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The International Writers Magazine
:
Mexico

Restoration
Dermot Sullivan in Mexico


My school year has been rather stressful for reasons best left unspecified. I was to finish work here on the 6th of July but as I won’t be here for the next academic year (which starts in August in Mexico) I finished last Saturday! I shall tour around the south of Mexico next, hopefully going to Oaxaca, Chiapas and the Yucatán Peninsula. My flight back home is on the 30th of July, whereupon I should be working teaching foreign kids from the 1st of August. After that the future is somewhat up in the air.

A few weeks ago I was sitting reading when I turned my gaze to the top of the book. What should be sitting there but a friendly scorpion! He was only a small fellow but I didn’t hang around to get acquainted as I jumped to the other side of the room. The little scorpion then scurried away, never to be found again. In fact, my place seems to be crawling with small spiders at the moment. I suppose it’s the time of year, just as September is full of daddy long-legs back at home. As long as the spiders don’t get any bigger then everything shall be fine … I wonder if any of them are poisonous …

The weather after Easter was intensely hot, but come June and July it cooled. Being in the mountains makes the weather somewhat unusual, but now we have entered the wet season. The most amazing weather I’ve ever seen has been in Mexico, from incredible lightning, hail and thick, thick rain to blistering heat and humidity. When I woke up two Sundays ago I saw an overcast sky that belonged to Grimsby in October! The idea that I’ve been missing the dreadful weather at home isn’t exactly true, but then my winter months and Easter were a hell of a lot better than they would have been in Folkestone!

During my two week break for Easter I was able to travel around Mexico and see some more of the country. It seems like such a long time ago now as I have been so busy since then. I had long suspected that the town where I live (Pachuca) was an unfair representation of Mexico and my holiday was the proof of the pudding! It has restored my faith in the country as well, as has talking to some people outside of the school.

You may remember my dislike of school’s homenaje and the quasi-fascistic flag waving and saluting. Well, it seems that the majority of Mexicans outside of the school with whom I’ve spoken have similar feelings. Many of them described it as ‘false nationalism’, which is probably the reason that the students sing the bellicose national anthem so listlessly as one might think that the participants were dead or in a coma.

Mexicans I have spoken to complain about the militarism of the homenaje, but also of the military involving itself in daily matters in the life of the country. When one travels across Mexico now there are military checkpoints stopping cars, buses and trucks. The army is used to look for drugs as one can’t rely on the majority of Mexican police (with a few notable exceptions). It’s unfortunate that they can’t rely on elected politicians either so does that mean that they need to draft in the guys in marching boots? One hopes not … anyhow, here is a list of to where I went during Easter, city by city:
En Route To Veracrúz City:
Yet again I hit the road with my long suffering travelling companion, Robert. I went to the south of Chile and the top part of Argentinean Patagonia with him and this time the plan was to cross Mexico from the Gulf of Mexico in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west.

We both arose early on Palm Sunday in order to get an early bus to Mexico City. I actually hadn’t gone to bed that night so I could pack and make it to the bus station on time! However, it was too early in the morning and both of us were unable to get taxis. Also that night the clocks had gone forward for Spring, robbing us of any possibility of sleep! We ended up leaving from separate bus stations and making our own ways to Mexico City. To get anywhere in the country from Pachuca one has to go via Mexico City, a prospect I never relish.

The bus station at Mexico City was like a zoo. There were so many people pushing and shoving trying to get to where they wanted to be for Holy Week. Fortunately we had identification cards that showed us to be teachers: during the school holidays teachers get discounts on bus travel! We got up to 25% off on our tickets to Veracrúz City.

As I’m used to crossing continents by bus I have developed the power to switch off entirely on long-distance journeys. The standard of bus in Latin America (in Mexico and Chile certainly) is much higher than back at home (unless you’re on one of those awful things in Peru where people travel with their chickens) so it’s easy to fall asleep. With our holiday battle cry of ‘Somos Alegres’ I plunged headfirst into a deep sleep, aided by the fact that the day before had been most difficult and I had been up all night packing.

