Mexico and Me: A Day at XCARET: Part Two
XCARET –THE ECOLOGY PARK
We wanted to check out the Paradise river raft and set off along a sand path winding through more luxuriant jungle vegetation. En route to the river we stopped off in the huge greenhouse where they cultivate a variety of orchids and other exotic plants. The pictures say it all.
We also visited the mushroom farm area where they cultivate edible oyster mushrooms (pleurotus) in foul smelling bags containing wheat straw and dead leaves of native Yucatan plants.
We passed by the very noisy flamingo enclosure and the extensive fish farm where they breed tilapia and camerones (shrimp) that are served in the restaurants here.
At the river boats before we set off the supervisor asked people to maintain silence so that we could enjoy the tranquility of the river winding through the limestone canyon but of course most of the people blabbed away loudly and totally ignored the signs and the request for silence.
After the river ride we made our way with a couple of thousand other people to the Teatro for the 2 hour show that runs from 6 pm to 8 pm. The first half summarizes the history of Mexico from the early Mayans – the soccer like ball game (except you can only use your hips to move the ball) and a form of hockey with a flaming ball. Then we saw the Spanish arrive, the various priestly factions – Franciscans, Jesuits, Dominicans – then everyone seemed to blend into a melting pot that was supposed to represent Mexico today. After a 15 minute intermission they then presented dances from the various states. The commentary was in Spanish but we recognised Oaxaca, Veracruz and Tabasco among the states mentioned. The costumes were gorgeous but I did not see many differences between the styles of dance.
They also had some singers with really good voices rousing the crowd . We did not know the music but I enjoyed watching the couple sitting next to me join loudly in the chorus. They seemed to be having a real blast. At the end of the show there were hundred of people streaming out at the same time. We found our bus guide with his big bus 59 sign. To our surprise we were not kept more than about 10 minutes by stragglers a the sound level in the bus was very low on the way back to Mayan Palace.
I guess everyone was tired.