March 10, 2005 GMT
14 000 km durch Mexico 10.03.2005

Deutsche Version--------English Version below!!!!!
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Nachdem wir in Creel und der Copper Canyon gegend weit mehr Zeit als geplant verbracht haben, auch wegen Katjas Schnupfen und 3 Tagen Regenwetters, fuhren wir an einem sonnigen morgen bei minus 5 Grad auf unseren vereisten bikes Richtung Sueden. Die Strasse nach Parral was wunderbar, perfekt geteert, sehr kurvig und in einer wundervollen Landschaft. Wir verbrachten 2 Tage in Parral, feierten Katjas Geburtstag mit einem Kinobesuch, bevor with suedlich in Richtung Durango fuhren, einer netten Stadt wo wir nicht nur unsere Bikes in einer Lobbyneben der Reception parken durften, sondern wo uns auch der Honda Haendler seine Werkstatt benutzen liess. Und das natuerlich umsonst. Weiter suedlich kamen wir nach Zacatecas, einer wundervollen Kolonialstadt, wo wir Francisco trafen, einem KLR650 Besitzer, der auch schon beim HU meeting in Creel gewesen war und unsere Bikes sicher in seinem Hostel unterbrachte. Das Hostel wo wir uebernachteten hatte einen wundervollen Blick ueber das alte Stadtzentrum und die Katedralen und wir fuehlten uns fast zuhause.

Wir hatten einen Kontakt in Guadelajara gefunden, wo wir unser Zelt, das nach einer langen Reise endlich in den USA gelanded war, hinschicken durften. Humberto, Gruender der HU community hier lud uns ein in seinem Haus zu bleiben und mit seinen Freunden einen Wochenendtrip and die Kueste bei Manzanillo zu unternehmen, wo wir ein wundervolles Wochenende in einem appartement mit Meerblick direkt ueber dem Yachthafen verbrachten. Wir verbrachten eine wundervollen Woche mit Humberto und seiner Familie, genossen nicht nur die unglaubliche Gastfreundschaft, und eine notwendige Hilfe und Unterstuetzung, sondern wurden Freunde in dieser einen Woche. Humberto, wir hoffen wir koennen deine Hilfe irgendwann einmal zurueckgeben.

Nachdem ich mich von einer sanften version von Montezumas Rache erholt hatte und Katja auch ihren 3. Zahnarztbesuch verdaut hatte, mussten wir uns verabschieden und fuhren direkt nach Guanajuato, einer der beruehmten Silberstaedte Mexicos. Auch wenn wir anfangs in dem unterirdischen Strassennetz verloren waren, mochten wir diese Stadt vom ersten Augenblick an. Kleine Strassen, wundervolle Plaetze mit kleinen netten Cafes und einer aktiven Studentenszene sowie der Sieg Mexicos gegen Costa Rice bei der Ausscheidung zum World Cup 2006 liessen uns den Tag und die Party bei Nacht sehr geniessen. Wir hatten das Glueck am Aschermittwoch hier zu sein, wo alle Katholiken in die Kirche rennen, um Ablass fuer ihre Suenden zu bitten. Anschliessend erhielten alle ein schwarzes Kreuz auf die Stirn gemalt um zu zeigen, dass ihre Suenden vergeben waren. So rannten sie dann den ganzen Tag herum und gingen abends sogar in die Kneipe damit. Sehr interessant.

Nachdem uns Guanajuato so gefallen hatte, freuten wir uns auf San Miguel de Allende, was in unserem Reisefuehrer als noch schoener bechrieben war. Welch eine Enttaeuschung. Ein kleines Dorf ueberfuellt mit amerikanischen Rentnern und nich halb so vielen Plaetzen. Nach den ganzen Kolonialstaeden freuten wir uns auf die Ruinen, liessen die Garten des Edward James links liegen und fuhren nach Tula, beruehmt durch seine riesigen 4,5 meter hohen Steinkaempfer die von den Toltecs gebaut worden sind, einem Volk, das zwischen 900 und 1150 a.D. ein brutales, militaristisches Empire in Mexico aufgebaut hatte.

