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Yucatan trip

  • Submitted by: Anonymous
  • Submission Date: 14th Feb 2005

The Mexico Chronicles

Leaving from Tijuana to Mexico city was a good idea. It's a lot cheaper than flying out from San Diego or LAX. All you got to do is hop over the border past some indifferent Mexican border agents and go bumping and sliding around a couple of miles of Mexican highway with Mexican car drivers. Well, if you know anything about Mexican drivers, that last part can be kind of tricky. There is no shortage of potholes in Mexico and you can forget about traffic lights. There are a lot of stop signs which everyone agreed a long time ago to ignore. All you got to do is keep one hand on the wheel and one on the horn. Honk and accelerate simultaneously. It's the only way to go.

So, we get to the airport and wander around through a fishnet of customs, immigration, and all sort of other desks staffed by scowling state employees. Luckily, we had the foresight to visit Mexico earlier in the week and buy our pesos. We had plenty for the surprise baggage fee which we had to pay. So, after a bit of confusion and disorientation, we were on our way to sunny Mexico City.

Districto Federal. That's what Mexico city is called... the big D.F., biggest city in the world and home to a quarter of Mexico's population and to all of its pollution. We had another flight out of there to Cancun the next day so we only spent the night in D.F. We wandered around the Zocalo in El Centro and looked at the Cathedral there. We didn't do much the first day besides wander about and try to get climatized to the new culture. Luckily, it rained earlier in the day and that kept most of the pollution at bay. We ate some burgers at a place we thought looked pretty clean and slept in a cheap hotel nearby. Having stayed at worst dumps, I thought the room was okay for the price.

Cancun, the city without a soul, a gigantic tourist circus built because a computer decided it would be a great tourist attraction. The old fishing village that was once Cancun got run over by the Zona Hotelera, possibly the most grotesque Disneyland of American and European poor taste. On the isthmus that is the Zona, you can slam down tequilas at rowdy Tex-Mex bars all the while speaking English and spending greenbacks. If you've come to see Mexico, skip Cancun; if you've come to see how tacky a tourist trap can get, come to Cancun.

Anyway, Cancun was cheap to fly to and we spent the night there. Wandered around the Zona and looked at some of the beaches. Really pretty water and sand and soft as baking soda. We stayed downtown where the locals live and took a bus out to the Zona. We were surprised at how few tourists there were wandering around. I guess if you pay $200 for a hotel room, you're going to want to spend some time in it. We found the bus station and headed out as soon as we could.

Playa Del Carmen, small town with beaches as pretty as Cancun but without the tawdriness. We stayed at a campsite stocked with European refugee hippies. We rented a spot to sling our hammocks for about $4 and spent the day wandering up the down the beach and swimming with topless girls. Needless to say, I've done more unpleasant things. Weather was really nice. It made me drowsy and water was as clear as I'd ever seen. At nightfall, we went to a small club and had a beer while flirting with the female drummer. Not as many tourists as I expected. We went back to the site and slung our hammocks hoping to head out early the next day to Cozumel. Unfortunately, sleep didn't seem to be in the cards that night. The dope-heads spent the night playing very loud music and fighting over who owned the tequila. Ralph caught a couple screwing on the filthy bathroom floor. Some idiot from North Carolina spent half the night begging people for a rubber. The girl in the hammock next to me actually got naked right in front of me and performed her feminine hygiene chores. She was dog ugly and I really didn't care to get to know her that well. The mosquitos chewed me up that night and I couldn't get any sleep after what the girl did to me. I was too nauseated. By morning, I was fed up with the druggies and wanted to get the hell out of there. The wind kicked up that night onshore and since the hammocks were right on the beach, we got cold blasted all night and I began to develop a sore throat.

