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

Feb. 15, 2009 – We spent four months in early 1979 roaming around Mexico and Guatemala in a Ford Econoline van. We were able to get away from work at that time because I was working part-time as a fill-in librarian and Kelly was doing remodeling and other construction. If I remember correctly, we spent about $2200 for the entire trip.

We entered Mexico at El Paso / Ciudad Juarez. I still remember stopping to eat at a restaurant on the outskirts of Ciudad Juarez, and feeling that otherness of being in a different country. It was both exciting and a bit daunting.

We went down through the Chihuahua desert and explored a number of cities and towns in central Mexico, before heading south to Guatemala.

Guatemala was really an adventure into another world. I loved the people and the lush beauty. This first picture was taken the day that Kelly and I crossed the border. Exhausted from all the official pettiness, including driving an extra 60 kilometers to get photocopies for the Mexican officials, we looked for a place to camp soon after entering Guatemala.

We found a secluded nook in the jungle not far off the highway — it WAS a different era! – and walked over to this home which was nearby. Their Spanish was basic, as it wasn’t their first language either, but we all communicated just fine. They assured us we were in a safe place. We took this photo and bought some eggs from them.


We soon headed up into the mountains toward the remote village of Todos Santos. On our way there, we camped on some high plains on the summit of the mountains, where Kelly did some painting. There was a spectacular thunderstorm that night.


The next day on our way down into Todos Santos, we picked up a couple who needed a ride. The guy fell asleep drunk in the back – it was Easter weekend — but we had a great chat with his young wife. She invited us to park in front of their house in the village. It was empty, as they lived somewhere else. So we did that, right on the main street, but there was no question of an RV park! The family next door was very friendly too, and invited us to plug into an electric outlet they had on their porch.

He husband continued his nap in their house and she continued visiting with us. Another torrential downpour hit, and suddenly there was a very loud noise. It turned out to be their house collapsing. Her husband was fine, and so was her pet bird; I couldn’t tell which one she was more concerned about!

As soon as the rain stopped, it seemed that most of the town turned out to see the collapsed house. Kelly took this picture from the roof of our van, after the kind neighbor suggested we pull over in front of his house. We stayed there for the several days we remained in the town.


My favorite part of Guatemala was Lake Atitlan. In gringo enclave Panajachel on its shores, we met this gray haired man — a Chilean inventor with windmills all over his land – and the other guy, a German friend of his.


We ended up using the Chilean guy’s place as our home base for a couple of weeks. I could hardly tear myself away from the view:


Eventually we wound our way back through Mexico and on home to the US. It would be some years before we went south of the border again.

The trip was often idyllic, often scary, always interesting. I’m so glad to have had the experience. Nowadays, I’m really happier at home than on the road!

Comment from the old blog:

  • At February 15, 2009 3:21 PM,  Steve Cotton said…

    My parents were the adventurous travelers in our family. They made several long trips through Mexico, Guatamala, and Costa Rica. I just discovered that if my father had lived longer, he would have retired in Mexico. My mother did not share that goal. I guess I am carrying out that legacy — his, not hers.

Comments are closed.

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