vendredi 27 février 2015

Animal Planet: Xcaret! Edition

Rise and shine! After a wonderful day at Chichen Itza, we were back to our fucking dystopian hotel.  I swear it was Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome status. As usual, we were greeted by a flawless sunrise. It was so serene and pretty! Even though our hotel looked like an abandoned haunted hotel, I loved waking up to the sound of the waves crashing on the sand. We had big plans for the day! Little did I know what nature had in store for me...

We were heading to Xcaret! and I swear I am not that excited about it-- thats how it's spelled. From now on, I will ditch the exclamation point lol. I read the reviews for it and people were roasting it. I was kind of hesitant to go, but I wasn't trying to stay in our fallout shelter all day. We boarded a shuttle which, after making a few more stops at various hotels to pick people up, took us to a bus depot and then we were off to the park. People said the park was boring and a rip-off, but I had to see for myself.

Gran Turismo, huh?

When we got to the park, a quote by the great William Shakespeare came to mind: 

"Those who hate shall hate henceforth."

... in other words: HATERS GONNA HATE.  

Xcaret is a Mayan archaeological site that served as a port for trade and navigation. Some of the original structures from the site are now (allegedly) part of Xcaret(!), a sort of Disneyland that focuses on culture and wildlife. But first-- since this is an ecological park, we were advised that sunscreen containing chemicals would not be allowed and would be better off not bringing it. We bought a "natural" sunscreen cause we were definitely on that hippie wave. We didn't want to kill the animals! That decision would come back to haunt me. Wendy got the map and we were off to explore. There is so much to see and do!

I am usually a certified Nature Hater, but this place completely won me over. They had all sorts of flora and fauna. The birds flew freely! It was such a trip. They also had a "Monkey Island", where monkeys hung around with Dr. Zaius plotting our demise. Just kidding! It was literally a patch of land and trees for monkeys. I was so elated. They even had an island for JAGUARS. Man, hell nah. I know the jaguar is a sacred animal but I have my limits. The island itself was separated by a huge gap just in case it tried to jump and eat someone's face. Did I tell you there are no cages here? I don't play with jungle cats at all. 

It doesn't end there! One of my favorite things was the Butterfly Pavilion. I am not usually terribly fond of them, but I really enjoyed seeing them in their natural habitat. There was a large area that allowed you to walk in like a snail pattern to the top, like a mountain in the cartoons. The top was covered by a thin net, but the butterflies flew all over the place. It was bananas to be surrounded by so many of them! 

Next, we checked out the Hacienda Henequenera which was a sort of colonial town. I loved the way this place was decorated. I really liked the little devil on a bench and the house with all the trinkets. They even had a limestone chapel featuring a giant Virgin Mary made out of a tree. Grandmother Willow?! There was even a cenote in there. The church had a few, um, notable guests as well. 

Thought we were done? 


Apparently I have reached the photo limit, but I still have more to share so this post will continue in 5, 4, 3, 2,1...

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