We changed at the City of Puebla, a place I may check out during my holidays in July. Admittedly I was in a somnambulant stupor as we waited for our bus but the layout of the bus terminal was strangest that I’ve ever seen! It seemed to be have designed by ants with interconnecting tunnels that followed no logical pattern. My companion Rob likened it to ‘deformed conch shell’! Modern architecture in Mexico is certainly daring and is keen to develop its own style away from the European norm.

On the bus down to Veracrúz City I drifted in and out of consciousness, but I was aware of the temperature rising and becoming distinctly more humid. A glance out of the window revealed hills and mountains that seemed to be covered in jungle-like vegetation. The most exciting of them all though was seeing the coffee plantations in Veracrúz State around Córdoba and Orizaba which stretched as far as the eye could see.

Veracrúz City:
Upon arrival in Veracrúz City I was greeted with a sign encouraging me NOT to get Dengue Fever, something that I endeavoured to do! There is no vaccine and no cure for the disease.

Veracrúz City is hot and humid and very much Caribbean. My previous assertion that Mexicans were drab dressers had to be re-evaluated as there was no shirt too loud for the local inhabitants (called Jarochos)! Our hotel was right by the centre of town. Mexican towns usually come alive on a Sunday evening when families come out and have fun. Robert and I sat out and watched the people promenade and listen to the marimba players. The city also seemed to be full of sailors in dress uniform as the Naval College is based in Veracrúz City. Every sailor-boy was decked out in white with a girl on his arm! It gave the place a rather humorous, camp feel.

Veracrúz City is also the heart of the Mexican oil industry. As I’ve written before, there is only one oil company in Mexico: the state-owned and notoriously corrupt and inefficient Pemex. It takes the oil out of the ground but as Mexico has no refineries it has to give it to the U.S. as crude and buy it back from them. Veracrúz City is a huge port due to all the off-shore drilling platforms. The city’s promenade is extremely long where one can gaze out upon all manner of ships and oil-related paraphernalia.

After retreating to our air-conditioned room we slept heavily. Our time in the city was limited so we got up early and had a hearty breakfast of some sort of spicy fish. The mission was then to find a boat that would take us to Cancuncito – a sand bank off the coast of the city and get back in time for the bus that would take us to Xalapa.

We actually stumbled upon the boat in the end. It was a speed boat and we were required to wear life-jackets. I had been in the Gulf of Mexico before in 1989 on a family holiday to Florida. I remember clearly how the sea was alive with every sort of fish imaginable. This time was exactly the same and en route to Cancuncito I saw a giant manta ray leap out of the sea! Though impressive it’s not the sort of thing you want to bump into when you’re in the water, as Steve Irwin would testify to if he weren’t brown bread.

The sand bank was full of Mexican tourists splashing around in the sea and fortunately there were only little fish swimming around our feet. Nearby was an island that used to be a leper colony but either there wasn’t time to check it out or more likely it was just off-limits to us (I couldn’t understand what the tour guide was saying). Being completely surrounded with water Robert and I got completely frazzled by the sun. Even though I only had my t-shirt off for about fifteen minutes I still got burnt.

Xalapa:
After the jaunt out into the Gulf of Mexico we hurried back to the bus station and went to the state capital Xalapa. It’s a university town further inland into Veracrúz State. No-one seems to be able to decide on the spelling of the city either, with many buses listing the place as ‘Jalapa’. I prefer the use of the Aztecan ‘x’, so that’s what I’m going to stick with!
We arrived in the evening once the sun had gone down. We found a place to stay with no problem and went out for a bite to eat. Most of downtown Xalapa seemed to be either coffeehouses (not Starbucks), or internet cafés! It’s not surprising with the amount of students in the city. Many of the internet cafés had signs up saying that remained open for 24 hours!

