Friday, November 25, 2005

Right to NOT die


Commenting on the Iraq war, Washington Post Op-Ed Columnist Michael Kinsley said today:

"The last man or woman to die in any war almost surely dies in vain: The outcome has been determined, if not certified. And he or she might die happier thinking that death came in a noble cause that will not be abandoned. But if it is not a noble cause, he or she might prefer not to die at all. Stifling criticism that might shorten the war is no favor to American soldiers. They can live without that kind of "respect."


I couldn't agree more.
We crossed into New Mexico this morning and are currently, happily, tucked in into the Sands Motel in Socorro, New Mexico. It's a great, family-owned place directly out of the '50s except for the fact that the owners are a nice, vegetarian family from India and we have high speed internet in the room. A fantastic deal all for $40. This morning we stopped to visit the International UFO Museum & Research Center in Roswell. Nothing new there but it was fun anyway.

I admit, I have been a "believer" since childhood. At that time, I was in the habit of secretly staying up past bedtime to scan the skies for flying saucers with my binoculars. One night a milky white, quarter size light suddenly shot into the open skies above the trees. I dumped the binocs and watched. It was climbing very quickly so in seconds it passed over the house and out of sight. I ran to my parent's bedroom and looked out their window. Nothing. I ran back to my room and looked out my window again.
To my total wonder and delight, there were now four milky white, quarter size lights stopped in the sky above my room. They had formed a square, and hung perfectly still in the night sky. They stayed like that for about a half a minute then the three in the SW, NW, and NE corners, maintaining formation, broke off and quickly disappeared above the trees to the NE. The fourth one, in the SE corner of the square, shot away in that direction, retracing the path of the original light. That was it. No funny scars.

No weird dreams-like memories but I have been looking ever since so, no matter how hokey, stopping at the museum was a must.

A bit further down the road we pulled over to visit Smokey Bear's grave and museum. It cost two bucks to walk the path to Smokey's grave so we peaked over the wall instead but the museum was a free, sweet, homespun place housed in a small log cabin. There were the usual things ... tshirts, cups, hats, jewelery etc. but there was also a wonderful collection of Smokey Bear memorabilia including photos of baby Smokey, anitque posters and products long out of circulation and several scrap books of Smokey's newspaper clippings, photos and lots of hand scrawled fan letters to Smokey from grade school kids from the 40's on.

A little while later we passed the last stronghold of Billy the Kid. New Mexico! Great place.

Smokey the Bear's Grave, New Mexico

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving

Here's an idea. Be thankful and compassionate. Have TOFURKY for Thanksgiving.

We're in Texas. It's great to be back in the US. We didn't have a problem crossing the border. It took about a half an hour so we arrived by noon. We're staying in McAllen for the night. The jeep needs an oil change. We will leave in the morning. It will take a couple of days to get across Texas but we plan to be in Las Vegas on Sunday. Tourism is down there during the holidays and rooms are cheap. We have reserved one at the Orleans for $20 a night. Hot water and towels in a town with street signs! What luxury.

This evening we got veggie frozen dinners at a local health food store, and some flan. There are 74 channels on TV and internet in the room. Include a tube of cortisone for the many mosquito bites I got camping and it ammounts to an excellent evening. I hope everyone has a sweet, homey holiday. Remember to share it with the animals.

Invite a turkey for dinner or share a meal with a homeless animal.

Mexico, homeless dog at Palenque ruins in Mexico. He was so sad. Seeing him broke my heart.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Cuidad Victoria, looking back

So far we have made it to Cuidad Victoria. Tomorrow Texas. In the end, I guess you could say we were driven out of Mexico by the hurricanes and tropical storms. Gamma was just one too many. Too bad. The place we were camping was terrific, plus Lee needed a break. Driving in Mexico is really, really difficult! I wouldn't want to do it. I'll go into more detail when I have more time. Last year we didn't drive nearly as much. We rented an apartment in Oaxaca for six weeks. It was cheap and restful. At least as restful as living downtown in a noisy, polluted city allows. I didn't sleep much and got kind of crazy but I like the poems I wrote in Oaxaco so can't complain too much. This trip was very different. We visited tons of Mayan ruins. Megatons. Muchomegatons. It was a "trip of a lifetime" kind of thing. But we drove daily. Mr. Lee drove daily and Mexican roads are terrible, the maps don't work, the guide books are wrong and the signs, when they exist, are impossible.

