Category Archives: Mexico 2009

Mexico – Please take me as your own!

Mexico es en mi Corazon!

 

The Zocalo and Cathedral

The Zocalo and Cathedral

Mexico is in my heart.

 

Whenever I meet Latinos, this is one of the first things I say to people. It really is so special to me after living there for 4 months when I was studying at University in 2009. I lived in the north in Monterrey and studied at El Tec De Monterrey. A truly special time in my life – full of crazy memories.

Reuniting with friends from Monterrey

Reuniting with friends from Monterrey

 

I’m now back and I want to be accepted as one of this countries own.

I say – Soy Mexicana “ I’m Mexican!”

 

Dancing Salsa

Dancing Salsa

I dance salsa and want to move to the rhythm of the heart of this country.

 

Introducing Emily to my love of Mexico

Introducing Emily to my love of Mexico

I speak Spanish but I want to know more, to express myself in many ways and to converse with people of all ages and places.

 

The Beautiful Bellas Artes

The Beautiful Bellas Artes

I want to learn! I want to know the history, the cultures, the foods, the clothes – I want to see every inch of this country.

 

enchiladas

enchiladas

If a job opportunity or business opportunity comes up in Mexico – you know I’ll be on the next plane there!

 

VIVA Mexico!


I’m home – VIVA mexico

It’s taken 3.5 years but  I’m home.  To my adopted country, Mexico.

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I studied in the north of Mexico, Monterrey in 2009 for a semester. I spent 4 months here and was blessed to travel to many places including Zacatecas, Mexico City, Huasteca Potosi, Xilitla, Mazatlan, Vera Cruz, Cuatro Cienegas, Los Casas de San Cristobal, Tulum, Cancun. Isla Mujeres, Palenque, Peurto Escondito, Oaxaca, Play Del Carmen and more!

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The people, the music, the food, the land, the beaches, the language and so much more of this country touches me in a way I can’t describe. My heart beats faster when I hear Mexico and the smile doesn’t leave my face when I’m here. I love to dance Salsa, eat tacos, say “”Que chido guey” and watch the Sunsets.

 

My dear friend Jorge!

My dear friend Jorge!

I nearly cried when we landed in the airport and the full 23 hours of Travel from La Paz in South America to Cancun, Mexico – I couldn’t get the butterflies out of my stomach –TOO EXCITED!

http://wp.me/aEgmI-Po

 

 

If you have not yet visited the wonder that is Mexico then you are loco!!

 

I hope to provide some more interesting and detailed information about this country here on this blog so stay tuned.

 

Bienvenido a Mexico – Welcome to Mexico.


Memories from COBA, Mexico

What can start off as one of the worst days on your trip can end up being the most magical. This is the beauty of Travel.

Our disastrous start to the day was in Tulum, a town in the Eastern state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. We had planned to go to Chichenitza, one of the 7 wonders of the world to see the Pyramids, but also had to be back by 8pm for a bus to our next destination Palenque. No buses were going, we had limited options and tensions in the group were high. We decided in the end to hire a car and only 5 minutes after were issued with a traffic violation fine for driving down a one way street. Begrudgingly we settled on a place called COBA which was only an hour away and also offered amazing pyramids (according to Lonely Planet Mexico.)

 

We were surprised and delighted to discover upon arrival that this ancient site of pyramids was one of the earliest and longest running communities in Mexico. A true gem and beautiful location for the day, our spirits quickly rose. Sites with pyramids and other ancient structures have a mystifying appeal. I experienced this more so when I met a Mayan gentleman standing on one of the pyramids. He spoke to me in a very low and soft voice explaining what life would have been like there 1000’s of years ago. I was interested in the art of sacrifice and the rituals that were practiced in the culture. He informed me “If I were the king in that time I would not sacrifice you because your hair is like the sun and your eyes like the ocean, you would be kept and treasured.” I liked the sound of this ancient world and appreciated my new friend’s narrative which briefly transported me back to such interesting times. Our group hired bikes and leisurely rode around the ancient structures, trying to imagine the life that was once lived here. We then came upon the greatest of them all and struggled our way to the top for an amazing view over the entire bushy area. The landscape and environment in this area reminded me a lot of the Australian bush and I really enjoyed the sense of home in such a foreign and intriguing place. After strolling around the pyramids and climbing as many as we could in the heat of the Mexican Spring, we went to the cenotes which are typically found in this region of the Yucatan Peninsula. The Cenote comes from Yucatec Maya dzonot or ts’onot,[1] meaning “well”[2]) is a sinkhole with exposed rocky edges containing groundwater (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cenote). We had seen a few in Tulum but did not know that there were so many others throughout the region with three sites alone in this area.  

