The Garden of Eden

Genesis 2:15, … The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of
Eden to work it and take care of it.

The day is beautiful; blue skies, slight breeze, cloudless, sunny and warm.  Every day is like this.  It’s easy to take it for granted.

I walk to school every day at 8am. Even though it’s only a 15 minute walk, and I meander, taking my time, I am sweating badly by the time I arrive. Today is no exception, with temperatures around 83 and humidity between 80% and 85%, my super-power of sweating is in full force.

Today we are learning indirect pronouns. And I’m not doing well with them. I am supposed to be able to generate phrases like this:

“yo se lo voy a dar”

But my brain seizes up on trying to form what literally translates to “I him it am going to give”. So I sit in my chair, trying to wrap my feeble mind around how to form these sentences, each time thinking I’ve got it only to get tangled in this mess of translation. So now I’m sweating literally and figuratively.

The day wears on, and at 2pm we are finished. The discussion among students turns to what we will do with the rest of the afternoon. The answers come in a round:

“Beach”

“Yeah, probably the beach”

“Si, voy ir a la playa”

“I’m thinking cenote”

Wait, what now? Cenote? I wanted to go to a cenote last time I was in Mexico, and never got around to it. And still haven’t this time. So, I’m sweating, it’s a little late in the day to start out and we’ll have to take a Colectivo (packed with humanity, no doubt), and most cenotes close at 5…. oh hell why am I even thinking about this; I’m in.

A quick discussion about options narrows the top candidates (Dos Ojos, Grande, Jarden de Eden, Azul) to just one: Jarden de Eden.

A quick walk to the Colectivo, a quick ride where we are dropped off on the side of the road unceremoniously, and we are there. The Garden of Eden.

Frankly, it’s a bit underwhelming.  Sure, it’s a lovely little road, but still: it’s just a road.

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The road to Eden is dusty

You walk up this road for 5 minutes or so, and you reach an old metal gate complete with a dour, somewhat forbidding squat building, in which resides a dour, somewhat forbidding, squat little man. He will take some money from you, then open the gate and tell you to keep walking.

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The gateway to Eden is… disappointing. Neither snake or apple in sight.

So, you go through the gate, and resume walking.

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More dusty road. No wonder Adam and Eve dropped this place.

After about 10 minutes of walking on a perfectly lovely road, getting roasted by the high afternoon sun with all your sweat glands firing from the stifling humidity, you arrive at a small parking lot. Past that parking lot is what you came for:

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Ooooo, so that’s what they mean by Eden.

A quick tour around the cenote shows that this is, indeed, rather spectacular:

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Yeah, that’ll do.
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Yes, please.

On this particular day, there were a trio of three divers, presumably just practicing their diving techniques because this cenote is at most 25 feet deep. Not a great challenge for the experienced diver.

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divers ahead, proceed at your own risk

In fact, we took turns with a single pair of goggles, diving down to the bottom to oogle the fishes that flit around the rocks at the cenote floor.  A few notes about the water:

– It’s far colder than the ocean, but with such a hot day was absolutely PERFECT.

– It’s fresh water (in Spanish: “Agua Dulce”, or “Sweet Water”).

– It’s perfectly clear and amazing.

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Swimming is pretty much the order of the day.

So, yes, much swimming.  However, the real fun comes from jumping in.

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An excellent jumping off point

And while much fun was had from jumping off the side of the stone walls, the real fun came from that tree you can see to the left of this picture.

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Jump in again? Porque no?

Once we found that we could scale the tree and jump off from higher up and further out, any lesser jump became pretty much useless.

A short video of jumping from the tree can be found here.

Time passed quickly and soon it was nearly 5pm and time to go.  The dusty road back was less onerous after we were well cooled by the water.  And now I’ve learned that the reason that Colectivos drop people off and pick people up from seemingly random places is because they ARE random places.  We simply stepped onto the side of the freeway and in less than 2 minutes a Colectivo flashed it’s lights at us, picked us up, and we were on our way.  Brilliant.

So: Jardin de Eden is well worth a visit.  I have a feeling most Cenotes are well worth it.  Jardin de Eden is not, despite what the bible quote at the start of this mentions, a place where man is working. No, man is relaxing, swimming, and pretty much just enjoying.

Now, back work.  I’ve got homework: write 10 sentences using indirect pronounces.  I he it swim the cenote?  Probably not proper.  Wish me luck.

6 thoughts on “The Garden of Eden

  1. Let’s be clear–temps are in the low 50s in the day, and high 30s at night. It sort of was sunny on Tuesday. But we’ve had thunder, lightning, hail, and crazy wind. You take your sweating and cenote, and we’ll sit here, huddled under blankets with the heat on…envious and happy for you.

  2. Dude, we didn’t learn indirect pronouns til second year Spanish in school. You are allowed to feel well challenged by them, and consider yourself a full-on hotshot if you ever feel comfortable with them.

    We’re at 86% humidity today, in the form of endless drizzle.

  3. Korey- loving your stories here. So glad you decided to travel. But are you sure those divers were not actually diving the cave that’s under the cenote? After all- the cenote is just a hole in the surface of the land that exposes a small glimpse of the massive freshwater cave system that basically covers the entire area and supported Mayan life for thousands of years?

    What you “see” of a cenote is just the beginning. During my time in the riviera maya I visited about 4 cenotes but I also had the pleasure of diving Los Dos Ojos near Tulum. If you think they’re pretty from the surface – well, there’s so much more beneath it. To date, still the scariest and most wondrous thing I’ve ever done.

    1. Hi Anita! Yeah, not sure the divers weren’t exploring the cenote caves, but they never went anywhere the entire time we were there so I assumed they weren’t. I also couldn’t see an entry point to caves, but it does still seem like the most likely scenario. I can only imagine how scary and fantastic going through that system must have been, kudos to you for being brave enough to do it.

  4. wait…is this Korey starting out with a bible verse…?! and then a scriptural reference or two thrown in?…haha. nicely done. I think we are going to go to Dos Ojos tmrw…yay!

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