My time at the cafe is almost up but just quickly, Mexico changed the way I see the world and the way I view my own life. For starters, human history is no longer the exclusive story of the East. It has completely independent roots south of the Rio Grand, or Rio Bravo as that river is called in Mexico. Perhaps the Aliens augmented monkey intelligence in both hemispheres at the same time, but the Olmecs, Mayans and Aztecs evolved independently from the rest of the world from that point on. And, as with my first visit to Mexico, I have again struggled daily with the contradictions, poverty, community, beauty and suffering that inundates me moment to moment in this foreign sister America. And, like last year, I am returning home with a renewed appreciation of the US, the American people (not our radical right wing government) and what we have created of our part of the New World. And this time I return home with an appreciation of taxes. Mexicans do not pay much in the way of taxes. It is a cash and carry economy and consequently the infrastructure is in permanent and incredible shambles. Cities can't afford waste management, raw sewage flows into the streets and water ways. Communities cannot even afford garbage cans what to speak of men and trucks to pick it up. And then there are the hoards of homeless, injured, diseased, starving, lonely dogs and cats that people wandering everywhere. OK. Time here in the old internet cafe is up once again so gotta go. More later. Hasta leugo mi amigas.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

La tormenta

It is hard seeing beyond purely "human" concerns and even harder to act on behalf of creatures or circumstances generally considered secondary or trivial compared to human life.

The camp at the coast was wonderful. Ten American dollars a night - 20 feet from the Caribbean - nestled under the trees - white sand - orange kayaks - big fire pit - reef snorkling - his/her toilets and paper - a shower (outside, cold water only) with stalks of giant bamboo for walls (spaced about 3-6 inches apart, who needs privacy?) vollyball in the sand - open air restaurant (still closed, tourist season begins Dec. 1st) - thatched roof cabañas (still being readied for Dec.) - half of beach piled with washed up coral (fantastic fantasy shapes) - the rest of the beach groomed sand - extremely friendly, obviously cultured, barefoot host (retired engineer) dressed in a bathing suit working on the cabañas with a couple of young guys - lots of wild beach to walk in either direction ...

We camped at the far end of the resort, as it turned out on a conch shell and misc. rubbish dump. No matter to us. It´s all about the very important Tuck Factor. Just after we set up camp, Mr. Lee and I were sitting by the water eating survival cheese sandwiches when a tiny, big-eyed, bony puppy crept up behind us and sat and cowered in the sand shivering, hoping for a handout. She broke our hearts. I don't believe that the majority of people care much about or even notice the terrible suffering of its animals.

I cringe as I write this. I cannot forget the puppy´s condition or deny the painful, lonely death that surely awaits her. Of course we fed them, four dogs total, all puppies. That puppy and another were only a few months old. The other two were not a year, both female and had already given birth. I kick myself now for not putting food on something (perhaps a piece of driftwood) to keep it up out of the sand. She ate what she could. The two older dogs instantly adopted us. We didn´t see the really young ones again until leaving. Too bad. I found bowls and bucket lids on the beach the next morning and we fed the older ones (Twiggy&Ziggy, my name for them) more dogfood (I had a bag with me), tuna fish, milk, cheese cake, a carmel nut roll and a couple of vitamins that fell in the sand. The two older dogs were obviously sisters. Their lives revolved around each other, they frolicked around each other, slept together in a curl, bit one another´s fleas and licked each other´s whiskers cleaaan. Our very nice host seemed to look right through them. I don´t see how civilized people can be blind to the suffering of innocent creatures. Spay or neuter them. Feed and care for them or give them to people who will. Or gently, kindly kill them.

Tropical Storm Gamma drove us away. At first we thought we´d wait out la tormenta (the storm) but by noon, in buckets of rain, we made a get away. Twiggy&Ziggy followed us down the road as far as they could. I´m honestly not sure which they hungered for the most, food or a kind touch. It was really horrible watching them in the rear view mirror but there was nothing we could do to alter their fate but give them a couple of good meals and a little love as we passed through their lives.