We ate well for breakfast – it is here that my travelling companion Rob would like me to say that the most attractive woman we saw on trip was here. I would disagree, but I’m writing this just to keep him happy! She was the daughter of the owner of the hotel and she served us breakfast! He would also like me to point out that he’s not too much of a lecher!

The next day we went to the city’s famed anthropological museum. This really was something special, in both design and content. They had Olmec heads and all sorts of pre-Colombian delights. We spent about two hours walking around the place, which took one from the early Olmec days up to the apocalypse of the Spanish Conquest. The design of the building was amazing too, with natural light flooding the place – I don’t even like modern design much but this place was something special. I’d even go as far to say it was one of the best museums that I’ve ever visited.
In the museum we got something to eat and drink. I don’t like coffee and one would imagine that the type of food and drink served in these places would leave something to be desired. Fortunately Xalapa is surrounded by fields growing the stuff – the coffee I drank in the museum is probably the best stuff I’ve ever had in my life! We passed a shop selling the beans which would be pulverised for you as you waited – the smell was absolutely delicious! It’s a shame that sort of coffee isn’t available everywhere. I remember the coffee in Chile being particularly vile and freeze-dried.

We accidentally took the long way back to the hotel, which was fine as we got to see some more of the city. The place was quite arty and had a lot to see in the way of parks and the such. It was at that point I realised that living in the Pachuca was not the best of ideas if I wanted to know Mexico. Xalapa would be an excellent place to live if you wanted to live in Mexico, but by the end of the trip I found a place even better!

At the end of the day Rob and I sat out in the main plaza and watched the families promenading around the city centre. As it was Holy Week all the kids had holidays and many of the parents had too. Mexico is still a place where people get married and have children at a comparatively young age compared to Europe so it was nice to see families out having fun together.

So that we wouldn’t have to pay for a night in a hotel we decided to sleep on the bus to Mexico City. The plan was that if we left at midnight then we would arrive at 06:00 hrs. We went out to the same student coffeehouse as we were in the night before, had a big meal, watched a band play, drank a few beers and then headed to the bus station.

Monster! (Part One) – The Longest Day:
We got the bus at midnight and I tried to settle down to get some kip, but there was some bloody woman behind me who just wouldn’t shut up. I fell asleep at about two in the morning only for Rob to wake me up two hours later as we had arrived in Mexico City! I felt like I had only just closed my eyes and I had to be awake again! Due to the lack of traffic on the road at that time of the morning we flew through the usually busy streets of Mexico City and arrived two hours early. Normally that would be a good thing, but when you’re tired, it’s four in the morning, it’s cold and nothing is open then it doesn’t seem so positive … especially when you’re in Mexico City, a place not renowned for being the most hospitable city in the world. The metro was shut for another hour so we had to wait there at the bus station. Nothing was open so there was nothing to eat. We took it in turns to try to get some sleep as the other stood guard to make sure someone didn’t try to rob us. City bus terminals can be weird places but Mexico City has a distinct feeling of dodginess. We got out of there as soon as possible.

It was not my first time in Mexico City, but it is the first time I’ve written about it. It’s simply too enormous a subject to cover in one sitting. It is, after all, the largest city in the world! I shall write about it some more later, but now I shall just cover the one specific day.

As soon as it turned 05:00 hrs we took the Metro to the Zona Rosa, which is both one of the nicer parts of town and also a gay district, though I didn’t really see much evidence of that. We bought some wretched-tasting coffee and doughnuts and waited in the cold for the sun to come up. Then we went into a department store to have breakfast. My body really wasn’t holding up too well and I wasn’t looking forward to the idea of having to hang around to get a bus at eleven o’clock that evening to Guadalajara.

