Archive for October, 2006

Chapter Two – Belize, Merida, Palenque…

Wednesday, October 25th, 2006 | Uncategorized | Comments Off

It’s been a busy week and a half…

h2. Friday – September 15 – Chetumal & Mexican Independence

We wanted to be in a big city for “El Grito”. This is a shout that happens across all of Mexico at 11pm on September 15th, Mexican indepence day. We chose Chetumal because it was on our way to Belize.

After Tulum, always full of tourists, Chetumal was a welcome change. After walking around for 5 hours at the park waiting for the fireworks we saw thousands of Mexicans and maybe 2 tourists. It was great.

Karissa learned that Mexican food is sometimes better the cheaper it is. We ate amazingly for 5 dollars and even had ice cream.

When the fireworks started, we were right next to the water and they were just across it. I love fireworks over the water, and it was a good show. I did expect an actual shout that never seemed to come, weird.

h2. Saturday – September 16 – Belize

On a whim, we decided to go to Belize. This adds one more country to both of our lists, and Sara was always so complimentary to it. We had to see it.

Turns out it was quite the detour. There are exit taxes you have to pay as you leave Mexico and before you reenter it as you leave Belize. It was a not inexpensive in time or money busride.

That said, it was absolutely worth it.

Belize feels so incredibly different than Mexico. Say goodbye to short mayan looking spanish speaking meek people. Say hello to tall beautiful dark skinned beautiful and very friendly (or maybe pushy is a better word) people. I’ve never been to Jamaica, but it felt like I imagine it to be there.

Belize was settled by English and many of their slaves. So english, creole, and spanish are all spoken there. It’s much more diverse than Mexico, with a blacks, whites, and latins all over the place.

Very different atmosphere. Neither Karissa or I felt quite as safe as we had in Mexico, but I’m not sure that wasn’t just us not giving it enough time. New Balance ct suede gum Baskets I liked it for sure.

We were there on a Saturday night, so we went out. The music there is one of the biggest differences. oakley jupiter squared It’s all african and reggae, and just moves me :) We hit a couple clubs and saw some amazing dancing.

And we met this Turkish guy that… well maybe that’s another story, ask Karissa about it.

h2. Sunday – September 17

I never cease to be suprised by how EVERYTHING shuts down on Sunday in Latin America. Luckily this was a travel day, so we spent the day taking a bus to Chetumal, and then to Tulum, running out of time and staying there for the night.

We discovered this WONDERFUL taco place right next to the Weary Traveler. I think these were some of the best tacos I’ve ever had. 50 cents each.

We also danced on a rooftop at a restaurant next door. Yeah :)

h2. Monday – September 18 – Chichen Itza

Woke up early and went to Chichen Itza. air jordan retro all The ruins were the most impressive yet. They were so huge. new balance noir The main pyramid was so impressive. It is the one upon which you can see a snake crawling up and down at the equinox. We are so close to the equinox that we would have seen it, had it not been cloudy. Bummer.

Nevertheless, the ruins were breathtaking. There were so many of them, and after the main courtyard, we seemed to escape the mess of tourists and actually find some secluded places. I’ve decided that my favorite at a ruin is to turn a corner and see something that just takes my breath away with noone else there. air jordan 12 Its the same feeling I had as a kid that I had discovered something new.

We decided it was still early, so we headed off to Merida after the ruins. Upon checking into our hostel, we went shopping and cooked some very quality mac and cheese. The hostel had some live music to go with our dinner and I believe that Karissa fell in love with Mexican music during that dinner.

h2. Tuesday – September 19 – Merida

I’ve spent a good 6 months of my life bouncing between different hostels around the world, and I can honestly say that Nomadas is one of the 2 or 3 best I’ve stayed at. They really have their shit together. They have information that they give you on checkin, maps, bus times out of the city, etc, they have a knowledgeable and super helpful staff, free salsa lessons, live music in their courtyard at 9, 24 hour internet, a chill room, plenty of hammocks, huge kitchen, and cheap prices, and nice clean rooms with good sturdy beds and fans.

Karissa and I both really liked Merida. We are both city kids, and Merida is a big city. Like the best cities, it is very pedestrian friendly. Super packed with tons and tons of shops. This suited us, as we had decided that today was going to be a shopping day. First on our list was hammocks. Merida is apparently one of the best places to by a quality yucatan style hammock at a good price. So we bought…3. We also bought a bunch of other gifts for people later on. Sometimes it’s good to be a rich tourist :)

In what seems to be a strangely recurring event. We happened by accident to find exactly the right place to buy stuff. A little alley that only sells stuff at night that was actually not in the place it was “supposed” to be. It was really cool. We topped the night off with an excellent veggie pizza. Karissa was ecstatic.

h2. Wednesday – September 20 – Palenque

We left for palenque fairly early, but it’s a long busride, so we got there too late to see the ruins.

The ruins are a few kilometers out of town, but they’ve done this strange and brilliant thing there. They’ve created a settlement in between the two, right in the middle of the rainforest. There are a bunch of hostels there and a couple restaurants – right in the middle of rainforest. To go between rooms, you step on slices wood strategically placed.

We settled, and hung out in the restaurant for some amazing live music and really good food.

