April 19, 2005

Souvenir of Mexico

Words and phrases to remind us of being in Mexico:

"bus journeys" - long or into the middle of nowhere, there´ve been many.
"Daddy Yankee" - his latest tune is played loud and frequently throughout Mexico
"Beetle cars" - they are plentiful & the car of choice for taxi drivers in Mexico City, which seems odd.
"la policia" - wolf whistling macho policemen sporting guns.
"sombreros" - didn´t see a single Mexican wearing one.
"hi honey!" - going anywhere without Rob on my arm was a whole different experience

"hawkers" - persistently they sell hammocks, jewelry, sweets etc. We say "no gracias" frequently.
"Corona with lime" - I always thought Sol was the Mexican lager and Corona was the immitation. Turns out they are both quite Mexican. It is sometimes served with a small plate of limes & salt, although I´ve not quite worked out the salt bit yet..
"cliche American tourists" - esp round the costal regions.
"cold showers" - some lodgings had cold water only..
"book exchanges" - we discovered them in Zihuatanejo.
"bandidos" - Peurto Escondido, first and last time I heard the word.
"Maya" - we visited lots of Mayan sites
"Mosquitos" - they like Rob lots.
"Quesidillas" - plain cheese ones are like a Mexican version of "cheese on a plate"
"Burritos" - don´t seem to be eaten in Mexico
"audio books" - great for long bus journeys where there is no light and so unable to read. "Last Chance to See" narrated by Douglas Adams & Going Postal by Terry Prachett were both fantastic.
"tree bases painted white" - I don´t know why but they do this to lots of trees in Mexico, maybe cus it looks nice.
"proper salsa" - salsa (the edible kind) in Mexico is different everywhere you go.. and certainly different to the stuff we get in the uk.
"the trotts" - say no more.
"fragalino" - absolutely gorgeous fresh fruit strawberry milkshakes
"inverse cash machines" - they spit the money out first, then your card.
"iguanas" - I was shocked the first time I saw an iguana wandering round near the swimming pool
"colourful fishes" - Isla Mujeres was my first snorkelling adventure

Posted by deb at 06:29 PM | Comments (3)

Temple Time

In our final Mayan ruins visit in Mexico we went to see possibly the most famous ruins site - Chichen Itza. It isn´t as impressive in terms of it´s ruins as sites like Palenque and Uxmal but it´s main attraction El Castillo (and also the observatory) show an amazing appreciation for astronomy and an understanding of mathematics. At the equinoxes, a shadow of a snake can be seen ascending (and decending) the stairways via a clever arrangement of the edges of the temple.

Anyhow, this is probably the last post in Mexico as we are embarking on a 20hr bus journey to Mexico city later and then we fly to Austrailia the next day - Adios Amigos !

[2 ChichenItza galleries here and here]

Posted by robl at 06:27 PM | Comments (0)

Yucatan fool some of the people some of the time

As our last destination in the Yucatan region, we have been staying in Merida for the last few days. It has a lovely feel about the place, similar in a way to San Christobal in terms of the architecture and pace of life. We`ve taken the standard set of tourist pictures of the Catedral de San Ildefonso, Iglesia de Jesus and Paseo de Montejo amongst others.

[2 Merida galleries here and here]

Posted by robl at 03:20 AM | Comments (2)

April 15, 2005

Fishy Business

We´re on the Island of Isla Mujeres which is off the coast of Cancun and we´ve spent the last four days here. It´s nice compared to Cancun - a little more relaxed and slightly cheaper. It has lovely white beaches and blue water. We went out on a snorkel trip yesterday and ended up swimming through shoals of tropical fish!

We´ve also put up a new way of displaying the images go and look at an image gallery and you will see that it has a neater layout now, if you get any errors in your browser leave a comment saying what it was as the javascript is a bit hairy ...