Wir fuehlten uns nicht richtig wohl in Tula, es war ach das erste Mal das ein Kind einen Stein nach uns warf, also fuhren wir Richtung Teotihuacan, versuchten an Mexico City vorbeizufahren, was uns nicht ganz gelang. Gluecklicherweise war es Sonntag und die 8 spurige (eine Richtung, also 16 insg.) Stadtautobahn war nicht sehr befahren, so fanden wir nach einiger Zeit wieder raus. Teotihuacan war zwar touristisch aber sehr beeindruckend, da es Mexicos groesste antique stadt war, gebaut zwischen 150 und 250 nach Cristus.

Weiter runter in Richtung Kueste verbrachten wir den Valentinestag mit den lokalten Teenagern von Puebla auf dem Hauptplatz wo wir paerchenweise sassen und unsere Partner (jeder seinen natuerlich) abknuddelten. Anschliessend ging es nach Oaxaca, wo wir Sergio trafen, einen weiteren HU community member aus San Cristobal mit dem wir einen schoenen Tag verbrachten. In San Cristobal freuten wir uns ueber das kuehleWetter und verbrachten einige Tage hier, bevor es Richtung Palenque ging. Zusammen mit einem deutschen Paar, das mit einem Mercedes Truck unterwegs war, verbrachten wir eine schoene Zeit in den Ruinen, machten Ausfluege, incl. Einem Trip auf einem Krokodilverseuchten Fluss. Wir verbrachten 5 Tage in Palenque, trafen viele Reisende und genossen den Ort im Dscchungel und die Affen, die in den Baeumen turnten. Danach ging es direkt an die karibische Kueste Mexicos, wo wir uns mit einem ehem. Arbeitskollegen trafen und fast eine Woche am Strand verbrachten und das blaue Wasser genossen (Danke Daniel fuer deine Hilfe). Zwei kanadische Paare bemutterten uns, luden uns zu Abendessen ein, stellten uns morgens Kaffee und 2 Stuehle ans Zelt, so dass wir die Zeit so sehr genossen, das wir schon drauf und dran waren Mittelamerika wegzulassen und den Sommer nochmal in Canada zu verbringen.

Da wir einige Reisende aus Belize trafen, die uns ueber die Grenze, die Kosten und die Sehenswuerdigkeiten von Belize berichteten, entschlossen wir Belize zu kippen und direkt zurueck ueber San Cristobal bach Guatemala einzureisen, auch wenn wir eigentlich unseren Freunde Chris und Liz in Belize besuchen wollten. Auf diesem Rueckweg hatten wir auch unseren ersten Zwischenfall, als ein indigenes Dorf der Meinung war eine Strassenblokade bauen zu muessen und von jedem der passieren wollte ein wenig Geld zu nehmen. Wir hatten Glueck, da das einzige Geld was ich noch hatte 50 pesos waren, ein britisches Paar in einem LandRover musste 200 pesos berappen und einem Mexikaner,d er sich weigerte zu bezahlen wurde sein blaues Auto mit Slogans in roter Farbe besprueht. Es war eine Art Raubueberfall, nur dass ein ganzes Dorf dabeistand und es wohl also normal empfand. Angeblich wollten sie das Geld auch fuer einen guten Zweck nutzen. Ein wenig hat das unsere Einstellung zu den indigenen Voelkern hier in Chiapas geaendert, die wir bsi dahin sehr respektiert hatten, aufgrund ihres einsamen Kampfes gegen die Unterdrueckung durch die Refierungspolitik.

Es war ein trauriger Abschied nachdem wir hier 3 Monate und 14000 km in diesem wunderbaren Land verbracht hatten und eher das Gefuehl hatten, dass die Leute uns noch was gegeben haetten anstatt uns was wegzunehmen und wo wir ueberall freundliche Leute getroffen hatten. Aber egal, wir waren nicht das letzte Mal in Mexico, es ist ein wunderbares Land mit wunderbaren Menschen.

Also auf nach Guatemala

Liebe Gruesse
Katja und Martin

--------------English Version-------------------------


14000 km through Mexico

Alter we spent much more time in Creel and the Copper Canyon area as we wanted – due to Katia having a flue, like the resto f the hostel and heavy rain for 3 days, we started on a sunny morning at minus 5 degrees Celsius on our ice covered bike. The Road to Parral was wonderful, perfectly paved, very twisty and in a beautiful countryside. We spent 2 days in Parral, celebrated Katjas birthday watching a movie, before heading further south to Durango, a nice city where we not only parked the bikes in the lobby of the hotel, but also were allowed to check our bikes in the Honda dealers garage for no cost. Heading down further south we spent some days in the wonderful colonial town of Zacatecas, where we met Francisco, a KLR650 rider who has been at the Creel HU meeting who stored our bikes safely in his hostel. The place we stayed had a wonderful view over the old towncenter and the cathedral and we almost felt like home there.

