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Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Brian & Deya met in Vancouver Canada. After a few years together we were married and made choices. One was not to have children the other was not to take life for granted. The rest is yet to come.

April 29, 2011

En route to Guatemala

Finally as though it might never end we managed to leave the clutches of Cordoba.  The family would accompany us to San Cristobal de las Casas for a small vacation and to help Deya to cut the cord.  Deya is just like that and maybe women, in general I believe, can relate to a feeling or need to nest, to find comfort or security.  I, like so many of my fellow wolves, can easily separate from the pack to forge out into the unknown and piss on as many trees as possible. I believe in the biology of animals and nature.

 Before we left we had accomplished a great many things, not exactly as I might have hoped but since I suffer the handicap on not being able to speak directly at a technical level I am left to accept, to some degree, my fate.  We finished up all our legal stuff, dismissed an accountant, got a new accountant, found our first renter, got everything good to go as far as our project is concerned.  We camped the last couple of nights in the yard and ate habaneros from the bush there, yum… We discussed putting the yard in ‘Tent Space’ to give back a little but there is no bathroom yet and someone would have to arrive to unlock and lock it up, we’ll see.

Deya, her brother, cousin and myself went to Xalapa to get plates for the brother’s bike, he’d been waiting 6 months already so our purpose was to go there (the Capital of the State) and stir the pot.  We did and by the end of the day we had the plates.  It was important because the brother was trying to sell his bike but couldn’t without plates, the government was stalling, time was costing him pesos.  What we found when we entered the Ministry of Finance was incredible waste.  People were neither efficient nor productive and, as in most of our official dealings in Mexico, there was a definite lack of accountability.  The universal indication of this is the bosses who (loosely translated) say, “It’s not me who’s responsible for this (grievous incompetence) it is one of them (his staff)”, and quickly pass the buck to staffers who will gladly take it without consequence.

On our departure Deya decided to ride two up with her cousin, fine by me I hate doubling, and our route roughly speaking was South on the 185 to the 200 then East towards San Cristobal.  The ride down was pretty much hot and windy but as we turned East instead of riding the 200, we took the 190  from San Pedro Tepanatepec all the way to San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas.  This route, so far and despite the very heavy rain, has been one of the best pieces of road I have travelled in Mexico, I would have wished to have been unloaded with road tires for this stretch, it was fantastic with large sweeping corners, well engineered with good surface.  Even with a load and the heavy rain I had fun.

As we climbed into the mountains of Chiapas things improved more and more, Chiapas is one of my favourite states so far, the people and scenery, roads and food are fantastic.  Chiapas cheese is infamous here and getting a bowl of black beans with

chorizo and some of that cheese on top is fabulous.  The state has, as the locals will tell you, problems with the indigenous people who have been fighting for their rights with the help of the Zapatistas for many years. The difference between the problems here and in the North are the natives asking you to buy their stuff and thugs robbing you of all your valuables.  It’s a heated topic and a complicated one that has no easy solution and people seem divided, best to avoid in my judgement. 

San Cristobal is about 2100 metres in elevation, some of the areas around are higher than that, I have found that 2200 metres is about my comfortable max otherwise I end up with headaches.  We headed up to a tourist trap nearby, I won’t mention the name of the place because I can’t remember it and frankly don’t like that scene.  There was a manikin of a cowboy hanging from the church at the center of town, busloads of tourist everywhere, the manikin was smoking a cigar and had a large dildo hanging out of his pants.  I’m not sure what the significance of the cowboy was but he looked more like a tourist than any political figure I’ve seen.  The natives did tell Deya that the figure represents a Judas and there is a competition to have the best Judas burnt at the end of the religious holiday.  They were careful not to say who the Judas represented and since they speak a different language it would be difficult to know for sure. 

After a couple of days in San Cristobal with the family we’ll say our goodbyes as Deya and I will be on the road again towards Guatemala.  We initially had intended to enter through Tapachula but since we’re closer to Ciudad Cuauhtemoc we’ll probably just cross there.  Comitan is en route with a large airport so we can likely finish up our customs there as well.

Today I’ve left the family to go explore some canyons on their own and a large hydro electric dam nearby, they tend to have a better time without me because I’m a drag without language skills and sometimes my tolerance level for BS is way low. So I get the chance to hangout in the sun, explore the city a bit and write some stuff.  The city is very nice with a lot of Europeans and South Americans, each day though by about 2-3 pm it starts to rain hard causing people to scramble for doorways, it doesn’t stop for a few hours leaving the afternoon cloudy which I am told is unusual for this time of the year. We don’t really have a plan for Central America yet but I do believe we have 90 days to cover Guatemala to Nicaragua.  If we go slowly I’ll blog again in the group of four countries if we go fast it’ll be in Costa Rica where we do plan on spending some time.