BootsnAll Travel Network



Day 1795: Teotihuacan, Mexico

April 30th, 2010

As I had one ruins site left that I had alloted myself, I chose Teotihuacan. Palenque is probably Mexico`s highest rated site, but that would have caused me to choose plan C: which was to then travel through to the Yucatan and onwards to Cuba. From there I would have been stuck. So, while coming up the Pacific coast I had some non tv time and started reading my guidebook about other places around there. Teotihuacan fit perfect, it was world renowned, not often visited, and fairly close to an anchor city. Check out this excerpt from Fodor`s.

“Imagine yourself walking down a pathway called Calzada de los Muertos (Avenue of the Dead). Surrounding you are some of Earth’s most mysterious ancient structures, among them the Palace of the Jaguars, the Pyramid of the Moon, and the Temple of the Plumed Serpent. From the top of the awe-inspiring Pyramid fo the Sun—at 210 feet, the third tallest pyramid in the world—you begin to appreciate your 242-stair climb as you survey a city that long ago was the seat of a powerful empire. This is Teotihuacán, meaning “place where men become gods.”

At its zenith, around AD 600, Teotihuacán (teh-oh-tee-wa-can) was one of the largest cities in the worldand the center of an empire that inhabited much of central Mexico. Many arcaeologists believe that Teotihuacán was home to some 100,000 people. The questions of just who build this city, at whose hands it fell, and even its original name remain a mystery, eluding arcaeologists and fueling imaginations the world over.

Just 31 miles from the center of Mexico City, Teotihuacán is one of the most significant and haunting archaeological sites in the world. Climbing on the structures that were once painted a bright, glowing red; discovering the etchings of winged creatures at the Palace of the Plumed Butterfly; meandering through the circuitous underground chambersof colorful murals in the Palace of the Jaguars; taking on the invigorating climb up the Pyramid of the Moon—all will transport you to a Mexico of days past.”

Now, how can anyone in their right minds miss that. Well, I could have, but with one ruin exception on my trip, I figured I better use it or lose it. Actually it had been since Guatemala, and Nicaragua before that where I had used my prior two ruins exceptions so it had been a while. Plus, the beach scene was becoming a bit indifferent.

So there I was, with an incentive of not wanting to pay another night for a room that makes it in my top ten most expensive rooms list, I actually was up at 7am and out the door. It was a bit nippy as I think we were up in elevation as the air had that clean cold air burn to it and my skin was really ashy, I am now part African you know. My itinerary was to catch a bus or combi to the site which was a couple of kilometers away. Of course I ended up walking. Climb the temple of the sun, walk around a bit, climb the moon, and be out of there as I was handcuffed by a 11am check out. Long story short, mission accommplished, although now that I have read the info on the site I missed seeing the murals. Oh well, I got plenty of photos of everything else. Enjoy. Oh, I am posting so many photos as I am trying to max out my photo uploading allotment.

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Coming up the gate two entrance you are right at the steps of the Temple of the Sun and rows of vendor stalls.

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It is the temple of the sun you know. Need to clean my lens though.

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Without the glare.

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And I started to climb…

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At the top you get great views of the site and the neighboring cities.

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I think these were the royalties quarters.

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Shots from the side where there were workers working on the temple. They also help with proportions. You gotta look close though.

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Gotta have photos with cactus as we are out in the desert lands.

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More upper class housing on the street running between the two temples.

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Temple of the moon.

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I had the whole site to myself for the first hour or so. Should have done a nude.

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I was going to climb it but they had the second level chained off so only able to get to the first platform.

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They had all these mini platforms for which I have no idea what they were for. I`m kind of hoping it is where they sacrificed vegetarians.

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Wish I had my deer rifle. Something accidentilly would have been shot down, although I like the picture where it is right above the Temple of the sun.

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The side of the temple with the overgrowth that covered the temples before they were discovered.

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Down the street towards the Temple of the Jaguar.

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Students on the top of the Temple of the sun. They camped overnight at a campground and they came to the site.

