon.
|DENTRO DEL CENOTE NEGRO – LAGUNA DE BACALAR – INSIDE THE BLACK CENOTE|
In shallow areas, one throws an anchor and walks waist-high in sand that squishes pleasantly between one´s toes. Scooping up handfuls of it and smearing it over face and body is a great exfoliation treatment. There are at least two small islands in the lagoon and “pirate alley” is the winding, very narrow part of the lagoon that connects to the Caribbean. If there were a straight line drawn, the sea is only 40 kilometers away.
|UNA PEQUENA ISLA – LAGUNA DE BACALAR|
When not in or on the water, we are reading in swaying hammocks, hearing the summer hum of small, unseen insects (no mosquitos!) and the calls of approximately two dozen different species of birds. After five heavenly days, we head off in our rental car for XPUJIL in the biosphere/archaeological zone of Campeche.
SAN JUAN, NAYARIT: We revisit this location about an hour´s drive away in the next state because the need is always great and because the very energetic Linda Stewart does a terrific job raising the extra money for an out-of-town clinic and of organizing locations, lunches and volunteers.
|SAN JUAN, NAYARIT|
MAY 15-18 – Female dogs – 61; Male dogs – 20; Female cats – 41; Male cats – 17 TOTAL: 139
This clinic was made possible by a generous and anonymous donation of $10,000 for PEACEAnimals clinics. This will pay the costs of 5.56 clinics.
|CLÍNICA EN SAN JUAN, NAYARIT – LESLIE Y CONCHA (ESPOSA DE DR. POLI)|
DONATIONS AT CLINIC IN SAN JUAN : 1,520 pesos
|CLÍNICA EN SAN JUAN, NAY. DR.POLI & DR. PACHECO|
I was traveling and unable to attend this clinic. All Photos were taken by our star volunteer, Frank Ohly.
these past two weeks.
In 2018, PEACEAnimals sterilized 5,792 cats and dogs.