Sunday, 25 October 2009


Just managed a few sketches while out there in Puerto Escondido.

Monday, 19 October 2009


This will probably be the last post from Mexico ...where did all that time go!? We got another boat today again just the four of us ...we don't share!! ..this time out into the Pacific about six miles or so where we saw first one dolphin then another then they were popping up all over the place. There were probably over a hundred maybe several hundreds in a school(?) that seemed to spread for more than a mile wide. Photographic evidence is minimal, though I did get lots of pictures of waves under which the dolphins had just disappeared!! You'll just have to believe me. We also saw turtles and numerous birds of different kinds .. one standing on a turtle's back hitchin' a ride! In a short time we four will go to down to one of our favourite restaurants on the beach and watch the sun set and have a meal and a few coctails to round off what has been just an amazing experience. Most of the success of this holiday has been down to the local knowledge picked up by Ali and Ed over this last year, but also to their ability to put up with us oldies ..they have hardly let us out of their site! just BRILLIANT !! THANK YOU ALI and ED. XXXXXXXXX

Sunday, 18 October 2009

The Lagoon

We went on the boat pictured (just the four of us again) several miles down a lagoon to where it joins the sea. On the way we were treated to a wide variety of mainly bird wildlife some of which I managed to catch on camera. Among others we saw black vultures, ospreys, egrets, herons of various types, pelicans,(don't they look silly perching in trees with webbed feet!) frigate birds, terns and pink spoon-bills.We reached the sea just in time to watch a glorious sun-set while drinking our complimentary beers, then back up the lagoon in the dark where we were witness to an amazing phenomenon of phosphorescent plankton ..for the first time in my life I climbed over the side of a perfectly good boat and got into the water to better witness this magical display .Yike! I just could NOT be the only one not to.

Friday, 16 October 2009


Today we took a collectivo ..that's a mode of transport here .. same price as a bus but much more fun. They are basically canvas or plastic covered vans with rudimentary seating, a few bars to hold on to (they are what holds the canvas on!) and open backed....right to the far end of the bay, about three miles. We then walked back from the quiet tiny bay where Ed and Ali hoped we would get some easy swimming in ..but there have been some big storms and a hurricane out in the Pacific and the coastal waters are very choppy even in secluded bays such as this was. Never mind though we had a long walk back to Casamar along the beach .. a good two miles .. but not too strenuous today because it's cloudy and around 80F ..coolest day so far we think. On the way back we saw some interesting wader birds in a fresh water lagoon which links to the sea across the beach.. but MOST rewarding was us happening upon a large turtle laying her eggs in the sand. Here in Puerto Escondido it is the responsibility (willing) of the lifeguards to ensure the safety and well-being of the turtle population so when they spot a turtle laying they come along with a large white bucket and scoop out handfuls of her eggs as she lays them and put them in the bucket. This event gathers a huge crowd by local standards, there must have been nearly fifteen people looking on! They can get up to about a hundred of these eggs at one "sitting". They take the eggs to a prearranged cordoned off area on the beach and rebury them. 45 days later they will hatch out and the little turtles waddle their way to the sea ... and here in Puerto they have a much better chance of surviving that first leg of their journey because the life guards know when to look out for their emergence and ensure they reach the sea unmolested far as possible! If you're wondering about the ant ..well it asked for the time so I gave it my watch!!!! AAAAAAARRRRRGH !!!

Thursday, 15 October 2009

We had a great BBQ at Casa Ali Ed last night. There was no need for me to adopt my normal role as BBQ officer as the whole proceedings were carried out with great flare and efficiency.

Shopping at the Puerto Escondido market for said BBQ was fun where we took the oportunity to sample the local delicacy .....GRASSHOPPERS! We didn't buy any though.

A lot of the rest of this week so far has been spent lounging by the pool and walking on the beach where on a busy day you might see a dozen people walking and a similar number challenging the surf.

The weather here has varied quite a bit, but the sun has shone every day at some point and it's ALWAYS HOT .. once the relative cool of the morning has passed by about 10am. If the sun is up from the start it is very hot by 9am. We usually don't get rain until about 5pm and then it's associated with thunder. It's half ten at the moment and the cloud today is looking a bit stubborn so sitting here on our patio just bloggin' is ok. Our patio has a variety of sound invading throughout the day: mostly birds of numerous varieties, chickens which live just accross the "street" who come to visit from time to time, especially a broody hen with her chicks, cockerels crowing ..usually from about 5am but they're not fussy when really, dogs barking, lizzards making their cute sound which is just like a series of little kisses. At around 5am the other morning we awoke to a very strange sound which was just like a horse running on the spot .. this was just outside our bedroom window so when I investigated .. guess what? .. it was a horse running on the spot! It seems they have rodeos here from time to time and this was the cowboy training his horse in this very odd practice. This has been repeated each morning since but now it starts around eight so not so bad.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009