Posted by robl at 10:09 PM | Comments (4)

April 12, 2005

Iguana go to Tulum

We stopped off in Tulum today on our way to Cancun. It's one of the smaller Mayan ruin sites but gets a lot of press due to it's beachside location. It's not as impressive as Palenque, but it's still quite pretty (and also iguana infested as I found out to my horror as one jumped out of a tree).

[2 Tulum galleries here and here]

Posted by deb at 03:53 AM | Comments (0)


Yesterday we visited the ancient Mayan city of Palenque which is set in heavy jungle. It is a lovely setting for the ruins, but it is also very humid and sticky & harbours some vicious mosquitos as Rob found out - we can now play join the dots on his back (which is always fun). Once again my long black draping trousers didn't seem all that practical, but I bought myself a practical hat to compensate.

There are over 500 buildings that make up the site but only a handful so far have been excavated. They were very spectacular so we couldn't resist taking lots of photos.

[2 Palenque galleries here and here]

Posted by deb at 12:52 AM | Comments (2)

April 09, 2005

Village People

We went on a tour of some of the indigenous villages around the San Christobal area. The two villages we visited were Chamula and Zinacantan. At Chamula we learned something about the Mayan heritage such as the Mayan Trinity and it´s relationship to the Mayan Cross. We also visited a local village "Church" and saw how some aspects if Catholosism had been absorbed into the Mayan rituals of worship. I was also shocked to find that Coka Cola forms a major part of these rituals, replacing a traditional ingredient! Other than that, it was quite an amazing scene in the church with the candles placed on tables and over the floor - used as part of the rituals. There were also bells on the floor from another local church which burnt down 100 years earlier - these were placed on the floor to punish the Gods they represented.

We then went onto Zinacantan and saw some of the traditional weaving (as it would have been done by the original Mayan people) and got to taste some freshly made tortillas with beans and also sample the local tipple - called "posh", made from sugar cane.

I also got to try on a traditional Mayan wedding dress (which actually came from the Aztec culture) [insert typical jokes from Rob about this being the dress for our wedding day! hehe]

[2 Mayan Village galleries here and here]

Posted by deb at 09:10 PM | Comments (2)

April 07, 2005

Mayan World

San Christobel is a refreshing change in many respects - having the aura of being less touristy than the coastal towns, even though much of the town seems to built round the tourist economy. I guess the lack of "hawkers" and the general laid back attitude helps give that impression. It also has quite a history and some interesting architecture - much of the architecture in the South Coast of Mexico seems to be limited to concrete blocks. So anyway, I am quite liking it. Plus everything here costs like half as much - internet 40p an hour, accomodation 8 quid a night.

[2 San Christobal galleries here and here]

We arrived here at about 10-30 this morning after another long 13 hour bus trip overnight... The bus was quite new and also spacious so we managed to get a some sleep.

The one good thing about travelling on a bus so early in the morning is that you get to see the sunrise (if you are awake anyway Rob :) ) and this morning it was particularly spectacular as we were travelling through the mountains. Plus the vegetation here is much greener and we went through a few "indigenous" villages which were also pretty interesting to look at.

Tomorrow we are going to see a couple of the local villages - hoping it wont be too much of a tourist fairground (which we will help create by going) but will see. Looking forward to it anyway.

Posted by deb at 02:47 AM | Comments (1)

April 05, 2005

Copa Cabana

We've almost finished our beach bum ways (well for a few days) and we head to San Christobel tommorrow so we thought we´d put up a collection of pictures for the South Coast of Mexico - it´s not all sunny beaches (just most of it !).

[2 Mexico galleries here and here]

Posted by robl at 02:35 AM | Comments (0)

April 04, 2005

Mexico Bus Trip

We've decided where we are going in Mexico now as we've figured out how the buses and transport in general works so we've created a little map to illustrate where we've been and are going.

It breaks down into these basic destinations :

We decided not to stay in Mexico city as we´d heard a lot of bad things about it and we also wanted to get to the beach :) so we booked a flight at Mexico City airport to Puerto Vallarta (about 100 quid each) and stayed overnight at a hotel near the airport.

