Author: oldbirdtravels

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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.

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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.

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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.
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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.

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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.

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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
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ALERT: READ THIS. POISON SPRAYED IN COMMERCIAL FLIGHTS NOW.

First, they spray a sheet of positively charged ‘nano-glass’ called electrostatic spraying (sometimes with chemicals and sometimes without), then they aerosol the entire plane with the active nano-particle chemicals (as shown on the websites above), which are said to self-replicate for up to 10 days after application, only they are using the chemicals between every single flight, and in some cases all night long for 8 hours straight. Traveler’s then board the plane just 60 minutes after application.