Page 7 of Two Vines Travel Blog Posts

North America » Mexico » Veracruz November 6th 2018

We have one more day in Poza Rica. Unfortunately, the town has nothing to recommend it, other than being a handy jump off point for a visit to El Tajín and also our onward journey. It’s not even mentioned in our guide book - which is a sure sign of zero interest. Lonely Planet usually come up with something...even if it is something totally terrible? They have led us on many wild goose chases over the years. Trip Advisor has five places on it’s list. The first three are shopping arcades. Then there is the new square which is described as a dangerous place, full of drug addicts and pick’s the square opposite our hotel! Can’t say it looked too dangerous to us, even at night when we have been eating at the street stalls. ... read more
Oil workers statue detail
Traffic in Poza Rica
Local rag

North America November 5th 2018

We have two days in Poza Rica but only one main point of interest it would seem. Shall we go there today or tomorrow? Today we think! With all this time on our hands you would think we would have a lie in, but the weather is hot and sticky really does not pay to go out late. We are down at breakfast when they open at 7am! Breakfast looks great...a continental buffet: cereal, fruit, yoghurt, toast...but looks can be deceiving. They obviously don’t have too many guests here as the food has clearly been hanging around some time! First the is soggy and the milk has turned. The fruit is OK and the yoghurt is in packs...I don’t dare look at the ‘sell by’ date. The bread for toasting has mould on it ... read more
L-shaped ball court
Pyramid corner detail
The Pyramid of the Niches

North America » Mexico November 4th 2018

We are up at 7am to shower, dress and have breakfast. OK, it’s not in the true spirit of backpacking we know, but we have booked a taxi to take us to Cuidad Valles. It is due at 8am. Eva brings us tamalle, iced sponge cake and lemon tea. Our bags are packed and stacked in the hallway ready to go. We chat with another couple of guests, a Mexican and his Colombian wife whilst we await our transport. It’s hard saying goodbye to Eva - her warmth and the hospitality we have received over the last few days make it feel like we are parting with an old friend. Our transport is here and Eva has given us a letter of explanation to hand in to the ticket desk in Cuidad Valles but she also ... read more
Saying goodbye to Eva
Mountain in the distance
Clouds over the valley

North America » Mexico » San Luis Potosí » Xilitla November 3rd 2018

There is very little for us to do today. The ‘Day of the Dead’ Festival is winding down but there is still music in the square and loud firecrackers exploding everywhere. Eva has explained to me the chronology. So, 31 October is for children (Halloween). On 1 November (Day of the Dead), the children return to the spirit world and adults visit earth. On 2 November (All Saints Day), adults return to spirit world and the saints visit. On 3 November, the saints return and by 4 November, the show is over. Eva and I spend most of the morning chatting. She tells me about some of the stories from their folklore. A guy called Macario is always hungry because he has a large family. One day his wife makes him a big bowl of tamal ... read more
Leonoro Carrington Museum
Leonoro Carrington Museum
Leonoro Carrington Museum

North America » Mexico » San Luis Potosí » Xilitla November 2nd 2018

Today we are visiting a surrealist garden, Las Pozas. It is a work of art created by Edward James, an English poet who came to live here in 1945. The creation, said to represent the Garden of Eden took 35 years to construct and you may be forgiven for thinking it is still incomplete! The garden of concrete flowers and fairytale castles has steep staircases that end abruptly and go nowhere. Edward James moved from England to America but then he fell in love with Xilitla on a visit to Mexico. He began buying up parcels of coffee plantation land in which to create his garden and grow his precious orchids. A bad frost killed the plants one year and he decided to replace them with concrete replicas which the weather would have a harder time ... read more
View over The Carpentry
The Bathtub in the Shape of an Eye
Waterfall Edward James Garden

North America » Mexico » San Luis Potosí » Xilitla November 1st 2018

Today is the main day of celebration for the ‘Day of the Dead’ festival. The festival actually runs from 31 October to 2 November but this is the main event! It’s a 3000 year old tradition dating back to the Aztecs based on the belief that all spirits are in limbo and this is the one day that they are allowed to return to earth. We set out after a traditional Mexican breakfast. Personally, I find it bland and rather heavy but I eat it as I do not want the offend our hostess. Take a tin of baked beans without the flavour of the tomato sauce, mash them up and wrap them in a tortilla. Dribble fresh cream over the top. Add some raw shredded cabbage. Voila! I am aching for some fresh fruit and ... read more
Altar competition
Inside the church
Spooks in the rain

North America » Mexico » San Luis Potosí » Xilitla October 31st 2018

I am awake before seven so Ian gets me a coffee and by 8am it’s time for a Skype call. Dad had a good night and is feeling a lot better - the doc has doubled his painkillers. Mum and Di are preparing lunch whilst dad relaxes. Sounds as if that is doing both of them some good. I am rudely interrupted by a woman who wants me to end my call. Apparently I am disturbing their sleep. This is the same woman who allowed her very young toddler to stay in the pool till 10pm last night shrieking with joy. Same toddler continued with tantrum shrieking until midnight - presumably he didn’t want to leave the pool! She speaks enough English to tell me to keep quiet so I soon tell her what’s what! It’s ... read more
Bus stop?
Grim reaper
Halloween parade

North America » Mexico » San Luis Potosí » Ciudad Valles October 30th 2018

Today we are off to Puente Dios - God’s Bridge. It’s another series of waterfalls where one can supposedly swim...although we have our doubts. This set of falls is on the same river as the Tamasopo Falls that we visited yesterday, just a little bit further out of town in a different direction. We negotiate our taxi and 20 minutes later we are up in the thick of the jungle. We are dropped near a railway track which we must cross and then we find the entrance booth. They are trying to rent me a life vest for swimming but I tell them I’m going to take a look before I commit to anything. I may be a ‘fish’ but I don’t want to be a dead fish! Unlike yesterday, today’s view is going to require ... read more
Puente de Dios - swimming hole???
Puente de Dios
Puente de Dios

North America » Mexico » San Luis Potosí » Ciudad Valles October 29th 2018

Today we are up early for our visit to the waterfalls. A call home reveals that dad is in hospital again. He passed out at home in the early hours. Full marks to my mum who managed to get downstairs, unbolt the front door (heavy, old type, slide and bottom!) and raise the alarm with their neighbour. Upshot is that dad was whisked away in an ambulance again. There will be no news till later on so we decide on a half day trip so that we can be back in time to get an update. This is the time when I am thankful for the internet and smartphones (instead of cursing them) - we just would not want to travel if we could not stay in touch. We pick up some sugared croissants from ... read more
Cascades de Tamasopo
Cascades de Tamasopo
Cascades de Tamasopo

North America » Mexico » San Luis Potosí » Ciudad Valles October 28th 2018

There is not much to say today. We are in the tiny town of Tamasopa in the beautiful and peaceful Huasteca Potosina region. We have wandered around the took all of five minutes. We have had another easy day. The hotel has emptied and I have enjoyed a swim in the pool. Now we are sitting in the square having dinner. We have no idea what we have ordered other than there is some element of chicken in it! Our meal has arrived and it is nothing more sinister than breaded chicken (fried to within an inch of its life), salad, chips and rice. There is some kind of mini festival going on in the square. A brass band is competing with loud music from a loudspeaker. It appears to be pretty much over by ... read more
The square at night
Tamasopo Town Square

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