We went to Chapultepec Castle, the place where the old viceroys of New Spain would govern. The sight was taken by the Americans during a war in 1847. Six boy soldiers fought to the death whilst the Mexican President Santa Anna fled. Mexicans venerate the ‘Boy Heroes’ and there are giant murals in their honour. The rest of the Castle is very much of Nueva España period, with portraits and items of clothing from the time. The rest of the Castle is a museum telling the story of Mexican history up to and including the Revolution and the writing of the constitution in 1917. Naturally they only pay lip-service to the ideals of the Revolution.

We walked down from the Castle, through the forest and beside Lago Chapultepec and back to the Zona Rosa. Rob desperately wanted to see Manchester United play Roma … we watched and they lost, and the place where we were eating charged us for the cutlery that we used, thus ensuring that they got no tip! To kill a few hours we found a pool hall and played a few games. In the early evening we went to one of the more expensive areas of Mexico City called Condesa in a quest to find some Guinness. We found it but it was pricey.

We were keen to get back to bus station especially as we knew most families would be taking time off for their Easter holidays. Nothing could have prepared us for the horrendousness of metros, buses and the crush of the bus station. After spending forever in seemingly stationary traffic we made it to the bus terminal and were confronted by a sea of people, all of whom were trying to get out of the city just like us. It was really some of the worst planning that I’ve come across in Latin America. More and more people were pushed along by the crowd toward the buses (but couldn’t progress) as more people entered the bus terminal. Think of the Hillsborough Disaster and it describes the situation and the crush. Eventually man stood up with a loudspeaker and attempted to impose some order but he was one out of thousands. Rob and I were really running on empty at this time as we had had no sleep for about two days. Our bus to Guadalajara left an hour later than planned but pretty much as soon as we got out of Mexico City I passed out … that’s the problem with Mexico City – it really takes it out of you (and leaves you wanting to have a shower afterwards).
Guadalajara (Part One):
First off, I have to say that Guadalajara is my favourite place in Mexico (so far). It’s in the state of Jalisco, and from what I can understand that state is the jewel in the crown of Mexico. So much of what we consider Mexican actually comes from Jalisco, such as Mariachis, the giant sombrero, tequila, dances, spicy food, clothes, et cetera. Not only that it but actually functions as a city (not a Latin American lunatic asylum). The streets are cleaned regularly, the roads are well-surfaced and the pavements don’t have the cracks and holes which can endanger one’s life! It’s nice to able to walk along a street and not having to sidestep dead animals and dog turd.

Guadalajara has reportedly the world’s largest indoor market. I tend to take such claims with a pinch of salt, but the place certainly seemed to have everything that you could want to buy. We wanted food and we certainly got it! The food in Guadalajara is fantastic and served in generous quantities. Being a glutton I was I heaven!

Even though Guadalajara is a city of over four million people, the population come across as being friendlier, better fed and better dressed than the rest of Mexico. At the same time it feels extremely Mexican … it also has the best looking women in Mexico! People from Jalisco are known as ‘Tapatíos’ or ‘Tapatías’ and are renowned in Mexico for being tasty!

We took a tour around the city and its many landmarks. It has a combination of old colonial buildings (the city was where the first government was established during the War of Independence) and modern commercial infrastructure. Bizarrely the English audio component on the open-topped tour-bus was voiced by some Texan yahoo and sounded utterly ridiculous!

The place came alive in the late afternoon as the roads were closed to cars and stalls were set up selling sweets. There were performers, clowns, dancers and mariachis, the latter dancing and singing in their full regalia. The place was really alive and the city had a charge to it. Later that night Rob and I hit the town, drinking several pitchers of beer (of dubious provenance) … contrary to what Robert may state, I would claim the most attractive woman on the trip was the waitress who served us beer that night.

I felt rough as hell the next morning, but instead of the usual Dermot-type vomiting I managed to have a big molcajete breakfast, take a shower and get the bus to Puerto Vallarta. Guadalajara is an excellent place and if I had to live in Mexico I would live there. I left feeling very optimistic.

