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Old 04-07-2007   #46 (permalink)
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Wow! Beautiful pic here...


And the pics of all of you are really cute! (and you both are really starting to look buffed!) Miss you folks (you too Sarah)!
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Old 04-07-2007   #47 (permalink)
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At some point after the ruins (we can't seem to pinpoint when),
we stopped for gas and the girl stopped the pump at 300 pesos...about 200 short.
It seems we had a gas tank leak...but no small leak
...it was pouring out , but only when being fueled.
This is not an area where we can pull into a Ford dealership, have the tank dropped and welded. This is something we have to live with until we get back.
Just another part of the adventure.
For the rest of the trip (half dozen times i guess) we would fuel until the leak was noticed...or not noticed.
The Big Red Hump did not explode

It's on my list of things to fix.
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Old 04-07-2007   #48 (permalink)
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Great trip report and beautiful pictures!!!
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Old 04-07-2007   #49 (permalink)
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Beautiful pictures...and I agree with Jacko....you guys are looking buff!!!
Gym time is paying off.
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Old 04-08-2007   #50 (permalink)
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The next stop on our journey is called Agua Clara. We're not really sure what we're going to see here, other than that it involves... ummm... agua. We were unprepared for what we did find, in more ways than one.

This site was not as crowded as the previous two but, as soon as we pulled into the place, it was obvious we were going to be besieged. A small boy "guided" us into a parking spot (it's not like we needed any help pulling into an empty one), then put his hand out demanding pesos for guarding our car. Before he could get the words out "guardo tu coche!!!," his cohorts were surrounding the van, standing on the running boards, peering into our windows and planning their attack. We were bombarded immediately with little bags of what must have been food thrust at us to buy, with hands out. We didn't pay and they weren't happy. Up until then, they were just cute kids... Rick took some pictures of some of them and then things got ugly. One small boy demanded pesos for the pictures, even though they weren't of him. When Rick refused and walked on, he caught up and punched Rick in the stomach. We were taken aback and it was pretty sad, actually. This first one already looks so jaded at such a young age.



This girl was very sweet.



We've already seen what the real attraction is and we make our way over to it. This water is simply breathtaking and unbelievable. Who knew water even came in this color!



These little boats are so cool... the young men here also badger us just a bit to sell us a ride on them but we weren't so sure about those boats and wanted to explore on our own.



THIS is certainly an interesting discovery!







Wow... this is one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen in my life!







We get to the other side of the bridge (that walk was pretty thrilling!) and see that someone has a stand selling cold drinks. It's a mama nursing her baby while her toddler plays nearby. Not sure if we were really thirsty or just wanted to contribute to the local economy, but Sarah and Rick each had beer and I had a Coca Light (or maybe I just watched).

We sat at the little tables and looked out over the lake and watched the goings-on. Lots of people who live there (somewhere back in the trees) were hanging around... the men with their boats... the women washing their clothes and themselves in the river... the children chasing one another.

I have to admit I didn't expect to see that degree of immodesty from the women. Can't tell you how many women in traditional indigenous clothing that we saw during the trip openly suckling a baby with a bare breast fully exposed as they walked down the street and, here, one of the women was bare from the waist up as she bathed in the water. I'm not sure why it surprised me as much as it did but I guess I had in mind the conventional Catholic mindset. Which is probably not where these folks are coming from and the "normalness" of it was refreshing, if surprising.

Anyway, we got to talking with the woman's husband and while we were doing that, a bit of a ruckus arose around us. Moments later, a nearby man took off running at warp speed, barefoot, down the hill to the area near the water below. Apparently, a man had gone in who had no idea how to swim and nearly drowned. He seemed to be fine, once they dragged him out of the water. A little unexpected drama.

Before we were ready to leave, we asked our companion if we could take photos of his family. Very politely he told us that he didn't mind, but his wife wouldn't like it. We had been warned that most of the indigenous folks were against photos of themselves or their stuff, so we weren't surprised and honored his wishes.

The young father convinced us to hire him to row us back to the opposite shore. How 4 long strips of wood tied to 3 short pieces of wood got 4 people across a wide body of water is a mystery to me, but we got there dry even!







As we were rowing across, Sarah decided to give the man some of the school supplies that she had brought to find a good home for. We invited him to the van for the "regalos," and were pleased that his presence seemed to keep the attack pack away from us. He was appreciative and it felt good to give things to what seemed to be a good man. Now, will he keep them for the kids or will he sell them? Either way, it seemed we'd done a good thing.

Our day is quickly running out but we have one more stop to make... and we hope we can find a place for the night there!
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Old 04-08-2007   #51 (permalink)
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Fantastic report & pics Susie!!! Thanks to you, Rick & Sarah for sharing. Maybe next year we can hire you guys to take Pat & I on an "excursion."
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Old 04-08-2007   #52 (permalink)
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Wow.... that place looks magical.
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Old 04-08-2007   #53 (permalink)
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That's happened to us before, but in a little town called Masaya in Nicaragua. It was unbelieveable and almost scary...I was glad there were 6 of us. We were told by our friends that lived down there that the kids that pull this with tourists are glue sniffers, and that it's a really big problem down there. I almost laughed when I heard that, being that I haven't heard the term "glue sniffer" since probably the 80's!! Apparently all the money they beg off people isn't for food or to help their family, it's for the glue. Who knew?