In the morning we head back for the States. It should take us about a week to get back. Then I will post more photos of the ruins and trip in general.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Calakmul notes

We camped at the ranger station about 40 kilometers from the entrance to Calakmul last night. The moon was full and the most fierce I have ever seen. The area is a bio-reserve and the jungle is very dense so we camped right on the road not far from the station. The next morning we left early and saw all kinds of wildlife driving into the site. A flock of wild parrots swooped out of the trees and crossed the road just in front of the jeep. The last parrot in the bunch was clutching a large yellow seed pod and dipped a little too low. For a moment we feared we'd hit it. We also saw several toucans, a little guaqueque (waa-kay-kay) crossed the road and there were plenty of wild turkeys. No jaguars or spider monkeys though. They are still on the hope to see list.

We were the first people to get to the site and for most of the day we had the place to ourselves. Structure I was the high point, literally and metaphorically. A couple of buzzards sitting on the top of the pyramid watched us huff up the stairs then took off just before we reached them. We sat on top for quite awhile listening to the howler monkeys in the distance. We saw a beautiful eagle nestled in the top branches of a nearby tree and wondered which rise on the Guatemala horizon might be the recently discovered, long lost city of the Maya, El Mirador. It is nice knowing that, at least in this particular circle of horizon, there are only a few indigenous communities living in the jungle. I took about 600 photos but won't be able to post any until I can get to an internet cafe.

That´s it for now. We´re back in Chetumal for the night then we´re headed back to the coast. We found a great looking campsite by Xcalak (Skalak). It´s right on the beach and looked very clean. While we´re there we plan to snorkel and hunt for conch shells and hope check out the defunct and spooky Iguana Hotel (our name). It´s an abandon beach resort hemmed in by a termite infested lagoon. Wonderfully creepy.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Full moon in Calakamul


A sidewalk lunch stand

Driving through Mexico this way is like traveling the wheel of Samsara. The entire country, not just the Mayan ruins, is layer upon layer of post-apocalyptic world´s in ruin, chaotic, lovely, disturbing, simultaneously phantasmagorical and excruciatingly real. Being here is a combined spiritual bucket of cold water, slap in face and a wild, fresh wind, and overall a much needed and appreciated antidote to the suffocation and miasma of corporate Amerika.

We´re back in Chetumal after spending a few days camping on the Caribbean and visiting a few minor archaeological sites in the area. The Jeep part arrived two days early but the hotel held it for us. With all the pictures I took of palm trees, sea trash, the rising moon, buzzards and storm battered beach cabañas my photo count is now over 10,000. That means the ratio of photos to miles is more than 1:1.

I haven´t got any new ones transferred to the flash drive but here are a few random images from earlier in the trip. Today we´re driving to Calakamul, a new site that´s just beginning to be excavated. We´ll camp there tonight and spend the day there tomorrow. Then it´s back to the coast for a few days. After than, we´ll begin working our way up back up the gulf.

Zapatista road sign

Advertisement for our hotel in Palenque

Fruit for sale. Roadside vendor.

Dead street dog in San Cristobol. People don´t even seem to notice them. Just the passing dog and me.

Be prepared to pay to use public bathrooms. It´s also a good idea to carry your own toilet paper. This ticket entitled me to about 3 squares of tissue but a lot of places don´t provide any.

Our hotel in Halapa provided a full roll on payment with the room key. Nice place.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Chance meetings

My grandfather was a merchant marine who sailed around the world seven times. He also fathered seven children. He was also a drunk. I've often wondered if he had other children in other ports. I'm thinking about him this morning because we are stuck in Chetumal waiting for jeep repairs. We will probably be here a week. Being port bound is part of life for sailors. Many have stayed months or years waiting for ship repairs. Many children were born in the interium. I've always suspected we have an unknown cousin or two somewhere in the world.

When we were buying the tent for the top of our jeep we met a guy named Frenchie La Chance.‭ ‬He had a built up Cherokee like ours and was an off-road adventure guide.‭ ‬On the side he worked with the only guy in the States who imported the tent we wanted.‭ ‬Frenchie´s rig acted as the demo.‭ ‬I was surprised when he told us his last name. Other than my own family, I have never met another Chance. Frenchie actually looked like family, especially‭ his‬ eyes ...‭ ‬too deep,‭ ‬too dark,‭ remotely disturbing.‭ T‬he bone structure of the his face also had the Chance look plus he was nervous,‭ ‬restless, twitchy ... typical Chance mannerisms.‭ S‬o I mentioned,‭ ‬mostly kidding,‭ ‬that perhaps we were related. The mention of his family instantly irritated him. He didn't want to talk about them. He said they were a bad bunch he wanted nothing to do with.‭ That made me wonder all the more if perhaps we actually were related. The Chance family is a bit odd and difficult at times and who knows what adventures and mishaps dear old granddad had on his seven voyages? If Frenchie is a part of our family his adversion may be quite reasonable.

