A Travellerspoint blog

There's A Rat In My Bedroom, What Am I Gonna Do?

Rio Dulce, San Agustín Lanquín

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The next place on my To Do list, and the first in Guatemala, was Rio Dulce, which was two boat trips away from Punta Gorda via Livingston.

I made a new friend in Livingston, whether I liked it or not, as upon disembarking my boat a local called Francisco approached me and insisted on providing (initially) unwarranted assistance. I had no local currency - quetzals - and for no apparent reason the cashpoints weren't accepting my cards, so my new best mate carried my backpack around for me on a series of wild goose chases looking for someone to exchange my leftover Belizean dollars.

At one point, a beautiful purple hummingbird with a curved beak flew over and hovered by a bush next to me for a few seconds, not long enough unfortunately for me to get a photo. Francisco came up trumps eventually meaning I could get my connecting boat, so he earned his tip.

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Boat #2 from Livingston to Rio Dulce took me through the Dulce River and Lake El Golfete, and very picturesque it was too, with jungle on either side and a lot of birds to observe. As an added bonus once in Rio Dulce, the skipper sailed up to show us the castle there (Castillo de San Felipe), before turning round and dropping us off at one side of the big bridge that spans the lake.

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My hostel was on stilts by the riverside, and looks OK from the photo, but in fact was one of the worst I've been in since I came away, if not the worst. The mattresses were shrivelled and falling to bits, the bedclothes filthy and there was loud music blaring out from the restaurant next door. On top of that, a Lithuanian girl told me she had seen a rat rummaging around in her backpack. The following morning I noticed my biscuits were missing and the packaging strewn across the floor. On the plus side, by some miracle the showers had hot water so I was able to have my first hot shower for a week or so.

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Finally the next day I managed to find a cashpoint that took my card (all my fault - I'd put the wrong PINs in the ones in Livingston) and got my hands on some money. I splashed out (about £15) and treated myself to a plush hotel to compensate for the previous hovel and had a lazy day.

The town itself consisted of a polluted thoroughfare tightly surrounded on both sides by market stalls and was not worth more than a quick squiz. In fact, I had seen the main sights on the boat here (the river and the castle) so the next day I was off again. Not, however, before I had the opportunity to use my recently-learnt Spanish phrase in the hotel restaurant. Unfortunately for them and whoever does their cleaning, they were not in possession of an émbolo.

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After a meal and a licuado (similar to a smoothie) at the riverside Sun Dog Cafe I took a bus to Lanquín. This was a shuttle rather than a public bus and I was grateful for the extra room to spread out, especially as the second half of the journey took us down an extremely bumpy road making it impossible to read, drink or sleep - for 2½ hours! I was very glad when we finally arrived.

I had been recommended a hostel called El Retiro by my mate Damian who had been here a few years back. Just as he'd described, it was a very laid-back place next to a river with thatched cabanas and a great bar with a convivial atmosphere. It is from there that I write this, while swinging in a hammock and swigging a beer.

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Most people here eat together in the evening as the hostel provides tasty food with the added bonus of it being all you can eat, so it was a very sociable place. I had signed up for a tour to a bat cave, but no-one else did so it was cancelled. Instead, I played a game with a few others called Cards Against Humanity. It was a daft game involving finishing off sentences in amusing fashion - very American and a subjectively-decided winner (me, as it happened) but it was good fun for a couple of hours or so.

I think it was the comedian Dominic Holland who said that he hates to see women breast-feeding because the baby's head gets in the way. The woman who ran the local launderette had not taken heed of Nigel Farage's advice and I unwittingly glimpsed a saggy tit as a special 'bonus' whilst handing her a bag full of my underpants. Having forked out about £2 for the 'privilege', it represented worse value for money than The Griffin on Clerkenwell Road, but at least here I got my clothes cleaned.

The principal attraction around these parts (apart from washerwomen bosom), and the main reason I was here, was a beautiful series of turquoise pools situated above the Cahabón river called Semuc Champey. Six of us from the hostel went there on a tour; myself and a German had to stand in the back of a pickup for 45 minutes down another extremely bumpy road - interesting at first as we waved at the villagers like the Pope, but the novelty quickly wore off.