Cozumel, Costeau put this place on the map by alerting people to the beauty of it's reefs. Used to be only divers came here but now mostly everybody does. The first day there we set up at a decent hotel and rented some bicycles. We rode about three miles to a national park called Chankanab. We rented snorkeling gear there and paddled around for awhile. The fish are so friendly that they swim right around with you. We saw a barracuda also. Snorkeling was pretty fun but my sore throat was acting up as all that breathing through the snorkel irritated it. On the ride back from the park it rained. We rode through a lot of thick rain getting splattered. The bikes we were on were junk with only one gear and no splash guards. I got soaked and muddy. Sloshing down a narrow road in the rain with Mexican drivers whizzing past you isn't much fun. I bought some medicine for my throat and my mosquito bites at the local pharmacy. The stuff seemed to work pretty good.

The next day in Cozumel, we rented a moped and rode around the island. We made our way down this beat up road to a lighthouse. On the way to the lighthouse, I hit a sand dune and we wiped out. Ralph also took a curve too quick and bashed the side of the moped in a bit. As we were tooling along, my helmet came off and hit Ralph who was sitting behind me. Lucky for both of us the helmet hit Ralph in his helmet so it didn't knock him off the back of the moped. The road was tricky but we made it to the top of the lighthouse and took lots of photos. Later in the day, we took a SCUBA lesson. We had a good instructor and they took us out to a place called Paradise Reef. I was congested from my sore throat and getting caught in the rain so I had some trouble early on adjusting the air pressure in my head, but luckily that cleared up pretty well. We dove about 40 feet or so. The reef was pretty and we saw lots of fish and coral and an eel. The reef wasn't as big of a deal as I thought it'd be. I wasn't as excited about it as Ralph was, but then I'd seen similar stuff on Guam, which has plenty of reefs.

Chitchen Itza: major big ruins site. We arrived there by second class bus. It took about seven hours. A second class Mexican bus stops at every pile of rocks that stands for a town. People board will all sort of produce and livestock that they sell in the bigger towns. I was always amazed at how they could keep the livestock tied up and quiet for the entire trip. It ain't easy to tie a chicken up and keep him quiet, especially on a bus. I guess the animals are used to the bus trips. The biggest animal I saw tied and loaded on a bus was a calf.

Mexican bus drivers are something else. Never again will I wonder what those elaborate altars on the dash board are for. I'm talking about the dashboards with the blinking lights on the crucifix, and the rosaries, and flowers, and statues of various saints. I think St. Jude is popular with bus drivers. He's the saint of gamblers and lost causes.

Bus drivers go through this elaborate abbreviated rosaries with all the furious hand crossing and muttering. Bus drivers also work in teams. One guy drives and the other guy collects the money. How they determine the fare is largely a black art. We had this one pair of drivers: Laurel and Hardy. Laurel would collect money and Hardy would drive. Laurel was the funniest by far and Hardy was the straight guy. Laurel was tall, thin, and maybe just a little older than me. He had these bloodshot eyes and hair that looked like it hadn't seen the business end of a comb in about two hundred miles. I can still see his unblinking bloodshot eyes over a pair of furious swinging arms whipping a steering wheel around. Somehow, that sight never reassured me.

Hardy would take over the driving chores about half way through the trip. He had no hair so he didn't look to messy. Laurel had mastered the art of instant sleep. He'd collapse into the front seat and be instantly asleep. He would wake up to some internal cue every now and then to collect fares from passengers. I'll never know how he knew who'd paid or not and who'd gotten on.

We stayed at a nearby small town called Piste. It was pretty nice there and the food was good and accommodations nice. We toured some of the ruins just before closing when it's cooler. The ruins get hot and really humid during the day. The hotels in Cancun run bus tours to Chitchen Itza. Unfortunately, for the tourists, the buses arrive in the middle of the afternoon at the peak of the heat. So, we had fun watching these rich tourists stagger around trying to climb these huge pyramids. These tourists deserve every heat stroke they get. The arrived in these cute little fashionable shorts and sandals clutching water bottles without hats. First off, you need good boots to climb up these pyramids as it's easy to twist an ankle and come careening down a hundred and fifty foot pyramid. You need a hat too and lots of bug repellent and sun protection. It was so funny watching these red-necked Britons stumbling around and fighting heat prostration.

