Another early morning, Alex and I woke up to throw on our swimsuits then head down the street to a nearby hotel called Adhara Hacienda to catch a bus to Xel Ha for the day. We had a much easier time this morning and were on the bus without issue and off to the Xcaret company hub. They were much more organized than Go Mexico and had a bus hub to split up tourists to the right park queue and get them cruising to their destination quickly. We jumped into the Xel Ha line and soon were off to the park. Like usual, Alex fell asleep right away while I stayed awake hearing the details about the park. Including the need for biodegradable sunscreen and bug spray only allowed in the park... So of course we bought them from the guide.
An hour and a half later, we all filed off the bus and into the park. Alex realized one item he forgot to pack in our suitcase transition- a wetshirt to keep the sun exposure down. As a result, we stopped to get him one for the day. The nice thing about Xel Ha is the fact that it is all inclusive, meaning food and open bar were included. That means our first stop was the breakfast buffet for fruit, juice, tea, and to top it off a Pina Colada.
Fueled up, we grabbed snorkeling gear and trekked to the train which took us to the start of the lazy river. This park is awesome! It's a natural habitat with park features built in to enhance it. We floated on innertubes through a mangrove stream into a river that had different activities along the way. Both Alex and I jumped off the "Cliff of Courage" which couldn't compare to the jump at Broken Bow Lake, OK. Alex struggled to return to his tube but eventually we got going again which lead us to the rope courses. Deciding our scuba gear would hinder our success we instead ditched the tubes and snorked back in to shore. Thanks to the reefs in the bay the river dumped into we had some fun fish to see.
All that work called for some more snacks to refuel, so we dropped off our gear before heading back to the buffet. We took our time enjoying food and more drinks. This was interesting preparation for the rope course. Imagine a water version of the TV show Ninja Warrior and that was our challenge. The first section was easy as we flew down into the water on a zip line. Following our coast down though was a myriad of hanging ropes that required hanging, swinging, and climbing to get across. We both fell a few times before I chose to take the less grueling route of inner-tube the remainder of the way while cheering Alex on. The end of that led to a different rope trial in which you balanced on one rope to walk across with only one other rope above your head to help with balance. Determination drove me across yelling at Alex not to get to close. His height drove the ropes further apart which I struggled to keep hold of as they already were. It wasn't too bad until some nincompoop got on the beginning of the rope as we hit the middle and their lack of balance had the rope willing from one side to the other. I slipped once and caught myself but unfortunately for the girl in front of me it caught her off guard and whacked her on the head. About 7 feet to the end Alex raced up behind me (damn monkey arms) and shimmied by me. I was ready to smack him but I had no hands free. Then, I made it! I could feel my arms would be sore later, I couldn't even move them already. Luckily the last step was one more zip line. Silly Alex suggested going on the hanging bar ones together. My lack of arm strength and really loud scoff told him what I thought of that idea. A few short seconds later I was safely in the water at the bottom from riding in the swing. We hopped in line a couple more times before heading to the other side of the park.
Snorkeling gear in hand, we headed to the other side of the park which was closer to the ocean. To start with we crossed a floating bridge that rose and fell with the waves. It looked like we were drunk the weaving way we walked. Managing not to fall in we found an interesting sign to take pictures with. The pathway led us first to a water section that you could swim into a cave. Out the other side we snorkeled some more. Pulling ourselves out of the water, we hiked through the jungle to the centotes on property. While they were pretty and crystal clear, you were not allowed to swim in them. Although the first one appeared to have sharp rocks on the bottom similar to Hell we saw in the Gran Caymans last year. So we did what anyone looking to get some action would, headed back to the bay for more snorkeling.
Little did I realize how tired I had gotten. So I floated across the majority of the bay as Alex snorkeled all while making our way back to our locker. Our bus was planned to pick us and hundreds of others up at 5:45pm. Since we had about an hour and a half until then we decided to utilize the mostly empty showers and clean up now. That gave us plenty of time to eat an easy dinner with drinks. Following that we explored the shops a little more coming home with 2 more wetshirt and a cool dolphin carving. Still with a few minutes to waste we found some restrooms and comfy chairs. An older couple from Canada sat next to us and chatted until it was time to board buses.
We were first on the bus so we grabbed the front row seats to give Alex some extra leg space. We both were tired from! The day so dozed while the rest of the people liked on. Alex was able to sleep the whole way back to Cancun too, but the radio for the bus drivers was too loud and kept me up. Arriving back around 8pm, we took the evening easy with reading and blogging.
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