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ORANGUTANS AND SUN BEARS IN BORNEO’S PARADISE.

OR, RESPITE FOR THESE NOBLE CREATURES.

I had travelled from London to India, then Thailand to the Philippines and onward to the North of Borneo to a remote sanctuary for the now near extinct sun bear, and orangutan, a rehabilitation centre par excellence. It had been a wild journey already to get to this point, a lot of challenges and really living my best life.

Little family who turned up in the afternoon.
The shy sun bear with its long talon like claws for digging.

I had swum with whale sharks, visited Mogul palaces and forts, gone by horse up volcanic mountains in lake to see the emerald acid lake within that. I had gazed upon the Taj Mahal and other places of such beauty that I had been transfixed. I had had some adventures and laughed later, after the dramas were over. I had eaten a huge array of food and swum in crystal waterfall pools. I had seen art in museums that filled my soul with joy and learnt many things about cultures and ideas previously unknown to me. This trip had already held so much magic that I felt couldn’t be surpassed, nothing could surprise me. How wrong I was. Upon meeting the ‘Old Man of the Woods’ or ‘Wise Old Man of the Jungle’ I was in love. Seeing the insane flora and fauna I was gobsmacked and felt I was in for a roller-coaster of emotions. I was right.

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BORNEO SUNSETS AND MOVING ONTO JUNGLE ORANGUTANS!

OR, BAD RESEARCH MAKES FOR A SCARY TRANSIT TRIP

After the beautiful posh hotel I had in Kota Kinabalu, (link) I had to downgrade a tad so opted for a beachside cheapo. Well not necessarily the right thing to do as it transpired. I wanted somewhere that I could just hang and prep my trip to the orangutan rehabilitation centre and needed to book flights and make plans for onward movement after.

Ghost resort with its polluted beach

I had visited the fabulous night market in the centre on my second day after my first day of running all over town for their amazing mosques and quirky museums (link)

The spot I was going for had a famous promontory sunset bar in walking distance, it all looked well and good, but my luck is always hit and miss. I had done no research for this trip as I hadn’t realised that Philippines only allowed you in if you had a flight out which I had had to panically book in the wee hours of the morning two weeks previously. Kota Kinabalu hadn’t even been on my radar. I sketchily thought ‘well I wanted to go over there at some point to go to this famous centre and see these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat but never further on than that as I had planned at least three weeks in the Philippines.

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IF YOU CAN’T GO, GROW! UPDATE!

OR, CULTIVATE PLANTS TO COOK YOUR WAY TO OTHER COUNTRIES!

July 28th 2022

Abundance!

Since I last checked in my terrace jungle has blessed me with more than enough produce than I need on a daily basis. Despite the chemtrails it seems that my lovely jungle is thriving. I would highly recommend that people grow their own fruit and veg on their terraces if land isn’t available to them in the form of an allotment or a friends garden.

Lemon cucumbers

I have shared with neighbours and even after eating greedily and still was able to freeze three portions of beans yesterday! I also have frozen some squash as I did earlier this year with some of my brothers crop.

I’ve been eating salad of herbs, lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes and nasturtium every day and have had various combos of calaloo, squash, beans and potatoes for my veg with my dindins!

In its hammock

I have to confess that the naughty squash do like to grow outside the railings so I had to invent and make some string hammocks for them except for one big boy that grew between the railings just to make my life more complicated!

Monster squash, black and green beans , tomatoes, lemon and gherkin cucumbers

I had a drama getting it in as it weighed 2.9 kg. I sweated and swore as I perilously cut it with one hand and with the other wiggled it out from the railings, then lifted it over while tangled up with all the vines. They are quite prickly too, so with my trembling arms I navigated it over to safety! It was worth doing as I was terrified it would fall off and kill someone walking innocently below! Dangerous beasts.

Homemade grana bread rolls with added seeds

I’ve also just started making my own bread. I’d forgotten it’s not a drama at all and so much more healthy and cheap. Take the bull by the horns girls and do it! The smell in the kitchen is amazing and it makes you feel all warm and safe. This goes side by side with making my own soap, body butter and tooth paste. You can escape all the nasty fluorides and chemicals that’s in the commercial crap. I’ll keep you posted on recipes and ingredients shortly but I have to run now!

Delicious spuds and calaloo with organic smoke salmon and butter

Alert: although this had been written in a rambling way you’ll have to excuse me! Much like this whole experience, it’s been penned as an ongoing experiment. Just how do you gather your thoughts when undertaking far too many things? I’m happy that my life is busy with things I am passionate about but it does lead to cutting corners. Anyhow, I’ll correct and add later in my very impatient old bird way. Publish and be damned!

