Wednesday, February 25, 2009
From the seaside town of Celestun, we opted for an "ecological" tour along the coastal area as opposed the the faster, louder motorboat tours to the flamingo rookery. Our guide, Mario, poled us in a flatbottom canoe through Black, Red and White magrove swamps into quiet, murky freshwater pools where we saw lots of birdlife, including one species with pink legs, which had to satisfy my flamingo lust! It was great to have my sister Carrie, as our personal translator. Through her we learned that Mario is a former fisherman, but with the deline of fishing due to over-fishing, increased numbers of fishermen, among other things; he helped start this new cooperative eco-tourism company with 10 other locals. Ours was among their very first tours so he was soliciting a lot of feedback. For two hours, we poled through the mangroves, motored quietly down the open estuary, walked on boardways into a beautiful lagoon and other secret interior places for a very enjoyable and satisfying afternoon.