The tour consisted of several different activities. First off was a cave tour. As with the ATM cave in Belize, we had to swim and wade through it, although this time with no ancient pottery or bones to see. Whereas in Belize we were issued helmets with headlamps and instructed not to touch the stalactites, here we were just given a candle and told to get on with it. Needless to say I dropped my candle almost immediately as I floundered in the water, but managed to keep up with the others and our minuscule guide Hector. As part of this I jumped off a precarious ledge 3m high into a pool, and also climbed a rope up a waterfall - at the second attempt. To the amusement of the rest of the group, the first ended in me slipping off and my trunks coming down.

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We were then back in the pickup and taken to the river, where we were met by a throng of persistent small children competing against each other to flog us cans of beer and packs of locally-made chocolate. For the next few minutes it was "only Juan", "no no, only Ronaldo", "pay later", "only Maria", "no, only Alex"...

At the river there was a big swing that we took turns to jump off in somewhat inelegant fashion, like this bloke:

We then were handed inner tubes and floated down the river for a couple of kilometres. As we drifted, the entrepreneurial boys reappeared at the riverbank to offer us beer, hurling the cans at us if we accepted. Later on I couldn't resist buying some chocolate off Maria because she was simply far too cute to turn down.

After lunch and a short hike we swam in the pools and walked down through the river, negotiating very slippery rocks as we went. After an hour of banging my shin, stubbing my toe and falling over I had had enough and, as beautiful as the place was, I was looking forward to the tour ending and getting back to the hostel for a nice tepid shower. However, after miraculously emerging relatively unscathed from the tour, I promptly fell down the steps at the hostel and sprained my ankle.

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Sadly my camera got moisture in its lens so I didn't get many decent pictures. A few people from the tour said they'd forward any on so I'll upload them if that happens.

The next day I caught a shuttle bus to Antigua Guatemala - a town the small matter of 10 hours away. Our bus driver was very grumpy as an Irish girl in our hostel called Bronagh was half an hour late after a heavy night. He also kicked up a stink each time a fellow passenger who clearly had a regular need to 'release the chocolate hostages' asked to stop the bus (though not as much of a stink as she would have caused had he not).

I only had one night in Antigua as I was returning there for Christmas & New Year, so after a quiet night out with Bronagh and a morning booking a Spanish course and catching up on The Apprentice, I was off again, this time to San Pedro La Laguna, a small town on the edge of Lake Atitlan in southwestern Guatemala.

Periodically as we drove to San Pedro, small children waved at us from the side of the road; apparently they do this at Christmas time in the hope that drivers will stop and hand over a gift. Even if we had anything suitable, the chance of persuading Captain Miserable to stop was minimal.

OK, it's Christmas Eve here now (I'm back in Antigua) so I need to begin tarting myself up for a night out. You can't polish a turd, as they say, but you can give it a good wash and spray it with deodorant. I will describe San Pedro - one of my favourite places on the entire trip - in the next exciting episode.

Have a good Christmas everyone - I hope Santa is kind to you all and empties his bulging sack generously all over your respective living room floors. Ho ho ho.

Posted by LordGibil 16:47 Archived in Guatemala Comments (3)

Actun Baby

Belize City, San Ignacio, Hopkins

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I had been warned by several people that Belize City was not the most pleasant of places but I elected to spend a night there on my way to San Ignacio, a destination I had been recommended for a cave tour.

Belize City is on the coast, a 45 minute water taxi from Caye Caulker. It seemed all right from a distance and, despite the holes in the pavement and lack of restaurants it wasn't that bad close up, just a bit run down and not a great deal to see or do. The proprietor of my hostel wasn't a big fan though, despite having lived there for 40 years - she stated that in her opinion it was the worst city in Belize "in all aspects".

The nicer-looking part was a gated area of shops and restaurants surrounding the port where cruise liners docked. There was an office at the entry point where I had to leave my passport to get in. The place was crawling with American tourists and clearly not representative of the 'real' city but it at least gave the locals a chance to flog some trinkets and fruit. Before I left, I dined at the Bearded Clam.

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After a night's sleep made all the more difficult thanks to an incessantly-croaking frog I caught an uncomfortable 'chicken bus' to San Ignacio. As with everywhere else in Belize there was a plethora of stray dogs, a lot of which were rather amusingly following tourists down the road - I quickly learnt not to stop and make a fuss of them for this reason.

My main reason for coming here was to visit the Actun Tunichil Muknal cave. Over the past hundred years or so, a whole host of caves containing Mayan artefacts had been discovered in the region, some of which contained human bones. The ATM cave, which was only opened to the public in 2000, was renowned as being one of the more interesting.

The tour began with a 45 minute hike through the jungle, involving wading through a waist-deep river 3 times. We got wet straight away as the first crossing was within a couple of minutes of the start of the hike.

