Americas Trip 2005 - 2007 / Part Mexico I

 

October 2005

MEXICO,
Baja California,

and . . . . .

Everything different – everything new!


At Wednesday the 5th of October I start form Las Vegas.


First to check out Joshua tree National Park in California where the cactus grow like forests and Sandstone formations give their best in this unusual landscape.
At night I drive around Los Angeles and San Diego to see Shane at Thursday at 6th of October 2005 in Ensenada / Mexico.
The 2 Californian Cities I can visit at a longer stopover on a different journey or as a last minute deal.

At 4 am I’m at the border to Mexico.
The lady in uniform shows me with her torch (flashlight) where to stop.
She asks me about the camping gear and that’s it.
I look out for the border control, immigration office and so on, but that was it…..
No stamp in my passport – nada!

The city face changes immediately. Primitive, nasty houses, weird people wondering around the streets and even the smell reminds me of a ‘2nd or 3rd’ world country.

Moldy smell and the smoke of burnt trash sneak in to the car.
Nasty barking dogs I hear all the way to Ensenada.
With the first day light I made it around all this potholes in the roads to the meeting point.
6 hours to go.
First a nap and 3 hours later to an insurance office.
I buy the expensive 4 month insurance and walk across the street to change some money.
The rate is not too bad and I own now some Mexican pesos.
With the passport stamp it turns out to be a bit more difficult.


First I see the Kiwi…here he is, with broke pride & a backpack full of stuff.

After a tough week of trouble he is more then happy to see me.
We pack everything in to the car and drive to the immigration office.
For 20 USD I get a 6 month visa.

At the campground close to the buffadora (blowhole) Shane gets a hair cut.
2 days later we drive with a new front wheel on Jimmy south.

At an other campground we meet a nice couple which joins us on the way south for the next 2 weeks.
They are from Tschechoslovakia and easy going.

We are traveling through little oasis, dry land and on and off we pass little villages.

South of La Paz we find a great spot.
We camp right at the beach.
During the day we swim and snorkel in this beautiful water.

The reef which reaches the beach offers all sorts of colors and fishes – we count over 40 diff. Types.
From turtles to rays.
The best fun are the ‘fish schools’. 100 – 1000 fishes twist and shoot in the water and I am right in the middle of them.
At night the coast control scared the shit out of me.
First we could hear the sound of engines., then we see man with weapons walking towards us… heavy boots and….
Shit I was scared.
The moonlight shows their shadows and then we find out that this were military guys with protect the area.

After a quick ride through San Jose & Cabo San Lucas we leave this American Hotel & Condo stuff behind us and drive towards La Paz.
Todos Santos is a must!
There is the famous Hotel California where the ‘Eagles’ sang about.

Of course a Tequila at the bar before we keep on going.

We meet Oliver, that’s a German motorcyclist on a BMW riding south, Usuhaia is Argentina is his destination. – aaaah, I get homesick after my bullet. I miss Fusae badly – I know, I cant have everything.




At the ferry to Topolobampo we say good by to our Baja California travel friends and enjoy it to travel as a couple.

With the legendary Copper Canyon train we wind up to Creel.

This little town nestled in the high mountains of Mexico is a welcome temperature change.
At night it gets really cold and in the morning we can see the frost on cars and in the grass.

Nice hikes before we take the train back and dive to Mazatlan.
After a little ‘look’ around we are in Santa Cruz.
We need 2 days to relax after that long ride and would loved to stay longer, but we counted one morning over 500 insect bites on us so we decide to leave and drive back to the mountains.

We drive to the town Tequila, where the main road is lined with distilleries & Tequila stands.
No samples for the driver – let's travel save.

Late evenings we reach the campground at Guadalajara.
How nice, such a spot of peace, freedom and green close to this 2,25 mil (total over 4 mil) habitants city.
There is a lot going on.

The easy and cheap public transportation brings us quick to downtown.
1000s of people try to find their way round.

Music bands, costumed dancers, clowns, city crowd and noise, horse & carriage, taxis and a lot of history.



In deed it is a busy ad bustling city, but still nice, green and good to get around.


Guadalajara is a world city with is worth to visit!

 

 

November 2005
.
MEXICO
.

The whole November we drive only 'two day's further

- serious - that's it!

Beginning of the month form Guadalajara to San Miguel de Allende and at the end of the month from San Miguel de Allende to Mexico City.

