Saturday, February 13, 2010

Reflections on Mexico:(Carol)

Our dearest family and friends were worried for us when we said we would include Mexico in our tour. Yes, its all over the news and the worst fears were swine flu and decapitations. Were we scared? Yes, a little concerned but nothing would stop us going forward with our plans. We had traveled Mexico many years ago and had the best experiences each time so with some precautions in mind such as point of entry and not driving after dark, we are happy to say that it was a wonderful experience. For us foodies, we were in heaven eating tacos. We never really deviated from this one choice except with regard to beef, pork or fish. They were all so good and we miss eating them!! We even completely transformed the way we cooked in our motorhome! Our pantry is now filled with jalapenos, cactus, avocados, tomatoes and of course tortillas. We even made a chicken mole. One of the things we’ve learned to do while traveling is to transform ourselves with our surroundings and that is truly the fun of travel!!
We were also so lucky to meet so many nice locals and travelers (mostly Canadian). The locals were warm and kind and most spoke a little English. With our French base and some highschool French we got by just fine. We always felt safe with the locals but we felt a little vulnerable with the Mexican army (with our half a dozen army checkpoints) and the police(one bribe necessary). They all carried big guns and wore face masks and always gave us the impression that they could be above the law. It just took a little getting used to and it all turned out just fine.
As far as scenery, we hugged the Sea of Cortez and much as possible. This always allowed us a beautiful ocean view and a great place for our morning jog. The highlights were definitely kayaking, bicycling and hiking any mountain we could. Usually we had to blaze our own trails which made it even more fun, especially for the kids. The kids haven’t lost their ability to walk for hours with us but they also know they have no choice!! Copper Canyon as previously mentioned was magic. It really gave a whole new dimension to Mexico since we had never ventured into the higher altitudes. There we saw an entirely different Indian subculture. The landscape was more rugged and the people there were self-contained and had lost nothing of their culture. They all had their own special skills, basket-weaving, jewelry making or just cooking their local cuisine on the side of the road or train platform. We tried it all and loved it! The train ride in itself was magic and you always meet some cool people who have very profound things to say. We felt changed by the experience.
Back in the USA, we pine a bit for Mexico, the serenity, the relaxed pace and the smell of their wonderful cuisine!!

Carol displaying a nice tatoo or maybe some excess chain lube????

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