As perhaps you can tell, I was the only client booked for this tour and in fact the first person who'd ever signed up for it. It was a relatively new trip on the company's roster. Chantal said they thought about canceling with only one booking, but I'd signed up so early, she decided not to.
You must also meet Ismeal:
He's on the right there with Dennis. He's originally from Cuba, co-owner of the tour company, and married to Chantal. After I met these two handsome devils in Playa del Carmen, we bussed it to Bacalar, Mexico, near the Belizean border. From that hotel balcony they're standing on, you could see this:
The Laguna Bacalar. Presumably there was bathing to be had in the laguna or even the pool, but we spurned them both and spent a lovely afternoon at the Cenote Azul, eating seafood on a cool patio and swimming:
Cenotes are sort of sinkholes, formed by the collapse of underground caves. They basically go straight down with no regard for one's need for gradual entry into the water. They are beloved by divers, apparently.
Later, we sampled some facts at the Museo del Fuerte de Bacalar (the Fort of San Felipe) -- an old fort built by the Spanish in 1733:
After a lovely night in our hotel -- there were two geckos in my room chirping at me -- Ismeal escorted Dennis and I to the border, explained how to navigate the border crossings, and put us on a bus to Guatemala. Several hours later, we arrived in El Remate, where Lou and Chantal met us and whisked us off to lunch at this Italian restaurant, minus any red-and-white-checked tablecloths and chianti:
Lou and I quickly bonded over, you know, America, and I had bruschetta for lunch. Afterwards, we walked across the road to Lake Peten Itza and went for a swim; Ismael had helpfully warned us to have swim suits at the ready.
I don't think I'll do the whole trip in one epic post, so more later. Next up? Tikal!