Definitely an amazing thing to sleep and wake up in the rainforest. Still, I think we’re going to welcome a lack of mosquitos…

h2. Thursday – September 21 – Palenque Ruins

We woke up almost early and hit the ruins. Again, the most amazing so far. They are so well preserved. And it is so green. We walked inside one and saw ancient tombs.

Inside another, El Castillo, you could go down into a maze of rooms. Amazing that a people could do this w/o even metal. The views from one structure of the others and the beautiful jungle inside which everything is set was amazing.

I was again astounded by how many ruins there were all clustered together. I think the thing that I enjoyed the most was ironically not a ruin at all, but a waterfall. El Bano de la Reina is a series of terraced stones with water pouring from one terrace to the next. It looks like it should be in some music video with a scantily clad Shakira singing in them. Instead I got to “discover” it when I took a left off the main path. Karissa and I had it all to ourselves for a good 15 minutes before we were joined. Apperently, at one point you could bathe in it, but no longer. nike femme solde We waded in and it was good.

After a good 3 hours of wandering around and up and down hundreds of stairs, we were ready to head out. adidas superstar soldes We took a chance on a bus that took us to Veracruz after dark.

h2. Friday – September 22 – Veracruz

Veracruz seems nice enough. Again a city, again, we liked it. Not quite as accessible as Merida, but it had a beach, which was good.

We heard about salsa clubs, and it was after all, Friday, so we went out. Karissa had a good time despite her worries that our salsa wouldn’t measure up, and I enjoyed her new dress from Merida. We were hot, what can I say? We were joined by this strange old man at a table while we were dancing at an outdoor courtyard with a live band. He seemed very impressed with us.

It was nice, nevertheless, the next day we were off.

h2. Saturday – September 23 – Xalapa

We’ve heard amazing things about Xalapa, and we had to check them out for ourselves. We wanted to leave ourselves enough time to hang out hear should they prove to be true. Besides, I’ve had too much of this one night in a place type of thing. It’s sometimes nice to be a lazy backpacker :)

Xalapa, however is turning out to be quite nice. The first thing we noticed when we got off the bus is that it wasn’t hot. We’ve been hot and mosquito ridden on the coast and in tropical jungle since we’ve been here. But Xalapa is in the mountains, in the cool mountains.

So the weather is perfect, and it’s a charming (if upscale) little town. I believe it’s the most expensive place we’ve been. But I have to admit I don’t mind. People are smiling, the architecture is just…refreshing and simple. It’s very hilly and reminds us both of San Francisco for this and probably it’s laid back feel.

I will say, if you happen by Xalapa, go to the Cafe Lindo and have their pastel de tres leches. It was definitely a highlight of the night.

h2. Sunday – September 24

I’ve been feeling sick, so today was kind of a sleep and internet day. I also got some time to myself which was a nice change. Karissa felt brave do to Xalapa and did some wandering by herself.

We did, however, do some cooking. We bought vegetables at the market and made stir fry. Very, very good stir fry. air jordan pour homme pas cher Yes, Karissa, you are a great cook…

h2. air jordan en soldes What’s next?

We’re heading off to one more beach tomorrow then Mexico city, Teotihuacan, and then home.

The Allure of Denver

Friday, October 20th, 2006 | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Soflex is my favorite exchange.

There I’ve said it publicly. It’s true, uggs for women I love it, I love the people, the dancing, New Balance 990 Baskets the socializing, New Balance femme everything.

So why am I sitting in a Denver airport purposely missing my flight to Soflex to go hang out with a girl?

I think this is a good thing. 2018 nike air max I think this speaks of my idealism, air jordan pour homme pas cher my optimism, the value I place in dreams and what could be. nike air max pas cher I think it is not that I have needs that control me, oakley sale 2014 always distracting me, chaussure air jordan and keeping my from realizing my true future, ugg boots uk but that I am a dreamer, and I see in this impromptu adventure,

Going to Seattle…Slowly

Wednesday, October 18th, 2006 | Uncategorized | Comments Off

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After getting back to El Paso, we headed out to Austin for a few days. Hung out with Karen and Titus

Then to Dallas for Red, White, and Blues. Good time. We stayed with one of the most gracious hosts I’ve ever had, Bruce. Also there were Kelly Porter, Mike Faltesek, and Steven Watkins…that is an interesting bunch…

Back to El Paso, where I started my mom scanning old pictures into flickr Heard some very interesting stories from a slightly drunk Nathan :)

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Then to New Mexico on no sleep, to hang out w/ Luke. Good time, a little dancy dancy.

Then Denver, where my cousin Diana was a SUPERB host. We hung out with Chris and Sean a ton. I love those guys. Sean took us on a desert tour of the city. It was awesome.

We’re in Salt Lake City now, and hanging out at Karissa’s parents house. Catching up on work…

Mexico City

Tuesday, October 17th, 2006 | Uncategorized | Comments Off

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Mexico City was the last stop on our trip. It was great, tons of walking and shopping.

We saw a mural that blew my mind, La Libertad here on the right.

We also got up at 5am one day to see Teotihuacan. The pyramids of the Sun and the Moon. They were magnificent. We spent 2 hours on top of the Pyramid of the Moon and it was magical.

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