Read More

MONTE ALBAN AND AND IT’S MOUNTAIN PARADISE.

OR, A MOUNTAINTOP ZAPOTEC CITY LINKED CLOSELY TO Teotihuacán and mitla

It’s huge, it’s Zapotec and it’s completely different to what I expected.

The Zapotecs were a sedentary culture living in villages and towns, in houses constructed with stone and mortar. They recorded the principal events in their history by means of hieroglyphics, and in warfare they made use of a cotton armour. The well-known ruins of Mitla have been attributed to them.

(I will write another post about the fabulous jade and gold discoveries, that are housed in Oaxaca Palace Museum. This is closed at the moment but I’ll be able to dig up some photos from before. I really need to write a bit more about the amazing Zapotecs)

Castrated man?

I had got up ready to go to the archaeological museum but its been closed. No signs on the door except the opening hours, and through the peephole a man informed me that they didn’t know when they’d open again to which I replied rather hotly I must confess well put a sign on the door then and change the bloody Google details. He said that’s a good idea I’ll put a sign on the door, as if he’d just thought of it. Yes some people have travelled thousands of miles to see these artefacts I whined. His beady eyes perused me as if I was mad. And sort it out on Google and your site this is the second time I’ve come here. He was making me cross and I felt as if he might just let me in if I kept banging on about it.

Read More

Itzamná. A MAJOR DEITY AND OTHERS.

OR, ANOTHER MAGNIFICENT GOD OF MANY ATTRIBUTES.

Alert: I’m having trouble in finding images so some will be of other gods just to enjoy the art! This will be corrected when I get back to the UK. I think that’s why others aren’t mentioned because they are so difficult to identify!

Maya Censers | Aztec art, Maya art, Ancient mexico

OR, LORD OF HEAVENS NIGHT AND DAY, OR GOD D.

Before deciphering the codices the gods were all given just a letter to name them. Now however we have their glorious and exotic definitions but they usually are referred to by their letters too hence God D (Mayan: “Iguana House”) 

Read More

CALAKMUl, BALAMKU and kohunlich.THEN HOME.

OR, FINALLY I CATCH A BREAK ON MY ROAD TRIP OF ARCHAEOLOGY.

A week long road trip was hell and heaven. Mostly hell but the bits that were heaven were sublime. It all would be heaven if they hadn’t imposed such restrictions where they were’t needed. Seems there is no middle ground here but I love it just the same.

Alert: I’m working under duress with internet on and off more times than a tarts knickers! (excuse me if this old saying is offensive!) I will go on to publish and correct it all later! IN THE HOWLING WIND AND RAIN DROPS THAT THREATEN MY GEAR EVEN BELOW THE THATCHED ROOF I WILL SAY TATA FOR THE MOMENT! That’s all folks!

Calakmul.

Read More

EK BALAM. PYRAMID OF ANGELS.

OR, FLYING FREE AGAIN JUST FOR THE DAY. MAKING DECISIONS AWAY FROM TULUM.

Been very unsure what to do next. Return to UK where my new house is finally ready, or go to Oaxaca or Veracruz. Both are far and really need to been part flight from either Merida or Chetumal. So I went for the second time yesterday to the french patisserie to work. It was a stroke of luck. Not only is Giles, who works there a like minded (we had a long political chat), but he came up with a site for me to visit that I’d never heard of, Ek Balam. The site of the pyramid of the angels. Thank god, a decent bit of nearby archaeology.

AN ‘ANGEL’
Read More

PREHISTORIC CAVE PAINTINGS MITLA.

OR, HOW A OLD BIRD CLIMBED TWO MOUNTAINS IN A DAY.

The sun was shining…

When I made the decision to visit prehistoric cave dwellings that have been inhabited for 10,000 years I thought it would be a little tricky but not that hard. yesterday I worked my little travellers socks off to visit two of the major sites in Mitla. I had chosen two, maybe three places but hadn’t anticipated that they weren’t just there like most tourist sites, they are tricky to get to and a lot of leg work. I would advise not to try for them unless you’re feeling top notch and are prepared to go slowly.

Now I’ve been to Mitla two years ago to see the famous Mayan site of Mitla and also Hierve el Agua, which now sadly is permanently closed. Both were things of wonder so I was excited to be even more daring this time with a bit of pre history caves and their paintings all in the same area. I have always wanted to see some more ancient art in caves but have only once before been to an island off Sicily and no photos were allowed but here one has the privilege of getting out the old camera. I had no idea how remote they actually were and how hard you had to climb on treacherous slippery terrain after the rains. Although the soil had dried off there are a huge number of springs which are obviously spurting out excess water as you go higher up and make the soil and rocks really slick.

