Aug 18 2008

200 Days – México – USA

Published by at 10:04 pm under xAmerica

Travels instruct, so they say lots of books and people; travels give you a lot, but they also take something away, they separate the person from the social, professional and family circles and other small circles are made in different places, and sadly one cannot make them bigger; traveling fills you with memories, experiences and loneliness, lots of stories to tell, lots more to omit, and other to erase, the ones behind the real life. Traveling like this is a fantasy and living in it is incredible, some admire it, some criticize it and I just survive, for some an irresponsible, for others a good example and I just survive. I know my world and feel the strong change this beautiful continent has made in me.

Mexico, missed for so long, receives me just like before, nothing has changed, all is the same and that is the good thing about it, just the fact of being in my country, even in cities and roads I’ve never been on, makes me feel comfortable, safe, as if nothing will happen to me. Why? Because I’m home, even though I have been away for so long and lost contact with television and news agencies, so I don’t know what is happening with my country, but everything looks as I was wishing it to be.

Our food, culture, customs, colors, traditions and our attitude as Mexicans makes it really hard not to miss the land, a country with almost everything including the most expensive toll highways and after Colombia the one with the most military posts on the roads, and even after that it looks beautiful to me; I don’t think I will ever complain about my country again, it gives us everything, and because we are used to having it we lose the sense of its value, and like a song from the Yonic’s used to say, nobody knows what they have or what they want until they lose it.

Again on the radio there are stations with “grupera” music, and even though I accept it is not my favorite kind of music it brings back memories, it tastes like my culture; and incredible change on the road accompanies these songs, four lanes and finally one can drive faster and even though it is dark I don’t feel scared nor tired to continue on the trip from Tapachula to Cancún to begin in the Mayan Riviera my way up to Québec, Canadá, and then really wander through harsh roads, and an important thing to add: unlike Chile, we have the best highways with an added plus, we have the option of toll-free roads something you can’t find in all the other places; in the rest of the continent either you pay or you don’t travel.

I spend the first night in Chiapas alongside the highway and at sunrise without much rest I continue the trip up to the Caribbean beaches, and so on the next night Cancun appears, the first city where I will stay after yearning for such a return, and to my surprise in Cancun I forgot that I was in Mexico and continued to feel like a foreigner until I remembered that this beautiful, advanced and expensive city is in my country. Impressive constructions, world-class hotels, shopping malls, restaurants, a world of fantasy for all ages. It’s not Disney! It’s not Las Vegas! It’s Cancun, Quintana Roo…

Chichen Itza (F) while passing through Yucatan (F), as a marvel of the world, Tulum (F) and the best beaches I have seen on the entire trip, a sea of an amazing blue (F), white sands (F), beautiful sunsets, lots of tourists and a strong heat. Now, without any real sense of urgency I travel along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico enjoying the scenery, the afternoons (F) and chatting in every military road post that I encounter on the road, most of them kind but I waste a lot of time in them. Villahermosa, Tabasco awaits along with and old good friend, Esteban Quijano whom I met in the time of Internet businesses some years back when we thought that everyone who got into the .com craze would get rich overnight, and as we know now in time that didn’t happen. I am welcome in his house with all the attentions and believe it or not up to that moment I hadn’t eaten tacos yet so our first stop to talk was in a popular taco place (F).

A party to celebrate his girlfriend’s birthday on Sunday at noon (F), some beers, seafood, dance music aaaah how I missed a party like this one, good friends of Esteban who ended up being my friends arrived, like Pedro Agüera, from Mexico City and Alejandro Llaneza from Argentina, who passionately helped the xAmerica project in an incredible way by coordinating interviews with the written press and T.V. in Villahermosa, Tabasco and in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz (TVT, Televisión Olmeca and El Heraldo “daily”) (F) and if that wasn’t enough I reach Coatzacoalcos and one of his friends, Luís Zaldivar, receives me and takes me to travel around the city (F), to eat, to the television station and as you can see my road through Mexico continues to be an extraordinary one. We enjoyed traditional meals, walked on the pier with the sun hitting hard (F) but even with that we got to know this Veracruzan port before heading on to Catemaco.

Catemaco, Veracruz is known in all of Mexico and maybe by many foreigners as the place of magic, both white and black, as the place of wizards and witches. Upon arrival I see it in my mind but I concentrate more in taking pictures of the town, its lake (F), the colorful shops along the streets (F), the little fishing boats and I get to taste the Tegogolos (F), snails that live in the lake; I have some with chipotle in corn tortillas. After such a good meal on the street a couple reaches me leaving me instructions about what to see in town; they were tourist guides. We kept talking and I learned about local stories, the history of the old rich families that I really don’t remember all that well because the chain involved lots of names that my mind began to mix-up with some many intertwined stories.