The Road To Puerto Vallarta (Part One):
This is where it all started to go a bit Pete Tong. I could never really get comfortable on the bus, even though it was a top range one. The film they were showing was awful and I couldn’t get to sleep. I got up to stretch my legs and go to the toilet … the bus was going very fast and the road had many bends in it … the bus felt like a boat on the sea and I knew immediately I was going to be sick. The booze I had the night before and the lovely molcajete breakfast were now coming back to haunt me. I ran up the aisle to the toilet and was violently ill. Fortunately in this bus there were two toilets. With the door sealed it seemed to me that I was on some sort of fairground ride as I was being thrown around inside as the bus driver hurtled down hill, around corners and bends and leaving me grabbing onto the basin for dear life. I didn’t know where up or down was and the bus would never stop for me to collect myself. I passed out at least twice and Rob knocked on the door to see if I was OK, but all I could do was continue being sick. After an hour or more of blacking out and vomiting I was able to pull myself out of the toilet and back to my seat, where I passed out again.

Puerto Vallarta
It seemed that no sooner than I had closed my eyes than we arrived in Puerto Vallarta. I was officially a mess now, and in no fit state for anything. Rob had come to Puerto Vallarta before at Easter time and had found accommodation with ease, but alas it was not going to be same this time. I was no use to either of us as I was practically dead.

We left the bus terminal and I passed out in the in shade as the sun was so intense. It was as humid as hell too. When a bus to take us to the centre of town arrived I got on, sat by an open window for the breeze (or in case I needed to vomit) and promptly passed out again. The bus took an hour to reach the centre of town due to the amount of traffic and people there.

We went to the central plaza. I lay on a bench and wrapped Rob and my bags around me as he went off in search for accommodation. I passed out again only to be woken by some toothless old guy telling me that I couldn’t sleep there! I was really in such a bad way – my body felt dead I was taking everything in on a disconnected cerebral level.

Someone could have hit me and I really wouldn’t have been able to do anything about it – nor would I have cared. I did though notice that Puerto Vallarta was the place that all the good looking women from Guadalajara go on holiday! I felt though like a quadriplegic at a Miss World competition … Rob then came back and told me that there didn’t seem to be any lodgings. He carried on looking and I passed out again.

When I woke up again it was dark and I was being eaten by moths and mosquitoes. I pulled myself away and fought a losing battle against them. Rob made a reappearance and we went into the tourist information office. The woman there kindly called around and found us a place – or so we thought. After walking to the hotel we found the person to whom she had spoken to be drunk and that she had been joking … it was incredibly nightmarish and my body was suffering. Rob has since described the feeling as both ‘chate’ and ‘kicking the stool from under me whilst I was in the gallows’. We went into a shop with air-conditioning, bought a large coke and tried to collect ourselves. We had no choice but to head back to the bus station and to buy a ticket to wherever we could find … our appalling luck continued at the bus station as we weren’t given the teacher’s discount and had to pay full whack.

Not surprisingly during all of this Rob was extremely worried about me. I knew I’d be OK after a day or two but Rob was ready to pull the plug on the whole trip. He told me that if I wasn’t OK within a day he wanted me to return to Pachuca and see a doctor! We bought a ticket to Morelia and sat in the café of the bus terminal feeling pretty wretched and bedraggled … as it was Good Friday the television news was showing re-enactments of the Passion around Mexico … I coldly watched the grotesqueness of it all as people looked on with awe at the bloody spectacle. George Orwell said that one couldn’t be both a Catholic and a grown-up … I trundled onto the bus to Morelia and passed out.

Morelia:
Morelia is the capital of Michoacán State. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site but yet isn’t touristy – which is great when your body had taken a battering and you need to relax. It has loads of old buildings that have been well-preserved and any new construction has to be done in the same Baroque style, as well as using the city’s trademark pink stone.

