Page 12 of swanningaround Travel Blog Posts

North America » Mexico January 24th 2011

Geo: 20.6509, -105.215Our time in Puerta Vallarta is coming to an end. We have been able to visit most of the sites and interesting towns within a days travel, and have walked almost every street of the town (at least once). After leaving Los Tules and moving into Posada Iris we quickly learned the rhythms of life here. We are awoken between 7.45 and 8am every morning by the man who drives a truck up and down each street delivering replacement gas cylinders (no mains gas supply). He announces his presence by playing a continuous message interspersed with the refrain that I am sure you are familiar with. Do you remember the old cowboy films when they are surrounded by indians and about to be overrun? Then you hear the cavalry charging to the rescue? That ... read more
Very comfortable seats!
We were serenaded at lunch
More birds on the feeder

North America » Mexico January 14th 2011

Geo: 20.6509, -105.215Monday 3 January we took a 40 minute boat ride to the village of Yelapa. There is a road but it is very poor, takes hours, and is used mainly to transport building materials when they are needed. En route we saw more whales. Yelapa is a traditional village stretching up the hill from the beach, with stone walled and thatched roof palapas. In addition to the original buildings there are a few newer structures providing accommodation to the hippy community. There are not many but they look as if they have been here since the sixties and Jim felt out of place with his short hair and (relatively) clean shaven chin, although of course we are the right age. Jim carried 2 bags up the hill for a lady returning from 4 days ... read more
The docile bull
The woodpecker

North America » Mexico January 4th 2011

Geo: 20.6509, -105.215Happy New Year to you allWe hope you all enjoyed the holidays and survived the bad weather without burst pipes or other winter problems.Los Tules, in Puerto Vallarta, provided our holiday hideout as we took advantage of the comfortable accommodation (complete with hot showers at any time of the day or night!), pools, beach and super-sized terrace. The first room they gave us was very dark with a tiny balcony which was permanently in the shade, and we overlooked the very noisy high rise neighbouring hotel. It took a a few days but eventually they moved us to a much nicer apartment in the middle of the complex, surrounded by the gardens, and as we were at the top of the building it was as if we were living in the palm trees. Most ... read more
The hotel beach
The crew
Whales preparing to dive

North America » Mexico December 20th 2010

Geo: 20.6509, -105.215Mexico City competes with Cairo for title of largest city in the world and is also one of the highest capitals at 2,300 metres. We were not looking forward to coming here as we both dislike cities, but in order to cross from the gulf coast to the Pacific by bus we had to come through MC. In fact, it has been a fascinating few days.The climate here is different from our previous experience in Mexico because during the day the temperature rises to a maximum of 27 degrees C, but it is a short day. As soon as the sun drops around 5pm the temperature falls as low as 7 degrees C. and fleeces and jackets are needed until between 9 and 10am the next morning. Our hostel provides breakfast and an evening ... read more
Fun for the kids
Serious business of making snowmen
Dizz heights

North America » Mexico December 15th 2010

Geo: 19.5333, -96.9167The bus took nearly 2 hours to complete the 85 kilometres from Veracruz to Xalapa. We wanted to come to the Museum of Anthropology, (the 2nd most important in Mexico because it houses the best collection of Olmec heads). Who are the Olmecs you may ask? I will try and give a very brief answer, partly because I have a limited knowledge, and partly because I don't want to bore you too much!The story starts between 40,000 and 30,000 B.C. when it is believed that people from Asia made their way across the frozen Bering Strait into what is now Alaska, and gradually (over hundreds, if not thousands of years) down the west coast of the Americas and into Mexico, (and even further south into Central and South America). Over time people settled in ... read more
Just to get an idea of size
View of interior of museum
Example of pottery

North America » Mexico December 15th 2010

Geo: 19.1348, -96.1414We stayed in Veracruz to be able to reach Xalapa (sometimes spelt Jalapa) and visit the museum there (see next blog). There was no hostel in Xalapa on the Hostelworld website (and that seems to be the only site that accepts our card payments!) so Veracruz it was.In some ways it reminded me of Brighton, very much a city by the sea, but with other interests and history apart from tourism. We visited the very informative town museum in a colonial building, and followed the history of the town from its founding in 1519 by Hernan Cortes, the Spanish explorer and conquerer, through to the 1950's. At times it has been a very prosperous city, with numerous activities and industries such as developing trade and access to inland Mexico, developing commercial links with other ... read more
The waiter with the kettles
The dancer in the cafe
And her backing group (1 of them)

North America » Mexico December 10th 2010

Geo: 16.7473, -93.1098 Blog 17Despite taking 17 hours and leaving at 6.30 pm to travel through the night, the journey was surprisingly pleasant and we both slept reasonably well. Its a wonderful way to appreciate the size of Mexico. We awoke in a different state (Chiapas) and the flat jungle of the Yucatan peninsular had been replaced by rolling hills not unlike the land surrounding stately homes in England with only the tropical vegetation to remind us that we are in Mexico. The people had also changed and we saw many “cowboys” on horseback wearing light coloured “cowboy” hats. As we travelled on, the hills grew into mountains and the road became somewhat scary,with steep drops at the side. It was something of a relief when we descended into Tuxtla. Tuxtla is a large modern town ... read more
Gertrude's bedroom
Indigenous people selling their products
Local woman sewing

North America » Mexico » Quintana Roo » Tulum December 10th 2010

Geo: 20.125, -87.45 Blog 16 We moved to Tuxla Gutierra which is 17 hours drive down the road from Tulum, in the state of Chiapas. But before saying more about that I want to add a few thoughts about Tulum. We were there for 3 weeks but it seemed more (in a good way) because we felt so settled and we were quite sad to leave. I think it was because the people were so friendly and we had chance to communicate with others (hotel owners and staff, Mateo, people in restaurants etc) as we saw the same people everyday. Even the traffic was very calm and always stopped to let us cross to the point where we often had a stalemate as we expected cars to ignore us so we would stand by the kerb, ... read more
New, trim Jim
Multi purpose bikes
Siesta time

North America » Mexico » Quintana Roo » Tulum November 25th 2010

Geo: 20.125, -87.45 Since we arrived in Mexico we have seen 4 processions celebrating the Bicentenary of the start of the fight for independence and also, I think, acknowledging and celebrating developments in Mexican institutions such as schools, police, fire services etc. They take place early in the morning and everyone in Tulum seemed to stop work and watch. There is much whistling by the teachers and leaders to co-ordinate the groups (eg whistle - pom poms up, another whistle – pom poms down) but also anarchy on the part of participants so it is all chaotic and fun. No-one is very formal although a lot of effort has been put into the preparation of clothes, props and choreography. Hope you enjoy the photographs.... read more
others needed a little help
and some were natural performers!
Second day - the seniors

North America » Mexico » Quintana Roo » Tulum November 25th 2010

Geo: 20.125, -87.45I thought some general pictures of Tulum might be of interest. Some days we do something special, like the cenote dive, or take the bus to a different place, others we just potter around within walking distance. Ten minutes walk from Dream Divers takes you onto the tracks into the jungle. We like to wander along them, looking for birds. Every walk produces something new. Yesterday we were lucky and saw our first Mexican humming bird. Lucky, because it is the size of a thumbnail, and if we had not been so close it would have been mistaken for an insect. Most people we pass say hello and many stop and have a few words, asking what we are looking for, or offering advice (yesterday it was about the danger of snakes, but we ... read more
A traditional building under construction
Same building two days later
A street view

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