I am standing in a soaking wet t-shirt over my green bikini, my legs actually shaking under me from the rain pellets that fall from the sky. Lilliana, our tour guide, is shouting instructions on how to zipline in broken English from only a few feet away, yet the rain easily muffles her otherwise broad Spanish voice. When I’m standing on a wooden platform and Pedro yells VAS! and pushes me off the cliff and into the jungle, I can only hope that I set up my own harness correctly, although that wasn’t too easy to maneuver amidst the hurricane brewing over my head.
This is all because when you actually leave your Cancun resort, you find yourself a hell of a lot more than red-skinned tourists cramming onto booze cruises. The tour I took, which held a group of about ten people of all ages, brought us to the ancient Mayan temples about two hours from Cancun. Instead of sandy beaches and buffet style lunches we traveled down the littlest “highways” you have ever seen to jungle monotony only broken up by man-made shacks on the side of the road surrounded by skinny dogs and holey shirts on the line.
On the tour, after kayaking to a separate part of the jungle, a man named Jose came to bless us all for our stay in his village. Being the village medicine man, I think that this was the extent of his duties nowadays, since the area’s main income comes from tourism. Lilliana then led us to a little cavern opening in the ground as big as a folding chair next to a shower. She said that everyone had to wash off before climbing into the cavern in order to keep the sinkhole underneath clean. I kept wondering where this sinkhole was since the cavern looked like just that– a hole. Lilliana said we should probably keep our heads down.
As soon as we got through the initial hole, however, we found ourselves in an alcove about as big as a large living room with crystal blue water running through which created a little circle. You could see the bottom, however tens of feet down.
Back outside of the sinkhole, which Mexico has tons of since, like New Orleans, it has little bedrock, Lilliana led us to a zipline course, which was when the rain started up. In her drenched t-shirt and sandals, the little Mexican woman told us there was no reason to stop unless it started to lightning “really bad” yet even then we would be screwed because the zipline was the only way to continue through the jungle.
However, as I’m soaring over the jungle and over small swamps and flying birds and I’m trying to shield my eyes from the piercing rain, I’m actually feeling pretty glad Pedro pushed me off the cliff. I can hear my dad screaming bloody murder behind me because he is pushing the 235 weight limit, but hey, this sure beats snorkeling.