Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Mexico - 6 months

Tuesday, Jan 10, 2012 marks the first day of a 6 month experiment living in a foreign country. It hardly counts, when you think about it. I've already lived in Mexico for a total of 3 months, but those were three different months over a two year period, and in three different places. This 6 month stay will be again in San Cristobal de las Casas (SCLC) with (I hope) a few journeys to Guatemala, Costa Rica and possibly a house-sitting gig in Panama.

There is an expensive trip to Copper Canyon and some whale watching along the coast north of La Paz with the Los Alamos Mountaineers Club in February. So this longer stay will be punctuated with some interesting side trips and incredible scenery.

As always, there is some sense of forboding: what could happen? Will I get into an accident or will there be some drug cartel violence where I am caught in the middle? I think some fear, trepidation, and nervousness is normal before a long trip. Truly the worst fear is that I'll miss the damned plane because I didn't wake up in time, or be reading a book when they board the second flight. Perhaps I'll leave something behind.....the rolling backpack with every possible valuable thing in it.....or leave my alert brain at home and take the sluggish one instead. Fortunately there is usually coffee available.....

I am looking forward to being in Mexico again. I love the mountains there, lush and jungled yet still cool because of the high elevation. I don't mind the tiny Mayan women walking around practically begging you to buy one of the hundreds of items they carry on their bodies; blankets, scarves, woven wrist bands, purses. I wouldn't mind buying something once in a while, but they are like crows who see one of their kind getting rich so they fly in from all directions to get their piece of the action. There is a distinct double-edged sword when buying anything. On one side I want to support the local economy and would like to have a few trinkets, the other side feels attacked and can't get away fast enough.

I would like to try a few new things this time. Perhaps I'll rent a bicycle and ride around a bit, or take a tour to one (or more) of the villages. A tour guide can be a good thing sometimes. I want to do some longer range hiking in the hills and along the rivers. There are some wonderful lakes with boats to rent and ruins on islands. Tonina is on the agenda again, this time NOT on a Monday when the museum is closed! I've not even started to read Lonely Planet's descriptions of what is nearby in Chiapas. Just like New Mexico, you can live in a place most of your life, and still, there are places you've never been, and might not even know about!

So stay tuned! The goal is to post at least every other day with pictures. That ought to keep me busy!