Having contacted the founder of the Guadelajara HU community for getting our tent finally shipped from the US where it arrived some days to late after an interesting journey, we were invited to stay in his house and for a weekend sidetrip to the coast of Manzanillo, to enjoy the weekend in a nice waterfront appartement overlooking the yachtharbor. We spent a wonderful week with Humberto and his family, enjoyed not only great hospitality and support but also became friends in this short time. Humberto, thanks for all ur help. We hope we can give u this help back one day.

After I recovered from a small version of Montezumas revenge and Katja from her dentist visit, we said goodbye and headed straight to Guanajuato, one of the famous silver cities. Althought we first got lost in the underground street system, we loved the city fromthe first moment. Little street, beautiful Plazas with nice cafes all around and a active student scene as well as Mexico winning the soccer match against Costa Rice for the 2006 World Championships gave us a great day and a god party at night. We luckily spent here the Ash Wednesday where all catholic people, go into the church to pray for forgiveness of their sins and afterwards they receive a cross of black paint painted on their forehead to show that their sins are forgiven. With this mark they walk around the whole day including in the bars at night.

Enjoying the historic town of Guanajuato we decided to ride to San Miguel Allende which our Guidebook described as even more beautiful. We were disappointed . the cute village was overcrowded by tourists, especially by american retired people and the plazas and caes werent as beautiful as well. After all these colonial towns we decided to visit some ruins, skipped the Gardens of edward James due to rainy weather there and headed straight to Tula, famous for its gigantic stone warrior 4,5 meters in height build by the Toltecs. The Toltecs build a brutal, militaristic empire that dominated Mexico around 900 to 1150 a.D.

We did not feel comfortable in Tula therefore we headed to Teotihuacan, passing Mexico City much closer then we wanted, when we missed the exit and rode into the city. Luckily it was Sunday, the traffic on the 8! Lane highway not that bad, so after a while we found our way out. Teotihuacan was touristy but impressive, being Mexicos biggest ancient city built between 150 -250 a.D.

Heading down to the southern coast we spent Valentines day in Puebla joining the teenagers sitting on the main plaza kissing and cuttling, before heading to Oaxaca where we met with Segio, another HU community member from San Cristobal and spent a great day with him. We enjoyed the cold weather in San Cristobal ad spent some days here, before heading down to Palenque where we enjoyed the company of two German fellow travellers who are travelling in a Mercedes Truck. Togehter we visited the ruins incl. A boat ride on a crocodile filled river. Having spent 5 days in Palenque meeting various travellers and enjoying the jungle setting, listening to the howler monkeys, we went straight to the Carribean Coast where we met with a former colleague of Martin and enjoyed almost a week on the coast with its crystal blue water. (Thanks Daniel for ur help). Two friendly canadian couples helped us to survive, invited us for dinner and coffee and gave us such a great time that we thought about skipping Central America and return to Canada.

We met a lot of traveller coming from Belize, telling us about the border, the prices and the sights in Belize, and although we were keen on visiting out traveller friends Chris and Liz there, we decided to skip Belize and head straight back to San Cristobal to cross the border into Guatemala. There our first incident happened when a local indigene group decided to build a road block and collect a fee to pass. We were lucky because all the money I had left was 50 pesos, a british couple in a LandRover had to pay 200 and a mexican guy who refused to pay had his blue car sprayed with slogans in red color. It was kind of a robbery, just that a whole village was involved. And they wanted to use the money to help their own people. It changed a bit our view about the indigene people, we respected a lot before because of the lonely fight agains a hard government policy.

It was a little sad goodbye after we spent three month and 14000 km in this great country where we normally had the feeling people would rather give us somthing than steel anything and where we encountered friendly and helpful people all over the place. Anyway, we have not been the last time in Mexico, its a wonderful country with wonderful people

So lets go to Guatemala
Greetings
Katja and Martin

Posted by Martin Wickert at 06:16 PM GMT
 


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