I don't know if such a problem exists in Mexico, but thought I'd share for what it's worth.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Susie Q Roo
The next stop on our journey is called Agua Clara. We're not really sure what we're going to see here, other than that it involves... ummm... agua. We were unprepared for what we did find, in more ways than one.

This site was not as crowded as the previous two but, as soon as we pulled into the place, it was obvious we were going to be besieged. A small boy "guided" us into a parking spot (it's not like we needed any help pulling into an empty one), then put his hand out demanding pesos for guarding our car. Before he could get the words out "guardo tu coche!!!," his cohorts were surrounding the van, standing on the running boards, peering into our windows and planning their attack. We were bombarded immediately with little bags of what must have been food thrust at us to buy, with hands out. We didn't pay and they weren't happy. Up until then, they were just cute kids... Rick took some pictures of some of them and then things got ugly. One small boy demanded pesos for the pictures, even though they weren't of him. When Rick refused and walked on, he caught up and punched Rick in the stomach. We were taken aback and it was pretty sad, actually. This first one already looks so jaded at such a young age."

Last edited by TeeZet; 04-09-2007 at 03:53 PM.. Reason: fixed quote
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Old 04-08-2007   #54 (permalink)
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What an amazingly wonderful country you live in! the scenery is spectacular. Thank you so much for sharing!
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Old 04-08-2007   #55 (permalink)
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Unbelievable!

That water is amazing and I am sure it was much much more beautiful in person. Thanks so much for sharing this, its really a great report.
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Old 04-08-2007   #56 (permalink)
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About the Catholic mindset. In Chiapas there is an interesting phenomena: the religion is badly mixed. The people still have belief of the old Gods mixed with some Catholic notions, the church may look Occidental in construction and even there would be altars with pictures of saints with Western robes, but the way of praying and the offerings are totally local and more related to Mayan beliefs.

For example in San Juan Chamula, the offerings are soda (Coca cola mainly) and alcohol. And guess who manages the Coca cola distribution in town? the mayor of the town. The pilgrims would get drunk inside the church and get in communion with the Gods in that state of mind (much like hallucinogen fungus in Oaxaca). And also, beware of the kids in San Juan Chamula, they know lots of tricks to get you buying. First thing they do is to ask for your name and where are you from. If you donīt buy at that time but give a false promise to buy later, they will track you and next time they see you (normally when you return to your bus/car) they will tell your name and origin and that you made a promise to buy.


About nudity or toplessness, it depends, bathing or nursing a baby are normal situations and nobody pays attention, but you won't see topless ladies in other leisurely situations like sunning at the beach or taking a stroll.
The families in Playa are more Catholic than those in Chiapas and so the sins are different. In Oaxaca, Guerrero or Michoacan you will also see topless ladies washing their clothes in a river and naked children playing in the water, but only near small towns, where they are more "authentic", near big cities is more infrecuent.

Iīm glad that you took the "canoe" trip, it is one of my fondests memories of Lagunas de Montebello.


Everybody wanted to try it but were shy because the tour guide was a bit mean and didn't wanted to give us time to spend there, but a girl from Spain said "I donīt mind if she leaves me here, I didn't come from the other side of the planet just to take a look" and then she jumped in the canoe and everybody else in the bus followed suite, hehe.
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Old 04-08-2007   #57 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ami
That's happened to us before, but in a little town called Masaya in Nicaragua. It was unbelieveable and almost scary...I was glad there were 6 of us. We were told by our friends that lived down there that the kids that pull this with tourists are glue sniffers, and that it's a really big problem down there. I almost laughed when I heard that, being that I haven't heard the term "glue sniffer" since probably the 80's!! Apparently all the money they beg off people isn't for food or to help their family, it's for the glue. Who knew?

I don't know if such a problem exists in Mexico, but thought I'd share for what it's worth.
Unfortunately it does exists and is widely spread. And with the border being more heavily guarded than before, the drugs that used to cross to the USA are being sold in Mexico, mostly among poor children to make them steal and beg or prostitute themselves.
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Old 04-08-2007   #58 (permalink)
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OMG- Susie, you just ruined my carma!! As- for sure it does my carma no good that I sit here full of envy when looking at those AWESOME picutres.
You guys sure seem to have had a great adventure- wonderful!
Thanks for this awesome trip report.
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Old 04-08-2007   #59 (permalink)
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I had no idea the interior of Mexico is that beautiful. Someday I want to go to Palenique Nice trip report
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Old 04-08-2007   #60 (permalink)
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I wish there were tours like this offered from Playa, I'd much rather see this than some of the other things offered. I love things that are off the beaten path.
Maybe there is a way to make money in Playa for me
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