As the entire wedding party all hopped on their borrowed banana seat bikes, our sticky sweat-drenched bodies were a very obvious indication that we were all in desperate need of a dip in that inaugural cenote.
Our buddy, Tim, a first-class schmoozer, befriended two local business owners during a night of debauchery involving way too many shots of tequila and Dos Aquis to mention. In addition to his well-deserved hangover, Tim had announced that his new acquaintances had offered to take us all on a personal bike tour through the Mayan Jungle. As icing on the cake, we would hit every single cenote along the way to do some killer snorkeling.
Needless to say, we were all sold on Tim's proposition.
So our trek began at the northern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula, about three hours south of Cancun. We pedaled away from the sleepy coastal town and soon hit the bumpy gravel roads that wove through a dense rainforest of tropical dry and tropical wet semi-deciduous trees.
When we thought we couldn't possibly encounter any other humans deep within this jungle, our enthusiastic guides would bring us to the first of many remote beach enclaves in which hammocks were strung around a beautiful teak bar. With refreshingly stiff margaritas in hand, our eyes would wander from the waves calmly hitting the sand to the outdoor community of palapa huts lining the secluded beach.
It was paradise.
Once we had cooled-off, our guides cracked the whip and reminded us that we still had to experience the first cenote of the trip. So begrudgingly, we got our butts back on those bikes and lazily pedaled away.
After a sharp detour down a very steep and narrow path, we arrived at our first cenote. And it was absolutely breathtaking.
The clear, freshwater pool filled a nearly-symmetrical round crater, as a tall shale wall surrounded one side of the lagoon in which those ballsy enough (none from my party), could do some cliff-jumping if they so dared. Instead, we opted for the safer choice and all decided to partake in some marathon snorkeling as we pretended to be marine biologists and geologists for the day.
And so our day continued along at this carefree pace which consisted mainly of biking, swimming, snorkeling, and drinking. I know, life was tough....
As the tour drew to a close, a member of our exhausted entourage announced that he wanted to stop for a brief smoke break. Apparently, he couldn't smoke and bike at the same time. Since we were all teetering on heatstroke and total exhaustion, we all obliged.
So as our buddy went to light his cigarette, one of our guides began to spark a joint. He insisted that we all share his little party favour but for some reason, we all passed on the grass. After a full day of biking, swimming, and sipping margaritas, all I could think about was a cool shower and my comfy hotel bed.
Once our guide savoured the last hit of his doob, we all eagerly hopped on our bikes one last time and....
"ALTO AHI!!" A stern and authoratative voice called from the depths of the jungle.
We all simutaneously turned to one another with puzzled expressions that seemed to say--Who the fu** was that??
Suddenly, a small, Mexican man in a blue uniform emerged...seemingly out of nowhere. A very intimidating gun slung across one of his shoulders.
Right at that moment, I answered my own question. He was a Federali. Oh God, he probably smelled that jackass' pot and now we were all fu**ed!
Seeing the growing fear in all of our eyes, both of our guides calmly told us to: a) not to move, and b) not to utter a single word. They would do all the talking.
As we stood there in complete disbelief, all I could think about was a line I had read in a Lonely Planet about situtations such as this:
"Mexico has a no-tolerance policy for drug related offences and will not show Canadians or Americans any leniency if arrested under these circumstances. Neither Canadian nor American embassies are likely to intervene on their citizens' behalf if such offences are committed."
Great, we're all going to get thrown into a Mexican slammer--by some omnipresent police force--for a crime neither of us (Canadians) committed! To top it all off, this shit's going to go down exactly one day before my best friend's fabulous beach wedding...the soul reason we're all here in the first place!
And right when I thought I was on the verge of having a self-imposed heart attack, that enigmatic Federali officer ran right back into the bushes from where he came. It appeared as though some kind of deal was struck between him and our two guides, however, not a word was ever spoken about any of the details.
Once we finally got back into town, we thanked our two new friends for the exciting day, and promptly caught a cab back to our hotel.
The ride started off in complete silence until someone finally said, "Dude, did that really just happen?" Suddenly, we all broke out into an uncontrollable fit of laughter....