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Day 1794: On the move

April 30th, 2010

Acapulco is a very picturesque place and where I was staying was out of the normal tourist quarters so it had a decent feel to it, but time is ticking and I needed to be on the move so I packed my bag and headed out. The normal easy thing to do would have been to just grab a taxi as the bus station I came in on was pretty far away and up and over the hills surrounding the bay. The alternative which I actually was going to try to do was grab one of the regular transit buses. As I was in the center of everything, as well as being the central hub for the buses, I decided to not risk just jumping on one where I was at but rather I would walk up aways to a major thoroughfare where buses probably would not be veering off in other directions and I would have more of a chance not ending up in some random place. It turned out to be a good choice, not because it worked out, but because I got lost trying to get to a perfect thoroughfare and ended glancing at my guidebook one more time and discovering buses for my next destination did not leave from my originally planned terminal. Being happy about saving this detour I started heading towards the thoroughfare where I could catch a bus that would most likely head in the correct direction, again. Well, I walked and walked and I looked at the taxis passing by, yearning, and watched the buses go by, uncertain, and finally an hour later I was close to where I wanted to be. Then, I saw a nice fancy dancy bus terminal across the way before my target terminal. I figured why not check it out and they had a bus leaving in ten minutes although it was about 50P more than my original bus company. I figured screw it, there was a chance that I would have to wait at the other bus station as I didn`t know the schedules, so I bit the bullet and bought a ticket. This was definitely a first class operation with state of the art destination boards, uniformed employees, and a marble and glass waiting area. I only had a few minutes and we were on the road.

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You could tell this was going to be a nice ride when they had five people prepping the passengers for this one bus. I dropped off my bag to the bag guy who stored my bag which included the claim ticket, another guy took my ticket and told me my seat number, a stewardess with drinks carts prepared a soda, bag of peanuts, and a sample pepto bismo pack. A security guard examined all carryons and did a wand check and finally the driver welcomed people on board. Nice. The ride was 400kms and was supposed to take six hours. Even with the police check and me getting hauled out for questioning, we made it in five hours forty-five minutes. Sweet.

Although I had traveled a distance, we arrived in my primary destination a little after four. As this was a major town and heading out to find accommodation in the middle of rush hour with a chance of getting caught out in the dark, I devised a quick plan (actually the plan was formulated the night before as an option). There was a cool place to go not far out of town with cool stuff to see and the bus left from the same station that I was at. I was on another bus not too much later, actually I caught the bus as it was pulling out so definitely was time efficient on that one. An hour and a half later we pulled into the town of San Juan Teotihuacán. Finding a place to stay however was an issue as the only budget place in town had eliminated single room and the only other place I found was 20P less. No problem, this would give me motivation to get up early, do the do, and get on the road although I would have liked a chill day.

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A procession, just can`t get away from those damn thing.

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Day 1793: Cliff divers, check.

April 28th, 2010

Today was the day. Time to fulfill a dream (somebodies dream, not necessarily mine, but probably somebodies). I was going to go check out the world famous cliff divers of Acapulco. Fortunately being located right in the center of everything, I was a ten minute walk to where the cliffs were. They had one session at 12:45pm, and another four at night time. As I was unsure of how the night sessions would work out with pictures (blog loyalty) and the fact the better tv shows are on at around that time I figured that I would do the 1pm showing. I arrived about a half hour early not sure what to expect and later learned that cliff divers were about as reliable as bus schedules. For 35P, which sounded fairly reasonable for the opportunity to see something different, I was allowed to walk down the concrete path and stairs to an observation platform located right opposite the cliffs from where they dive from. First observations was that the cliffs didn´t seem as high as I remembered when I was a kid and saw them on tv, however I guess everything looks bigger when you are smaller. It was probably slightly less than twice what I did in Costa Rica, but later considering it and facturing out my own muchismo I figure it was closer to three times and was pretty high although I would do it (not muchismo but doing stuff that just requires you to just do it are my specialty). The area where they landed in the water was a lot narrower than I had imagined and there was a fairly active tide that changed the depth considerably.

