Monday, November 27, 2006

mexico comio me cerebro

hola mis amigos! mexico was espectacular! phenomenal! esensationals! why do they pluralize everything in mexico? all week long i was eating at the “salads bar” or ordering “quacamoles dips” or “black beans soup.”

so i’m now back from the caribbean coast and i’m not sure how i feel about that. i had a great time there – i sat on the beach for 7 days. i went to the ruins at tulum and chichen itza. i didn’t miss home or work at all. in fact, i completely forgot that i had left anything behind. i was vacation kelly – and it was great. when the plane landed in SLC after the trip i had the strangest feeling of being a foreigner in my own country. it didn’t take long for reality to come rushing back full force, but it was a strange feeling nevertheless. not that i think i belong on vacation. i just think i could belong in the caribbean. in fact, i’ve thought about packing up and moving to san pedro in belize a number of times. but when i lived in hawaii, i started to get island fever after about 5 months and i really missed the desert and the mountains of home. plus, i’m not a fan of humidity. but i highly recommend visiting the caribbean if you have the chance. next time i go, i think i'll visit puerto rico or turks and caicos.

the only story i really have has to do with a very large fish with hunormous teeth. on my trip we went snorkeling at a place called Xel Ha (mayan for “where the water is born”). it’s this really beautiful ocean inlet that meets a freshwater river coming out of the jungle. you can see a line in the water where the salt water and fresh water mixes. the water is crystal clear turquoise blue with visibility up to 30 feet, but where the fresh and salt water mix, it is as blurry as if you were looking through a window smeared with vaseline. well, apparently fish go nuts for this area where the water mixes so the snorkeling is really good. there are a lot of tropical fish, but there are also whole herds of these huge common jack’s and groupers. some of these fish are well over three feet long. the common jacks pretty much leave you alone. if you try to get too close, they swim away in a big hurry and stay just out of reach. even though some of them were almost as long as me, i wasn't afraid of them at all because they kept their distance. the groupers on the other hand looked a little surly and we gave them a wide berth. one look in their huge mouth at all those gnarly canine teeth and you’d understand why.

i’ve heard groupers described as “. . . huge fish and just a delight for divers. They are absolutely the most docile creatures in the world.” well, i beg to differ. i found out why they are sometimes referred to as “gropers.” one particular 2.5 foot "groper" took a particular fancy to my backside. i mean, who could blame it? but still. this picture of a grouper is nothing compared to the teeth on the one we saw, but i couldn’t find any photos of the groupers at Xel Ha. the teeth on the fish i saw were at least half an inch long and it's mouth was full of them!

so there i was, floating down a river through the jungle on an inner tube, enjoying the tropical scenery when i see this huge fish coming straight at me. the water was about 12 feet deep and perfectly clear so i could see it swim right up under my inner tube. i didn't think anything of it really until i felt something bump up against my backside. i looked down right into the face of this grouper with all these gnarly teeth and it was looking back at me. i start shrieking at the top of my lungs and trying to paddle my tube faster down the river, but it kept following me around and trying to swim underneath me. my mom tried to splash it away and we even accidentally hit and kicked it a couple of times, but it would NOT leave me alone. i was laughing and screaming my head off at the same time and i was sure it was going to bite me bum. i have no idea what it was up to – it did not act like a normal fish. they usually scare away at the swish of a hand in the water, but this thing was stalking me! i’m not usually such a wimp; i’ve been snorkeling with sharks and stingrays swarming all over me, close enough to touch. but this thing completely weirded me out (here is an example of how big groupers can get - from google images).

it was a great trip - i already miss the caribbean sea, all the fresh fruit and the people. i took four rolls of film so i'll be posting some pictures as soon as i get them scanned (i only had my nikon slr instead of a digital camera). *check out my photo gallery (under links) for more pictures.*

hasta luego


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