MY SUNDAY OUTING TO VISIT 10.000 YEAR OLD ANCESTRAL CAVES.

Read More

CACTI AND SALT FLATS IN THE MOUNTAINS…BY MOTORBIKE!

OR THE OLD BIRD GETS PUSHED TO HER LIMITS BY GOING UP AND DOWN SHEER MOUNTAIN TRACKS .

Returning from that hellish winding mountain track I could afford to fool around

I arrived in Tehuacán exhausted and burnt out and had done nothing for days once I found the museums and site which I specifically travelled here for were all closed. I had allowed myself a meltdown, a collapse if you will. I had stayed in my room just sneaking out for food and drinks. I was absolutely broken. Then as usual, I shook myself down and got myself a sort of improvised tour.

Armando Pacheco and his shelter for writing at night and entertaining tourists staying for the stars.

ZAPOTITLAN SALINAS

Reception told me that the guide knew the area well and just because the gardens were closed there were plenty of other paths with exactly the same types of flora. The botanical gardens were just a more tarted up area of the same old, same old. As it transpired they were right so I got myself a bus and headed out of town to Zapotitlan. As soon as I got on that bus I was straight back into adventure mode, my agoraphobia melted and I was ready for action. The bus driver dumped me at the edge of the road and I walked back to the Zapotitlan letters in a mist of fine powder and exhaust smoke.

Read More

JADE DEATH MASKS

OR THE GOOD BITS FROME GHASTLY CAMPECHE

MUSEUMS

Exotic elongated head

I even had low expectations that the museums would be open today but bliss! After a very good nights sleep I got up to a bright calm day and the museums I indeed wanted, were open. I went straight to the museum that has the very famous jade mask and oh what a treat. Beautifully curated and with a great atmosphere and lighting, the guards there said I should also go to the Archaeological Museum Fort San Miguel. One quick cab ride and I arrived at a fort with the courtyard rooms converted into a museum. They really have good gear here but again another spoiler was the boss kept saying my nose had to be covered and was jokey but serious. I was sweating and panicking but I wanted to see the fine collection there. I noticed other people with their noses out of the masks but I guess if you’re Mexican it’s ok. I’ve heard other people complain of this and it’s such a shame after the Mayan Riviera where they are just so much cooler.

campeche museo de arquitura maya de nuestra senorade la soledad

Calakmul mask.
Read More

CRASH LANDING IN Tehuacán.

OR OLD BIRD FINALLY SUCCUMBS TO EXHAUSTION.

Sunrise from early bus ride

I’d spent three days in Peubla and had the luck of one museum open and had gone to Cholula and found and excellent museum there. I had walked my tootsies off there and in Oaxaca at Monte Alban, and at Mitla getting to the prehistoric cave paintings on the tops of the mountains there. I had walked climbed and bussed everywhere. I had eaten rather poorly with food that didn’t really agree with me and had been generally burning the candle at both ends. I had stressed a lot and so slept badly. It was bound to end in tears and those tears would be mine.

View from hotel window

Alert: Now I suffer from epilepsy. I take tablets for it each day but have long since run out of medication, so when I feel off colour now I have been jittery. Although this has happened before while travelling, I weaned myself off them when I saw that I was running low, I had never really got a handle on whether I really needed them. I’m happy to try to be as little interfered with by the pharmaceuticals nowadays but with stress and fatigue comes the mals. Or so I thought. So far I have been without warning symptoms but I am trying to keep an eye on not getting too tired and freaked. (Of course I never listen to my own advice). However the odd thing about it is that when in lockdown in Soho I suffered many petit mals in a row over the course of a few days when I felt fearful and terribly depressed. I was scared to go upstairs in case I crashed coming down and killed myself. This was while I was taken my tablets like a good girl but the HUGE mountain of stress that was of a more frightening kind made me sweep back into epilepsy days again. I have had travelling stress but it must be very different, as I am without any medication for over two weeks now and have had none of the dramas that I had in London. (There surely is a study on this somewhere? Different types of stress and effects on the body and brain). Hopefully now I can stop depending on any medications now only my daily mineral supplements and vitamins. This would be great, and an achievement. I hasten to add this was by accident and I’m not suggesting you do this. Be as safe as you can but I do want to say that maybe travelling, investigating the world and being generally free can be better for your health than anything.

Read More

DAYS AT THE BEACH.