There was lots to see at the site. The best part was this huge ball court shaped to specific geometric specifications. There were these high rings that the players were supposed to hit a twelve pound ball through, sort of like basketball, but you can't use your hands. Needless to say, it was a very low scoring game and the losers got beheaded as a sacrifice. The court was designed to yield seven echoes and if you talked against a wall at one end you could be heard by someone listening at the opposite end of the wall about 150 feet away. We had lots of fun with that little experiment.

The next morning there we saw the remainder of the ruins in the cool air and headed out to our next town.

Merida, fifth largest city in Mexican capitalism and the Mayan cosmological fifth point (or center) of the universe. It's also called the 'white city', but it was hard to tell through the smog. The streets obviously weren't designed for car traffic and the leaded gas hangs tight in every intersection. Some Mexican traffic engineer decided it would be a good idea to extend the tailpipes of the buses to about nine feet off the ground. This means you get the blasted with the black smoke right in the face if you're on the curb instead of in the shins. One thing we learned early in Mexico: if it makes too much sense they don't do it.

This town was built on the backs of indian slaves who grew a type of fiber called Henequen which was made into rope in the days before nylon. Using the profits from the rope, the spanish built these huge haciendas and bought lots of guns since they wanted independence from central control at Mexico city. They gave these guns to the Indians to fight the Mexican army, but surprise, surprise! The Indians had this funny thing about remembering the torture and slavery the spanish put them through and turned on their masters. This was known as the Caste War and was one of the bloodiest wars in Mexican history. The Mayans have the distinction of killing the most Spaniards of any people. Well, the plantation owners went running back to central Mexican control to save their butts, but the Indians were just about to kick the hell out of them when they noticed a kind of grasshopper which heralds the start of the new planting season. Believe it or nuts, the Indians stopped right there and went to plant the crops to avoid displeasing their gods instead of beating the living daylights out of the spanish. Well, you can guess the rest. The spanish sure got lucky in Mexico with the Aztecs and the Mayans.

We wandered around the museums and markets in Merida. The central market smelled. I really mean smell. There were butcher shops stacked next to tortilla rollers butted up against flower vendors and jewelry stores. The pollution added to the mix of fetid water, blood, sweat, and tortilla dough and the air was so thick in there you had to chew it first. Some valiant soul was pushing a broom. Talk about lost causes! I saw my first real live leprosy victim there. It ain't pretty. Trust me.

There is a big Palacio called Casa Montejo which was built from the stones of Mayan buildings and it features a carving of a spanish soldier with his feet firmly planted on the heads of the Maya. There is a bank in there now. Talk about your poetic irony.

We bought some cool handmade hats which are popularly known as Panama hats. There are woven in nearby Becal in caves using precise humidities. The hats are real fine and we got a good deal of $15 a hat. They sell those hats in the states for as much as $300. We attended a free concert that night which was lots of fun. Lots of locals were present and you could see over the heads of the ugly German and British tourists who were nursing their camcorders instead of paying attention to what was going on. Except for some blisters and lots of mosquito bites we were ready to head out the next day.

Uxmal, supposedly the most ornate complex yet found on the Peninsula. Archaeologists still argue over the style and which Indians built which parts since the city was re-built several times. Bear in mind there are more ruins in Mexico then there are names for and only a very small fraction have been excavated. The biggest pyramid is called the 'house of the magician'. The story goes that a woman gave birth from a clump of dirt (sounds like the Mahabharata don't it?) to a dwarf who grew to manhood in a couple of days. To show the local head honcho how great he was the dwarf built the temple overnight. However, the chief, obviously a mathematician, complained that the base was elliptical and not square so he challenged the dwarf to a head butting contest and got killed. These pyramids are steep (60 degrees uphill). The reason for this is that a narrow step means less room for jungle weeds to get a foothold or it could mean that the Mayans thought big quadriceps were sexy. Unlike most Mayan ruins in the Yucatan, Uxmal isn't built around a cenote (natural water basin). Uxmal is built around cisterns and there are plenty of statues and such dedicated to the rain god, Chac. The constant threat of drought inspired folks to build lots of temples to Chac.

