We heard about Bacalar from a waiter in Cancun - he’d just returned from a long weekend there with his family and kept returning to our table with renewed enthusiasm for it. Muy bonita! Mi gusta Bacalar! Seven different shades of water! We had to go.
So we left Tulum on the 2pm bus, convinced it would only take 45 minutes. It actually took four hours but we didn’t need time where we were going. We got to Casa Lahar at sunset and found a peaceful community of spiritual souls in a massive house overlooking the gorgeous lagoon. It had such a different vibe to Tulum - soft reggae was playing on the sound system and the air was light and cool from the lagoon and it was the perfect place for us to chill out.
After a yummy meal on a verandah of a nearby restaurant, we got back to the hostel and I hung out with Intai, who was chilling out on the verandah, while Anita went to bed. Intai was a young Chilean fellow who was in love with an Argentinian dancer who had stopped her travels to stay in town with her new man. He’d come to win her back - they’d been together for a year and had been hoping to marry, but through various twists and turns and new relationships, she’d decided on a new path. We spoke well into the night about love, sharing stories. He was just 25 but an old soul and it was lovely to hear how he spoke of his love - with such respect for her and understanding of how the story had gone, eventhough it was now over. He reminded me a lot of Jono and, generally, people who have gone off the grid a bit and found a different path. These are good people.
The next morning he taught us tai chi in the gazebo by the lagoon - a different start to the day - and I spent the day lying in the hammock and writing and letting Devendra Barnhart remind me: one day, one day at time. By sunset Mario and Hugo, two of the four owners, and some of their friends came from Mexico City for a visit and they lit a fire near the lagoon where we sat drinking beers and reflecting for hours. Such wonderful people. Hugo and I had a long chat about mayan spirituality and different kinds of meditation. He had such a great presence: a natural performer, he was telling me about 4D mediation where there was music and visualisations and meditation and movement and it sounded incredible. The fire went down and I went to bed.
The next day we were due to leave and we couldn’t quite sort ourselves out to get to Chetumal then to Belize so we decided to stay an extra day. In a tent because our room was no longer available. Hugo and his mates were going out on a sunset boat trip and said we could come - and how wonderful it was to explore the different blue layers of the lagoon. We stopped first in a cenote, with depths of 150m, before moving onto an abandoned restaurant where, Hugo guided, the greatest sand was to exfoliate the skin. We snorkelled and exfoliated and swam before heading to a grand abandoned hotel where, 15 years ago, a company lost the rights to continue building a luxury resort. Walking through the jungle, we uncovered it and roamed around the ruins to watch the sunset. It was such a special place with special new friends.
We hated to leave but we had to make our way to Belize the next day. One day, one day at a time…