The divers came down the walkway and climbed down to the water on the side where all the viewers were. They then climbed the cliffside to the perch on top. I guess it is for dramatic effect as on the cliffside where the diving area was the local hotel basically had rooms going right along the top of it. They could have gotten suite #3 and just hopped over the railing on the balcony, but then I guess it was the dramatic thing. There were seven guys and it took about an hour of watching them frolic in the water, play on the cliffs, hang out in the shade at the top and then do a little praying at the alter on the top. Once that was done, the launchings were pretty quick with a couple of pairs knocking out two for one dives. It was probably over in about a total of ten minutes without the other dramatic stuff. In general I would give it probably a six on the ratings scale. If you were scared of heights you probably would get a lot more kick out of it. They did do different types of dives so it wasn´t as lame as scooching down as much as possible and just jumping off the side of the cliff (my way) landing feet first. I took some decent photos (although I can´t tell for sure as I am using an old shit analog moniter and can´t really tell), and one video but it turned out that I didn´t hit the record button on the camera so I didn´t record anything except when I was walking up the stairway with the camera filming the ground. Oh well, enjoy.

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These were of the viewing platforms with the cliffside across the way.

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The naked cliff sides where they dive from.

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One of the guys swimming across to the cliff side.

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Climbing up the cliff side to the top.

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Conquering the cliff side.

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One of the other guys half way up.

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Yea, we made it. No old/experienced guys. Hopefully they do the night shows and are not all dead from diving accidents.

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Gotcha.

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Got you too.

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Missed a pair.

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This guy went from all the way at the top.

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Got him.

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Last guy finishing praying. I was going to do a video of this one but didn´t press the button hard enough.

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This is me cliff diving (my preferred way of doing it). Actually, an elevator is a sign of at least a one star hotel. Living the luxury life.

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Day 1792: The way I do the things I do.

April 27th, 2010

I slept really well even though I was staying in a kind of a rough room (although I spent about half my trip in kind of rough rooms). The night time temperature drops to a very comfortable level. So even though I had no facing directly outside window nor a fan, it was that perfect sleep temperature where I was able to get to sleep rather quickly and wake up not being chilly enough to need a sheet for cover. My local Mexican talk show (like Good Morning America) was on so I just chilled a while before packing my stuff up and heading out around 10am. The prior night I had found a place on the internet and scouted it out as well. It was nearby and a monster of a place which also included a one star rating (don´t scoff, I hadn´t seen too many one star anythings on this trip). The place was called Hotel Oviedo and it was just down the street. For 200P it got me cable tv, a great view, and smack dab in the middle of things. Dropping my bags and flipping on the tv were a great fix.

After getting settled, I decided to do some exploring towards the other direction. Where I am located is considered the old Acapulco. Way on the other side of the bay is the new Acapulco or at least where are the resorts and such are located. I have been looking for a Mc Donalds but could not find one where I am at, but I am fairly sure there are a few down there. Checking out the bay I came to one fast conclusion, I am definitely not swimming in that water. The way Acapulco proper is set up, the bay is basically at the bottom of a bowl with mountain ridges runnin entirely around the bay. The city starts at the beach with the hotels and runs up the sides of the hills with all the housing and such. Common sense dictates, and this is a scientific principle, but shit runs downhill. Acapulco has probably a million people now and all that poo has to flow somewhere and I am fairly certain it is into the bay. Right now is probably the safest time as it is not rainy, but when the rain falls, that bay has to be nasty. The bay design itself leads to being a poo collector as the inlet is fairly small and their are peninsulas that make it a really sheltered bay. My calculations are that the sea floor is actually made up of about a foot of feces with the water having about a 5% urine content. Add to that the bay being a major ship port as well as supporting a large local fishing fleet, and a ton of cats, you got yourself a stew that I ain´t swimming in. Even the tourist side is still inside the bay which I doubt has very much ocean water turnover. Oh well, it looks pretty enough and with all the city lights at night and a full moon, downright picturesque. Just not enough to take my new swimming trunks into. I would definitely recommend Puerto Escondido if you like to frolic in the water or Acapulco if your hotel has a pool.