OR, HANG ON A MINUTE EDITOR! SHE’S ONLY BEEN THREES TIMES IN OVER SIX WEEKS?! SHE’S BEEN TO THOSE CENOTE THINGS, LIKE PONDS MORE OFTEN

Yes I’ve neglected the beach rather and been to cenotes, archaeological sites, museums, and going on road trips so now it’s time for the seaside as both office and to go into.

NOW I’M JUST BACK from my road trip, which did indeed feel like Thelma and Louise at times, or just Thelma, I can relax again and start catching up with it all but I thought we would have a beach intermission first.

Read More

FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD. CONNOISSEURS STEAK AND WINE RESTAURANT.

OR IT DOESN’T GET BETTER THAN THIS: CARN&VORO.

I never write posts just about restaurants but I will do so now. When you find something this good it deserves applause. connoisseur

I’ve had a couple of off days after my flight. Felt exhausted but for a change I forced myself to have a siesta, it was a Margaret Thatcher one, twenty deep sleep minutes. I felt a hugely better and hungry so decided that I was going to try a restaurant with good meat, a really fine steak. Luckily just round the corner from me I saw what seemed to be the ticket the “Parilla de Barrio” or neighbourhood grill. I felt I needed a place of quality and indeed that is what I got.

Lovely team including chef Mario Ivan Garcia Vasquez, waiters Enrique and Lavra and the boss
Read More

RAGING STORMS AND BIBLICAL DELUGE AND A MAD OLD DOG LADY.

OR, LITERALLY WERE CUT OFF. THE ROAD WAS CLOSED AND I OFFICIALLY WAS ON A DESERT ISLAND

The last farewell.

You know it’s been raining here more or less non stop? Well now, the day I was supposed to leave, there is a massive storm. I was woken in the night by explosive bangs and flashes and the sound of torrential rain. I went to my door and the display was awe inspiring. I managed a video but really wasn’t concerned about leaving in the morning, surely this Biblical deluge would be spent by eight when my collectivo would pick me up. As I sit here still in my Punta Allen hotel room, with explosives bangs every five seconds or so, I realised that, as usual, I was overly optimistic.

Flooded road.

The wind has also picked up now as well as rumbling. Hurricane coming?

Read More

SO FUCKING LOW. LAST DAY IN PUNTA ALLEN CRYING ALL DAY.

OR, THIS IS REALLY HARD MY HOLIDAY ROMANCE WITH SWIMMING DOG IS OVER.

Alert: Nostalgia and cry baby form most of this post. If you can’t be arsed with a grown woman and a tough old cookie at that, boohooing over a dog just look at the pics!!

Alkidas ears flapping in the breeze.

My dear old birds this is why you keep moving, because if you stay a while anywhere, you form attachments. I am so down it’s beyond belief. The weather isn’t helping nor are the dogs, especially Alkida, who is blissfully unaware of my departure. I’m down, really down. It’s ridiculous I can’t stop crying. Punta Allen has been a huge learning curve and these hounds have been my best friends (apart from Sonia of course).

Very naughty swimming dog on my fresh sheets
Read More

KUALA LUMPUR, VIBRANT LIFE, MUSEUMS, ORCHIDS AND BIRDS.

OR, CATCHING UP WITH THE PAST AND STEPPING BACK IN TIME TO MALAYSIA MAY 2018

There’s a lot to be said about finishing telling you about what’s happened so far this time in Mexico but I haven’t even skimmed the surface of my many other explorations of other countries and now I’ve exhausted my trip here in Mexico far thus far, I will now relate to you different stories. These are of in good times before the world changed and while it was all free and easy. LOADS OF PICS IN THIS POST!

Read More

WORKING IN REMOTE PLACES. REALLY HARD!

OR, YES I’M STILL WHINING ON ABOUT THE ELECTRICITY AND INTERNET. THIS IS A CHARACTER BUILDING EPISODE IN MY LIFE! SO TODAYS PICS ARE MOSTLY AN EXHIBITION IN LONDONS OXO. THIS IS BECAUSE OF MY LACK OF PICS THAT ARE RELEVANT THANKYOU GOOGLE I WILL DEAL WITH THIS ON MY RETURN TO LONDON. WILL BE SHOOTING ON ON MY TOUGH CAMERA FOR NOW

MOANY VIDEO FROM CARTAGENA IN 2019.

Another moany time!

This is all moaning and some random art photos of mine as my Google phone is still playing up. Publish and be damned I say!

Ron from my art show
Read More

PREPARATIONS FOR GOING OFF-GRID IN PUNTA ALLEN!

OR, I JUST HAD TO GO BACK BUT WHAT A DRAMA GETTING ORGANISED!

