Category: SOLO TRAVEL FOR WOMEN

All you want to know about mature solo travelling.

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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.

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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’
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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.