Okay, back to roaming the city. Walking around the bay I passed the large cruise ship port which is one ugly building. Just inland from that was the Fort which was built to protect the bay back in the pirate days. This is where “the way I do the things I do” part of the story. Of course, been to many forts, and well this one also had a museum. Now, if you had been paying attention I think I gave up museums after year one in South America and really hadn´t voluntarily set foot in one except when it was possibly part of some ruins or something. Well, I went to these, and even paid the 39P entry fee. Why the change you ask. Well, whenever I do things (at least the more important long term things), I always take a mental snapshop right at the beginning, of how I felt at that moment. Its kind of an inspirational/motivational tool that helps to get over the rough spots or to stay focused. As I am coming towards the end of my trip, I felt it was important to revisit the things that I felt were important or interesting to me at the beginning of the trip. So even though I saw a lot of museums in the beginning, got tired of them, and saw rather few throughout the middle, I wanted to take the time to do the things that I felt were important in the beginning when everything was fresh and new. In this way I hope to go out with the same adventurous spirit and need to know as when I left on day one. So I visited the museum, and it was nice, primarily because it had really good air conditioning, but also because it was laid out rather well and informationally. I didn´t know how much of an effect Mexico and the Phillipines had on each other. Really, there was alot and it answered a lot of my questions on how the Phillipines seemed like more Latino than Asian. Also, the Americas were discovered by Cristobal Colon. Didn´t know that did you. Neither did I, but if you look it up on Wikipedia or were awake during history classes you would know that. It also had some pretty good views of the city side and would have great views of the bay had it not been for the ugly cruise ship terminal. And that is why I went to a museum and “the way I do the things I do.” Oh yea, your reaping the benefits of “the way I do the things I do” at this moment. Notice the Day XXXX:. That was done back in the day when I had motivation and drive. Otherwise it would have been pretty slim readings on your part.

Outside of that I hung around the center, watched tv, and checked out all the fancy dancy fishing boats with no customers. The real purpose, or I gues the second purpose after not wanting to take the vomit roads to Mexico City via Oaxaco, is to see the Acapulco cliff divers. Now I have never really been interested in coming to Acapulco, but I do remember seeing shows about the cliff divers on tv (another tv moment). It is also supposed to be a Acapulco must see so tomorrow will be cliff diving. My last cliff dive in Costa Rica caused my ass to hemorrage (don´t land leaning back or water will be force fed up the wrong direction). Not as bad as the guy I took a picture for, he landed wrong and couldn´t get out of the water for ten minutes.

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The Hotel Oviedo where I got my one star room for 200P. For others who are looking for a cheap Acapulco hotel, I can recommend the Fel Mar Hotel. It is where I got my 100P room. They also have a range of rooms from 100 to 500P so you have options. To find it, head along the beach road past the Oviedo hotel for around a hundred meters. There is a Pemex gas station on the beach side of the main road, just past that on the right you´ll see three tamale restaurants and then an EXXO mini-mart. Turn right on that road and it is immediately on the left.

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Shots from my room. No balcony this time but still bay views.

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A cool porcelain piece from the museum.

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Shots from the forts roof top vantage point.

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Boom, took out the Hilton.

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The fancy tourist side with the five stars.

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The old city part of Acapulco with part of the cruise ship dock.

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Boom, took out my hotel.

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Storming the gates to the fort/museum.

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Class field trip.

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The entry way with the Mexican flag.

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The Zocalo which is where people conjugate in the evenings for a carnival like atmosphere.

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Day 1791, and I still hate buses.

April 27th, 2010

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An hour and a half. Thats the maximum. Any more than that and your going to hear me bitch. But onward we must go and go I did. I had forced myself because I delayed my departure already (Sunday is family day and you can´t travel on family day). It was pretty much a lock in because I went to the bus station and dropped 318P for a ticket. I dreaded it this whole Mexico portion because Mexico is massive and going a hour and a half at a time would have taken me another year to get home. I mean, buses are not physically horrible, especially first class, but any time I am stuck somewhere I dread it. Being stuck in a tin can, forced to just sit there just breaks my spirit. It´s taking my freedom away. I might as well be in prison. Okay, enough whining, but I still hate buses.

