Random thoughts/ month 10

26 Feb

Double digits baby!! And no signs of slowing down now. We are loving this carefree life too much.

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This month we:

+ finally left San Miguel de Allende and went to the Michoacan region. On the way, we ran a bunch of annoying errands (which included dumping our used oil, getting the fuel gauge fixed, and picking up a package at UPS, seemingly normal tasks but you’d be surprised. It’s freaking Mexico). So we “treated” ourselves to Mickey Ds. Our first in Mexico. And it was every bit as tasty and unhealthy as in the states.

+ spent some time in Patzcuaro, a cool historic village with an awesome market. We found some delicious eats, sat in the bustling grassy square, met Kevin an American who gave us a walking tour of Patzcuaro’s highlights and hung out with Audree and Simon, travelers from Canada.

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+ butterflied. It. Was. Unbelievable. (See Mariposa post for full details and pictures).

+ visited some ruins. We saw the Tzintzuntzan ruins on Lago Patzcuaro, went with Sam and Erica to Teotihuaca the pyramids outside Mexico City, and finally to Monte Alban outside Oaxaca. Each time was fantastically amazing and fantastically stifling outside.

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+ made the traffic blunder every overlander dreads–we drove THROUGH Mexico City. Because it’s one of the most populated cities, every overlander book and blog strongly advises to go around the city center. But we missed a turn and ended up in the heart of it all. Traffic was surprisingly light and we didn’t get stopped by the police. I was completely impressed with our luck!

+ played with Toby&Chloe and Sam&Erica in Teotihuaca. We all found ourselves at the same campsite at the same time so we explored the town together.

+ survived our first intense Mexican festival. Cannon-sounding fireworks were set off throughout the night for an entire weekend. The dogs, especially Olivia, were beyond freaking out and didn’t even want to step foot outside.

+ lamely explored Mexico City. We bussed into the City on a cushy cheap coach and, feeling a cold in full swing, we rode a tour bus around town instead of hoofing it. I was just not in the mood. And sadly we opted against visiting the Museum of Anthropology. I really wanted to go, as it’s supposed to be one of the best in the Americas, but there was no way I could have made it. Unless Hani carried me.

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+ successfully navigated public transportation in Mexico City. In addition to the bus in, we metro-ed. The metro was immaculate but vendors jump on at every stop selling crap and, like a chant, annoyingly repeat their item and price over and over again until they get out.

+ camped at our first Pemex, the national gas station chain. Guess it’s every traveler’s rite of passage.

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+ paid an absurd $90 on toll roads around Mexico City and down to Oaxaca. That meant no topes, no driving through tight village centers. Insanely expensive but worth not hearing Hani curse the crummy road system every 5 seconds.

+ marked 3 months in Mexico. Halfway through our visas!

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+ was introduced to the amazingness that is a tlayuda, a gigantic crisp tortilla filled with gooey cheese, refried beans, shredded lettuce, tomatoes and avocado. We had the best one on the street in Oaxaca. None have compared since but I dream (literally) about finding one.

+ tasted some interesting mezcals. We found a bar in Oaxaca where we tasted a turkey breast based mezcal then went to a mezcal distillery in Santa Maria del Tule where we sampled a bunch more. Of course we didn’t leave empty handed!

+ had a blast at the Overlander Oasis, an RV park owned by Calvin and his wife outside of Oaxaca in Santa Maria del Tule. They have been following our travels since the beginning and it was only fair to visit their place. Calvin organized a BBQ at the OO where the guest list included Toby&Chloe, Sam&Erica, Harmony&Mike from Canada, Alaskans Breena&Spencer of Straight Six Straight South and Trixie and Martin from Switzerland. I made some kickass (read: strong) margaritas, the men grilled, the ladies prepared side dishes, we bashed a lollipop filled piñata and ended the night with a rowdy game of cards. A great time was had by all!!

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+ left the mountainous cold and arrived back at the beach. Such a welcome (and hot!) change. But the 200 miles took 8 hours of slow windy tope-filled mountain roads.

+ cracked a limb. Right as we got to the beach in Puerto Escondido we noticed that one of the welds that holds up the plane had completely separated. I rushed around to find a welder but at 4pm, no work was actually going to get done that day. We spent the night parked outside the welder Cleofas’ shop (we were too scared to move the truck). Work began bright and early…and lasted alllll the next day, mainly because 30 minute breaks were required after every 5 minutes of work. And Cleofas kept disappearing. And his helper couldn’t work if Cleofas wasn’t there telling him what to do. All 8 joints that hold up the plane were reinforced. The end result was cheap and sloppy but done. Hani did a lot of the work himself, providing all the aluminum for the job, sanding down the old welds, and positioning the reinforcements. We found paint that matched the existing color and later, Hani painted the offensive-looking new brackets. Much better now.

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+ participated in our third turtle release! This one was in La Barra, outside of Puerto Escondido. The volunteers had thousands of turtle eggs they were monitoring, by far the largest organized rescue we’ve seen. At our release, we liberated almost 200 turtles. They were passing around buckets of turtles to each person instead of just the normal one turtle. It was beautiful watching all the little eager dots make their way to the water as the sun set. And then we turned to our right and saw a fisherman with a giant net. Guess he was having a hearty illegal meal that night. Fabulous.

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+ are in love with the Oaxaca coast, specifically Playa Zipolite. We have been parked next to our new adoptive grandmother’s restaurant for almost 2 weeks right on the ocean with our back doors open to the waves. The breeze is lovely, the waves spectacular and people really laid back (and naked–ew!!).

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+ watched a circus and a half! We found ourselves eating dinner at a mediocre restaurant in Zipolite to watch an acrobatics show a few nights ago. With the exception of the weird guitarist, the show was really cool! It kick started a week long (international?) circus event for the neighboring town Mazunte. We then went to Mazunte to see the opening night of the festival. We made it through one and a half acts of interpretive dance before we packed it in.

+ practiced yoga on the beach several times with the fabulous Marjorie. It was great to stretch and do some exercise while listening to the crashing waves. And yes, Hani even yoga-ed a few times.

+ have become fast friends with our yogi Marjorie, her husband Art, their baby Rita and friend Donny. They’ve been living in Zipolite since Christmas and are renting a house on a hill overlooking the ocean. We’ve done lunch, dinner, and a few homemade ice cream parties with them. Art and Donny took us to the nearby market twice to stock up on produce. And we can’t get enough of baby Rita!!

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One Response to “Random thoughts/ month 10”

  1. dedeo@bellsouth.net February 26, 2014 at 5:23 pm #

    At the very least I expect a cocktail table book filled with awesome pictures and poetic narratives at the end of your journey!

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