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.

LEAVING PUEBLA

Leaving Puebla had been a relief. I had slept very little due to my desperation about leaving and finally rose and left in the dark in a taxi. The streets were empty and my soul was uplifted to get out of another place where it was basically all closed. When I say that I mean the museums and galleries and archaeological sites.

The purchase so early in the day meant that I bought a ticket for the 7.00 a.m. bus smoothly and easily and the walk through their massive bus terminal there was easy and I even had time for a cuppa tea (they charged 15 pesos for the hot water ffs) and after a quick run to the loo I boarded this dawn bus. I had two hours till arriving in Tehuacan and I was going to head for the main museum straight away as it was closed the following day…or so I thought.

FOSSILS AND MINERAL ROCKS FAMOUS IN THIS AREA

Booking in at a very smart hotel had been my treat to myself and the price was super cheap so I was expectant if rather fatigued.

Hotel Zenith is a great hotel and really good to base yourself from if visiting Tehuacán. It’s smart and super cool. The staff are great and all in all for a place to really rest, it’s your baby. The breakfast is excellent as is all the attention to detail. Bravo Zenith, you have my vote.

Arriving at the hotel my worst fears were confirmed, the desk told me all the museums and the pyramid with its museum was closed. This had all happened overnight. I was royally fucked and only a tour was available. I said I would think about it but for that day I would just rest. The tour included going around various places of mild interest and the Evolution Museum.

I went to my splendid room and it was then I realised that I was so tired that I could barely stand up and indeed what was the point of standing when there was a massive , fabulous house of a bed in front of me. I crashed. My will power that had kept me going until then, flew from my body like the Holy Spirit. I felt oh so tired and weak and oh so happy to be in a proper hotel. My brain was fuzzy and I knew that I must indeed rest up in what appeared to be a very lovely town.

View from my new room.

This was on Friday morning and it’s Monday now. I have only been out to the local OXXO to buy water, the big supermarket for tablets to help me sleep and meals. The rest of the time in or on my bed watching crap and doing crosswords. I changed my room to one with a view out of a much larger window of their Cathedral dome that is slightly spoiled by rather a lost of masts but hey, this is a sanctuary and I am thankful.

Just arrived and before collapsing knowing I couldn’t visit anywhere basically.

I started to get a bit panicky yesterday for a while and felt agoraphobic. I’m not used to being idle and that made me guilty. I’m really good at guilt. I can feel guilty about anything and everything. Certainly when I know I have a lot to decide about whether to try to cross to Belize to renew my visa here or return to London, I felt guilty about not looking into it. I just couldn’t face the whole palaver and my brain was fuzzy. This I firmly believe is in part the fault of the noxious misting they did on the flight from Merida to Oaxaca, I’ve simply not felt tip top since.

Top Tip: In these times it’s much harder to solo travel when the rules keep changing. When you’re older and a woman there’s a lot of doubt and anxiety that creeps in ‘why are you doing this?’ and ‘What and who can you trust?’. There are no English tourists and now fewer Americans so having a chat to a fellow human being had been entirely service staff and in Spanish. If suddenly it all gets too much you need to stop. I have had to do this before and it’s best to recognise the signs before you crash and burn. STOP, BREATHE, AND REST UP. It doesn’t matter for how long just let your body and brain take a break before, well, it breaks. I did this in China and it worked well there too.

Today I feel a little better and well enough to write a little and send you all my love. We shall see how many more days I will need here but tomorrow I’m determined to hit the Evolution Museum that’s a bit out of town. I will leave my sanatorium for an outing and report back to you.

At last at work again after my burnout.

Until then however, it’s just writing and editing at my desk and having small breaks, slumping on my bed and catching up with the news from my friends in London. Reading about their peaceful protest in Parliament Square, where it apparently was boiling hot and somewhat of a heatwave. I am glad for them and supporting them mentally, and yes, you’ve guessed it, am feeling really guilty….

OVER AND OUT FROM A DAZED OLD BIRD

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