It wasn’t so easy getting a hotel room on the morning of Easter Saturday, but we found one and went out for breakfast. After that I went back to the room and slept. It was a deep sleep and I needed it. Rob went out exploring as I recovered. The city has a lovely cathedral and central district. Despite the obvious beauty of the place, the state of Michoacán has a lot of problems. It’s the home state of President Felipe Calderón and the scene of numerous armed confrontations between the drug cartels and the military. Also at least two million of the state’s men have had to go north for work. It’s dependent upon remittances for its economic well-being. The great fear is that once the United States has completed its barrier stopping Mexicans from crossing the border illegally that, as a result, there will be millions of unemployed men in Mexico and no remittances to keep the country afloat. It will be seriously socially destabilising.

After my deep sleep I had a stroll around the city and went to its old market. Morelia is famous for its traditional Mexican sweets so I bought some as presents. After that Rob and I went to the cinema to watch ‘Notes On A Scandal’, only because the idea of going out and having a big evening and drinking beer was an anathema to me. There was some Easter entertainment in the central plaza (including the burning of an effigy of Judas Iscariot that we wanted to see for its comic value) but the show had wrapped up by the time we had left the cinema. We just went back to our room and crashed.

Guadalajara And Tequila:
The original plan had been to go from east to west, from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean and then back to Pachuca. The Puerto Vallarta debacle had scuppered that plan. I was still very keen on returning to Puerto Vallarta as I had heard only good things about it. Rob on the otherhand had been there years before and didn’t share my desire. A new plan was concocted: we would return to Guadalajara and then go onto Colima and then part ways. Rob was keen on seeing his girlfriend again whereas I wanted to go Puerto Vallarta out of pure stubbornness! It’s unlikely that I will return to Mexico anytime soon so it’s important to me to see as much as I can before the end. Somewhere like Puerto Vallarta will probably also become a ghastly resort like Acapulco in ten to fifteen years time so I didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity. It is known, after all, as the ‘jewel in the crown’ of Jalisco.

We arrived back in Guadalajara on Easter Sunday and the place was a lot quieter than it had been on Maundy Thursday. We went out and ate, as eating is probably one of the best things that one can do in Guadalajara. We had ‘tortas ahogadas’, a pork sandwich drenched in chilli. I must say that my tolerance of spicy food has increased tremendously during my time here in Mexico. Those sandwiches are supposed to be super-fiery and yet I ate them with gusto! The food in Mexico is one thing I will miss back at home.

On Easter Monday we went to the village of Tequila near Guadalajara. The village is the home of the drink and one has pass through fields and fields of the blue agave cactus. Its serrated triangular leaves conceal a dense fibrous core known as the ‘heart’ (like an artichoke), from which tequila is made. Rob and I went to the José Cuervo distillery and saw the drink being made. One could taste it during its various stages of production as well but I was still swearing off the booze! I’m not a big fan of tequila anyway.

Colima:
Arriving into Colima on the Tuesday we were hit by the heat reminiscent of when we were in Puerto Vallarta or Veracrúz City. It was back to shorts and flip-flops and I vowed not to wear trousers again until I got back to Pachuca. The other thing that struck me the most about Colima City was the amount of pregnant women about the place. That and there were a lot of toddlers who appeared to be of the same age as well. I have two theories about this weird phenomenon: one is because of the volcano that looms over the city – it just must make everything and everyone fertile! The other is that there must be some giant party where everyone gets super-drunk and as a result the women all get knocked up. I’ve never seen anything like it!

Colima is actually the perfect place for a young family: it’s safe and tranquil. There wasn’t much to do in that place apart from relax, but that’s fine if you’ve spent ages on the road. The city is also the home of the Xoloitzcuintles, the curious clay depictions of the dogs which the Aztecs thought would help their souls to the afterlife. Aztecs used to sleep with them and eat them as well as they thought they had mysterious curative powers. They still exist today in reality as the hairless Mexican breed that Frida Kahlo owned.