My first lettuces cohabiting with my poor fig tree which now is a much happier specimen
See the happy fig tree in the jungle?

If you can’t get away but want to conjure up recipes with vegetables and herbs from distant parts of the world, get gardening and grow more exotic stuff than you can get locally. If you have access to a farmers market make sure the stall is organic at the least, biodynamic even better. The stuff I didn’t have time to grow this season might be available. There are weird and wonderful as well as things like stinging nettles that are extremely good for you.

While looking wistfully through James Wong’s Homegrown Revolution’ the other day, and seeing an article about growing potatoes on Mars, (yes you heard me right) I started to look at all the remarkable, lesser-known and easily grown, veggie stuff you could have ready this year to create an imaginary trip to another part of the planet in your garden and kitchen.

My little figgies

Now since originally writing this, I had to recognise I was running out of time to grow anything, let alone start with more exotic stuff and only managed to get non-GMO organic calaloo seeds on the go so I’ll just have to show you how I did on my small terrace in Soho with the more conventional fruit and veg.

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UPDATE: GROW YOUR OWN ORGANIC VEG ON A TERRACE.

OR, CULTIVATE PLANTS TO COOK YOUR WAY TO OTHER COUNTRIES!

July 28th 2022

Abundance!

Since I last checked in my terrace jungle has blessed me with more than enough produce than I need on a daily basis. Despite the chemtrails it seems that my lovely jungle is thriving. I would highly recommend that people grow their own fruit and veg on their terraces if land isn’t available to them in the form of an allotment or a friends garden.

Lemon cucumbers

I have shared with neighbours and even after eating greedily and still was able to freeze three portions of beans yesterday! I also have frozen some squash as I did earlier this year with some of my brothers crop.

I’ve been eating salad of herbs, lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes and nasturtium every day and have had various combos of calaloo, squash, beans and potatoes for my veg with my dindins!

In its hammock

I have to confess that the naughty squash do like to grow outside the railings so I had to invent and make some string hammocks for them except for one big boy that grew between the railings just to make my life more complicated!

Monster squash, black and green beans , tomatoes, lemon and gherkin cucumbers

I had a drama getting it in as it weighed 2.9 kg. I sweated and swore as I perilously cut it with one hand and with the other wiggled it out from the railings, then lifted it over while tangled up with all the vines. They are quite prickly too, so with my trembling arms I navigated it over to safety! It was worth doing as I was terrified it would fall off and kill someone walking innocently below! Dangerous beasts.

Homemade grana bread rolls with added seeds

I’ve also just started making my own bread. I’d forgotten it’s not a drama at all and so much more healthy and cheap. Take the bull by the horns girls and do it! The smell in the kitchen is amazing and it makes you feel all warm and safe. This goes side by side with making my own soap, body butter and tooth paste. You can escape all the nasty fluorides and chemicals that’s in the commercial crap. I’ll keep you posted on recipes and ingredients shortly but I have to run now!

Delicious spuds and calaloo with organic smoke salmon and butter

Alert: although this had been written in a rambling way you’ll have to excuse me! Much like this whole experience, it’s been penned as an ongoing experiment. Just how do you gather your thoughts when undertaking far too many things? I’m happy that my life is busy with things I am passionate about but it does lead to cutting corners. Anyhow, I’ll correct and add later in my very impatient old bird way. Publish and be damned!

My first lettuces cohabiting with my poor fig tree which now is a much happier specimen
See the happy fig tree in the jungle?

If you can’t get away but want to conjure up recipes with vegetables and herbs from distant parts of the world, get gardening and grow more exotic stuff than you can get locally. If you have access to a farmers market make sure the stall is organic at the least, biodynamic even better. The stuff I didn’t have time to grow this season might be available. There are weird and wonderful as well as things like stinging nettles that are extremely good for you.

While looking wistfully through James Wong’s Homegrown Revolution’ the other day, and seeing an article about growing potatoes on Mars, (yes you heard me right) I started to look at all the remarkable, lesser-known and easily grown, veggie stuff you could have ready this year to create an imaginary trip to another part of the planet in your garden and kitchen.

My little figgies

Now since originally writing this, I had to recognise I was running out of time to grow anything, let alone start with more exotic stuff and only managed to get non-GMO organic calaloo seeds on the go so I’ll just have to show you how I did on my small terrace in Soho with the more conventional fruit and veg.

