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Published: April 23rd 2009
A picture near the top
We were a little hungry when we got here to Agua Azul, but we decided to head in to see the water before finding food. There turned out to be plenty of snacks around, so it was a good choice for us to spend as much time as we could in the closest place on earth to paradise, as far as I know at least.
The pools and falls in agua azul are nothing short of incredible! The water is such a beautiful blue, but completely clear! It is cool, but refreshingly so, not too cold. There are shallow pools in the rocks where the current surrounds you like a spa bath tub. The jungle plants surrounding the river made the location amazing. Today, Saturday, there were many people here, and nearly all were Mexicans, many wearing normal clothing into the water. I was told that Saturdays are very busy here, but that during the week it is much quieter.
I walked into the mostly shallow water to explore and swam closer to the falls for a look. The water was so clear, and so blue. I heard that this was due to the minerals from the smooth limestone
the water flowed over and that made op many of the shallow pools. The water split around a small island - there were no other people around the back - and the plants directly on the banks made this area amazing! I went back for my camera then walked through the pools again to take some pictures. Sarah, here from Germany, met an enthusiastic and curious Tseltal Mayan girl named Cecilita who was excited to have her picture taken with us in the water.
I got out and grabbed a snack (a mango, fresh steamed corn, and some banana chips), and soon my friends and I had a group of Tseltal girls, ages 6 - 12 gathering around us. They were cousins or sisters, and explained that they were learning Spanish in school. With all of us communicating in funny broken Spanish, we managed to have a good time learning about each other. They were curious about us and our families. Cecilita was very happy to find out that I shared a name with her mom, and my mom shared her name.
The girls had been walking around selling some snacks, balancing plastic bowls on their heads. We
asked if it was difficult to do, so they gave us some lessons. It was certainly not as easy for us as it was for them.
Time was running short and we wanted to eat dinner before continuing on our journey, so we had to say good bye, but not before they wrote me a little glossary of words in Tzetzal (I added in the English here and did the best I could trying to figure out the somewhat messy writing but I'm unsure about the accent marks):
Tseltal - Their Spanish - Spanish - English
ya kan'at - tequiero - te quiero - I love you
yuūn - novio - novio - boyfriend
bonix - bay - ??? I think they meant to write boy???
binabijil - como te-yama - como te llamas - what are you called?
ban-talcmat - donde vive - donde vives - where do you live?
And they all wrote their full names below, (well, the ones who could write better helped out the others). They all had Spanish first and last names, not traditional Mayan names, even though they spoke virtually no Spanish at home.
We had dinner at one
of the many establishments alongside the water. After trying to order a few things on the menu and being told they didn't have them, I ended up being served a salad instead of the sandwich I ordered. I was happy to eat some veggies, but was a little unsure of the cleanliness here. Most everyone had fresh veggies on their plates though, so I decided to eat it anyways and didn't get sick.
I left the table earlier than everyone else and walked up the path to see the upper parts of the falls that weren't used for swimming. The sight was incredible! I can't believe I missed it earlier in the afternoon. I took some more photos and ran back to find a bathroom and catch the van, which dropped us off nearby to catch the bus to San Cristóbal de las Casas.
It was a twisty bus ride, and one of the German's got sick on the way, but we made to San Cristóbal at around 10:30pm. I had called a hotel out of a guidebook from the bus to confirm they had space for all eight of us, and went on a bit of a
long walk there through downtown with our suitcases on the pretty, but very smooth and slippery stone sidewalks. We checked in and split up 2 by 2 to keep the costs down. I shared a room with Carolin, who is a student in Mérida, Yucatán this semester on exchange from her business program in Germany. The Aussies went out to check out the night life and the rest of us went to sleep.
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