Here´s the thing about us. We call it‭ ‬The Gene.‭ We joke about it but w‬e all know what it means.‭ ‬It´s the Odd Factor,‭ ‬the Frenzy,‭ ‬the corkscrew twist we all share. It makes us interesting but at a price. Then i‬n each generation,‭ it seems ‬one child is the double winner. It was Uncle John in his generation.‭ H‬e thought himself to death.‭ Not a good way to go. ‬I am the "black sheep" in my family but so far, so good. ‭There have been some close calls but ‬It‭ ‬hasn´t gotten me yet. And along the way,‭ I´ve learned to call any day I stay ahead of the bullet a good day. Sweet and simple. Plus I like to think the damn thing ends with me. I have come to believe that it´s entirely possible to be an artist or any other form of creative, conscious individual without self-destructing in the process.

Wednesday, November 9, 2005

Jeep troubles in the Mayan world

We are back in Chetumal after spending the last week crossing and recrossing the Yucatan peninsula. Jeep troubles. Both front shocks are blown. We drove from Tulum to Chetumal this afternoon to get new ones but found out when we arrived that they don´t carry what we need. We have to have a pair drop-shipped from the US which will take until sometime next week. The road didn´t seem that bad today but as soon as we hit the state of Quintana Roo (keen-tana ((as in Donna))-row) we drove miles of pot holes interspersed with topes (speed bumps). Nothing compared to the grueling trails the jeep crawls in the Nevada's outback but seems it was enough to do some damage. What this means to me tonight is that I have extra computer time. Sick isn´t it? Here we are on a wonderful adventure and Don Jefe has to continually drag me away from the internet cafes. However, inspite of my various pre-existing obsessions I have now also developed a taste for climbing and photographing pyramids, photographing their resident iguanas, huffing the moldy, bat poop and jungle rot air of dank ruins and getting into a melting, dripping, steamy hot, sweaty groove early in the morning. The jungle now haunts my dreams and calls to me when I am away from it. However, to date I have posted way too many pictures of monkeys, graffiti and manikins and almost none of what we came here to do, explore the incredible ruins of the ancient Mayan world so before I go back to the hotel for the night, here´s a few shots from places we´ve visited during the last week. Sorry they aren´t named...perhaps later. They are all in the Yucatan.

Saturday, November 5, 2005

Biking to Bonampak

I´ve given up trying to keep up with this trip. So far we´ve put about 7000 miles on the Jeep and I´ve taken over 7000 photos (and deleted about a quarter of them). I know, obsessive-compulsive. Now we are far too far down the road to write or post in chronological order. We´re currently in Merida. To fill in a bit here´s a copy of an email Mr. Lee sent recently about our visit to the ruins at Yaxchilan and Bonampak. Naturally, I have photos to go with this but only have time to post a few at the moment.

People used to say that the Mayans were completely peaceful but that just isn't so. Murals at Bonampak of ritual mutalation and killing. That's blood dripping from the captive's mutilated hands.

It would be hard for me to describe the past two days without sounding like some dime store adventure pulp, so I won't even try. I can't believe this sort of thing still exists in the 21st century. What follows is just a stream, unedited, typos and misspellings intact, just so I can get it down and then go to bed.

Departing Palenque, we took Hwy 307, a relatively new highway opening Mexico's last frontier, the Lancandon rain forest. It's a shame, really, but I guess humans won't stop until it's all gone. Well, it's not all gone yet.

We drove this road for about 100 miles, passing many tiny farming communities. Given that wood is in good supply and concrete in short supply, the pioneers all build with wood. It looks more like Belize than Mexico, with the exception that there is wave after wave of pioneers. Land that has become too poor to grow corn, beans and squash is burned to promote grass for cattle. Everyone looks fairly prosperous, in a rustic sort of way. As we continued down the new highway, we moved farther and farther back in time and the jungle increasingly pressed in on the road.