On the way, we encountered a trail of ants carrying leaves across the jungle path. This reminded me of a Karl Pilkington podcast in which he claimed some ants just scurry about trying to look busy while others do all the work. I saw an ant who would have had much less difficulty had he carried his leaf the other way up, and another that was standing on a leaf that another ant was carrying. Our guide claimed its job was to 'clean the leaf'. I'm not sure Pilkington would have agreed.

Even without the bones and archaeological significance, the cave was spectacular. We only went 600m into the 5km-long cave but were in there for around 4 hours, wading and swimming through water of varying depth and clambering over rocks. It was good to see that they were very particular about preservation; the cave was full of stalactites & stalagmites which we were forbidden from touching as the oils from our skin would have a long-term detrimental effect. At one stage we had to remove our shoes to avoid damaging the rocks.

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Our extremely knowledgeable guide Aaron had been talking non-stop on the bus journey over about Mayan culture, the San Ignacio area and Belize in general. He also clearly knew every inch of the caves. At several points throughout we came across Mayan artefacts (mainly broken pottery) and human bones and he went into great detail about archaeologists' theories behind why they were left in certain places and in particular positions, and why people (including babies) were sacrificed. It seemed to mainly be that a rock formation loosely resembled a figure thought to be some god or other.

I found it incredible that even with all their demonstrable understanding of mathematics, astronomy and agriculture, the Mayans were still certain of the efficacy of bludgeoning someone to death as a means of ensuring a fulsome crop. It reminded me for this reason of The Wicker Man, one of my all-time favourite films.

Thanks to a clumsy Frenchman two years ago, cameras had been prohibited on ATM cave tours. Towards the end of our time in the cave Aaron pointed out an otherwise almost perfectly-preserved 1000-year-old human skull - with a smartphone-sized hole in it. The photos in my blog are ones provided by the tour company.

At one point we saw the food chain in action - a family of bats dangling from a rock, underneath which were crickets with enormous antennae feasting on guano (bat droppings) while a wolf spider looked on with a view to catching a cricket for his tea.

The final stop in the cave was a full human skeleton. Again there were theories about why it was there but very little is actually known for sure - they couldn't even tell for certain what sex the person was. All that was known was that they were 5'2" so unlikely to be very good at basketball.

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Looking back, this was definitely a highlight of my time away - a proper Boys Own adventure.

San Ignacio was in western Belize near the Guatemalan border and my next destination was Hopkins over on the east coast, another arse-numbing bus journey away via the capital Belmopan and Dangriga. The bus only went as far as what is known as Hopkins Junction so I had to hitchhike 4 miles the rest of the way to my hostel by the sea - the Funky Dodo.

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Similar to San Ignacio there were all sorts of activities on offer in the area, most of which could be done at the Mayflower Bocawina Reserve. Due to time constraints (I had booked myself into a hostel in Guatemala for Christmas) I only opted to do one thing - a zipline tour around the rainforest treetops.

This only lasted just over an hour, for part of which it was raining, but it was worth it. It was the longest zipline in Central America, and one of the eight separate sections was nearly half a mile long. I didn't see any wildlife, but on the way there was the usual (for here) selection of hawks, vultures and wading birds, and a thing that looked like a furry anteater with a black body and white head. I had to hitchhike to get there and the owner of the reserve stopped to pick me up, an American with the name of a crap superhero godfather - Don Troutman.

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I spent a fair amount of time in the Dodo as it had a bar and was easy to meet people, and it rained a lot. After two nights I was on my way again, this time to leave Belize and begin country #5 of my travels - Guatemala. Taxi to Hopkins Junction, bus to Punta Gorda, boat to Livingston and I was there. Annoyingly it was dearer to go to Livingston than it was to Puerto Barrios twice as far away.

On that stinge whinge I will sign off for now. Adios, or, as they say in Belize, "goodbye".

Posted by LordGibil 08:22 Archived in Belize Comments (0)

Chicken Security, Bring Out The Backup Backup Chicken

Ambergis Caye, Caye Caulker

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My whistle-stop tour of Mexico was over and it was time to start my whistle-stop tour of Belize.

It began with a 'water taxi' from Chetumal to one of the islands off the Belizean coast, Ambergris Caye. The locals have appropriated the Madonna song La Isla Bonita, claiming it's a reference to their island. This is seemingly based on the lyric 'I fell in love with San Pedro', San Pedro being the main town on the island.

