Friday, 29 November 2013

Mexico Part 'how long are we here already and should we maybe ask for a visum?'

Welcome all! Great to see you are finding yourself on our blog again! 

We believe several weeks have passed since our last talk so we urgently need to inform you on our trip! You can imagine that we are enjoying Mexico a lot - a bit against our expectations to be honest - and being here already for two months we still need a two weeks more before entering Belize! It is just incredible what there is to see here and it becomes better when you are reaching the south.

So if you remember, the last time we were enjoying the hospitality of David, Monica and their kids in Toluca. After spending a great time there, we had to proceed with our trip! So from Toluca we went to Puebla, which people were recommending to us. 

So we arrived to Puebla and found out that the place was indeed very nice. Lots of churches and beautiful facades were unfortunately combined with asshole drivers - twice we were a millimeter away from an accident due to there reckless driving.

Anyhow, we changed our plans and instead of going to the pacific we decided to pass by the Atlantic side of the country to the port city of Veracruz - a famous port in Mexico, where there was absolutely nothing to see at all ) - and to visit some Olmec heads.

Do you remember our corrupted police story? Well, we have another one, a bit less spectacular, but also true: On our way we suddenly get pulled over again, ohoh! While stopping we start to think what we could have done wrong this time. What appears, we apparently did not signalize our change of lane, which is good for a fine equaling 20 days of minimum salary. You need to know that it is very simple here in Mexico: you do not signal if you want to change of lane, or otherwise the people know that you will change and therefor they will not let you pass. So the conclusion is: if you want to move in traffic you better not signalize. That is what every Mexican thinks and does. So we were a bit surprised with our cop, who claimed that he had already given ten fines that day for the exact same reason (hello: it was 11 in the morning...we don't think so). After a very long discussion, we made him tired and he let us go without a fine and with our license. VanBaelenGuillot - Corrupted Cop(s): 2 - 0.

At the end we did it to Veracruz without further fines - we did all the signalizing we had to -  The region was being hit by heavy rains which were very visible when we were passing to the other side of the country to Oaxaca. During several hours most of the fields were flooded and some roads were in bad condition.

Before reaching to Oaxaca city we were introduced to the Oaxacan friendliness: first in an ecotourism center after in Latuvi. This village is part of the Pueblos Mancomunados: six villages which are united and which have created a very pleasant touristic experience where you can explore both the natural as the cultural beauty of the area. We stayed there for a night and we enjoyed a bike excursion, a 20 km hike and a good trout (trucha) done by a nice cook called Marta.

From there we can finally go to Oaxaca, a very interesting city where people in general are very friendly. As many colonial villages, this one is beautiful as well, but it is even better preserved than others. From here you also have a lot of nice places to visit like natural pools, archaeological sites (ex.the famous monte alban)  and the largest tree in the world - in diameter.

From Oaxaca we go to the Pacific coast - finally! - to enjoy some sun and sea! We drive to Puerto Escondido, a 250 km drive which takes the whole day, as we need to share the road with thousands of cyclists who were on a pilgrimage. Finally we arrived at the beach, where we find a cheap camping and where we can go for a swim. After that we go for a walk and we run into previously met friends Myriam and Maximiliano, who we met on the beach of Mayto. We were very happy to meet them and we spend a lot of time with them during our three days there. We always could learn something new about life from them. Also in Puerto Escondido we met Jean, a very friendly Quebecois who stays here during 6 months every year to skip the cold Canadian winters. A week later we have realized that many Canadians come to this part of Mexico during the winter.

After the great time on the beach we move on to the South into the direction of the province of Chiapas. We pass by Tuxla Guttierez - not much to see - to go to another canyon: the 'cañon del Sumidero'. We are slowly becoming experts in this mountain type! The views from the viewpoints are spectacular and even become better when we jump into a speedboat which takes us through the cañon. Steep cliffs, crocodiles, a lot of garbage and a big giant Christmas tree make it an incredible experience!