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PREHISTORIC CAVE PAINTINGS MITLA, MEXICO.

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

This post from exactly a year ago in Mexico is a favourite of mine memory wise. It was a solo travellers demanding type of day with hardship but then huge rewards. This is the way we rock us old birds, moaning a lot but loving it!

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.

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WHEREVER I HANG MY HAT THAT’S MY HOME…

OR, KNOWING WHEN IT’S TIME TO LEAVE A PLACE…..

Happier times in Thailand.

I came across this post of a year ago and it very much fits my mood now. I am sick of it back here in London. To the point of gnashing teeth. I also fling myself down on the sofa and weep. I pace from room to room. I plod up and down the stairs with water for my food terrace. I drink too much and smoke too much on miserable binges. I can’t write. I can’t make art. I’m a wretched mess. It’s well overdue to hit the road but I’m broke. It’s vile for a free bird to be trapped in this way. IT IS TIME FOR ME TO HIT THE ROAD, ANY WHICH WAY!

In Sicily, again, happier days

A year ago to the day I wrote this post and now I remember that fraught time in Oaxaca when I hit a brick wall and knew that it was time to go. It was at the beginning of the end as they were closing a lot of museums and archaeological sites across the more Northern part of Mexico and my mood gradually deteriorated from then as frustration, with the very different Mexico near Mexico City, and the dawning recognition that the Mayan Riviera was a much more chilled place to be with little of the mask hysteria and closing down of places.

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

OR, OVER A YEAR AGO “THIS IS REALLY HARD MY HOLIDAY ROMANCE WITH SWIMMING DOG IS OVER.”

TODAY.

Getting into food again after my month-long tummy problems

It’s now more or less one year since I left Punta Allen and my doggy. I’m still homesick for it all there but checked online and the prices are huge in Punta Allen Mexico at the moment. I’ll still to my Turkey plan for the moment. Plans are swooping in and out of my life at the moment as the political climate changes in a heartbeat worldwide and I don’t want to make a mistake and have to come home again. I want another long-term stay somewhere and Turkey so my present baby.

Lost my Turkey cap so am going forward with the Vietnam one!!

Turkey will nourish my soul for huge swathes of archaeological sites and magnificent countryside, that I have not yet visited. It will offer me fabulous food and incredible vistas, I will look into possibilities of living there to grow my veg and make my art. I will generally get back to my wandering ways and hopefully regain some lost confidence.

So a brief look over my shoulder to the last place I was truly happy, then onwards and upwards to pastures new. Come on old birds let’s rock it again.

A YEAR AGO FROM THE JOURNAL

Alert: Nostalgia and crybaby 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
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WORKING IN REMOTE PLACES. REALLY HARD!

OR, GETTING BACK TO THE BASICS.

Alert: Another post from a year ago in Mexicos’ Punta Allen. Just shows the completely different and happy lifestyle I had over there in comparison to being in London. My moaning about the trivial was so insignificant in comparison to what I’m encountering here. I rectified the photo problem so I have now put the proper photos in. What a palaver!

On the pier at Punta Allen

Alert: Yesterday capped it all. Went to a restaurant for a humble salad and went to turn my phone on and nada. Blank screen kaput. I’d noticed a small chip in the top corner but surely that couldn’t be it? I’ve seen people with completely smashed screens happily continuing to use them. WTF?! More bad luck? Alkida and I eyed each other, she knew something was up. She looked away hurriedly as dogs do when something is amiss. I am proud to say I, although ready to scream and cry, planned rather than leaving here and going straight to bloody Cancun, and just to put my SIM into my Mexican phone which rather ruined my off-grid plans (tell you later) I asked two very unhelpful people (Utopia comes with its selfish bastards too) then went to my room calmly ready to use iPad and see if I could change me SIMS. In the darkness of the room, I saw a faint background pic on it. Crouching in a dark corner I could just about make out settings and then screen brightness. Boom! All good and I became cautiously optimistic that I could hopefully continue here. Previously I would have wept like a baby but this time I handled it with steely determination. I’m very proud of myself that I’m developing into an even tougher old bird. I still have the photos problem so in this post you will see rather random references til I pull the rein in on these constant phone issues. Bear with me x