The bus ride was supposed to only be 8 hours. First class are timed. No stopping at every waving person on the side of the road. No stopping every 100M for someone to get off. No fighting to get on and find a seat. First class only stops at main city terminals. Stuff is timed. They get you there on time. That is their purpose and why you pay twice as much as second class. I had my internal clock set at 8 hours 5 minutes (I figured I could handle five extra minutes without freaking out). Well, exactly eight hours later we were stuck in the middle of a tunnel out of gas. Oh freaking hell I hate buses, well we did get to watch four movies so it wasn´t massively horrible. It wouldn´t have been so horrifying if the bus driver didn´t just pull over in a dark tunnel with traffic flaming by, back up for 50M and then hop out of the bus and just disappear without saying a word to anybody. When other buses and trucks flew by us the whole bus rocked from side to side. Had I not been towards the front and on the passenger side of the bus I would really have been worried. What are the chances that being parked in the middle of a mile long tunnel is dangerous. Freaking alot. I sat in my chair at a somewhat 45 degree angle with my legs slightly bent and my body sort of sagged and loose as when the 18 wheeler rig that didn´t realize that we were going to park in the tunnel rammed us, my body was going to flexible and not rigid so no broken legs on impact and the slightly bent was going to throw my body low into the seat in front of me crushing them but cushioning my impact as well as making sure I didn´t go flying through the front window into oncoming traffic. That guy who survives the plane crash because he actually looked at where the exits were, that was going to be me. I kept myself loose by watching Kung Fu Panda (another reason why tv is great.) Fortunately for the old lady in front of me, the helper returned with a jug of fuel (the driver was smart and stood behind the bus so when the impact came he would totally be out of the way of any flying debris and carnage. Thirty minutes later and we were in the middle of traffic and nine hours twenty seven minutes later I was off that damn bus racing down to the Zocalo (central area) of my next destination of Acapulco.

The sun was setting and the secondary drug war capital of Mexico was not somewhere I wanted to be, looking like a fresh meat Japanese tourist fresh off the plane. I didn´t have a lot of time so after blowing off a tout who latched on and took me to a couple of places where I got the up and down stare from the receptionist and the fresh off the plane Japanese tourist price, I hit a couple of side street place before finding a dive with a 100P room. You know it´s not going to be an exceptional place when you are in Acapulco where the average room rents for $150US. The family was nice and there was a slightly expensive outdoor restaurant place next door overlooking the bay. I dropped my bags and did a quick run around to get a feel for the place and to scout out some other options as in this tail end of my trip I am not looking to stay in the bottom of the basement places and I hadn´t had cable tv for coming on two weeks. I still wasn´t sure at my thoughts of Acapulco as it was getting dark, but I definitely needed to get a new place to stay the next day.

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Chicken Enchiladas, aguas Jamaica, and a view.

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Day 1790: It´s a Mexican family vacation.

April 25th, 2010

dscn2143.JPGAs it is the weekend here in Puerto Escondido, and I am now staying in the principle beach area, I get to intermingle with locals on vacation rather than foreigners. With my fishing watching spot in the mellowest part of the bay, that area is dominated over the weekends with the not so wave happy people. People watching is really enjoyable as the Mexican family vacation is taking fun to the max. What makes the local way a bit different, at least according to my life is for two reasons: first and foremost is fun. I guess partially like everybody in the world, a vacation is a break from the life sucking daily ritual of surviving. It is a time when you can strip off all your burdens and let loose for a while. You can see it in the smiling faces up and down the beach, “this is the greatest ever”. From teenie tiny to the oldest, the smiles are magnificent. I watched a couple of grandmas playing in the waves trying to stay dry, but really not trying too hard. They were laughing and smiling so much my face hurt. Secondly, a family vacation here is a family vacation. From the baby squeezed out a few weeks early so mother and child can make it on the trip to rolling grandma and grandpa onto the sand with their wheelchairs. Nobody gets left home. I even saw a hamster in a cage kickin it with the family. Now, we did a few all the relative get togethers down to the river and mountains, but I think a lot of it was to get together as well as relax as our family is spread all over California. Here, people live together all their lives so getting everyone together is relatively breakfast, lunch, and dinner. So when the whole family is on vacation, it is all about having fun.