Well, after the ruins and the dog-ugly European tourists, we got caught in a rainstorm waiting for a passing bus. I got bit bad by something hideous and my hand swelled up to the size of a basketball. The ride from Uxmal to Campeche was plenty long and I was in considerable pain.

Campeche City, capital of the state of the same name. It lies along the Gulf coast and is about five meters above sea level. This town isn't along what's called the 'Gringo trail' so the folks here aren't used to tourists. We got a lot of strange looks and people couldn't figure us out. Some people thought we were from Veracruz and others thought we were Costa Rican. The city was a major shipping center at one time and was established by Montejo the Younger whose family conquered the Indians in Merida. The tales of the great treasures that the Spaniards were siphoning out of the Peninsula reached the ears of many a pirate who made regular attacks on the ships and the ports. This led the spanish to erect a huge wall around the city which still stands today. The pirates were apparently undeterred and took up permanent residence on a nearby island called Cuidad del Carmen. In fact, the buccaneers joined forces and caused the worst massacre in the city's history.

We wandered around the central plaza and looked at the wall and the museum under it. Some elementary school kids were in charge of giving people free tours as part of their lessons and we had fun poking fun at them. They were really entertaining little monkeys and we took lots of photos. We looked at the Cathedral Concepcion which is the oldest Christian church in the Yucatan. But hey, after the Vatican and Venice, all churches start to look the same to me. We had a late bus out of there that night which was hard to come by so we had ten hours to kill during the day. I spent my time watching my hand swell and reading the first aid book. We eventually made it to the bus station and took the red-eye ride to sunny...

Palenque: major big-time ruins site. There were so many dog-ugly Europeans on the bus that it hurt. I mean, talk about your congenital ugliness. I guess that's what 500 years of in-breeding will do to you. Remember this is the jungle and it's hot like nobody's business. Palenque is also a major religious site for the Lacondons, who are the last direct descendents of the Maya. There are only about 400 of them left and as soon as old man Lacondon (I forgot his name) dies, the culture of the people goes with him. This guy is apparently father to 30% of the tribe. He's got two wives and lots of kids. Unfortunately, for him, they're all part of the Pepsi generation and won't be around too long. The Lacondon men wear a kind of plain white smock and have really long hair and short bangs. The women just have the long hair and long bangs. They apparently sold off a lot of the rights to the rain forest which is currently being cleared for the lumber and the cattle lobby. Old man Lacondon says that only his people know how to worship and appease the head god who holds up the sky with the trees. When the trees come down, the sky ain't far behind. The old man believes this is literally the beginning of the end of the world and he's the last in the line of spiritual leaders to watch the end coming. Gee, doesn't this story sound familiar?
But, onto more grave topics. The ruins of Palenque are the work of a great king named Pakal who apparently did lots of neat stuff for his people. He started his watch as king at the tender age of twelve and ruled for about thirty odd years according to the archaeologists. There are plenty much temples to his honor and lots of sculpture too. The big news is that they found old Pakal in a sarcophagus with a really elaborate face mask and the bones of four bonny young lads sent to accompany him to the after world. This was the biggest find on the entire continent. Before this discovery, it was believed that the Mayans built these huge temples for purely astronomical calculations. The Mayans were really into calendars and have a more accurate one than our own Gregorian calendar. In fact, some of the windows are designed to cast certain shadows and light up in certain ways during special days like the summer and winter solstice. Also, the Mayans had the concept of the zero. Now, this is the big cheese in mathematics as you can't do much without it. These Mayans were into some complex astronomy while the Europeans were still huddling in caves and chewing on berries.