Mexico Roadtrip

The green line round the coast is the aproximate route we should be following starting in Puerto Vallarta and finishing in Mexico City. I´ll add some commentry as Net access permits :)

Posted by robl at 10:14 PM | Comments (0)

April 03, 2005

Way dude !

We've made it to Puerto Escondido which is the Surfing part of the south coast of Mexico, naturally we've given it a go and had a reasonable amount of success ! It was another long bus transfer from Zihuatanejo about 12 hours this time (we caught a Futura bus at at 7:20pm - only one runs a day for about 15 quid each). There is not much at the Puerto Escondido bus station - pretty much a dust ball so don't count on being able to stay there for a few hours overnight - it didn't look too safe !

We have a lovely Cabana just set back from the beach complete with a pool and lounging area - all for 9 quid a night. The place is called the Hotel Rockaway and is by the Zicatela beach.

We're here for another couple of days and then we move up to higher ground to San Christobel where we abandon the beach and see some more wildlife and Jungle ! As our Net access is limited I think we will post a mexico south coast montage of pictures in one go, so you'll have to wait to see the beach :)

Posted by robl at 02:20 AM | Comments (0)

March 28, 2005

Lonely Plonkers

We've made it to Zihuatanejo, although it was a little touch and go as to whether we'd find a bus or not - mainly thanks to the Lonely Planet Guide to Mexico. It's been our main planning bible for Mexico and we couldn´t have got around without it (unlike canada for example where we just winged it) however it sometimes can be a little misleading (or just wrong). For example, we wanted to get to the Long Distance bus station which is a couple of kilometers outside of Puerto Vallarta so as the lonely planet advised us we got one of the local buses that 'are marked Ixtapa and Juntas (that) go to the bus station'. However, it turns out the bus station is actually set back a block or two and you have to get off at the 'Global Gas' station as the bus station isn't visible from the road and the buses don't actually stop there - we ended up 20km North of Puerto not exactly sure where we were :) At least we saw some of proper Mexico and the locals got to laugh at the stupid tourists! haha

Anyhow as I´ve mentioned we've made it to Zihuatanejo from Puerto Vallarta which involved a 14hr bus journey ($100 US for the two of us) - the Elite/Futura bus leaves the main bus station at 1pm and arrives in Zihuatanejo at about 3am, so after hanging round the bus station for another four hours (which you are fine to do as the weather is pleasant and there is a 24hr shop) we went and found some accommodation right by the beach. Zihuatanejo is a lovely little resort, smaller than Puerto Vallarta and less touristy/more relaxed - I´d definately recommend it over Vallarta any day. It seems warmer here and Air Con in our room would be lovely but unfortunately we're saving our pennies so we're only spending 20 quid for a room a night. We're going to book a boat trip for tommorrow and do some snorkling so we don't have to lay on the beach, and we'll try and put some pictures up tomorrow too.

Posted by robl at 05:49 AM | Comments (2)

March 23, 2005

Beach Bums

We're now in Peurto Vallarta (pronounced by-arr-ta) after grabbing a flight from Mexico City.

We haven't found any kind of free internet/ wireless (as expected) so it's internet cafes for now. Rob is rather frustrated cus GPRS doesn't seem to work here, so he can't post photos instantly/ use the internet via laptop. However this cafe should allow us to post some photos (when we have some) so you'll see the beech soon.

Oh, our plan is mainly sun-bathing for the next couple of days :)

Posted by deb at 10:03 PM | Comments (0)

March 22, 2005

Goin' Loco

Well we've made it to Mexico but we've decided not to stay in Mexico City and we're flying out to Puerto Vallarta tomorrow morning - that way we can get straight onto the beach ! We'll be following the coast around to Cancun over the next couple of weeks and then making our way back to Mexico City for the following two weeks ... I think the highlight of Mexico so far has to be watching Godzilla - Japanese dubbed to English and then subtitled in Spanish !

Posted by robl at 04:01 AM | Comments (1)