The way it works is that one of the matriarchs of the family pre-arranges everything. As families are pretty big, you see a lot of private buses used for these occassions. Next, a hotel is picked and a couple of rooms are taken with everybody sharing a couple of rooms. Usually they are fairly nice places or at least have nice ammenities as hell, this is vacation. Scrimping is what you do all those other days that you aren´t on vacation. A pool seems to be a necessity as the couple of places along the street where I am were booked up with families, but the ones like mine that did not have a pool weren´t. This I think is to keep the kids happy, but the oldies are having a good time lazing around and taking the occassional dip as well. For food, as their are a plethora of restaurants both on the beach and in town means no need for mama cooking or again budget eats. Usually on the beach, the family stakes out a beachside location which always have plenty of tables and chairs for the groups. Again the vendors love this area as people are just buying when they want something. At night time, the restaurants in town are pretty happening as the beach venues are a bit pricey for a ton of people, so you see the warehouse restaurant places jam packed with soaking wet smiling faces as they have just come from the beach or have just hopped out of the shower. People, including kids are out late as this is vacation and no need for rules. Back at the hotel the splashes and kids laughing and screaming go on into the late hours when I think the curfew doesn´t stop them but the onslaught of sheer exhaustion. The last big difference is everybody is just ecstatically happy. Usually, in the US at least, you get a big family gathering and it´s very similar to two neighboring pissed off countries. They get along but with more time spent a few skirmishes starts and usually end up with some sort of big battle being fought. It gets to the point where its expected and just a part of vacation. Here though, nothing but smiles and laughing. I guess it has to do with the fact that they are used to being around each other 24/7 with the exception of now they are in a fun place. I mean the whole time I haven´t seen one kid fight over toys or any normal cause of battle. Even the adults are in good order as I haven´t seen one sloshed out person. Everyone seems to be on their best behavior or perhaps it is because they are just having too much fun to need alchohol. Whatever the reason, the Mexican families have a good thing going. On my next vacation I just might join a Mexican family.

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Fishing report: The pier fishing guys mainly are catching Sardines. They are in the six inch range. The sardines are conjugated in this corner of the bay because of the breakwater rocks/pier. They are also targeted by the boat fisherman as well. The main fishing technique is snagging. They either attach a weighted treble hook or tie two large hooks on the end of the line with a small slip sinker. They toss it out, let it hit bottom, and then take up the slack. I am assuming they can feel the sardines run into the line as they are yanking on the line after sensing something. The boat guys use cast nets the traditional way or dangle 3/4 of the net over the side of the boat and then tossing the anchor on the other side of the boat scaring the sardines into the net. A few of the guys will also attach one of the livies to a bigger rig and toss it out. I saw what looked to be a good size Cravelle Jack and a Snook taken from the end. Otherwise they use cut bait to catch smaller fish. Pretty much all the people are using handlines.

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Day 1789: Phasing out the backpacker in me.