Ambergris Caye is indeed a bonita isla, and the hotel I stayed in on my first night, the Conch Shell Inn, was one of the best I've stayed in on my travels, principally for its beautiful setting. The balcony looked out onto a white sandy beach and the sea was quite literally a stone's throw away, if you managed to avoid the palm trees.

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There was torrential rain when I arrived in the early evening, but it soon cleared and I took an initial wander. The bars seemed pretty quiet until I stumbled across a place called Wahoo's Lounge, where I observed a throng of people standing around a numbered grid shouting. They were all participating in the weekly Chicken Drop, a competition the object of which was to correctly bet on the number of the square on which a strutting chicken defecates.

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If for some reason the chicken chose not to comply within 5 minutes, a second chicken was brought out, then a third and so on until one obliged. This somewhat unedifying spectacle culminated in a specimen named Big Johnson hitting #43, meaning an over-exuberant British chap won 1000 Belize dollars (about £315). The chickens didn't seem at all perturbed by the carry-on, apart from the humiliation they must have been feeling.

San Pedro had a definite Caribbean feel to it with its palm trees, white sand and coconut salesmen. The town wasn't very big and most people got about the place in golf buggies - no need for cars here (except a few taxis and pickups). Despite it being Thursday & Friday nights I was there, the place wasn't too busy as the season had only just started.

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On my only full day there I noticed a beauty salon so decided to pop in and get my back waxed, a perfectly normal thing to do for a metrosexual such as myself. Whilst removing what she described as "a lot of hair", she rather unprofessionally chuckled every time I grimaced or showed my discomfort, but at the same time it was good to see a woman enjoying her work.

My next port of call was the neighbouring island of Caye Caulker, again travelling there by water taxi. After a mix-up that meant my luggage went there with one company an hour and a half before I went there with another, I arrived at a hostel called Dirty McNasty's, which wasn't as bad as its name suggested.

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Caulker was smaller than Ambergris and the inhabited (south) section could be walked top to bottom in 15 minutes along either of the two main streets, by me at least. Not by the locals, however, as the pace of life was significantly slower than elsewhere. I got chastised a couple of times for walking too quickly. The island's motto is "Go Slow" and this is often quoted by those that live there as a parting comment.

The Split - the stretch of water separating the north and south parts of Caye Caulker:
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Stray dogs were everywhere, walking down the streets alongside the buggies. Tourists were badgered to go on tours, eat at restaurants and buy drugs, or a combination of the three. I have never been offered cocaine so often in such a short space of time in my life as I was on these islands. I took Zammo Maguire's advice.

The highlight of my time here was undoubtedly a snorkelling tour to the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. I've only snorkelled twice before, in 2003, so it took some getting used to. I was initially all over the place - I couldn't get the sea to stay out my mask and mouthpiece, and my flipper immediately came off so Jordan the crew person had to dive in and rescue it. Eventually I gained some semblance of control and was able to actually look at some animals rather than concentrating on remaining alive.

We stopped at a place called Shark Ray Alley where, even before Jordan threw out some chum, nurse sharks had arrived in anticipation of a feast. We all jumped in and had a swim around with them as they squabbled over the chum, and this was definitely one of the highlights of my trip so far. They were around 4-5 feet long and brown in colour (fitting as National Geographic describes them as 'bottom-dwellers').

Even braver than me were dozens of stingrays that swam beneath us, as they are prey to the sharks. Some of them were enormous, bigger than the sharks themselves. One or two of the snorkelers showed off by diving down and inscribing their initials into a ray's sandy back. We also saw sea turtles and the usual array of colourful fish and coral.

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Throughout the trip we were well fed with a rice/beans-based dish (very popular in Belize) and ceviche and plied with various rum-based cocktails. The captain must have drunk too much of it as he told me I resembled Jason Statham and called me Jason from that point on. I didn't mind too much - it's certainly a step up from Rob Bryden who I normally get. Sadly there was no sign of any Rosie Huntington-Whiteley lookalikes.

The people on the tour with me were a good bunch and some of us later met up for a few beers & rums, an evening that culminated with me unsuccessfully attempting to pole dance upside down in the middle of a nightclub. All in all a very enjoyable day.

After 5 days in this tropical paradise, like The Littlest Hobo, I was getting itchy feet and it was time to move on to my next adventure - the Belize mainland.

I hope everyone back home is enjoying all the pre-Christmas fuss and nonsense - I am certainly enjoying having nothing to do with it at all.