We reached our destination within a couple hours. Formerly, the road to Frontera Corozal was an all day grind on rutted, pot-holed dirt. This new road will bring quick change, but for now, Frontera Corozal is a sleepy village (sounds cliche, but there's no better way to describe it--it feels more like the Caribbean in pace). These days, Frontera Corozal is the frontier for Mexican eco-tourism. It's a new concept here. The community runs the one lodge. Even though it's a monopoly, it's reasonable, clean and very efficient (although we well never, ever again order the "mojarra frita", a whole fried fish with an eerie piranha-like smile). We stayed in a thatch-roofed cabana with mosquito netting over the bed, nice fan, and tepid water for the shower. The lodge is also the place to book a boat ("lancha") for the hour-long ride down the Rio Usumacinta to Yaxchilan.

We chartered a boat that evening, to set off early in the morning before any potential tour buses. I met the pilot, and he agreed to meet us at 7am the next day. He was five minutes early, and eager to set off. Our boat was typical, a roughly 30 foot open canoe with giant outboard. With only the three of us, we flew over the water. Like the highway (in fact, the Rio Usumacinta has been a very efficient highway itself, for thousands of years), the farther we went, the lusher the forest. After a short time, we left the corn and bean fields behind and found ourselves in basically intact rain forest. We heard howler monkeys and parrots and saw all kinds of water birds.

By 8am, our pilot steered our boat into the mud bank at the foot of Yaxchilan. The mists were just lifting, and it was just getting light. For the next four hours, we were the only people at the site.

There were no guards, no tourists, no people at all. We explored at a leisurely pace, following an excellent guidebook. At one point, standing in the enormous main plaza next to a large stela covered by a giant plastic tarp, I heard what sounded like the start of a tropical downpour. I looked up, and the stream was hitting one spot on the tarp. There was a troupe of howler monkeys just above the tarp, in amongst some spawling tree branches, and they were just waking. Amazingly, the whole troop began to void their bowels at the same time, splatting all over the tarp. We were just far enough away to avoid the overflow.

They continued to stretch and crap for some time. We watched, riveted. They would be one of several different howler monkey troupes we would see that day. The monkeys were in the trees everywhere, the big males making that distinctive roar. What an incredible experience.

Yaxchilan is the rare Mexican preserve that combines actual preservation with lost city adventure and no settlements. Other than the Rio Usumucinta, there is no road to this site. That's the only thing that keeps it so well-protected.

Throughout the day, we visited ruins major and minor and saw the occasional colorful blur, including toucans and parrots. We agreed that this is one of the best things we've ever done.

The ride back was slower since we were going upstream, and our pilot recognized the value of treating people well, so he slowed or stopped for every turtle or crocodile. At one point, this master pilot drifted back quietly to a croc he'd passed (and we hadn't seen, despite our constant focus) and we moved to within 10 feet of the sleeping beastie--I think he was sleeping, because his mouth was wide open. Eventually, he roused and slid languorously into the water and wee moved on. Asha probably took about a thousand pictures.

(Well, not quite a thousand photos but I did get a couple of good close-ups, not with a telephoto lens though. I don't have one. The pilot actually got us this close to the crocodile. It was very cool but we stayed a bit too long and finally the guy slid off into the water to get away from us. We felt bad about it.)

The jeep was packed and ready to go on our return. We hit the road, heading for a campground near Bonampak. There are two Lancandon indian towns here, one more westernized (barely) and one more traditional. Although it was late in the day, I drove to the Bonampak entrance to scope it out for the next day. We were greeted by an old Lancondon man with traditional haircut (long hair, bangs) and western logger garb. On a whim, I asked him if we could camp there, and he checked with some other younger men, and it seemed fine. Time left in the day, we moved on to visit a local site and spread some pesos among the community, our bid to promote forest preservation and eco-tourism.

We took a hike to "las cascadas", one of the most perfect swimmin' holes I've ever seen, complete with sweltering air temps to promote water sporting. Along the way, we passed a tiny undocumented Mayan ruin.

We got back to the Bonampak entrance after closing, but I wasn´t concerned since there wasn't a gate. But all the folks I'd spoken with earlier were gone. In their place was an ancient albino Lancandon man. I don't speak Spanish that well, but it's passable--it was mesmerizing to talk with this man with his thick Maya accent. He spoke Spanish with the most remarkable inflection---I mean, holy shit, a Maya accent, how anachronistic is that? His eyes looked in different directions and his reddish white hair was cut in the traditional Lancondon style, long with bangs. I guess he must have hypnotized me or used some kind of albino shaman trick, because within minutes we were following his grandson to his house, his grandson having just harvested two giant squash from their "milpa" right next to the Bonampak entrance.