April 24th, 2010

I may have forgotten about yesterday, but I did a few things today. First was some important photo backups as my 2gb chip that I got with the camera which I purchased in Hanoi, Vietnam, finally maxed out. You can add this to the list of reasons why you should carry a laptop as I had to do some work getting things backed up so I could take some more photos. Although I don´t have a laptop with me, I am still carrying the two hard drives from the laptop that died (which I purchased in Goa, India and hauled all over the place, and was the cause for me to start motorcycling). I used that connector I bought in Costa Rica that allows me to connect the hard drive to a USB port on any computer. I did one back up there and then had to search around to find a place that would burn a DVD at a reasonable price 25P. Once I had the backups done, always do two just in case (on the whole trip I am missing photos only of the part where I drove the Royal Enfield (Thumper) over the Himalayas.) I accidentilly wiped those out when my hard drive crashed on my laptop and I told the guy that it was okay to wipe the hard drive. During that same time my camera had died and for some reason thinking that I had the photos backed up on the hard drive I formatted the SD card. Even then I could have used software to restore the photos off the SD card however I did not think about the photos until much later and I had overwritten them. My only shot of restoring those is to hopefulls be able to pull those pictures off the damaged sector of the hard drive. It kind of sucks as that section is probably the riskiest thing that I have done on this trip and with the exception of the low grade photos I uploaded to the blog, I have nothing. Happily though all my other pictures have been saved on the laptop that I had sent home as well as back up dvd´s. Hopefully they are all safe. Anyways, I was able to clear all the photos off and now have a new reformatted card ready for another thousand pictures or so.

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Just a test shot to make sure that everything is working. It is.

Next on the list was a little bit of shopping. For some reason I got it in my head that I wanted a new swim suit. I have had the same pair that I had a year before I left on the trip. They are one of the few things that have given me absolutely zero problems. They have to be one of the most traveled pair of swim trunks out there. Well, they are kind of getting worn (but still in great condition), however, I just thought that maybe it was time to upgrade my wardrobe. I know it is kind of late as I am at the end of the trip and at the end of my beach time with only one more possibly two more beached to visit, however, I figure I will be getting home during spring time and will need something anyways, so why not buy a nice pair here as I will most likely be using when I get home. My wardrobe that I am traveling with are in fairly good condition as I got tired of looking like a bum in Thailand. Even then, I think I will change that out as well before I head home as I think I will give up the frazzled worn out look for a while. I do have all that new stuff waiting for me at home, but one more clean new set won´t hurt. So, I scouted around checking out all the surf shops and finding out that surfing stuff is way expensive. I was so shocked that I had to even go on line to see if perhaps it was only here that was extremely expensive. Nope, the brand name stuff is expensive and it is actually slightly cheaper here than on the net, so another reason to go ahead and buy it now. So after ten shops and going back and forth looking for something I liked, I finally ended up buying them from a guys shop who had actually lived in Fresno. Crazy. I started talking to him in Spanish but he talked back in English so I asked him if he had been in the states. He said yes, and kind of mumbled that it was in a town named Fresno. It was kind of shocking at first at the chance of running into someone else from Fresno, but later thinking about it I factored that it probably wasn´t. If you think about it, we are in neighboring countries and neighboring states to add to that. Next, Fresno has to be one of the top ten population centers in California and people usually set up shop in larger towns. Next, Fresno is a agricultural center which is a magnet for migrant farm workers and probably the biggest town in the central valley, and bam, it´s probably like a 25% chance that anybody I meet in Mexico that has lived in the US has probably lived in Fresno. Anyways, my Fresno Discount was 20P on the 520P pair of Rip Curl board shorts. It was a bit much, making my swim trunks the second most valuable item that I am carrying, next to my digital camera. Sort of crazy. Anyways, with some new wear to wear I spent the evening modeling my suit in front of the weekend family crowd slowly growing for the weekend. Oh yea, I ate, napped, and swam as well.

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On the left is Spring 2004 Kmart, Key West, Florida. On the right are my new 2010 Rip Curl (although I think they are last years model as I don´t think Hawaiian print is in fashion right now) board shorts. Kmart $10. Puerto Escondido “Mexican Pipeline” $50. These new ones better hold up as their priors were exceptional. I still might throw the old ones down at the bottom of the pack and bring them home. Use them as my fishing trunks.

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Day 1788:Rest day, I think…

April 24th, 2010

I lost a day somewhere, I think. This is my fourth day at my new hotel and I only have two posts since moving there. Hmmmmm.

