Permanent Vacasian

The traveller sees what he sees; the tripper sees what he has come to see. – G. K. Chesterton

A-O River!

February 16, 2013
by Tina
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3,178 views

Belize – After a month-long hiatus from traveling, we started again where we left off in Cancun, Mexico. We had debated about going to Belize, and finally decided that we heard enough about it to dedicate a few days there – plus we would get to add another country to our list. We flew in to Cancun because it was a lot cheaper than flying to Belize City, and we had some Pesos that we needed to get rid of. After spending a few hours in the Cancun bus station (and eating one last Mexican meal) we boarded the night bus to Belize City.

The ruins of Lamanai.

The ruins of Lamanai.

It was a decent bus, although the air conditioning was super cold, and we had an uneventful, quiet ride. We reached the border at about 4am and everyone got off the bus to walk through immigration. It went smooth for most people, but a few people who were doing the same thing we were – flying to Mexico and leaving the same day for Belize – were trying not to pay the $25 exit fee since they were technically in transit. I tried that as well stating in my broken Spanish, “En Mexico para una dia, pero no pagar?”

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It’s The End of the World As We Know It

December 28, 2012
by Tina
Comments Off on It’s The End of the World As We Know It
2,982 views

The Yucatan,  Mexico – The guidebook makes the town of Tulum seem like a dusty truck stop, but it’s actually kind of cute. The streets are lined with restaurants, hotels and souvenir shops – but it’s not too tacky and the town has some charm. We paid way too much for our hotel, but that is how it goes when your traveling in Mexico durning high season with an impending apocalypse just days away. Anyway, it was a nice place with two-story bungalows with hammocks on the porches.

The beachfront ruins at Tulum.

The beachfront ruins at Tulum.

The beach is three miles from town and most visitors have to decide whether to stay in town, with easy access to restaurants and shops, or on the beach where you are pretty much at the mercy of your hotel’s chef, and prices. We didn’t really have to decide because almost everything was booked so we stayed in the only place that wasn’t super expensive.

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No Room at the Inn

December 14, 2012
by Tina
3 Comments
2,654 views

Campeche and Merida, Mexico – On the road between Palanque and Campeche we kept passing people running or riding bikes who were followed by a pick up truck full of people. They all wore tee-shirts with the Virgin of Guadalupe and some of them carried torches or Virgin statues. We  correctly surmised that this had something to do with the upcoming Día de la Virgin de Guadalupe. Turns out that thousands of people  around Mexico make several day pilgrimages to celebrate the holiday.

Reflected colors across the street; Fuerte-Museo San José del Alto, Campeche

Reflected colors across the street; Fuerte-Museo San José del Alto, Campeche

When we got to the hotel in Campeche – which was located right on the central square – we were excited about the great location,  but that is about all we could say about the place. As I stumbled through asking for a room in my broken Spanish, the woman at reception looked so annoyed and bored that I actually felt bad for inconveniencing her. We finally managed to book a room and she tossed the key at us and went back to her telenovelas. This was the first time in Mexico that we weren’t warmly welcomed by hotel staff – super weird for Mexico.

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Walking the Palenque

December 7, 2012
by Tina
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2,535 views

Chiapas, Mexico – Then it was on to Palenque. We decided not to stay in town but in the backpackers getaway, El Panchan – former ranch land that was reforested and now houses a few hotels and restaurants surrounded by jungle. It’s definitely got the hippie vibe. Our guide book even warned us not to buy the mushrooms from locals because they where the hallucinogenic kind.

During our first night there we awoke to the surreal sound of howler monkeys howling in the distance. That was surreal enough, no special mushrooms necessary.

Templo de las Inscripciones, Palenque

Templo de las Inscripciones, Palenque

We got up early to visit the Palaneque ruins – by now we had figured that the best time to visit the more popular ruins was right when they opened, you avoid the crowds (and the annoying tour groups) and it is the coolest time of the day.

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Holy Mole

December 4, 2012
by Tina
2 Comments
2,354 views

Oaxaca and San Christóbal, Mexico – Every time I hear the word “Oaxaca” I think of Rick Bayless, the Mexican food chef and, of course, food. So, naturally, we were excited to eat when we arrived in Oaxaca after a six hour bus ride from Mexico City. As expected, the food was good (and the hot chocolate was to-die-for) but there is so much more than that to Oaxaca.

Exterior; Wedding night, Templo de Santo Domingo, Oaxaca

Exterior; Wedding night, Templo de Santo Domingo, Oaxaca

First, the city is just so lively. There always seemed to be a parade, or protest, or celebration in the streets. People celebrating a wedding or anniversary dance through the streets following huge bride and groom puppets. The town Zòcalo was always bustling with people and there is a huge Saturday market.

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