03 July 2007

Good Times with Military Men and Beach Weather.

Well, I couldn't handle it in The City anymore, my Visa expired and I couldn't get a new one and I was angry, ready to tear my hair out, punch walls and rip out the electricity cables of my neighbor's house just to stop the constant music....Toño decided it was high time for a vacation. At first we planned on going to Chiapas, cross the border to Guatemala and get a new travel visa and a relaxing vacation all in one....we realized that there is nothing relaxing about a 20 hour bus ride and the dangers of navigating war-torn Guatemala so we quickly switched gears and went for a beach trip to Veracruz.

We left here at 4 in the afternoon to arrive at 10 -- six hours on a bus is MUCH more bearable than 20, let me tell you! The long-trip buses here in Mexico are in a completely different league than Greyhound and I mean Greyhound is a triple A team while the Mexican buses are on the all star major league team. The air conditioning is constant, there is a super clean bathroom (that runs out of toilet paper, sadly) and movies from take-off to arrival. When we got off the bus, my bones were chilled thanks to the air conditioning, we grabbed our packs and stepped off the bus into a solid wall of of humid heat. It was almost hard to breath at first. The women all wore short skirts, tight tanks and healed sandals while the men wore soccer shorts, no shirts and sandals. We were dressed in t-shirts and jeans with socks and tennis shoes....we did not expect this heat so late. After an hour of being promised very cheap hotel rooms with air conditioning and being taken to very expensive hotels with air conditioning, we finally ended up in a cheap, air conditioned, clean-by-Mexican-standards hotel to sleep in for the night.

The next morning we re-packed our things and headed to the center of the Port city. After another long hour or so of fruitless looking for a hotel that we stayed at once before (one without air conditioning), we ended up right on the Malecon in a good, cheap hotel with air conditioning. We cranked that sucker up, took a rest and headed out for a walk. The heat was unbearable in the mid-day and we ended up back in the refrigerator room within the hour. We continued that walk and return ritual the rest of the day until finally we were able to get a hold to Toño's uncle, the military Colonel in charge of a base in the city of Veracruz. This wonderfully lovely (reminds me SO much of my Dad) man took us out to an entirely too expensive Argentine dinner, Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket bought us a bottle of very expensive (and very delicious) red wine and half a cow (empanadas and salad for me) and offered us his chauffeur for the next day.

Come the next day, the chauffeur picked us up in the morning and took us to La Antigua, the tiny town that boasts(?) the ownership of Hernan Cortes' house, his church and the massive tree that he tied up his ships to and burned them when he first arrived. The ruins of the house are really amazing, the trees literally hold up the walls. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket and the well is still in tact. He had his house built with coral from the Golf Of Mexico which now looks much like petrified brains stuffed within brick and cement. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

La Antigua had a strong impact on me, but not because I was standing in the house of a major historical figure but because there were signs everywhere begging people not to leave bottles of water around in order to help the town diminish the spread of Dengue (yellow fever). From then on, anytime I saw stagnant water, I screamed DENGUE!! and backed away. I came home with hundreds of bites, 5 on my face alone, and completely convinced that I had Dengue.

After the Dengue scare, we headed toward San Juan de Ulua. This used to be the port of Veracruz and it's got an amazing history. It's been owned by the government and used a a jail, it's been conquered by pirates, it was once a castle and of course, there's much history surrounding Cortes founding it, it was used as a seminary (the rooms were actually constructed with perfect curvature so that they have practically perfect acoustics...during the tour they say that anyone who sings there sounds like an opera singer. This was actually the first time since we got to Veracruz that I was able to touch the water. It's been over 6 months since I've seen a beach or even a mass of water that isn't a septic river. Touching the golf water and the barnacles and watching fish swim was a real necessity.

The walls in San Juan de Ulua are also made of coral, it's surrounded by watch towers and is covered with openings for cannons or other large artillery. There is a structure below the water that's meant to tear apart the bottom of a boat if it comes to the port without permission. These days the fort is surrounded by many large, non-historical and quite ugly machines used for who-knows-what.

After a long walk around the fort, Toño's colonel uncle invited us for a drink in the center and paid for Toño to get shocked by a machine. In Mexico, it's hard to make a good living so in very touristic places, people tend to grab things that people might enjoy; food, toys, candy, cigarettes, nuts, gum, etc. Well, someone decided that drunk people might want a good shock so he walks around with a small machine that he attached metal handles to. This man charges a certain amount of money to turn on the juice and slowly increase it until you tell him to stop, then he lets you laugh and complain a bit about the feeling and offers you a chance to beat your score. Some drunken 20-somethings sitting across from us made it to 90 watts...Toño made it to 40...he wasn't drunk enough to get to such ridiculously high vibrations.