The temples are so steep that I'm convinced the Maya were into stair-stepper aerobics. But, since we were such macho young dudes we made the climb over and around the heat-prostrated and took lots of neat photos. We took our time and did it right. We descended into old Pakals crypt and saw the big slab they had to remove to get to him. It was hot and slippery and thick in there and I'm surprised nobody came sliding down those damp and smooth steps.

After we wandered around the ruins, we tried to find a little waterfall called the Queen's bath. I asked one of the guys who worked there and he gave me these directions: 'walk to the end of this path until you see a sign that says 'no passage allowed, off limits' and climb over the sign. The Queen's bath is just down the hill'. Ya gotta love it.

So, swathed in lots of bug repellent, we descended down the slippery slopes to the queens bath which was full of tourists sloshing around under the waterfall. I hope for their sake the water wasn't chuck full of parasites. The water sure was tempting but the thought of having to pick guinea worms out of my eyeballs kept me out of it. We jungle stomped for awhile longer until we made it to the road and hitched back to town just in time for...

Aqua Azul, a set of waterfalls which apparently have some bits of turquoise in the stone which makes the clear water blue. Too bad it was the rainy season and the silt turned the water green. It was pretty cold too and there were lots of people swimming. It was pretty big and there were lots of other little waterfalls besides the main big one. It was kind of fun to sit near the water and just soak up the atmosphere and bug repellent. We didn't swim because of the cold and we didn't have towels. I was also still congested and didn't want to get any worse. I've got an excuse for every occasion. The town near the ruins, called Palenque, is a humorless cow town which we couldn't wait to leave. I'm glad we only spent one night there before it was off to...

San Cristobal de Las Casas, the indian center of the highlands and a really pretty colonial town. It's in the mountains so the weather is cool in the summer and the bugs stay away. That's reason enough to go there. The Indians come to town from their villages and they can be identified by the different colors and patterns they wear. The Spaniards enslaved the Indians and mistreated them like they did every other Indian society they encountered. It wasn't until the coming of a Dominican monk named Bartolome de Las Casas did their condition improve, and even then, only slightly. The city eventually honored him by changing its name to Las Casas.

We saw lots of pretty churches in Las Casas. There's one on every block. We also visited the Na Balom (house of the Jaguar) where Franz Bolom lived and where his wife Trudy still lives (at the age of 92). She's an activist for Indian rights and rain forest protection. She's a big deal in those areas and is still feisty at 92. We actually bumped into her while she was taking her walk around the house. I wanted to take a photo of her but I was too intimidated and you never know how old folks are going to react so we settled for a shot of her from afar.

We rented some horses from a guy named Manuel and rode up the mountains along some really rough and muddle trails to a village called San Juan Chamula. The Indians in that village apparently got fed up with the Catholic priests and chased the lot of them out. However, they kept the church and the statues of the saints which they still pray too, but in their own tradition. There is a lot of smoke, candles, grass, and leaves in the church reminiscent of ancient Indian traditions. It's surreal to be in there. However, you can't take photos inside and the Indians don't like to be photographed at all, but we managed to sneak a few. These little Indian kids who don't speak but a couple of spanish words would come running after to you and say: 'buy this', or 'buy me a soda', or 'take my photo'. Kids are a trip. We bought a lot of cool handmade clothing there from the women who make it. After we grabbed our loot, we worked on our saddle sores back to town. I got to gallop a few times and that's always fun. Ralph had a very fat horse who would stop every couple of feet to eat something. Its stomach was so big that it pushed the saddle forward and kept Ralph's knees in an awkward position. I had a pretty good horse except he was dumb as a post. I swore he'd walk straight off a cliff if I hadn't yanked on the reins.

