It is a weirdly and wonderfully warm winter day, 70+ degrees in the middle of February, a good day to look back at vacations without too much wistfulness. I am terrible about getting souvenirs, so from Tulum I just have the other photos and videos. Well, I also got bottled hot sauce and mole, but that can't be shared over the internet.
The best part of this trip was an excursion to Sian Ka'an, a biosphere reserve right next to Tulum. Several tour groups lead trips there, but CESiaK is the non-profit that runs the reserve and also runs the best (and least expensive) trips. There are several trips, like bird-watching, canoe-ing, etc, but we went on the lazy boating one. A long skinny mini-peninsula extends from the Yucatan peninsula, and protects the opening to a natural canal that leads over a couple miles to freshwater lagoons, which, further inland, connect to canals dug by the Maya. The first 1/3 of the video is the view from the main CESiaK building, where you can see water on both sides of the mini-peninsula. I'm the one in the pigtails.
The water goes from brackish to fresh (and clean, though minerally) as the boat goes further inland. The second portion of the video shows the jungle-y look of the more brackish portion of the canal. The banana orchids are especially magnificent! Our tour guide was amazing, commenting on all the flora and fauna (he is an ornithologist and usually leads the birdwatching tour) in English, Spanish, and French. The third portion of the video shows the freshwater portion of the canal, and the vegetation at this point is called "savannah." All of these plants grow on top of mangroves and old mangrove roots, so although it looks solid, the "ground" is a mushy tangle of roots. We made it to the end of the canal, then got to hop in the water and float back, propelled by a very gentle current out to sea. Unfortunately there is no video of that, since the camera is not waterproof, but believe me that it is one of the most quiet and peaceful and relaxing things one could do in a lifetime! At the end there was a very yummy lunch included, plus a couple hours at the pretty beach, before heading back to the hotel. All in all, it was a fantastic trip and I'd heartily recommend it to anyone visiting the Riviera Maya.
On a completely opposite note...I realized I forgot to tell you my "secret" souvenir from my visit to Amana. It is...
a hot water bottle! Ok, that may not be very exciting to you, but I've never actually seen a hot water bottle for sale, and I have been pining for one for a long time. Pining for one, specifically so that I can knit a hot water bottle cozy (HWBC)! A HWBC would be such a snuggly combustion of my knit-o-philia and anglophilia! (Hot water bottles seem very British, although I must admit this brand appears to be German.) Now that it is so warm though, my enthusiasm for this project has cooled (heh) somewhat. Also, I'm having trouble finding a nice HWBC pattern that will use up my laceweight leftover yarns. Any suggestions?
I'm likewise unenthusiastic about knitting mittens in balmy weather. Here is the Hippocampus mitten so far.
When I start the second one, name will change to Hippocampi mittens.