So the next day we were invited back to the military base to shoot some rounds. Toño and I were places on opposite teams (his team won). First round was 10 meters and were allowed to shoot 5 rounds, I scored 41 and Toño scored 46. The second round was at 15 meters; sadly Toño and I only scored 13 points...apparently neither of us can see long distances. My problem was that my shots weren't going where I aimed! (no, really...I aimed at the head and shot the family jewels!! But at least I know that I'm safe, either way!) Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Maybe it had something to do with me leaning back (although this picture was taken first round).

The next morning the Colonel bought us breakfast, gave us 2 big bags of coffee and then bought me a beautiful hand-painted wooden hand fan. We got on the bus for another 6 hour ride but were gravely disappointed when Mexico City welcomed us with a flood. A car was completely covered and several men were trying to push it out, a bus much like ours was also stuck....we trodded through and luckily made it, 2 hours later than scheduled, but alive.

I left all the pictures large, so to see them all, click me

8 comments:

Grampa said...

Hi Ash, Great Yucatan story. The base is very nice. If your visa expired, are you an "illegal" ? LOL. Love, Grampa

Omar Cruz said...

These articles are fantastic; the information you show us is interesting for everybody and is really good written. It’s just great!! Do you want to know something more? Read it...: Great investment opportunity in Costa Rica: jaco beach real estate, map jaco beach, hotel in jaco beach costa rica. Visit us for more info at: http://www.jaco-bay.com/

Anonymous said...

Good day !.
You may , probably curious to know how one can reach 2000 per day of income .
There is no initial capital needed You may start to receive yields with as small sum of money as 20-100 dollars.

AimTrust is what you thought of all the time
The firm represents an offshore structure with advanced asset management technologies in production and delivery of pipes for oil and gas.

Its head office is in Panama with structures around the world.
Do you want to become really rich in short time?
That`s your chance That`s what you really need!

I`m happy and lucky, I began to take up real money with the help of this company,
and I invite you to do the same. If it gets down to select a proper partner utilizes your savings in a right way - that`s AimTrust!.
I make 2G daily, and my first investment was 500 dollars only!
It`s easy to get involved , just click this link http://cyjiqyny.exactpages.com/ohujys.html
and go! Let`s take this option together to get rid of nastiness of the life

Anonymous said...

Hi !.
You may , perhaps curious to know how one can collect a huge starting capital .
There is no need to invest much at first. You may commense to receive yields with as small sum of money as 20-100 dollars.

AimTrust is what you haven`t ever dreamt of such a chance to become rich
The company incorporates an offshore structure with advanced asset management technologies in production and delivery of pipes for oil and gas.

It is based in Panama with affiliates around the world.
Do you want to become really rich in short time?
That`s your chance That`s what you desire!

I`m happy and lucky, I started to take up income with the help of this company,
and I invite you to do the same. It`s all about how to choose a proper partner utilizes your funds in a right way - that`s it!.
I earn US$2,000 per day, and what I started with was a funny sum of 500 bucks!
It`s easy to get involved , just click this link http://edehowov.maddsites.com/izypygeq.html
and lucky you`re! Let`s take this option together to get rid of nastiness of the life

Anonymous said...

Hi there!
I would like to burn a theme at this forum. There is such a nicey, called HYIP, or High Yield Investment Program. It reminds of ponzy-like structure, but in rare cases one may happen to meet a company that really pays up to 2% daily not on invested money, but from real profits.

For quite a long time, I make money with the help of these programs.
I'm with no money problems now, but there are heights that must be conquered . I get now up to 2G a day , and my first investment was 500 dollars only.
Right now, I managed to catch a guaranteed variant to make a sharp rise . Turn to my web site to get additional info.

http://theblogmoney.com

Anonymous said...

Hello!
You may probably be very curious to know how one can manage to receive high yields on investments.
There is no need to invest much at first.
You may commense earning with a money that usually is spent
on daily food, that's 20-100 dollars.
I have been participating in one project for several years,
and I'm ready to let you know my secrets at my blog.

Please visit blog and send me private message to get the info.

P.S. I earn 1000-2000 per daily now.

[url=http://theinvestblog.com] Online investment blog[/url]

Anonymous said...

Hi there!
I would like to burn a theme at this forum. There is such a nicey, called HYIP, or High Yield Investment Program. It reminds of financial piramyde, but in rare cases one may happen to meet a company that really pays up to 2% daily not on invested money, but from real profits.

For several years , I make money with the help of these programs.
I don't have problems with money now, but there are heights that must be conquered . I get now up to 2G a day , and I started with funny 500 bucks.
Right now, I'm very close at catching at last a guaranteed variant to make a sharp rise . Visit my web site to get additional info.

http://theinvestblog.com [url=http://theinvestblog.com]Online Investment Blog[/url]

Anonymous said...

Good day!

Let me introduce myself,
my parents call me James F. Collins.
Generally I’m a venturesome analyst. for a long time I’m keen on online-casino and poker.
Not long time ago I started my own blog, where I describe my virtual adventures.
Probably, it will be interesting for you to find out how to win not loose.
Please visit my blog. http://allbestcasino.com I’ll be interested on your opinion..