The Roving Richards

A family on the move

Sian Ka’an

Saturday, July 4th, 2009

Today after much wailing and gnashing of teeth (on Mark’s part) we took our very expensive tour of the Sian Ka’an Biological Reserve. I was determined to see some wildlife and figured as long as we were all the way down in Tulum to see the reserve we should take the most extensive tour of it. So over $500.00 later we were on our way with our guide Cristina from Mexico Kan Tours in her rented jeep with a leaky radiator for the Sian Ka’an Adventure Tour. Charlotte was in fine form, whining and whining about the drive and generally being negative. I felt bad for the guide, finally told her either Charlotte would sweeten up or she wouldn’t and we should just ignore her attitude as best we could. We saw some woodpeckers on the drive and of course iguanas but nothing else. Mexico is just not a wildlife destination. We arrived in Punta Allen, a little Mayan fishing village that looks just like a Costa Rican fishing village. We stopped at the restaurant where we would be eating lunch later for a quick snack and Cristina went over to a little stand and got me a really good cappuccino. Very unexpected! We got on our boat, which sped away and FINALLY Charlotte stopped sulking. She was shouting Yahoo and generally having a good time. We made it to the place where the dolphins had been sighted and their group of three grew to four, five, six and ultimately seven. They were having a great time, jumping and spinning and playing, unbothered by all the tour boats that had materialized. After we enjoyed the dolphins for a while wegave our spot up to another boat and motored over to aFrigate bird and pelican rookery. Baby frigate birds are all white, so cute! We saw a lobster fisherman and went over and he was very patient with the girls, showing them lobster anatomy and how the female stores her eggs. Then we were off in search of a turtle forCharlotte to see, which we did find, as well as a rare four-armed starfish. The water is so clear, it’s unbelievable. Westopped to go snorkeling. Charlotte lasted pretty well but then wanted to return to the boat so Cristina took her and I stayed with Mark and Charlotte and our boat driver as he pointed out all kinds of things like this giant crab. Then we went to the “swimming pool” a warm, clear beach that stays waist high for a city block. Then we went back to the restaurant where our lunch was waiting. At Akumal we had told the kids that you needed a machete to cut open a coconut, so when the guy next door to the restaurant (the coffee stand guy) got out a machete to cut open a coconut, I sent the girls over to look. Of course soon enough they came running back to say the guy would sell them the coconut for 20 pesos, which I of course gave them and so they enjoyed first the coconut milk and then the meat of the coconut for desert. On the way home we stopped at the visitor’s center for a view of Boca Paila where you can see hownarrow the peninsula is. We made it back to our hotel without running out of gas or water, which was a blessing! We said a big thank you to Cristina who really was a great guide, and after cleaning up went to our hotel for dinner.

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