Currently we can be found in San Cristobal de las Casas, another colonial town which many people have recommended to us. It is a nice place - nothing more, but this could be due to the cold weather, the coldest in the last 4 months! - in this village we are preparing for our tour through Chiapas and the Yucatan - both will be amazing! The next blog will be filled with pictures from waterfalls, jungle, temples and white beaches with blue water. What more can you want in life?

Who knows, the next time we write you we'll be in another country!!

Thanks a lot for checking the blog, we hope you enjoy the rest of it.

Lot's of love,
Mire and Alex

Oaxaca, Chiapas, Catemaco: Does it all sound like Chinees/Dutch/Catalan to you? No worries, this map will guide you through this blog!

First stop after Toluca: Puebla, a beautiful city with more than 70 churches! Crazy what Spaniards did, no?

The city is also famous for the facades with tiles

A typical Mexican view which never gets boring for us - mexicans called it bocho, game: every time you see one you hit your partner, at the end... you can imagine our arm!

An example of a tiled church

After our two experiences we decided to put this phone number in our phone (it is to report corruption)

The workshop where the cup for the worldcup of 2014 can be bought

The city of Veracruz was as disappointing as the weather when we were there

It was raining heavily, which we could see in the fields when we left the city. The above situation does not seem ideal to dry clothes...

The biggest Olmec head found so far: More than 3 meters high and weighing over 50 tons!

View at lake Catemaco - not accessible due to the heavy rain

Driving direction Oacaxa we are treated with the most beautiful vistas

And some more of those vistas

We did a great stop at Latuvi, a very attractive region for tourism. Our guide Carlos was excellent!

We can't always take a shower in the morning, but most of the time we find an alternative 

The Sierra de Oaxaca was very beautiful and diverse - on the left you see a kind of 'ghost tree'

After a long walk Marta and her husband make a delicous Truxa/Trout/Forel

Makes you want to have been there, right?

From Latuvi we go to Oaxaca, a beautiful town with a great atmosphere

What we saw in the church from above: A wedding? No no, someone is becoming 15 years old...

The region is very famous for its artisans, like this black pottery which has a beautiful color

Also these wooden figures are typical and come in all sizes (these are the small ones)

From the city of Oaxaca  you can go and visit a lot of things like these . Hierve el agua, natural rocks formations which created this amazing pools and petrified waterfalls

Swimming takes place in style

On the left you have the pools. The flowing water has created a beautiful formation in the rocks

A bit further you can even find a petrified waterfall (made of giant stalactites)

A typical taxi in this area of the country

You remember that we saw the biggest tree in the USA? Wrong, it was the biggest tree in volume. Welcome to the biggest tree in diameter!

And a great archaeological site: Monte Alban. We are already wondering how many more we'll see of these...

On the 20th of November we go from Oaxaca to the Coast. Wrong day. The road of 200 km long is infested with young kids going on a pilgrimage by bike following cars having churches and shrines on the roof. Amazing what people does for the holy mother! We have been stuck behind them for hours, but at least we saw some Mexicans doing sports

At the coast we where so lucky to meet Myriam and Maximiliano, who we previously met in Mayto, and we also meet Jean, a Quebecois enjoying the Mexican life in the winter 

Boating in the giant lagunas

Finally we can play around on some sand with the Van

After visiting Tuxla Guttieres - nothing to see - we pass by the Cañon del Sumidero a relatively short but dramatic canyon...

... which makes us happy

To talk a closer look at it a super fast boat takes you on a 60 km trip

In the canyon we found a natural phenomena shaped like a Christmas tree - the timing can not be better

Night view of San Cristobal de las Casas' cathedral

Although we live in a car, the Christmas mood is approaching and we are buying some accessories which  make us remember that Christmas is almost there!


18 comments:

  1. So nice pictures! I think you'll need 2 years to see all the beautifull things and to pass all the country's.Hm, me gusta muy bien el jamon, el turron, el mazapan y el vino tinto en navidad. Enjoy the christmas time there!!! mama Kristine

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    1. Hi kristine! We need more time!! But hopefully in the fuure we can make other travel!
      To have a christmas in a warm place will be also weird!
      Take ca and lets talk in skype soon!