We returned from Oaxaca on Saturday morning by bus at 6:30am having left at 9:30 on the Friday night. It was right at the beginning of the bus journey that Oaxaca's revenge introduced itself. It is now Tuesday at 5:15 and I am feeling ALMOST back to normal. Penny followed suit just 24 hours later. If you come to Mexico you will probably get ill at some point. A five day course of over the counter ant-biotics seems to reverse the dieing process fairly satisfactorily.
Be assured we are having a fantastic time and Casamar our last accommodation has turned out to be just the oasis we needed. There are twelve appartments here all sharing the one swimming pool ........... 'thing is .. we are the only people here! We have the run of the place, just us and Ed and Ali .... and even they go home (just round the corner) at night. we sit under palms and palapas watching the insects and birds ... oh yes and we have Eddie Lizzard in our private garden later. Night night all ... it's half eleven where you are ..except for Iain and Sarah of course they are more than half a day ahead of us.

Monte Alban

Ruins from the eras of the Mixtec and Zapotec both prehispanic cultures responsible for these fantastically impressive and beautiful constructions. We spent several hours walking around here with the benefit of a very knowledgeable Mexican English speaking guide. Being an X pro footballer his eighty three years were no obstacle to climbing most of the places he expected us to climb! I'll let the pictures explain a bit and I'll asnwer questions later. We were accompanied by a couple of very polite German blokes.

There was a party of school children taking shelter from the sun during their cultural day out.

Whereas below is Penny.



Mezcal is the local spirit booze made from the maguey cactus. Very potent and takes more than we had to prevent the local bacteria from entering the digestive system! Fortunately the locals also have good stocks of the right sort of anti-biotic which they will even motorcycle-courier to your door! Nuff said, apart from that both Penny and I are almost recovered after three days!
These pics show the cactus before and after the spikes have been cut off. They then use the flesh as the raw materials to ferment and distil.

Hierve del Agua

This was a spectacular place .. natural water flowing off the mountains, forming small lakes and large waterfalls .which solidify as they flow and look just like ice. Ed and Ali got straight in there! but we two just took our hats off ..... to them!

Monday, 12 October 2009

in and around Oaxaca before in and around Oaxaca

Well something went wrong there with the posting Penny started ..there should have been a couple of pics with explanations about the two places we went to before Mitla. The first was el Tule , a gigantic cypress tree which is in fact the worlds largest organism. and is 40 mtrs high over 52 mtrs in diameter and is about 2000 years old. They irrigate directly to the roots 10,000 gallons of water every day.After el Tule we went to Teotitlan del valle where they do everything just like on the Isle of Harris only they do it in very hot weather most of the time. Oaxaca's version of Harris Tweed! We'll have to put pictures on tomorrow cause uploading has slowed down again and we are about to eat. Here are the pics now ..

Saturday, 10 October 2009

In and around Oaxaca

Then on to Mitla a relatively small (we were later to find) Zapotec ruins.
The picture on the right shows the mosaic type structure of small stones laid together without binding materials .. a method which is apparently earthquake proof. Will we EVER learn. The black dot in the picture is my polaroid filter I used for scale.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

summary of first day in Oaxaca city

As I write this Penny and Ali are half way through an afternoon of well deserved pampering. Why well deserved? well they will probably read this that's why.They will spend a couple of hours in a temazcal (meaning in nahuatl , the Aztec language, ..bath house) experiencing therapeutic herbs hanging in a mist of steam created on hot rocks. This is not to be confused with Mezcal treatment which is entirely similar in as much as you can have it on the rocks and it WILL go to your head. Ed is off to explore some galleries to add to the culture he has already consumed in some quantity.
Our first day in Oaxaca involved exploring the centre of the town within walking distance. The nearest church, Snt Domingo where St. Dominic founded the Dominican order, is magnificent and currently undergoing restoration of the interior.
Next to Snt Domingo's is The Museum of Oaxacan cultures where we enjoyed a great exhibition by Lola Cueto .A party of school children were being shown round by their, very patient teacher who started up a polite conversation with Penny obviously not realising that she was retired! There were many exhibits of ancient findings and the building itself was worth a visit. It is surrounded by gardens containing at least all Oaxacan species of cactus. There is also a library where as you can see Ali and Pen did a little light reading.
In the surrounding streets we found some chap doing needlework ..from a distance it looked just like a painting ..impressive. We also found a market . teeming with people and packed to the gunnels with all sorts of goodies and other stuff as well! We were continually approached by "traders" who were under the mistaken impression that we were the slightest bit interested in their wears. But we did buy a table cloth and eight serviettes from one of the stalls. And Pen and Ali got accosted by a clown ..why not.
I was going to write the summary of the three days so far .. no way Jose! I've got some holidaying to do and Pen and Ali have just arrived back looking all shiny HEE .. very healthy I mean. The next post will most likely be from Puerto some time over the weekend or early next week .. we return there tomorrow on an overnight bus.