I love Punta Allen don’t get me wrong. I’m coming out of a very bad space that only solo travellers know about. I made the huge gamble of booking down here for a month and the very next day of having arrived major works are being done on the villages the main generator. Five fucking days. It’s meant that in my hotel the owner is only prepared to put on his generator from four till midnight. Nothing till four. I am an old bird who loves to rise early and do my writing then, while fresh. I am not a night owl. This has meant all my devices have depleted their batteries by around ten. I’ve made a deal with the restaurant oh so aptly named “Be Fucking Nice” and they have put on their generator which means I can charge AND write AND update work all the time. This new arrangement along with my paying some credit by card so I have money behind the bar. This means I won’t have a cash problem and if their WiFi isn’t working for their card machine they just can take money from what I have put in the kitty. The relief is massive. The whole reason I came here, was to write and edit photos for my blogs and a book I want to put together. The occasional party is great but it’s not my raison d’etre for this retreat. This kind of problem is normal, it happens in Tulum too to a lesser degree and it’s very frustrating.

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RAMBLING IN THE RAIN AND WET DOGS: STRAIGHT FROM MY JOURNAL.

OR, THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS A FRAGRANT WET DOG.

Alert: So just over a year ago, I posted my sad last days in Punta Allen Mexico. A place entrenched deeply in my heart. I had collected a group of dogs and was getting more and more crazy old bitch, rather than an old bird. Never bored or homesick I felt deep contentment. I have been considering going back as it was the only place I was ever really happy since all the craziness began so please have a look at it and see what you reckon

From my Journal

Can’t believe it’s Wednesday, June 9, 2021, and Sunday I’m due to leave PA. One whole month! I’m panicking now about re-entering the real world. Seeing as the weather is getting progressively worse I will just gossip in my journal for you to get the mood of how things are so changeable down here. A little blow by blow of the intricate workings of Roseliz and Punta Allen.

My beach

This morning I went out and took a video of the village walking all around and over to the lagoon where I took that boat tour from, all those weeks ago. As you can see it’s glorious weather again. After I shot the video I had a really lovely breakfast in a small backstreet restaurant. They had put green peppers, ham, onion and cheese in and it came with the usual fajoles. This included coffee that they served with the actual jar of instant and a little jug of cream, a bargain at 90 pesos. It was a delightful little place with shell fly curtains and various bits of art and hammock chairs. It was great to have got off my lardy arse to experience the rest of the pueblo.

Breakfast bar
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PUNTA ALLEN PARADISE.

OR, AN ACCIDENT BEFORE LEAVING FOR PARADISE, 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 night’s 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 (link) 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 spatial 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.

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PREP FOR GOING OFF-GRID IN MEXICO!

OR, the drama to move commodities to the end of the world!

View from my room

Alert: Posted a year ago, my life got so fabulous when I joined the tiny community of Punta Allen. My month of living very simply on the beach with dogs and small dramas each day. The simple life is really the best life.

The Internet really playing up will add more pics later! One of the things that happen 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 being 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.

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MAGNIFICENT STUCCO ART.

OR, CALAKMUL, BALAMKU AND KOHUNLICH. 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 weren’t needed. Seems there is no middle ground here but I love it just the same.

Note the bits that look like a moustache? those represent heavenly breath.

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!

Kohunlich posh area up the steps
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CENOTES THE ROUTE TO THE UNDERWORLD.

OR , DON’T BE SHY, JUST JUMP IN TO MAGIC ICY POOLS

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

FROM LAST YEAR, A LESSON IN SHAKING OFF THE BLUES

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.

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MONTE ALBAN AND ITS MOUNTAIN PARADISE.

Alert: This is last years offering which I’m adding to. I’ve rejoined the British Museum so I’m back in the members’ room to write and edit photos. So happy to be back in my second home which is more condusive to work-like endeavours. They also have an eclectic library so I’ve just managed to cross reference information on the Zapotec, Mixtec and Mayan with some art photos which are lovely because old and I don’t recognise them so probably they are hidden away in some basement these days. Enjoy

British Museum members room

JULY 2021 OAXACA MEXICO.

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. I hadn’t researched at all so it was a huge learning curve from my usual Mayan sites.

A LITTLE HISTORY OF THE ZAPOTEC AND MIXTEC.

In parallel with the rise of Teotihuacan, Zapotec civilisation encompassed much of the southern highlands. In the course of the first millennium BC, early chiefdoms of the Oaxaca Valley coalesced into a militaristic Zapotec state centred on the commanding hill-top capital Monte Albán. Zapotec scribes invented one of the four independent Mesoamerican writing systems (the others being Maya, Mixtec and Aztec) and refined their own variant of the 260-day ritual calendar which was in widespread use throughout Mesoamerica.