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  2. Genial chicos! Parece que os está gustando México eh? Qué suerte tener tanto tiempo como para quedaros allí hasta que os parezca. Por cierto, creo que vais a tener muchas ocasiones de meter el coche por arena...por lo que hemos visto, el Pacífico es todo desierto, desde el norte de Chile hasta casi Ecuador, os vais a hartar de desierto! :-) Besazos y cuidaos!

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    1. Genial! Alex podra disfrutar!! :) que tl vootros!? Apuntarlo todo? Cuanto tiempo os queda?
      Nos encantan vuestras fotos!! Disrutar!!! Besoss

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  3. Ooohhh q guay Mire i bambi!!
    Petons
    Gabi

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    1. Hola gabi!! Gracies :) cuide't i nem parlant
      Alex i mire

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  4. Het is altijd weer uitkijken naar jullie blog. Wat een fantastische ervaring moet het zijn.
    Wij zijn intussen weer geacclimatiseerd en 'genieten' weer van het grijze belgische weer.
    Rij voorzichtig en zorg dat de score met de corrupte agenten in jullie voordeel blijft.
    Lieve groeten P&p

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    1. Dag kris and paula! Bedank voor het antwoord! Wij zijn nu in de yucatan, war het weer heel goed is.
      Hope evrything is good! Lets keep n touch!
      Alex and mire

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  5. Wow, looking pretty amazing! Any idea where you'll be on Christmas Eve and NewYear's Eve? have fun! Annelies

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    1. Hi anneliese! We dont know yet where are we gonna be...but hopefully in a beautiful place:)
      Thanjs for writing!
      Alex and mire

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  6. Hi,
    Amazing journey!
    Here, Barcelona is beautiful, the city is full of lights and Christmas baubles. I hope you that you are fine and free of corruption around you. It's really amazing what you describe...Barcelona and "rodalies" (metropolitan area) is an innocent and candid city if compared with mexican places...
    I heartly hope Alex and Mirella are happy and safe. Best wishes from L'avia Remei (grandmother), Maria (cousin) and me for happy Xtmas and happy and adventurous new year for 2014!!!
    Laura Guillot (aunt)

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    1. Hi laura, avia and maria! Thanks for writing, we re really enjoying the good weather and beautiful view!
      Its sad not to see you in christmas, but we will really think of you and all the family!
      Take care and i will call you soon!

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  7. Always a lot of fascinating stories and pictures...Take care and enjoy every minute guys! Kisssss

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    1. Merry christmas arielle!! Hope you enjoy your holidays! And we wish you the best!
      Alex and mire

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  8. Mmmmm, a very nice new 'header' picture. Wat a lovely setting!
    We hope to get more news soon.
    p

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    1. Hi kris! Merry christmas! We hooe to talk soon in skype!
      Mire and alex

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  9. LEOCADIO ALVARADO25 December 2013 at 19:51

    LA DIVISION DE SEGURIDAD TURISTICA DE LA POLICIA NACIONAL CIVIL DE GUATEMALA, LES DESEA TODA CLASE DE EXITOS EN SU VIAJE, ESPERO QUE HAYAN PASADO BIEN EN LA CIUDAD DE COBAN, ALTA VERAPAZ, SIEMPRE CUENTEN CON NUESTRO APOYO PARA QUE SE SIENTAN BIEN Y LA SEGURIDAD DE USTEDES EN PRIMORDIAL, VELANDO SIEMPRE POR LA VIDA E INTEGRIDAD FISICA DE TODA PERSONA, ESTAMOS PARA PROTEGER EL TURISMO, FELIZ VIAJE, LES DESEA INSPECTOR DE PNC. LEOCADIO ALVARADO, POLICIA DE TURISMO EN COBAN, ALTA VERAPAZ.

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    1. Gracias a esta maravillosa policia nos sentimos vien seguros en la bonita ciudad de coban!
      Muchas gracias! Y un placer conocerles!
      Un gran saludo a los policias más simpáticos de america!!

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