Fish was back on the menu as Rob and I spent our last evening on the trip together. It was a chilled out evening in a chilled out place. The next day Rob got on the bus and headed back to Pachuca, safe in the knowledge that Manchester United had thumped Roma seven goals to one! I headed toward the bus station to go to Puerto Vallarta.

When I got to the bus station I discovered that there was no direct bus to Puerto Vallarta! I had already booked my accommodation after the disaster of Good Friday and I wasn’t going to be thwarted now, so I got the bus to as far as I could go: Manzanillo. It was a short hop there, maybe about ninety minutes or so, and from Manzanillo I got a direct bus to Puerto Vallarta.

It seems my idea of ‘direct’ and the person’s who sold me the ticket was somewhat different. The bus journey was ten hours long and in the sort of coach that one would go on from your school to the swimming pool in the 1980s! There was no air-conditioning and roads hadn’t been resurfaced in years. From the window I gazed out at the Pacific Ocean, and then we went into the hills and the jungle. I’m sure that there are places more far-flung in Mexico – it’s just that I haven’t been to them yet!

We passed through villages without names where I stuck out like a sore thumb. In the jungle around Yalapa, just up the road from Puerto Vallarta, is where Arnold Schwarzenegger filmed ‘Predator’. As well seeing such a remote part of Mexico I did also get to see ‘Rocky Balboa’ on the bus, that latest addition to Sylvester Stallone’s contribution to civilisation and the arts. We are all in his debt for those six films, especially the latter.

Puerto Vallarta (Part Two):
I arrived late and went to bed as soon as I arrived in the hotel. I slept late the next day after such a gruelling trip. I actually did very little in Puerto Vallarta as I was by myself and I was keen on just recovering after a week on the go. In the afternoon of my first day I went for a swim in the Pacific, thus making it from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean. The waves were really powerful and had a terrific undertow – something that took me by surprise as it dragged me out. I cut up the soles of my feet that made it rather uncomfortable to walk in my flip-flops for the next couple of days.

The sea was alive with fish as well in Puerto Vallarta. The most disconcerting was a washed-up blowfish! It was covered in spikes, ready to deliver its poison. The most fantastic was that Puerto Vallarta must be the prawn and shrimp capital of the world. They sold them everywhere in Puerto Vallarta – and cheaply too – on kebab sticks on the beach or in overstuffed burritos! I was in prawn heaven and scoffed my face for three days!

Though I was lounging around on the beach the weather wasn’t that great. It was very windy and that made the waves too big for swimming. Also one couldn’t parasail due to the strong wind. Nothing though was going to detract from my time though relaxing, though it would have been nice to go up to Yalapa and explore where ‘Predator’ was filmed. I wasn’t able to get the sea-taxi due to waves and I couldn’t walk due to my feet being cut-up so I’ll have to save that treat until I return sometime in the future … whereupon Puerto Vallarta will be some ghastly resort. The amount of construction I saw going on there beggared belief. Alas I feel they are going to spoil a very fine thing.
I left Puerto Vallarta on the Saturday and made it back Pachuca on the Sunday, refreshed in a far better mood than when I left. The trip was exactly what the doctor ordered.

© Dermot Sullivan July 11th 2007
dermotsullivan@hotmail.com

July 13th- update
Now I'm in Chiapas.Sober. It's better than Oaxaca and cheaper!

The New 2007 Mexico Diary
Dermot Sullivan in Mexico
I am in Mexico. I often ask myself how on earth I ended up here, especially as I was set on going to Japan.
Turning 30 in Mexico
Dermot Sullivan
I am having some trouble adjusting to the altitude. To try to get fit I have started playing football with some of the students on a Friday afternoon and but find myself gasping for air after only a few minutes!
Understanding Mexico
Dermot Sullivan
Mexico is a country both sure and unsure of its identity.


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