Are you ready?….."Listo!", Dan replies excitedly as he pulls the heavy metal hurricane sliders across the glass doors of his living room and securely locks them in place. "Lets go!" I follow behind Dan and Pam, 2 up on their BMW G650GS. I can feel the extra vibration of excitement radiating out from their bones, and smile, what a cool moment! I feel very privileged to be sharing the energy of the beginnings of their adventure!
We pull up beside a freeway stand not 3 kilometers away from their front door to enjoy an authentic Mexican taco breakfast. We wait the arrival of Roberto and Ana, another couple ridding 2 up joining Dan and Pam. Ana is showing the signs of a "Mexican Jumping Bean" as she approaches us with such zest and exuberance, and Roberto is beaming from ear to ear. The vibe this morning just cannot get any better! Dan, Pam, Roberto, Ana, Kev and I spread out over several tables depositing our bodies and gear then proceed to the counter to make our tasty taco breakfast choices. Along with an agua de fresca, fruit water of pineapple completes the perfect tastey start to future adventure travel. The peppy chatter is mildly silenced while food is being consumed, then ferociously returns. "Listo?"…….Let's GO! After some necessary picture documentation we all saddle up and hit the road.
We passed many Maya ruins roadside, along the way today. What an amazing culture it must have been to still have structures standing today. It is interesting to see that in some areas somewhat modern-day structures of tin, wood, and concrete, have been erected alongside these ruins. The ruins themselves are sometimes haphazardly cyclone fenced off, but no the less it is definitely a thought-provoking reminder of Old and New.
Bacalar rates up with being one of my most favorite places in Mexico, and has a very interesting background. B'ak halal, Maya for "Being surrounded by reeds" was a thriving Mayan civilization pre-columbian times, until it was conquered by Spanish Conquistadors in 1543, and renamed Salamanca de Bacalar. Yet there was more turmoil to come for this beautiful place. The 17th century brought ransacking by pirates which lead to a fort being built. Completed in 1729, the Fortress de San Filipe Bacalar is still standing today, as a reminder of her treasured past. Surprisingly enough Bacalar still remained under Spanish rule until Mexico reclaimed it in 1902! All this interest in capturing and conquering this area is totally understandable to me. Bacalar's alluring lagoons of seven colors not only exudes amazing beauty, but this area for me releases an amazing amount of energy. I think that it might have something to do with the stromatolites that are living in the lagoon.
Laguna Bacalar is Mexico's second largest lake. This 42 mile body of fresh water is truly unique in a couple of ways. One, this lake is constantly fed and replenished by nine cenotes, thought to be the most extensive anywhere in the world. And two, it's home to giant prehistoric living stromatolites that represent the earliest life form discovered on earth! Stromatolites to me look like a chalky coral, or huge calcium formation. These microbialites act as a coral bedrock supporting mangroves and vegetative growth, that in turn house an abundance of birdlife throughout the lake. The lakes unusual biochemistry has allowed these life forms to flourish in number and size. We engaged in a 4 hour boating trip around the lake, and were not disappointed. At the southern end of the lake is Rio Chaac or "rapids" as it is locally known. Here we were able to float down the rapids and view these prehistoric giant stromatolites, crazily mind blowing….estimated to be 3.5 billion years old. As you float down this crystal clear prehistoric rapids you to can feel the rough calcium formations below sometimes scraping your feet then spiky reeds growing amongst the stromatolites tickle your feet. View lilly pads and flowers, playful whistling birdlife, see small fishes and tiny mussels. The mussel growth is a threat to the stromatolites, although currently the prehistoric microbialites growth is faster than the mussels and the mussels are being engulfed by their growth! Our day even included a traditional Maya Mud Spa!