We parked the jeep in a flat spot and tried to explain to people for whom Spanish is a distant second language that we were going to sleep in the "lancha" on top of our jeep, that we couldn't sleep in a hammock. I don't figure we could have appeared any crazier to these people, but on the other hand, they were looking pretty strange to us, too. The younger generation--there were four generations living here, the albino shaman grandfather the elder at 80--finally grasped that the white thingg on the jeep was a tent, but grandfather never wavered from his position that we were sleeping in our boat.

After some wild comparisons of our culture in Spanish, English and Mayan, the "artesanias" came out, and we were coerced, softly but relentlessly, into purchasing various necklaces and bracelets made out of local seeds. I knew it would happen. We were being ambushed. I bought some stuff, just enough I think.

I spent an hour or so talking to grandsons, 20-somethings with some sense that there was a world beyond their own tiny village. Their world was so tiny. There are no schools beyond primary. Everyone works in the field to produce what they eat. There are no jobs. There's very little surplus. With the exception of western clothes and TVs and, amazingly, satellite cable with a hundred or more channels (which every shack had, no matter how humble, leading me to believe that maybe there's a gov't pacification campaign here, since this is still part of the Zapatista zone), these folks had nothing modern, and no possible way to get it or change their lives in any material sense. They all sold trinkets to tourists for folding money, which they wanted for sugar and soap. Again, this sounds like a cliche, but it's the reality as far as I could see.

The grandsons, I believe, had never seen a large map of Mexico, which I happened to have. They knew nothing of their country. They'd never ventured more than 100 miles from where they lived now, for generation after generation after generation. "No dinero", they kept saying, and sure, they were hitting us up hard, and as I say, we bought what we could, what felt comfortable. It got awkward when they invited us for dinner, since we were sure they'd charge in some fashion, and that dinner would be some kind of range chicken or gamey bush meat.

We pretended to be as tired as we really were, and popped the tent, bidding all a very early goodnight. It was just getting dark.

Culture shock would be putting things mildly here. This was more like a cultural nuke. We clammered into our tent, clothes still on, and doused the lights.

We had a very peaceful night. Upon wakening, we hoped that the folks would be working the fields early and we were right. We made a mad dash for the exit, leaving granny a two-pound box of Swiss chocolates and feeling like we'd all hit some kind of cultural snafu, both sides sort of quiet and sheepish.

Who knows what kind of story they're telling now?

We reached Bonampak a few minutes later, dirty and a little crazed. We needed to eat. I popped open the back of the Jeep and poured a couple bowls of shredded wheat and raisins, and then I turned around and noticed the small crowd of Lancondones watching the morning's entertainment (us). It felt weird eating in front of these men, so I invited them to join us, distributing the last of our cereal into bowls and pans. One man asked if this is what we ate in America, and I said yes, sure. What is it made of? Wheat, said another, "trigo". I told them it was a different kind of cereal, not like the Mexican cereal since it lacked sugar. They treated it like an exotic dish and everyone ate everything and then washed bowls and spoons and fingers.

We rented decrepit bikes for the 6-mile ride to Bonampak. The site is very tiny, notable for its close alliance to Yaxchilan as a vassal city, and most famously, for its amazing murals. We saw reproductions in Mexico City and elsewhere, but there's no substitute for the actual setting (lost cities, monkeys, parrots, giant butterflies, albino Mayans).

We were filty and exhausted for our ride back to civilization, which, in this case, was Palenque, former hick town, now giant city with the perspective of a couple days in the Lacandon rain forest.

Now I'm going to surf aimlessly for a few minutes and then pester Asha to unplug so we can go to our room and crash. Next stop, Chetumal, sweet blessed funky Chetumal.


Tuesday, November 1, 2005

Día de los Muertos

We are now in Compeche, a small port city on the Gulf of Mexico. We didn´t stick around to meet with Dan the other day or try camping at the ruins. Instead we shot across the Yucatan in search of better weather, which we found here.

Today is Día de los Muertos, Day of the Dead, so in observation of it here are a few photos I´ve taken on the trip that are to me, in one way or another, in the spirit.

The first is of the waiting room for a funeral parlor. It is right on the sidewalk and cannot be closed off because it has no doors.

The rest have each their own mystery except for the photo from the miscellenia store (variety store) of the skulls on the artificial Christmas tree. That one is simply and delightfully absurd.

Happy Día de los Muertos and Merry Christmas!