Gonzalo Figueroa and Nina Maria Eidheim...

LA to BA

UPDATE 4, Jan. 4, 2001,

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Feliz 2001 queridos amigos, Since we left you last time we did pretty much what we said we would do. We ran from the cities and hit the Pacific Coast of Mexico in Oaxaca.

However, before doing so we visited our last City of Silver. Taxco is the name. Even today the city revolves entirely around this precious metal. I have never seen so much silver, mostly in the form of fantastic jewelry.

Silver this, silver that, even pure .999 silver is used as money. People go around with bags of Granalla and use it as currency. Granalla which is .999 pure silver is then mixed with bronze to make .925 sterling which is easier to work with.

Anyway, Nina went into a frenzy of silver buying while I panicked as I saw our budget dwindle. I found some distraction in visiting the silver dealers to find out how the whole mafia works. I will give you an idea. Each gram of finished silver jewelry costs 35 cents. The jewelry shops sell it to us tourists for at least double that, usually much more. The best thing to do is to buy silver pieces by the kilo, thus assuring minimum price.

We left Taxco with a much heavier bike and a much lighter wallet. The plan was to head down south to Acapulco just so we could get our hands on our beloved Motul motor oil, which we did. Not much of any quality is available throughout Mexico, only in the big cities. Maybe Acapulco was somebody's idea of paradise, all I can say is it stinks, literally.

We looked at our maps. I saw a place which looked like a salt water lagoon right on the coast. I thought, never have I been to a lagoon on the coast which was not fantastic. We checked it out and found one of the most character filled places we have ever visited. The name is Chacagua. Hint? Look between Acapulco and Puerto Escondido.

To get to the place you had to cross the lagoon by boat. Chacagua is a small thatch roof fishing village with probably not more than 300 people.

Its right on an estuary where the sea meets the lagoon. The streets are all sand and the locals so very relaxed that we stayed a week just hanging out and walking on its 16km of empty beach. Its the kind of place that sucks you in and doesn't want to let you go. Every year a travelling coastal brothel visits Chacagua and the men become unbearable with too many hormonal secretions. The deserted beaches around Chacagua are also used as illegal landing areas for the small Cessnas carrying White Gold from Colombia.

The place is full of crocodiles so we visited a crocodile breeding center and were witness to the power of crocodile jaws. 3500 pounds of pressure per square centimeter. One of the females was missing half her snout, the price she had to pay for not wanting to submit to her lovers charms.

In Chacagua I was also forced to pay the price for bragging in my last email to you all saying I was in good health. For this I spent 24 hrs. contributing with my share of environmental pollution, literally by shitting into the waves of the big blue sea. That night we released a bunch of turtles, the endangered ones, and I think my contribution made their chances of survival even slimmer. Apparently, only 1 in 50 ever makes it into an adult.

Alas, we had to leave. My fascination with Subcomandante Marcos of the EZLN brought us to Chiapas. I dreamed about leaving the bike behind and joining the only guerrilla movement I believe has some sense of virtue and running into the Selva Lacandona. Instead, I had to settle for an EZLN sticker and a trip to the jungle to visit the ruins of Palenque. Here we were met with a frenzy of "gavachos" (another Mexican word for gringos) running around the ancient Maya site high on magic mushrooms.

Nevertheless, the place is impressive. Today we went back up the mountains and went from jungle to high Sierra. It's incredible how you can go from one thing to the other only in about 200 km. But that's Mexico. It has so much to offer that we are already thinking about when we will come back.

Tomorrow we head into Guatemala crossing at La Mesilla. I am not so concerned about the border as I am at the latest news we have received from Dag Jensen saying that Ecuador is now asking for a Carnet. Although this chapter is still far ahead, it may really start causing problems. But we will cross that bridge when we get there. If anybody has any info. please share it with us so we know how the situation is developing. Tomorrow Guatemala.

Happy New Year to all of you, and may your dreams come true in this 2001.

Besos y Abrazos, Gonzalo y Nina Comitan de Dominguez, Chiapas, Mexico, Jan. 4, 2001

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So who are we?

Update 1, November 2000, First road report

UPDATE 2, Dec. 5, 2000, Baja California, Hola amigos y que viva Mexico!

UPDATE 3, Dec. 17, 2000, Central Mexico

UPDATE 4, January 4 2001, Southern Mexico

UPDATE 5, January 31 2001, Guatemala

Update 6, Feb 7 2001, Honduras and Nicaragua

Update 7, Feb 15 2001, Costa Rica

Update 8, Mar 8 2001, Huaraz, Peru

Update 9 April 7, 2001, Cusco, Peru

Update 10 April 23, 2001, Bolivia

Update 11: May 15, 2001, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Story and photos copyright © Gonzalo Figueroa and Nina Maria Eidhein 2000-2001.
All Rights Reserved.
Grant Johnson

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