What keeps us (Shane and me) that long around San Miguel?

That’s not a secret eighter; WWOOF - willing workers on organic farms,

. . . even if our destination is not really a farm.

Dorothy & Andy have 2 donkeys, 2 dogs and gardens.

The main thing is their business of alternative building.

To get to 'karacadir' we are driving 40 min over roads, paths and tracks. The arty and architecture interesting San Miguel de Allende we leave behind us and come back maybe at weekends.

We turn at one bush right and after the big rock left, then we right the cactus forest of Dorothy & Andy. They are from California and England and bought here some years back 6 ha Land.

Shane and I clear an area to built up our tent for the next weeks.

We make it as nice a s possible and add some blankets.

The 1st night the temperatures drop under 0'Celcius and in the morning it takes a while till we have the warm sunshine back. At 9 a clock we can take off the warm cloth and 3 hours later we sweat in a dry heat of 35 - 40 'C!

The next weeks we work on buildings. They show us how to fill dirt bags with a special mixture and how to plaster the walls.

There is also a greenhouse which needs a hand, a garden, a lot of trees and other little spots and area.

Shane has fun in the out door kitchen an crate nicest food.

Water filtering is on the daily list of doings, then we are not looking forward to get sick...

Since a while I have a opportunity to talk 'Austrian' German. Theresa (an other volunteer) is from Vienna and we have a blast. She travels without a tent and so I sell her my great, little one women tent. It is still in a good shape and the quality proves it's name.

Miles from Washington State /USA and Lauren from NY are well worth having here. They are all very nice people with all their stories.

The time flies by like nothing.

After a day of good work it is nice to have a refreshing wash. But if I’m to late (wind comes up in the later afternoon) or didn’t do a good job at the solar work to heat the water proper, it is a cold wash.

Evenings we enjoy a good meal and the stories which Dorothy & Andy bring back from their day of work at one of their building sights.

Then put warm clothes on, the cold night is coming quick.

A solar light for the next hour or two....that’s it.

For 3 days there is only Shane & me at the farm. I enjoy the peace and freedom to do some nude gardening to get some color, but it was too much. The little breeze and the intensive sun on over 1800 meter over see lever is to much.

I burn my back totally. I almost got dehydrated and have blisters all over. It takes a week till I can sleep normal again.

To sit on the great toilet with view is also only after this week fun again.

My body is everything then happy with and I pick up a flue as well.

Very good Henriette alias LUNA!

The last November Sunday we say good by and drive the 4 hour distance from San Miguel de Allende to Mexico City.

Evenings we see the eye of the beast. Mexico DF the 20 mil people city. In a very good hotel on the outskirts we take a fancy room and enjoy the hot shower. The hot water seems to be endless. After 4 weeks 'cold' wash that’s the pure luxury. The luxury goes on with a huge TV, nice indoor sleeping temperatures at 2240 meter over see level.

After a day relaxing we are ready for the city.

A criminal bus ride brings us to the metro and with the cheap and fast metro system we jet in to downtown.

A few tourist highlights first before we squeeze thru the busy markets on back roads. we hang out the parks before we are ready for the next 'hunt'--- when we get back to the hotel we have a good sleep - that for sure.

The next days we organize stuff like doing the laundry, post sending, read about routes and point of interests, do the e-mail thing and so on.

The fact that we are 2 different people, with different history, countries, cultures, languages and backgrounds makes it even more difficult and interesting. Also the most time of our lives we have been good singles and did it just 'my way'....

We will se how it goes and keep you anyway at this page informed.

Hasta luego - de MEXICO!

 

December 2005
.
Here we are . . . .
from Mexico DF

via Pacific
to the Caribbean!
.
After a few days exploring Mexico City we dive with our 'no problem car' Jimmy south.
It seems that the roads winds for ever over the sierra Madre del sur.
But finally we reach Taxco.
This little to the mountain squeezed city got famous with it's silver work.
Shane & I find curious shops and corners which are nice to check out.

2000 meter (6000ft) in elevation to wind down to Acapulco.
What a name, what a cliché.
With the hope for a boat job we stay 2 weeks in this kaleidoscope.
The bay of Acapulco offers everything.
From ritzy residence, tourist corners to building ruins & 'slums'.

Crazy bus designs make me laugh while the way of driving worry me more.