Back in San Crisotbal, we looked at the murals, churches, etc. There's lots to see. We rode this one little bus which is a VW bug somebody gutted and put wooden benches in. The kid who collected money on the bus was funny. He was just tall enough to stand up and walk down the aisle. His head was about three inches from the ceiling while everybody was practicing yoga scrunched up in there. We had pretty good and very cheap accommodations in this town. This is a town I wouldn't mind returning to. I really got into the atmosphere.

Puerto Escondido, the Mexican Pipeline, where the fifteen to twenty foot waves exhibit their ferocious curling power. We arrived here after a 15 hour bathroom-less bus ride. We had a real pyscho for a driver and he'd go reeling down some winding mountain road at 80 kph and perform twenty light switching operations while simultaneously waving at a passing driver. He was nuts and kept getting mad when I'd ask him to let me take a leak. We past the immigration/drug checkpoint and the burly guard with the .44 automatic wedged in his belt asked folks for their passports. He just waltzed past Ralph and I and hassled the white tourists. That was the first time in my life that not being white actually worked for me. Some guy in the back apparently didn't have his passport so he got dragged outside and got searched. Not a pretty sight. However, this gave the rest of us the chance to go running outside and take a well-deserved leak. So, there we were: six male tourists standing neatly in a row and peeing simultaneously while the female tourists on the bus watched enviously. Some British cow on the bus shouted out the window, 'Todd, Todd, do tell him to hurry up... we're already late!'. Well, Todd wasn't that stupid. He wasn't about to go up to some psychotic drug agent and tell him what to do. After a lot of arguing between the official and the bus driver, we were on our way down a road that was more pothole than pavement. The bus driver swung that bus right to left furiously to avoid the swimming pools in the center of the road. The smoothest part of the road turned out to be the speed bumps that were on it. The road was rubble and we didn't move more than 10 mph on it. We'd laugh every time we saw a sign that said, 'Slow, 80 kph limit'. Well, fifteen hours and a burst bladder later, we arrived in sunny and hot Puerto Escondido. This sleepy fishing town was apparently discovered by surfers a few years ago and is not really developed. It's still a fishing town with a heavy surf scene. The Zicatela beach is the Pipeline. It's all kind of dangerous out there and we met some of the locals that actually surf it. We met some doped out beach head from Tijuana there who spoke English and showed us around. His name was Hector and he gets my vote for the drug-abuse poster child. I'm amazed that his body is still hanging together after how I'd seen him treat it.

So, we rented some surfboards from this guy who must be the father of half the population of Puerto. This guy had kids everywhere and it seemed like every other guy you met was his son. He actually rented us a pretty decent board and we surfed a beach called Carizalillo with it. It's rocky bay with a left and right on it. The left had less rocks around it so although I'm a regular footer, I surfed it. Too bad I surfed it into some rocks, but hey, that's what reflexes are for. I hopped off the board onto the biggest rock I could find and made my back into the bay with nary a scratch. I caught another six foot left but it closed out on me pretty quick. I almost impaled some kid who was paddling out. The rip currents are strong out there! Ralph had some fun surfing too.

We met Ignacio, who ran the hotel. He's a surfer dude and we hit it off well. He sold us some really good silver cheap. We really got a great deal. He may be in Tijuana later in Augusta and I'll probably go down to buy some more stuff from him. Needless to say, there ain't much else to do in Puerto besides surf and contemplate the bikinis on the beach. Well, we'd had enough of sun and surf (if you can believe it) and had received some bad news from my friend Rigo, who was supposed to fly us in his plane from there to his house. Apparently, to make a long story short, Rigo couldn't do it and we didn't want to accept the money or plane tickets he was offering us. So, we decided to head out to Mexico city and maybe do Guadalajara. We got a better bus though and had a better trip as there is a major road between Acapulco and D.F.