White magic wizard he called himself and his wife a devote follower of these kinds of magical Powers, they invite me to camp in their backyard and even though I resist a little because I had already made a deal in a local hotel that would let me camp near the lake and enjoy a cool night. I end up sharing stories, dinner and cups of coffee with some drops that would protect me against any black magic that someone could try to wish me by way of food (F). Tacos for dinner that they invite me along with their 3 sons (F) and lots and lots of explanations about how witchcraft and energies work, and speaking of which I am told that Catemaco is the world’s center of energy! The talk went on and on, they make a prayer for me so that the trip is successful, I pray with them, and now they explain the power of the herbs and they give me more potions now for insomnia so that I can sleep well without worries. I was getting sleepy and they kept talking! So I had to excuse myself and leave to the tent in my car with them still wanting to talk; at the end we agreed that the next day we would go to a waterfall where he usually makes “detachments” and cleansings. So it happened, the next morning, they didn’t take long to give me breakfast with the early mist and invite me to this beautiful waterfall where there is a fountain of gasified mineral water (F), which I tasted over and over; of course there had to be more drops that would protect me from more things. I observe the cleansing he does on his wife (F), they explain me the process and I say goodbye to them to travel now to Veracruz. By the way, they also took me to meet another wizard (F) who prays for the holy death.

With my mind filled with horror stories, energies, and my belly filled with several potions for my wellbeing (now I suppose that I can eat anything!), mi trip to Veracruz continues, where again a friend of a friend is waiting for me, in this case Mario Gordillo, friend of Esteban Quijano in Villahermosa.

Before doing anything I go directly to Land Rover Veracruz (F) to see its Director Leopoldo Buchanan, a man with a passion for adventure and motorcycles who treated me incredibly, and supporting my Project the car enters his shop to receive maintenance service (F), repair faulty issues and many more things, leaving Rover-ta like new and with a few years less so that she can have the pleasure of seeing Alaska and return home (F). Many thanks to Polo and to Land Rover.

Mario receives me in his apartment, on the famous and historical port of Veracruz, the one that won many battles, where you can find the first Light tower in America, where everything started for this beautiful continent. We walk around its boulevards (F), on the pier, we remember the history of San Juan de Ulua (F), feeling the cold and the fear when you see the ancient prisons in that place (F), we had lunch and I enjoyed some calm days in this beautiful city which is also both modern and classic at the same time. Mario (F) also helped me with my visit to the Dictamen (F) the first newspaper in the continent so they tell me, were they kindly published a note about the trip on Monday when I left the city, which by the way is the first time I can bring with me the newspaper where they talk about me, because most of the time the news come out when I have already left town, and this time an employee in a toll both says to me “are you the one who went to Argentina?”, a question that surprises me and he gives me the newspaper so that I can have it a souvenir. I leave Veracruz towards Reynosa Tamaulipas but not before being vaccinated (“being asked for a drink” as we say in Mexico) by the port’s transit police; I had a clean record in Mexico, but I couldn’t make it out intact. After that as if bad luck is on my side I get asked again for “a drink” in Monterrey, Nuevo León, where obviously I had to kindly cooperate. Mario continues to support me from Veracruz looking for media that can give a space to this adventure and with the website hosting.

In Reynosa, Tamaulipas, my family on my mother’s side (F) is waiting for me; my grandmother, aunts, uncles, cousins and my mother fly from Sonora to Monterrey to greet me, and for that I make a small trip to the airport and I come back quickly to Reynosa, on the border with Texas. Great Mexican food waits on the table for me, and some nice cold beers with my uncle Javier, Light beers as a matter of fact to maintain my slender figure. Family reunion that was many years in the making, a visit from my family in Texas, Mariela and Adriana, and with everybody gathered we decided to celebrate such a lucky encounter, buried cabrito (F), barbeque (F), and more beer; such delicious food was prepared by my aunts Rosy and Miriam along with my grandmother Maria, a little smoked from the fire but happy to make it, and my mother was only enjoying the family reunion (F) with a smile on her face. From Monday night until Friday I stayed with them, and there was always an advice for the care I should have on the rest of the trip, blessings and so much more. Uncle Javier helped me to check the car, and even though it had been checked by Land Rover we still needed to make some changes and corrective service and after those were made, can you believe it, we had some more beers with some friends (F) and my other uncle, Beto!

Incredible days in México, delicious food, tacos, barbeque, spicy food and now I prepare myself for the country with the biggest highway infrastructure in the continent so I’m ready for the USA border.

Right now I am in Miami, soon I will tell you about my trip thru the United States.

One response so far

One Response to “200 Days – México – USA”

  1. Robertoon 30 Jan 2009 at 6:35 am

    Pues felicidades, la verdad que es un hecho admirable este tipo de aventura y pues donde se aprende estando en contacto con diferentes contactos, y que mas estando , sientiendo y viviendo los problemas, las caracteristicas, de cada una de las culturas de nuestro pais, la verdad , que felicidades.

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