Tulum

Tulum

 

Cenotes are like heaven under the earth. You walk down a spiral wooden staircase only to be met by the most incredible pools of clear water reflecting the stunning colours of the surrounding walls. The image meets your eye and your breath is taken from you. Serene, peaceful and overwhlemingly beautiful. Any anger or upset that had been present earlier in the day was now erased and forgotten. We floated around and dove from a 10 m board into the stunning deep pools nestled in the cave. We only had half an hour and were devastated when we were hustled out of our dreamlike world. We emerged as the sun was at it’s most beautiful right before it is ready to set. At this time of day, as the suns rays gently touch down on the earth, all just seems to be well and good in the world. As we drove out of COBA in that magical time of day that is twilight, we realised we would miss the stunning sunset whilst driving s we quickly turned the car around and went back to the pyramids site. Stopping at a small store we grabbed tostadas and guacamole ingredients to make ourselves an evening snack whilst we watched nature’s great show. Sitting on a wharf, a crocodile floating in the water near by, a still smooth lake lay out before us and beautiful colours streamed across the sky as the sun slowly set. We could not have asked for a more perfect end to the day or a more remarkable reminder of how beautiful this earth truly is. 

Cenotes

Cenotes

We finally left COBA in the early evening once the sky had settled and a deep blue graced the sky. We remembered now how lucky we were to have the opportunity to experience such wonders of nature and to visit such truly amazing places. We ended the day on a high with a sense of complete satisfaction.

(Note: This was posted on December 2, 2o12 after I returned from Tulum for my second trip. I visited Coba, Mexico in May 2009.)


Tulum – True Paradise on Earth

Tulum is a beach and town with ancient ruins located on the East Coast of Mexico in the state of Quintana Roo.

Tulum should be the new word for  = Paradise!

Dancing on the beach in Tulum!

I visited Tulum in 2009 with my university friends on our Semana Santa, or Spring Break. Out of all our travel for 18 days, Tulum was far and away my favourite. Never have I been to a place that could so instantly lighten my mood and warm my heart.

The clearest blue waters you’ve ever seen, soft white sand, cabanas on the beach and picture perfect views with the ruins, cloud studded skies as the sunsets. Sunrise, or what I saw of it, was magic and captured in my memory for all time.

Tulum has changed since I was here 3.5 years ago but the essence remains the same. The cabanas at Mariachi restaurant where I stayed last time are still here but are no longer the closest to the runs. There are 3-4 new hotels now on the beach which are located closer to the pyramids. However the cabanas remain the most economic. A “matrimonial suite” is 350 pesos per night ( $27 US) or a single low cabana with double bed for 250 pesos ($18 US). With 2 people, this is highly affordable accommodation.

Some people may not like the basic nature of the cabanas but I love it. It’s all you need. No matter where you stay on the beach, the view is the same isn’t it ? Waking up and a walking down the stairs onto stunning white soft sand, with a view of the clear blue water is all I need. We have toilets, showers and restaurants at the complex and electricity for 2 hours a night to charge electrics.

Sunrise is incredible!

A cab to town is only 50 pesos and there you can enjoy a variety of shops, clubs, restaurants and catch the buses to Chichenitza famous pyramids or Playa Del Carmen just an hour away, another beach and famous town. The pyramids from my cabanas were just a 5-15minute walk by road and are 60 pesos to enter. You can also walk along the beach to the other hotels and restaurants and enjoy a meal or night out. We had a great time at La Vita Bella – using the WIFI and enjoying incredible fresh fish and delicious nutella crepes for dessert.

On offer at the beach is also a snorkeling tour in the ocean with a great view of the pyramids from the water. Then you have the unforgettable, unmissable cenotes! From the cabanas it was 450 pesos per person ($35 US approx). This is a must!! You go with a guide to the Grand Cenote and experience the most incredible underwater caves and brilliant colours of water. We were lucky to see turtles swimming, fish and have a great view of the underwater caverns as there were scuba divers visiting at the same time.

Cenotes

This is the most incredible region of Mexico and a week would be a recommended stay to experience all that is on offer. Day trips to Chichenitza, Coba, Playa del Carmen, all separately would be great to experience more of what’s on offer. Valladolid is also a pretty city not far from Tulum which could be nice for a cultural visit. If you have 10 days or more there are more extensive trips to Merida, Isla Mujeres, Cozumel and even Palenque (pyramids in the jungle) from this hub.

 

Pyramids at Chichenita, 7 wonder of the New World

Enjoy Tulum – My favourite place in the world!

Watch out…. You’ll be Tulum’d!

Pyramids at Tulum, Ruins by the sea


Travelling in the Americas

It’s been a whirlwind so far! Peru, Bolivia, Mexico and now the U.S.

 

A few pics from each country and more to come soon!!

Machu Picchu in Peru

 

Peruvian Tattoo artist living in Bolivia -love this!

 

Salt flats, Uyuni, Bolivia

At the beautiful Bellas Artes in Mexico City, Mexico

Disney pose in Jackson Square, Jazz birth place, New Orleans, USA

 


Wow How Did You Get So Tanned?

Often the comment when people see photos of me in Mexico. A blonde, fair skinned, blue eyed girl – could be mistaken for a lady of the island life.

