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We left Mexico with more than a sun tan

Stormy Lee and I arrived back in the United States Thursday after spending five days in Riveria Maya, Mexico. We both came back looking like we had a sleepover in a tanning bed.

We laid out by the pool almost everyday in Mexico, yes, because we were on vacation, but also out of neccessity. The sun scorches everything from about 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. everyday, leaving us two options — sit in our hotel room air conditioning or lay by the pool or beach.

We did venture out of the resort for a one-day Mayan adventure, however. We took a shuttle about one hour southwest to Cobá, Mexico. This will probably end up as the most memorable part of our trip.

We spent the day with a tour guide, Alfredo Kuri, and a group of Mayans.

The tour took us to the top of a Mayan pyramid called Nohoch Mul built by the Miyans around 1000 AD. We climed the 138-foot-high pyramid and at the top was a Miyan temple and wonderful view of the surrounding jungle.

Later, we repelled into a Riverian cenote, which is a natural underground reservoir/cave of water. The water was so clear we could see to the bottom of the 90 foot reservoir. We floated and swam around in the water on intertubes for about 20 minutes. Little tiny catfish swam with us and our guide told us the catfish stay alive by eating bat droppings.

That comment ruined the beauty of the cenote for Stormy Lee and I, but only for a moment. We later ziplined across the jungle, canoed and had a authentic sit-down meal with the Miyan group to finish out the day.

We couldn't communicate with the Mayans. In fact, our tour guide only faintly knew their language. We did learn from our guide not to use the English word kiss because in Mayan it means fart. We found that amusing.

There was so much to the trip, I can't possibly fit it all in one column, but I can say I left Mexico better cultured.

We met couples and groups from all over the world including Canada, U.S., Mexico, England, Germany, Italy, Ukraine, Romania. We even met a group of Iowans from Manchester.

By the time we left, heading back to the airport I had fully embraced Mexico. I know that because I was singing along and moving a little to the Mexican music the driver had selected for the trip.

We left Mexico refreshed, destressed, cultured, rested. We left Mexico a better couple. I left Mexico more appreciative of American technology and American opportunity.

I think we both agree we left Mexico with more than a sun tan.

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