Posted by LordGibil 07:53 Archived in Belize Comments (2)

Totally Ruined

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Anus fully intact, I arrived in Oaxaca (pronounced Wahaka) after a 7½ hour bus ride.

My hostel consisted of the usual dorms surrounding a central patio area filled with jungle plants and hammocks. I instantly made friends with some hostel residents with whom I shared at least one common trait - a couple of dopy-looking Basset hounds and a pair of lazy black cats. The dogs tended to use the patio area as a toilet, and that is where the similarities ended.

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The mattress in my 8-bed dorm was dreadful, the showers were weedy and the en suite bathroom was not fully enclosed so any noises emanating from within were fully audible to everyone in the room. But it was cheap and close to the city centre and I'm not a light sleeper by any means so I was content enough.

Whilst we're on the theme, my own bowel movements seem to be too much for Mexican toilets to handle. On RTW 2003, I managed to block at least one toilet in each of the continents (except Antarctica - but only because I didn't go there). Seemingly not much has changed. My arsenal of useful Spanish phrases now includes "¿Tiene un émbolo?" ("Do you have a plunger?").

As usual, the first thing I did in the city itself was to have a big wander round. It was easy to navigate as the roads are arranged in criss-cross fashion like most American towns. The centre was bustling with people shuffling around and street vendors, the centrepiece being a big market next to a cathedral.

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I went up to an observatory and planetarium at the top of a hill on the outskirts; sadly the place was almost deserted so there was not much of interest to see, but at least it gave good views of the city. On the way back I noticed a load of tuk-tuks parked up blocking all three lanes on one side of the road and the drivers all standing around laughing and joking. The language barrier proved a problem here so I've no idea what was going on but everyone seemed to be in high spirits.

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I had signed up for a tour the next day which pretty much ticked off most the things I'd read about that were worth seeing around the Oaxaca area:

1) Árbol del Tule
This is a wide tree. So wide in fact that, as Wikipedia puts it, it has "the stoutest trunk of any tree in the world". It is in the very pretty town of Santa María del Tule.

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2) Rug weaving
In the nearby town of Teotitlán del Valle a local demonstrated how they weave rugs (taking up to 2 months each) and explained how they make the different coloured dyes (e.g. crushing dead cochineal insects and mixing with lemon juice to get orange).

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3) Hierve el Agua
This is a rock formation that resembles a waterfall, alongside a few turquoise-coloured pools. The 'waterfall' is created in a similar way to stalactites, by calcium carbonate deposits contained in water that trickles over a cliff face. The pools (some natural, some artificial) are filled with water from nearby bubbling springs. Probably the highlight of the tour.

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4) Mitla Ruins
A series of Zapotec ruins characterised by intricate mosaics. We had a guide who knew her stuff, but a lot of the explanation was guesswork, for example "This step design is thought to represent lightning to honour the weather gods. Or it could be a snake."

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5) Mescal brewery
Here we were shown how the brewery goes about making its mescal, which starts off with a sorry-looking horse dragging a concrete roller round in a circle to crush the agave stalks that form the basis of the drink.

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That evening there was supposed to be a food festival going on, but by the time I went out there was no sign of it. I met up with someone from the tour and her friends, but unfortunately the bar they chose was a terrible place favoured by backpackers who have wacky hair and wear hats, where there were no chairs and you were expected to sit on the floor like animals. It was also far too noisy so it was an easy decision to clear off and leave them to it.

The following afternoon I set off for Palenque, involving the small matter of a 15-hour overnight bus ride. Despite not having anyone to talk to the time flew by thanks to a combination of sleep, podcasts and Angry Birds. I did manage a 15-minute conversation with a couple of Mexicans who spoke no English, the 'chat' mainly involving stating the names of places and gesticulating.

Palenque is a town renowned for its nearby jungle ruins. It is smaller than Oaxaca and more ramshackle, but with a reasonably pretty town square with a big Christmas tree. My accommodation was not too bad - a proper bed rather than bunks, albeit sharing the room with two others. One of the guys in the room struck me as peculiar when he announced that he'd moved from his previous hostel because the staff were "disgusting". He later went on to talk a load of nonsense about monkeys being reincarnations of Aztec gods, going on about Allah and being really offensive about Mayans for a reason I didn't bother asking him to make clear.

