Bacalar really stole our hearts.
When we woke up, we decided to go kayaking before it was too windy on the lake. It seemed that it was calm in the morning and just go windier as the day progressed. Villas Ecotucan had kayaks that you could borrow, so we put on our suits and went down to the water. It was a tandem kayak with a flat bottom, and the waves were already forming, so paddling was kind of hard. We stayed close to the shore, looking for birds, turtles, manatees, and the freshwater crocodiles that live in the lake. I was kind of hoping not to see the latter…We were out for about an hour and then came back to soak up the sun on the shore and do some reading. The sun was very hot and we had to swim around every so often to cool off. It was so refreshing to swim in warm, salt-free water. Nic even put his snorkel and mask on, but didn’t see anything too interesting, as the lake is just limestone, with little seaweed. The water was crystal clear.
Also staying at the ecolodge, were a bunch of students from nearby Chetumal. They were wandering all over the grounds, taking measurements of the sun for their engineering studies. They were really friendly and cut us down some coconuts so we could drink the water from them.
Nic and I have decided that time goes by VERY slowly in Mexico. By 11am, we were wondering what we were going to do with the rest of the day. You can only read a book for so many hours until you are bored… So we headed into the town of Bacalar to get some food and check out the fort. San Felipe Fort is right in the center square of the town and overlooks the lake. You can’t miss it. It was basically a pirate museum but we learned a lot about the trading of goods and the exploration of the Yucatan. It was a really small museum and took about 10 minutes to go through. Once again…What are we going to do for the rest of the day?
So we went to a vegetarian friendly restaurant that the ecolodge recommended. I am a vegetarian and it is hard to find variety when eating latin cuisine. I had cheese quesadillas every day on the trip. I’m not complaining though, because they were all delicious. But at this little restaurant called Gaia, I had a lot to choose from on the menu and I was excited. I got the homemade veggie burger and Nic got the pasta carbonara. It was so nice to get out of the heat and hang out in the tiny restaurant for a while. We were the only customers while this little Mayan girl cooked all of our food.
After the walk, we went down to the lake to read some more. I was already on book #3 of this trip 🙂 It was a pretty relaxing day and Nic and I enjoyed each others company. The dogs at the ecolodge also enjoyed our company and followed us everywhere. Wanting to play while we were reading, which was quite distracting, but Nic loved it.
It started to get dark and we went back into town to eat dinner. I had heard warnings of people telling you not to drive in Mexico at night. And they were very correct! At night, there are lots of cows and horses on the roads. And the streets are not lit very well. You also have to watch out for bikers and pedestrians. It seems like a lot more people and animals are active outside at night because it is less hot. We almost hit a horse on the way into town and missed a couple turns because we couldn’t see the signs.
We went into the center square to have dinner because I remembered seeing a few restaurants there. We ate at a place called Cafeteria Bacalar and we each had the best Margarita of our lives. Nic also tried the Sopa de Lima (lime and chicken soup), which is basically the Yucatan’s national dish. He also said that his fajita was amazing. Mexico sure does know it’s food!
After we ate, we walked around the square that was lit up beautifully. There were a lot of families there in the park with kids playing. We felt so humble and safe, even at night. We went into a grocery store and bought some hot sauce to take home. We also bought some street churros, which Nic had never had. We enjoyed them on a park bench while kids on bikes roamed around the park in the dark. Such a beautiful town!
*remember to click the pictures to enlarge them!