Last spotted in San Francisco, USA on March 28, 2003, 1:23 pm
Who is he? Where is he going? Where has he been? David Barrett / Quinthar
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Martin, our great cenote hunter, got a tip that an unmarked cenote could be found nearby. Little did we know the journey it would lead us on. First we took a taxi to the Grande Cenote: a highly-touristy cenote frequented by many scuba divers and snorkelers. Due to its popularity it charged a bit of a fee, which we didn't feel like paying. So, we started walking down the road in search of our Moby Dick.

We walked and walked, with directions not unlike those used by the kids in Goonies. One thing about this street, in addition to it being the runway for a high volume of extremely fast land-bourne fighter jets, is that it is absolutely littered with... litter. At some points the stench was so overwhelming it made me gag.

Eventually we came upon the first clue: a white building, partially constructed, with a path leading to the cenote. Following the path led nowhere. Walking the grounds turned up nothing. Looking from the exposed second floor turned up no evidence of a beautiful cenote. Drat.

Martin, our intrepid leader, forged ahead while we waited in the shade and tried to imagine how we'd make use of the abandoned structure. Hang our hammocks in the front room? Start a cybercafe? The possibilities were endless. Soon Martin returned with news that he spoke with a local, urging us on. Urged, we continued on.

We approached a second structure. It wasn't so much partially constructed (as our directions indicated), but rather falling appart. And it wasn't white, but instead made of wood. Light wood, perhaps. It had a path. We followed it back to an empty shack. It had another path that led nowhere. Again, no luck.

Continuing on, we discovered a third house. White. Partially constructed. With cars out front. One of the cars said something about "Cenote Diving". That's a good sign.

We walked back down the path into the forest to find a large open hole, with a ladder descending straight down into the cool emerald waters. Surrounding the hole were several local boys, diving in and climbing out, repeating again and again. We enjoyed the scene for a bit before stripping down and diving in ourselves.

This cenote was unlike the others I'd visited in that the only "sitting area" out of the water was positioned way back in the deep recesses of the cenote. Other than that, the only solid-land option was hanging onto the ladder. Regardless, I now know there's plenty of fun to be had treading water.

(Coming soon)

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