OR, THE ONLY DINOSAURS IN SIGHT JUST GOT OFF THE TRAIN! the prelude in soho. five years later. My great friend Sam just came for a speedy two-day visit last weekend, after us not seeing […]
Category: ANIMALS AND PLACES OF NATURAL BEAUTY.
CENOTES THE ROUTE TO THE UNDERWORLD.
OR , DON’T BE SHY, JUST JUMP IN TO MAGIC ICY POOLS
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.
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
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)
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!
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.
Archaeological Zone of Muyil or Chunyaxché.
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.
THE MYSTERIOUS MAYA AND THEIR FALLEN SPLENDOUR.
OR AN INTRODUCTION to ITS PRE CLASSIC ROOTS. PART ONE. WHERE IT ALL STARTED. AN INTRODUCTION Dear reader, after my extensive travels within the Yucatan Peninsula in 2019 and 2021, I can finally start to […]
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!
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.
TIKAL AND YAXHA.
I had to go directly towards the sound of those clearly very dangerous creatures who were furious I had invaded their territory and would surely rip me limb from limb. They were clearly the souls of the ancestors and indeed were furious at another European invasion.
When I say bizarre it’s more of a tragedy really, a Spanish church plonked on the top of a huge pyramid, this with a full view of one of the local temperamental volcanoes, Popocatépetl or more easily known as ‘Popo’ and Iztaccihuatl or ‘Izta’. According to one Aztec Legend, Popo was a great warrior who loved Izta. He went off to war and when Izta heard false news of Popo’s fall in battle, she died of a broken heart. When Popo returned to find his love gone, he vowed to always watch over and defend her. The shape of Iztaccihuatl mountain is that of a ‘sleeping woman’. It is also said locally, that when trouble is brewing in the world Popo becomes active
TRAVELLING IN MEXICO.
My Odysseun saga has taken me all round the Yucatan peninsula and further, on various road trips. In these times of adversity I think I can safely quote Sinatra and say ‘I did it my way’