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.
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.
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.
Alert: This was posted a year ago. I am now very homesick for my Punta Allen family (in Mexico) especially swimming dog and Sonia. Although I have been considering this idyllic notion of buying a super cheap farm in the hinterlands of Bulgaria. (Of growing my own organic food and storing it in one of the outhouses. Building my own kiln in the garden and creating beautiful ceramic pieces while having the company of the like minded around me when needed.), I am now just terribly miserable without that PA environment and lifestyle. So this is for everyone who is feeling a little blue at the moment to brighten up your day with my first exploration of PA with my broken hand limply cradled in my arms.
FROM MY JOURNAL. 9TH MAY 2021
Pain throughout the night. I had definitely set back my recovery but what to do? More painkillers and sedatives, a tormented sleep only to get up to open the windows in the night after the AC went off.
When I staggered out of my room in the morning the beauty of the place really dawned on me I had only seen the little twinkling lights the night before and it all looked disconnected and really quite scary.
Punta Allen is an unspoilt village with only very transient tourists passing through. It’s a fishing village and an amazing microcosm. I presume they have been hit by these times but I doubt people really stay here it’s more for the fishing and visiting the Biosphere Sian Ka’an where they have a huge variety of flora and fauna including jaguars if you’re very lucky. It’s at the end of the Boca Paila Peninsula. On that fifty km of rough dirt track down there, live around 500 salty souls.
Arriving at family hotel was a stroke of the best luck. It’s such a beautiful place and is appointed twenty paces from the white beach front. David the owner and Sonia have taken good care of me which would never have happened in the more impersonal places here. I was in poor shape but I extended my stay because, well, I felt as if this was the place to recuperate both body and soul. I didn’t want to leave and the huge bonus of love from the doggy too has really made the difference between just having a place to rest your head, and having a caring sort of family. They have massage here and a kayak if you fancy going out on the crazy beautiful aquamarine sea. Indeed someone said in a review that the massage was ‘magical, cosmic and ancestral’. Can’t really get a better review! I just wanted to tell you about this place because sometimes in life, and especially when you’re a damaged old bird travelling solo, you need the milk of human kindness. Sonia also will also cook some tasty food if you preorder.
OR, the drama to movecommodities to the end of the world!
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!
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.
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.
Now girls we all like a tipple so I pray to Acan rather a lot while travelling now. Although I don’t care for mead which is the most similar drink. We all are boisterous when we’ve has a few and act the clown just like our newly discovered god.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
OR AN INTRODUCTION to ITS PRECLASSIC 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 try […]