09/14/12: Unusual Experience: Cenote Leap

One of the most memorable recollections of my adolescence is traveling to Cancun, Mexico, every winter break with my family. Cancun is well known for its historical Mayan attractions and adventurous activities, making it a popular destination among people. Besides the spectacular view of the Caribbean Sea, the opportunity to socialize with attractive girls, and the endless gourmet food, I came home a braver man through an unusual experience.

It was a humid and sunny day when our convoy of thrill seeking tourists journeyed into the jungle. We began our morning with a zip line obstacle course, consisting of fifteen tree line stations. Although the height wasn’t intimidating, the fear of mechanical failure resided in my thoughts. After successfully completing the course, we piled onto ATVs and maneuvered through the Yucatan jungle for half an hour until we reached our destination, a cenote and tropical forest caves. As we dismantled our vehicles, our tour representative instructed us to change into our swimsuits, causing confusion between the purpose of this action. As we walked a couple meters into the jungle, we finally congested around the cenote and I finally realized the description and definition of this natural object. A cenote is a combination between a pit and a sinkhole with recycled freshwater. Its importance dates back to the Mayans since their civilization used cenotes as a watering source and as a tribute/sacrifice location to their gods. As we stood there and admired the vast size of this incredible object, our representative finally looked at me and told me to jump. I became appalled to his command and moved a little closer to the edge to determine the height from the water to my current position, which was a 30 foot drop at position one. After five minutes without one single volunteer, I miserably took off my shirt and shifted closer to the edge of the manmade platform. Once I reached the edge, I did not hesitate with second thoughts and simply pencil jumped into the pit. I became shocked when I felt the apparent hang time around three seconds. As I penetrated the water, it felt rejuvenating with coldness. As a result, I generated much confidence and climbed up the cenote and onto the 45 foot platform. As I stood there motionless, I actually became frightened due to the temporary breeze that came across my body, which psychologically felt like I was about to trip over myself into the sinkhole and die on the sharp rocks. Moreover, the parallel view to my eyesight did not even include the cenote, but consisted only the trees of the jungle. Again, I just went for the jump, a five second hang time, and plummeted into the deep water. As I rose to the surface, I became a more courageous person.

After the cenote, our caravan journeyed to the adjacent caves, where we had the option of jumping into another pit from the surface, but the pit was child’s play since its height difference was only fifteen feet. The cave was characterized with limestone rock and served as a home to many bats. As our day concluded, we returned to our resort along a thin strip next to the Caribbean Sea in the heart of Cancun and I rewarded myself by consuming as much food as possible.

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