We organize a lot and are in contact with the yacht club.
What a spot to 'wait' for a option.... we can enjoy some wonderful days at the northern and southern beaches, get invited for a sailing turn form our Canadian camping neighbors.
After 2 weeks it is time to move on.
The Caribbean should be better to find a job.
We also find a place to do some more Woofing.


On our way to the far east we visit of course San Cristobal de las Casas.

The drive up to this mountain city in the Chiapas state is already marvelous.

And knowing that Guatemala is only 100 km away gives a special feeling to.

Wonderful markets, a special ambient and on each corner something to explore.

On a crisp morning we start Jimmy to drive slowly down to the eastern flat province called Yucatan.
On the way we have real rain, wow who thought that ?
Haven’t seen rain for month now!
Not a surprise that everything is growing fat and green.

Humidity, waterfalls and the awesome Palenque are our first impressions.

Palenque was in the world of the Maya the residence of the king.

He let built incredible temples with beautiful stucco work.

The architecture, the area and the mystic touch of this Unesco sight catches us straight away.

As we drive along the Belize border up to Cancun we realize that we started with the ruin sight nr. 1 - Palenque is the best.

Good in time we reach our WWOOF place. It is a Eco Hotel (for Photos see; www.genesisretreat.com) soon we know what is going on.
The 2 times from a hurricane hit and chaotic Canadian lady is nuts.
She takes advantage of our skills and will to help.
The next weeks Shane cooks like a star, I'm the waitress, financial minister and only an inch away to leave with Jimmy this environment.

We create a fantastic Christmas menu - get that woman and her animals out the kitchen and work in average 15 hours a day . . . only for food an accommodation...?...

We are doing it, because we promised, even when it pisses me off.

Since weeks we try to get a boat job, drag the kiwi from e-net cafe to print shops (to bet a good job done).
What do I get for all that - a self sorry, angry guy which seems only sometimes to realize what I am doing for us.
I don’t need to - I saved up so why..... traveling this way is very exhausting - 24/7, shit work and no luck with a boat job !?!
That’s not the way I going to travel for much longer.

New Year evening we spend quiet with some nice guests at the hotel.

I'm interested what happens in the year 2006.
One thing I already can tell - something has to change.

I wish you all the best, a happy and satisfying new year and if you are wondering what’s happening here - click in again!
Hasta luego ! :o)

 

January 2006
.

Back in the USA


Hip hip hurray - the 2006 is here !

What's so special on it - I don’t know yet, but one is for sure - I..D.O..I.T..M.Y..W.A.Y..!

In the fist January days we pack our gear and are off from this eco hotel place.

After some great days in Merida we are driving north.

Vera Cruz is our last port city before we wind up to the mountains.

Snow covered Volcanoes I can see from far, soon the air get thinner and better. As soon as we reach Mexico city once more the good air is gone.

With emission & dirt, the crowd we know, we stay only one night.

A visit at the famous basilica of the Virgin of Guadalupe we dot miss this time.

Over the rocky road we drive one more up to our fiends in the cactus forest to say hello.

With Theresa the Austrian (we met her here 2 month ago) we were in e-mail contact the last days and are going to meet.

In the same hostel were we stay, we meet Alex from San Francisco. He is very spontaneous and decide to join us.

From San Miguel de Allende on we are traveling in a group of 4.

I love to travel with them, but still - I am a solo traveler and set a limit to get to Las Vegas. I

In this 2 weeks we see a lot.

Fantastic days in this so different beautiful Real de Catorce.

This old mining town has his own flair. To get there we drive 24 km on cobble stone and reach a tunnel. For 2 dollars we get a ticket which allows us to drive in a convoy thru.

It is a one way regulation, except for donkeys, mules, horses and all 2-leged's As soon as we leave this tunnel we are right in the town.

Awesome. It is inviting for hiking and exploring.

The tracks around are good and ghost towns are great to visit.

On our way north we visit other traveler highlights.

Creel which we knew already and Nuevo Casas Grandes.

The impressive dirt wall labyrinth let us stun over this prehistoric 'houses'.

In Mata Ortiz we discover a new world of pottery. In this tiny isolated town get the fines pottery art produced I have ever seen. The mixture to produce this high quality art, there should be 6 different 'ingredients' needed.

With Maria (our guide) we are walking thru town, have a look at the expeditions and by a little souvenir!

Time to move on guys - plains and nice scenery before we get once more to the border.

All 4 of us get the 'green light' to enter the states.

Back to the USA!