After the last drunk passenger stumbled back aboard in Cozumel around midnight, the ship left the island for mainland Mexico, specifically the port of Calica. The port did not appear to be intended for cruise ships, as the usual marks of a touristy place were absent, and very few people were around. It must have been cheaper to dock there than in either Playa del Carmen or Cancún.
Alan and I decided on different excursions this time. He took some beach party and cookout trip, but I thought the 4x4 jeep drive and cave excursion sounded cool. The jeeps were waiting for us not far from the pier. Since I know how to drive only an automatic transmission, I didn't mind sitting in the back of the jeep while someone else had to get us around.
The drive to the cave promised lots of bumpy roads to take advantage of the 4x4. It was not bad, but could have been better. I guess the tour company didn't want to be held liable if someone got hurt. On the way, we drove past some very poor Mexican neighborhoods, where most homes barely had 4 walls and a roof. The sad living conditions of the locals stand in stark contrast to the extrava-gance provided on the cruise ship.

The excursion was to the Chaaktún caverns, where we would get to go swimming underground in the cave. I thought the tour was of very good quality, and the guide was entertaining. In this pic, you can kind of see how vendors had set up shop outside the entrance to try and get you to buy their stuff. It was mostly useless trinkets, but they appeared to be handmade by the locals to help earn money.
Below are a couple pictures from inside the cave. Once we got down in far enough, we all changed to our swim gear and jumped in the underground pool. The water was pretty chilly, but still ok to swim in. The guide navigated us through some very tight spots - some places where the rock was only a few inches above the water! At one point we were told not to scream as the guide was going to point the flashlight at something. No, it wasn't my pale white skin. He turned the light to the ceiling to show a bunch of bats hanging above us. Some women yelped and the guide said, "Didn't I tell you to be quiet? Or do you want them to come down here?" It was pretty funny and a unique experience!
I look a little wore out in this pic because, well, the trip into the cave was not easy. I mean, it wasn't really difficult or anything, but a good workout. Unfortunately they wouldn't let you keep the hard hats. But I still thought the excursion was cool anyway.

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