From about AD 1200, Mixtec peoples began to assume control of key Zapotec sites through conquest and political alliances. Knowledge of metallurgy, which had been introduced a few centuries earlier from South and Central America, was employed in the production of copper and gold objects to reflect rank and status. During the fifteenth century AD, the Mixtec resisted the Aztec imperial advance, but the consummate stoneworking and metalworking skills of many Mixtec artisans were redeployed to serve the Aztec kings.

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 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?

CLOSED PLACES AND CHANGED PLANS

I had got up ready to go to the archaeological museum but it has 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.

Top Tip: With the distraction of what was open or not, and jumping on buses every five minutes as places decided to close some, or all of their historical sites and museums, or basically anything of any interest whatsoever, I learned some bitter lessons. When in times of crisis don’t trust any info gleaned by Google et al. You need to speak to proper locals or call tour guides of the area that you are planning to go to. Nobody bothered to change their details online while I was there so I was disappointed many times. So due diligence is essential, don’t just assume they will tell you any changes especially in casual places like Mexico. Make the calls before you get on that bus, or drag over to the other side of town for that special gallery because they will close when they feel like it!

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Windy Beaches and sand in your beer. WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES.

Alert: Here I am still looking back at a year ago this week, so don’t you think I snuck off again! I am simply trying to get my mojo back after being back here and not travelling since my hideous experience with Heathrow’s ‘quarantine’ hotel hell on my tortuous return from Mexico last September.

ONE YEAR AGO….

OR BLOODY XEL-HA IS STILL NOT OPEN AND APPARENTLY HASN’T BEEN FOR NEARLY A YEAR.

Palms were nearly blown away

Archaeological Zone of Muyil or Chunyaxché.

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THANKYOU MEXICO.

OR HOW THIS PLACE HAS SAVED ME FROM A BREAKDOWN.

Alert: This is from my post from just one year ago. It’s a reminder that us old birds should be getting out into the world again and Mexico is still a great option.

If you start a little planning now, late March and early April. Just check on the bloody restrictions (which are dropping like flies thank god) and get out there. Don’t be shy you’ll love it whether it be near to home or further afield. Just go before it all gets too pricey as Easter is coming and you need to get out before it gets busy and irritating.

Good Friday falls on April 15th this year so get your skates on, school hols are from April 4th through until 18th so you need to get out now! It’s sneaked up so be quick!

one year ago…..

I now have rented an apartment and am cooking at home mostly. To have my little pad is very reassuring and makes me feel more permanent in Tulum. I will use it as a base because I still intend to bus it to many sites further afield. Palenque, Xel-Ha, Zone Muyil, Kabah, Uxmal and Chicanna to name a few. It might seem foolhardy to rent a flat but having a base means that journeys are easier with less luggage and you can return to a home when you’re done with your visit. It’s a security blanket and you can save money cooking at home.

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OLD BIRDS FRESH PEEK AT 2022 AND MEMORIES OF THE TRANS SIBERIAN EXPRESS.

OR RIBS ARE NEARLY BETTER AND PREPARING SOME ART WHILE DETOXING.

Alert: Links are where the words are underlined in yellow, just click and you’ll get there!

Writing my journal while gazing over the Gobi Desert speeding by

Tough times last year trying to get out of the UK then trying to get back in, (why I came back I’ll never know, what was the matter with me?) and under terrible vicious conditions manufactured by Doris in his eternal house of horrors. Then after leaving Mexico last year being incarcerated in a ‘Quarantine Hotel’ and nearly having a nervous breakdown. Then our beloved dog Brutus got sick (while I was still imprisoned) and later died despite all our valiant efforts. Amongst the demonstrations against tyranny and usual trials and tribulations about resettling in the UK, (I always get ants in my pants after just a couple of months even in normal times) and general stress (bailiffs and all sorts of shite for nothing) and being homesick for Mexico, it seemed that I was in a dark place. So I started to look at property in Bulgaria to live a simple life off-grid growing my own veg and mushroom hunting while creating a studio to carve sculpture when another disaster befell me, in that suddenly Bulgaria became fascist too. This harsh body blow was followed by my having actual body blows when I dislocated my knee then a couple of weeks later cracked and broke ribs in a series of ludicrous strokes of bad luck. A lot of pain from both and as usual I didn’t do anything except home treatment and physio.

SLIDE SHOW OF OUR LOVELY BRUTUS R.I.P. AND THE ESCAPE IN MEXICO LAST YEAR.

Yeah, bummer finale to 21. A shit sandwich of vast proportions.