Mexico City, back again, we saw the museum of anthropology where they have Pakal's mask, which I mentioned earlier. We got in free on Sunday and spent four hours exploring the place. Mexico has got no shortage of artifacts, that's for sure.

The next day Ralph's relative, the archaeologist, arrived to take us on a tour of some of the ruins that are currently being excavated. Unfortunately, I got hit with a major case of food poisoning that same morning. But, we went anyway with him and he took us to the ruins. I admit I was too busy trying to decide if I was going to puke or pass out first to really appreciate his work. He took us to his office and let us handle some really rare and one-of-a-kind artifacts. I declined handling the artifacts as my hands were full of my exploding stomach. His secretary gave me some warm tea and I took a nap in his car and felt a lot better. We visited their house and the ruins of Teotihuacan where the temples of the sun and moon are located. We climbed some of the pyramids, but I was still having trouble finding my feet under me so I went really slow. The archaeologist, Ernique, had a very nice wife who gave me yet more warm tea. They have a 13 year old son who we played video games with.

The next day, Ralph got hit with the food poisoning and spent the day flirting with the hotel maid whilst I wandered around D.F. I was feeling okay and knew I had to start eating again or shrivel up. I have the metabolism of a playground of twelve year olds and I knew I'd dry up pretty quick without food.

The same day, I went to the modern art museum, the national history Museum, and Museo Tamayo (which I thought was the best). The Museo Tamayo has some funky design so it looks like the lines don't converge. It's supposed to provide a feeling of open-ness and space. I think it succeeded. I took lots of photos. I dig museums. The pollution started giving me a head-ache after awhile so I usually quit early in the day. We also went down to Garibaldi Park where there are lot of strolling Mariachi players and a lot of Mariachi clubs. The following day, I went to the National Museum of Art, the Latin American Tower, the Monument of the Revolution, the Museum of the Revolution, the Artisan's Market, the Cuidadela, and the National engineering School. Lots of neat old buildings and a church on every corner. The next day, I saw the Jose Cuevo Museum which I thought was really good. It had these neat modern sculptures and really nice paintings. I took some photos. I also stopped by the Templo Mayor and some big church. That night we went out with Enrique's other son, Ernesto. We went out to the Zona Rosa, which is the rich section of town where all the rich kids go to party. We went to this strip club which was pretty raunchy. the women had the shapes of tree trunks and the beer was too expensive. One stripper came up to Ralph and had him press his face against her tit. How he could tell her tit from her layers of fat was beyond me. But, he gets 'the most disgusting thing I ever had to do' prize. There was only one good stripper there and she was jail-bait, only about seventeen years old. After we'd had enough of that we went to a disco called Las Yardas because they serve you these drinks in yard tall beakers. We spent the night watching the entertainment and getting refused dances by every woman in sight. After awhile, I just started humiliating myself to amuse Ernesto and Ralph. The bill hit us like a truck. It came to almost $100 for the three of us and we just drank cokes. How anybody can drop that kind of money every night is beyond me, especially in Mexico, but I guess that's what corruption gets you.

We saw Enrique's family again the next day and got to stay over with them. Our maid was disappointed to see us leave. She enjoyed flirting with us. She was a pretty neat kid and we were really nice to her. We played basketball with Enrique's youngest son and had lots of fun. The next day, Enrique took us to museum of Teotihuacan and to some big aqueduct and to a monastery. We also went to a lot of little towns around there and looked around. I was pretty tired of the entire trip by now and was pretty content to just stay at his house and watch the USA team lose to Mexico in the Gold Cup Soccer game.

Our last day there, Enrique drove us into the brown cloud known as Mexico city and we caught our flight out after much arguing with the airline. We arrived in Tijuana and the air smelled clean, which tells you how polluted D.F. is.

Well, that' the end of the trip. Been everywhere and did everything. Now that I've lost ten pounds I've got to try and get my strength back. I'm surfing my own board again and that feels fine.

peru plo
pot peru
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