Internet really playing up will add more pics later! One of the things that happens off grid!

Love the name!

The bus ride back was fast, only the three hours, but I was glum. Although I knew it was just one week in Tulum I had finally found my groove in this small paradise. The journey itself was great because it leaves at eight in the morning, no hanging around and great light to take pictures. Upon reaching the hotel side of Tulum though, my depression deepened. Plastic loud tourists milling around and all the trappings that go with under a thin veil of being very ethnic.

Collectivo with bananas and food as cargo with the passengers.

As soon as I arrived in Tulum my ears were assaulted by noise. I was so used to crashing waves and wind that to hear all these fucking cars and lorries, loudspeakers of vendors of gas, and fruit and veg, and other shite that I freaked as I got off the collectivo. Also a new thing, police loudspeakers about covid and masks. This just felt hostile  and I felt really low.

For all the inconveniences of living on the edge of society it’s a whole world of difference if you’ve been used to be a lone wolf for a while. I sit here back in Punta Allen another time and although there’s no bloody WiFi at the moment because it’s ‘windy’ I still am blessed to be here and just writing this up in ‘word’ to copy to blog later.

Read More

Punta Allen.Paradise on earth.

OR, HEAVEN ON EARTH BIOSPHERE OF SIAN KA’AN

Me and swimming dog Alkida

Pain throughout the night. I had definitely set back my recovery but what to do? More painkillers and sedatives, a tormented sleep only to get up to open the windows in the night after the AC went off.

View from Villas Roseliz

When I staggered out of my room in the morning the beauty of the place really dawned on me I had only seen the little twinkling lights the night before and it all looked disconnected and really quite scary.

Punta Allen is an unspoilt village with only very transient tourists passing through. It’s a fishing village and an amazing microcosm. I presume they have been hit by these times but I doubt people really stay here it’s more for the fishing and visiting the Biosphere Sian Ka’an where they have a huge variety of flora and fauna including jaguars if you’re very lucky. It’s at the end of the Boca Paila Peninsula. On that fifty km of rough dirt track down there, live around 500 salty souls.

hotel villa roseliz.

Alkida playing the fool

Arriving at family hotel was a stroke of the best luck. It’s such a beautiful place and is appointed twenty paces from the white beach front. David the owner and Sonia have taken good care of me which would never have happened in the more impersonal places here. I was in poor shape but I extended my stay because, well, I felt as if this was the place to recuperate both body and soul. I didn’t want to leave and the huge bonus of love from the doggy too has really made the difference between just having a place to rest your head, and having a caring sort of family. They have massage here and a kayak if you fancy going out on the crazy beautiful aquamarine sea. Indeed someone said in a review that the massage was ‘magical, cosmic and ancestral’. Can’t really get a better review! I just wanted to tell you about this place because sometimes in life, and especially when you’re a damaged old bird travelling solo, you need the milk of human kindness. Sonia also will also cook some tasty food if you preorder.

,
Read More

ACCIDENT!

OR, JUST THE USUAL SHIT FROM A CRASHING AND BASHING OLD BIRD.

Well folks I’ve gone and done it again.

In my wild enthusiasm to have a fresh start and go on a health kick on Sunday, after having, let’s say, run riot with sangria popsicles I crashed and burned immediately upon awakening. I got up and went to throw last nights soup down the loo preparing for a house clean before my trip to Punta Allen the following day. I sped back past my bed catching my toes on the bed leg that rather protrudes, and went crashing down really hard on my left wrist and then knees, elbows and hip, whilst, I might say holding the fucking soup pan aloft in my right hand. Now this weird automatic reaction I have noted before, for some reason you protect what you’re holding at the great cost of bodily harm. I’ve done this many times in a fit of the clumsies.

Ow and ow.

Now you might be saying that it’s my fault, but I promise you that normally when I crash and burn it’s due to lack of concentration and not the demon drink. This is why I keep banging on to you old birds especially, to go slow and concentrate on missions whether they be climbing ruins or doing the fucking dishes at home. This more haste less speed Rebecca had a stupid household accident and an avoidable one. This was the same dumb stupidity when I broke my foot in Mexico stumbling on the hotel bathroom step taking my dry clothes with speed to my suitcase. True the step was high but it was because i was planning other stuff in my head and my spacial awareness flew out the window as it does.

The mantra here in Punta Allen

As I sit here and write this from the paradise that is Punta Allen, looking gloomily at my fluorescent blue bandaged hand and wrist, I can recall it all in slow motion as you can in all those magnificent grand falls.

