A Quick Update

In 2010, we moved back to the small town in Colorado that I never stopped missing while we lived in Mexico. Now I sometimes miss Mexico, but I wouldn't travel as freely as we did when we were there, camping out in remote areas and so forth.

Mexico today is in a period of change, and in many ways it is more dangerous now. That said, I have plenty of American friends who still live there very happily, just taking a few more precautions than they did in the past.

Just to say!


Visit Expedia…

Expedia is my favorite place to book airfare, and they handle hotels, car rentals, cruises, etc. I like the organization of the site for figuring out what flights I want. Click on the suitcase to take a look.

I was very pleased to win an award for this blog! Even better for you: click through for lists of all sorts of award-winning travel blogs.

Tripbase Blog Awards 2009

Tripbase Blog Awards 2009

Yesterday morning we went from Bernal to the nearby town of Ezekial Montes, to do some shopping. It has a large weekly tianguis, or market (also called mercado) and we needed some things we couldn’t find here in Bernal.

First, we walked about 5 minutes to the bus stop and then we stood for maybe 10 minutes till the local bus came. Think of a large UPS truck and make it longer — that’s about the size of this thing. Its seats were so close together that my knees were jammed in, and I am not a tall person. But I was lucky to have a seat. Kelly stood for about half of the 25-minute trip.

I was sitting next to a Mexican woman who had put her little girl on her lap so I would have a place to sit. The girl looked to be about two and she was in kind of a bad mood. She stared at me but wouldn’t smile. After we’d been riding along a while, the woman directly in front of me shifted her little girl of about the same age, so the girl was looking back at our seat. I was treated to the most blissful smile imaginable, with long eye contact — not once but several times. It was exquisite!

Gotta wonder about how the lives of these two little children will play out.

The market was great, the largest one we’ve seen on this trip. Several blocks in size, it contained lots of produce, food stalls that looked a little dubious to me in the hygiene department but may have been fine, used and new clothing galore, lots of tools both new and used, a little used furniture, shoes, artesanias (arts and crafts), dried herbs for healing teas, plastics of all sorts, patent medicines, blender parts (blenders are used a lot in Mexican cooking), other housewares, big bags of dog food open so people could buy a little, and lots more.

We were pretty early and a lot of vendors were still setting up. There was a lot of good-natured chatter going on around us. People were friendly with us… we didn’t see any other foreigners the whole day, and I realized later that I hadn’t even noticed that at the time!

After a while, we asked directions and headed for the center of town a few blocks away. We did some errands including finding a bank, where the ATM machine worked flawlessly, as they always have for us. (I do prefer the kind where you can swipe your card rather than insert it, as I have heard a few tales of the insertion-type machines keeping travelers’ cards and banks not being able to return them due to some regulations. This was a swipe-the-card type.)

Then we had lunch in a restaurant with a lovely tile floor and a sparkling clean bathroom, complete with toilet paper, soap, and a cloth hand towel. Most of the many bathrooms I’ve encountered in Mexico have been this clean, but toilet paper is usually a bring-your-own affair. Like many of the bathrooms I’ve used, there was no seat on the toilet.

Back to lunch. I had a quesadilla platter with small portions of rice, beans, and salad for 25 pesos. Kelly had chicken tacos with the same side dishes, for the same price. I had a tall glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice for 15 pesos — excellent! Kelly had coffee, 8 pesos. It’s 11 pesos to the dollar right now, so the very filling meal was (The peso is getting stronger against the dollar, but that’s a whole other story.) just over $7.00 US for both of us including tip.

We wandered back to the market as we wanted to buy a few things we hadn’t wanted to carry all over town. We’d found unshelled peanuts, one of Kelly’s favorite snacks. Our bus was waiting, not nearly so full this time, and like us, most of the passengers had their own big plaid plastic shopping bags filled to the brim.

Great fun.

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