Palenque town centre:
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I had been recommended Palenque by a few people and the jungle ruins were again very impressive. It was pouring with rain for part my time there but it was well worth it, not least for the spectacular waterfall situated about halfway through the ruins. As much as I feel I ought to be fascinated by ancient ruins and take steps to understand the various civilisations that lived there, I can only muster a certain amount of enthusiasm for them, being happy just to walk around, take a few photos and leave. That's three sets of ruins I've visited since arriving in Mexico and I think that'll do on that front, for the time being at least.

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Two days was enough, especially with Captain Weird as a room-mate, so I caught another bus to Chetumal. Chetumal in itself was nothing special, the most interesting thing I saw there being a group of workmen putting up the town's Christmas decorations. But, it was right on the border of my next destination - Belize.

That's all for now. To finish, here are a couple of pics taken from outside & inside my 'water taxi' from Chetumal to Ambergris Caye.

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Posted by LordGibil 04:36 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

Food, Glorious Food

Mexico City

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Leg 2 of my odyssey had begun uncomfortably thanks to a painful overnight transfer from LA and a sleep-deprived morning at the hostel. I've certainly had better Friday nights.

Once I'd marginally recovered from my zombie-like state I took a wander round the hostel vicinity. First impressions of Mexico City were that there were a lot of people and a lot of cars - and it was every man for himself. The area was not as bad as I'd first thought as the hostel was in a quiet side street just a few minutes' walk from the city centre. Vans selling tasty 'street food' were commonplace and it was very cheap (3 meat tacos with all the trimmings amounted to less than £1).

There is a high police presence around the city and for that reason it feels pretty safe. They appear to be highly tolerant of prostitution given the dozen or so I saw lining a nearby street one night.

The huge main square (Plaza de la Constitución, more commonly called Zócalo), 15 minutes' walk from the hostel, was flanked on one side by the largest cathedral in the Americas and on another by the enormous national palace. Even though the president is no longer based there, some governmental offices are, and it was damaged a couple of weeks before my arrival by protesters. In the centre of the square is an enormous Mexican flag.

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My welcoming nature was obviously picked up on by a local youngster who asked if he could interview me, so I found myself describing (in English) what I was doing here and why I liked Mexico (mainly the food, I said) whilst his mum (or teacher) videoed it. As my brain was not yet functioning properly I was pleased just to avoid saying anything offensive, so I'm sure once the boy had translated and pored over my disappointing answers he would have gone out again to find someone more interesting.

One thing Mexico is famous for is the presence of ancient civilisations such as the Mayans, Incas & Aztecs. I spent an afternoon at the Teotihuacan ruins a few underground stops and a bus ride outside the city. It seemed to me that a lot of the buildings had been restored rather than left as they were found but, even so, the whole site was impressive, the Sun & Moon Pyramids in particular.

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On my way out to the Bosque de Chapultepec park the following day I was asked to sample some free food at the restaurant next door. They were looking to provide meals for the hostel residents and wanted opinions on the dishes they had prepared. So I was sat down in front of a wide array of delicious-looking Mexican dishes and excitedly sampled my way through all of them like a child at Christmas not knowing which toy to play with first. They initially quizzed me and made notes of all my comments, but eventually they got a bit bored and started talking amongst themselves. I, however, did not get bored and continued to eat as much food as possible until it started to appear awkward.

This made me late for the park and it got dark before I could go into the castle but this was a small price to pay for free food. The park itself was big and pleasant and it was not too dark to see several amorous couples and a large selection of stalls selling food and tat. The bus back was diverted due to ongoing protests over 43 missing students, causing even more traffic chaos.

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My old friend Stuart from Cable & Wireless days now lives in Mexico and, although he was too far away to visit, he arranged for a couple of his mates Leon & Jovan to take me out for a tour round the city. This predictably involved drinking several of the local brews, such as mescal (a spirit made from agave), tequila (a type of mescal) and michelada, a beer with lime, chilli sauce & Worcester sauce served with salt round the rim of the glass. Sounds disgusting, looks disgusting, smells disgusting, tastes good.

We played pool for an hour and I ruthlessly took them to the cleaners, winning all my games. Here we tried 'banderas' - red, white and green tequilas representing the Mexican flag:
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Later that night we took a taxi round the city and Leon showed me the good and bad areas and landmarks such as the Azteca stadium where the World Cup final took place in 1986, and more importantly a superb taco joint with a sauce so spicy that Jovan warned me it would cause my anus to explode. We will see.

After four days it was time to move on and so, after a lie-in, I caught a bus to my next destination, Oaxaca, which will be covered next time. For now, it's adios...

Posted by LordGibil 15:55 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

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