Read More

PALENQUE MAYAN MEXICO.

OR, THE GREAT PALENQUE RIP OFF

ALERT ALERT ALERT: A WORD OF CAUTION. GOOGLE PHOTOS, mysteriously disappeared swathes of photos from all of my trip thus far. Then a few days later more vanished back to September 2020. This is happening to many angry people apparently. They do not respond with this complaint by a crowd of furious clients who have lost precious memories. The fact mine went in swathes was very odd too. Lucky I am an anorak on trips and download to an external hard drive but I don’t have any pre trip photos and videos from September. Warn everyone as it seems to be a huge problem and they don’t respond. I seem to have permanently lost all Christmas pics and am heartbroken.

OR TOUGH ROAD TRIP FINALLY GETS ME THERE!

Pyramid

Journey to Palenque was long, I’d downloaded a crazy series to binge watch for the six hours which just about kept me sane as they pull the screens most of the way down on the ADO buses and have tinted glass and all sorts so no window gazing just navel and Netflix gazing.

Read More

Edzná.

OR ANOTHER GOOD THING CAME OUT OF CAMPECHE.

Although I had had a great time in the museums with the magnificent jade masks the day before, I had also had a drama at the bank after, and a miserable, bad dinner in the evening. I had drank the last of my six pack in my fluorescently lit room and felt glum and anxious about the following day. I was to be pleasantly surprised however.

An hour up the road with the collectivo is Edzna. Without Lariza at my hotel, I wouldn’t have known anything. She was excellent for the proper local information and knew exactly where to get what, and what was open. The other shitheads were full of false info. Despite the hotel being eccentric, she was my rock.

Giant heads on one of Edznas buildings
Read More

AN ESPECIALLY GHASTLY TRIP TO GHASTLY CAMPECHE.

OR DON’T EVEN START ME OFF ABOUT THAT SHITHOLE.

Alert: This is pure moaning and I will cover the museums there and Edzna in my next post so as not to sully the good bits! The jade and historical sites are lovely. It’s just travelling at this time is so silly and hysterical and I forget that when I’m in Tulum, indeed I checked the travel for Other countries in my neck of the woods and was shocked at the new hysteria all over South America etc

leaving Tulum for my road trip.

Bye bye to my lovely studio for a week.
Read More

COBA mexico and name that tree!

OR MY FABULOUS JOURNEY TO COBA JUST AN HOUR AND A HALF FROM TULUM.

Ball court with ring clearly still intact.

Well what a surprise. Just an hour an a half up the road is Coba and a site that takes your breath away. As usual I had a total fiasco going there but I’ll get to that later. Coba is a jewel and as always it’s best to get there relatively early. I saw about fifty people around this very stretched out monumental site until I was leaving and then coach loads were coming in.

Read More

CENOTES THE ROUTE TO THE UNDERWORLD.

OR GETTING TO SEE THE ENTRANCE TO THE MAYAN UNDERWORLD.

Fabulous water and entrance to the underworld under the lip of the pond are the caves

Although I lost my mojo for a few days, I gave myself a sharp talking to. I was beginning to get depressed. I think it was after being chased by the troupe of dogs in this neighbourhood which has now made me walk the long way round to my local shop. Add to that a lot of drunks and crack heads suddenly started to congregate around my street. This meant I couldn’t really go out after six unless I asked Charlie for a lift. I hate being beholden to people so this was getting me down. However all is well again with a few tweaks, I’m nothing if not adaptable.

Read More

Coming home to Tulum.

OR, I MISSED MY LAID BACK HUMAN TULUM!

Hello Tulum again I’ve missed you

There’s a lot to be said for a quick foray into other parts, and Merida and Uxmal were a good example. The atmosphere over in Yucks (Yucatan) is more aggressive and smacked slightly of London about the masks, apart from that it was lovely. However once leaving I had no qualms. I wanted to be back home in Tulum. I don’t want to be a baby about it but it’s the closest you can get to our old normal lives in this lovely place.

ADO bus at dawn
Read More

OLD BIRD PHOTO ALBUM ON THE FREE PLANET.

LIFE ON THE WONDERFUL EDGE! ENJOY IT WHILE YOU CAN!

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO MY LOVELY OLD BIRDS AND ALL YOU TRAVELLERS OUT THERE! I was going to go back to Russia beginning of this year but I’ve just got in touch with my beautiful serviced apartments in Mexico City and the lovely owner so…….what you reckon?

These pics are for you to whet your whistle for this year…

Alert: This is a reminder that life is short so just GO FOR IT THIS YEAR!!