Here is a photo of my friend Sam and I in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. We stayed in a 5 star resort for 1 night to live the life of luxury whilst travelling, for onmly $165 US a night!!! All inclusive.

 

This was an incredible trip. And this tan was a build up of 4 months of walking, playing, laying and sleeping in the sun – Mexico doesn’t really do Winter.

 

When was the best tan of your life?

 

* Note: I always wore sunscreen, coming from Australia I’m well aware of the damage UV sun rays can do to our delicate skin. SLIP, SLOP, SLAP on some sunscreen!


Footprints : Photo Blog

I love this image and it always brings back warm feelings for me.

 

Not only do I love my tattoo, which was new at the time, and the location I was, but I love footprints in the Sand!

 

 

I was walking the Beach in Peurto Escondito, Mexico. I noticed all my footprints in the sand behind me and had to stop and take a photo to remember the moment.

 

My favourite poem running through my head as I walked with tears rolling down my cheeks.

 

One night I had a dream–
I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord
and across the sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene I noticed two sets of footprints,
one belonged to me and the other to the Lord.
When the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that many times along the path of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I also noticed that it happened at the very lowest
and saddest times in my life.
This really bothered me and I questioned the Lord about it.
“Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you,
you would walk with me all the way,
but I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life
there is only one set of footprints.
“I don’t understand why in times when I needed you most,
you should leave me.”
The Lord replied, “My precious, precious child,
I love you and I would never, never leave you
during your times of trial and suffering.
“When you saw only one set of footprints,
it was then that I carried you.”

 

Footprints in the Sand
        One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
             Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
                  In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
                       Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
                           other times there were one set of footprints.
                                  This bothered me because I noticed
                                that during the low periods of my life,
                             when I was suffering from
                         anguish, sorrow or defeat,
                     I could see only one set of footprints.
          So I said to the Lord,
      “You promised me Lord,
         that if I followed you,
             you would walk with me always.
                   But I have noticed that during
                          the most trying periods of my life
                                 there have only been one
                                       set of footprints in the sand.
                                           Why, when I needed you most,
                                          you have not been there for me?”
                                 The Lord replied,
                          “The times when you have
                  seen only one set of footprints,
          is when I carried you.”
                                                   Mary Stevenson
  Copyright © 1984 Mary Stevenson, from original 1936 text, All rights reserved

 


White Desert, Cuatro Cienegas

This stunning picture was taken with a little bit of camera trickery on my Canon Ixus. I love the colour swap mode and the effect is incredible.

 

The photo was taken in the dessert of white sands in Cuatro Cienegas, in the state of Coahuila,
Mexico. I loved this little weekend trip. We were so lucky to come here as well as the tour guide company had stopped but with a little negotiation and a few under the table pesos, we had a private guide for the pools and the white desert.

 

The White Sands of Cuatro Cienegas, Mexico


Handprints

Picture memory!

This is a photo from my time in Mexico. 5 friends, went into the dessert and frolicked about like idiots. Also has the time of their lives.

making a mark

Make your Mark when you travel. Enjoy your time and leave it stamped in your memory.

Visit Cuatro Cienegas, Coahuila, Mexico to experience the beauty and serenity of the dessert.

http://www.mexconnect.com/articles/1159-cuatro-ciénegas-coahuila


LA = Lil Mexico

Now apparently to call a person of Mexican origin a Mexican in Los Angeles is deoroggatory or politically incorrect. News to me! And strange considering a huge part of the Los Angeles population is in fact, Mexican.

It has surprised me how much America, well this part of America, is reminding me of Mexico. I did live in Monterrey Mexico which is the most Americanized city of all those in Mexico, but still, the resemblance is astounding.

 

I’m staying in San Gabriel (yes that is a Spanish word) and seriously I could be in a suburb of Monterrey. El Pollo Loco, Tacos , Las Tunas drive. And you can speak Spanish in just about every shop you go to. I should have come here to learn my Spanish before going to Mexico. I even got to chat to the gardeners the other day.

So why, when a city has so much of a Spanish/ Mexican influence- do the Mexican people object to being called Mexicans? I would love someone to explain this to me. I know that some people may have been born here in the USA but have Mexican parents or origins, but should they not be proud of their heritage. I can also see that people may have a latino or hispanic appearance but actually be from El Salvador, Dominican Republic or Guatemala. But even when I asked my friend who lives in Juarez, Chihauau, Mexico about it, he said he doesn’t understand why they in most senses of the mexican nationality they are Mexican they still refuse to be called so?

 

I guess I can kinda understand it, as I am Australian but  people say I’m British as my parents are originally from the UK. You could say, I’m Australian with English blood yes, but if someone calls me English I wouldn’t call it an offence? And certainly not derogatory. Sigh.

 

So apparently Latino American is the correct term. I shall try my darndest to forget my Mexican connections and replace them with the Latino American mentatlity.

 

Hasta luego.

 

p.s. loving being able to buy great tortillas in store and get REAL tacos in the restaurants!!


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