While Scott rested, I spent the afternoon on my bike touring the lakes of the Lagunas de Montebello National Park. There are over 50 lakes. I saw quite a few that are accessible from the road. The lakes are actually cenotes (sinkholes) formed by the erosion of limestone over millions of years. The water in each lake has a different color based on mineral deposits. I regret not bringing Scott’s camera which has the polarizer.
The lakes were beautiful but it’s a different experience compared to the national park experience of the United States. In order to get to a place where I could appreciate the view I had to wade through a barrage of people trying to sell me stuff: coca-cola, traditional food, textiles, jewelry, little wooden toy boats with the name of the lake painted on them, guide services, horseback rides, boat tours, etc. Each lake had an overlook but there were few other improvements, like hiking trails or educational placards. It’s set-up for people on tour buses to jump out, snap a selfie, and get back on the bus.
When I could ignore the chaos behind me, looking out over the lakes at the pine forest in a way reminded me of the northeastern US, like I could be standing on the shores of Vermont’s finest, Lake Bomoseen. It was nice to feel something familiar, if only briefly.
All the pretty lakes:
I took a hike to see a natural bridge and some limestone caves. Two boys (10 & 12yrs) accompanied me as my guides. It wasn’t really necessary, but I didn’t mind the company, and it was a good opportunity to practice Spanish. They were very interested in the bike, my helmet, how tall my husband was, and if I had snacks in my backpack. I shared an orange and my peanut butter & banana sandwich with them while chatting about our families and the upcoming Christmas holiday.