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flamingo traces

The Yucatan Peninsula is topographically pretty bland, which is a polite way of saying flat (and, to some, verging on dull), but what it loses in terms of terrain, it more than makes up for it in terms of biodiversity. The coastal regions are made up of extensive wetlands which are home to an incredible range of wildlife.

I set off from Cancun in the hope of spotting some flamingos even though most of them are probably hanging out in Miami at this time of year.

An extensive estuary system creates the perfect environment for all sorts of water birds, including, during the winter months, large colonies of flamingos.

The area is a 'biosphere reserve,' whose environmental importance is acknowledged but is a step or two down from a fully protected national park. Rubbish, sadly, remains a ubiquitous feature of the landscape

In flamingo season I'm sure there are a few more people around but as I cycle along the sandy track between El Cuyo and Los Colarados I don't see another soul.

The water of the estuary is pink ...

... and there are flamingo traces.

However, the first flock of pink birds I spot are Roseate Spoonbills.

The open waters of the estuary are surrounded by mangrove swamps. I attempt to follow an overgrown path through the mangroves and spy a cactus adorned by large spectacular white flowers.

Finally, as I cycle into the village of Rio Lagartos, a few flamingos stalk gracefully by.

I spend the night on the other side of the river from the town, camping in a bird spotting tower where I admire the stormy clouds...

... and endless variety of birds.

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