It does factor correctly however, as the national average is about three days of complacency while on vacation before you are actually truly in tune to relaxation and where a day might actually sneak by without you even knowing it. I think when you are working it may stretch to four days before you finally have let go and are actually relaxing. The problem however with the usual American vacation is that you only have a week and the last two days are spent dreading the return back to reality. So in actuality a week vacation averages one day of bliss. Well, I have no excuse for my three days of unwind time, however I did have to move to a new location albeit on the same bay and I also had a chore day, so I guess the rest day did take place. I feel rested. Must of had a nap somewhere in there. Didn´t wake up starving this morning so must have eaten. I am a bit darker, so some sort of beach time must have taken place. I guess I had a good day. I think.

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Day 1787: Exploration day.

April 23rd, 2010

With my chores done, rested, and the other side of Puerto Escondido to check out, I headed out to see what was out there. Of course I had to start the day checking out the fishing boats coming back from a night of fishing.
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Walking across the city built along the small peninsula you come to a short downhill walking path which takes you to the first bay of Puerto Angelito.
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In the same bay after crossing a small bundle of rocks you can also chill at the beach known as Manzanilla. This is a heavily trafficked area by Mexican tourists especially on weekends. The edges of the sand are all little thatch restaurants, bars, and shops catering to the beach lovers. The water is nice but all the stuff lining the beach is a bit of a put off.
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Once you climb back to the top of that bay, if you skirt back in land and farther north you will come to a third bay which is the nicest of them all. Carrizalillo Beach is accessed by 180 steps to the beach. Here as the access is a little bit more difficult you will find a lot less people and more of a relaxed environment. There are still the restaurants and bars, but it is a lot more low key. As it is a bit more sheltered and with no boats accessing it taking a surf lesson is very popular here.
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I met this free diving fisherman after he came back from hunting for stuff. Lobsters, octopus, clams, and oysters were his catch for the day. He sold some of it to the local hut restaurants and some of it to some tourists. About as fresh as you can get.
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Of course after a hard day adventuring, a deserved nap is necessary.
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Day 1786: Increasing happiness.

April 21st, 2010

Like I wrote before about not getting complacent and mixing things up a bit as you never know what the next move will bring. Well, the prior day I had scouted out a new place to stay as although I had a great room at a decent price in the middle of surfer beach, I just wasn`t super chilled about it. I spent most of my time in the main city beach area and in town with about a hours walk each way. The surfer beach is great if you are a surfer or want to be where all the other tourists are (although not many to speak of), but if you want a nicer swimming beach and access to some more secluded beaches as well as a short walk to the main hubbub of the town with a lot more options of things to do, then you gotta move. The new place I hadn`t seen the room but the lady I spoke to the prior day was really nice and seemed very chill and inviting. I packed my stuff and headed over to check it out. My second option was to keep walking through town to the bus station and hop on a bus to my next destination. Man, did I score. The room is fantastic with a suburb view and cool breeze from my own balcony, the room is spot less as is the bathroom, and I have a massive 25″ tv with clear local channels (no cable, but I am getting hooked on tele novelas). The lady even dropped the price even more than when I first asked so now I am paying just 140P. This is versus the backpacker which is just below which charges 250P for an older version of what I have but with more foreigners.

I spent the day chilling and toodling around the new area of town which was a lot more interesting than hanging out at the beach all day. Did I mention I am right across the street from the major supermarket in town. That means all the selection I want at the cheapest price. So, I am probably going to hang here until the end of the week as my next stop is a major destination and a big town so I don`t want to be caught arriving in town on the weekend. Oh well, I found a great place to chill until then.

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Introducing Posada Coco Beach.

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The view from my balcony. I can see the fishing pier and where the boats are staging out in the water.

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It`s really nice having your own balcony, plus it is solid and over waist high so I can peer out unto my kingdom naked as a jaybird.

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Nice clean room with big tv.

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Add big clean bathroom with toilet and toilet seat. Tiled bathrooms are always a plus.

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Plus, I have the protection of a church right across the way although it kind of kills the naked freedomness when all the people are strolling into for a sermon and I have to put a towel on.

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