Posts Tagged With: Mexican

ALAMAR

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‘Sitting on the dock of the bay’… looking at this heavenly blue colored water, we remind a documental movie we have seen in Tulum.  Putting in scene the area where we were (Reserva de la  Biosfera Banco Chinchorro, Mexico) while telling a beautiful, true, near to the heart, story.  ALAMAR  Definitely highly recommended to everyone!

Un meraviglioso documentario racconta la vita quotidiana di alcuni uomini messicani in Banco Chinchorro e della complicata ma profondissima relazione di uno di questi con il figlio, nato dall’ amore per una donna italiana. Una storia reale… Assolutamente da non perdere!!!

FICHA ALAMAR

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZBn8CkalMc

Movie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2noUy69CZqU en Español

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Categories: México | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Bacalar, Lagoon beauty in Mexico

04-06/08/2013

After a day in Casa Cenote, a swim in the sea and grilled fish prepared by master-chief “vecchio” (as hard as we try we cannot remember his real name cause Tania and the kids call him like this) we are quite sure that Giorgia’s stomach problems are history, so our travel can go on direction Belize.  During the evening Tania keeps on telling about their time living in San Cristobál, Chiapas and about the beautiful places they visited.  They also would leave the hostel the next day, driving with their recently bought van direction Chiapas but not without visiting Bacalar, a beautiful ‘Pueblo Magico’-decorated village at the side of a fresh water lagoon.  We want to go to the border and that’s the same direction so they invited us to go with them in the van till there.  We have an entertaining trip playing with the kids. Goran always inventing new stories gives us great laughs while Naima explaining everything with a thousand words, are making a long trip passing by as it was just a short ride.  We arrive at Bacalar and we know directly: here we cannot just pass by, here we have to stay some days.  We decide it at the same moment we are standing on a small hill next to a fortification with a view over a lagoon with colours between white and blue, containing all their variants in between, having this typical tropical light green touch in it.  At the other side of the water tropical rain forest is edging the sky.  We are delighted with the peaceful ambient and the wonderful colours.

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After looking and comparing different hostels searching for a cheap place to stay, we find the secret corner in paradise.  A house with a well maintained garden just at the waterside with a dock to swim and sunbathing, some hammocks are hanging over the green in between the coco trees, and two small two-person caravans parked at the garden edge with in between a with roof covered terrace.  We settle down (for 250 pesos a night), we had eaten already and we are ready for a swim.  We walk the dock, overlook and enjoy the gorgeous scene in front of us, and jump.  The warm water covers our bodies as we enter the water.  We enjoy a nice fresh water swim and it is already raining for a while before we decide to climb the dock again.  It is actually warmer in the water then outside and fresh sporadic drops of rain are welcoming us on the wooden platform.

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After hanging around on the terrace talking about this and that we prepare ourselves for dinner.  A short walk to the village which doesn’t have  much more to offer than rest.  At the first restaurant the staff was not really willing to serve us.  It just seemed too much of an effort for them.  We get up again and after some streets we finish in a taco bar and just as it always seems to occur: it is much better, cheaper and cosier than the first one.  We make our order: quesadillas (11pesos each), tacos (also11 each), sopa Azteca and drinks.  It is right here, on this very evening, in this restaurant/bar with terrace on the street, where I will eat my first ‘Habanero’.  The pepper you wright with capital letter ‘P’, the hottest of all, the king of the spice, the one and only that sets a whole fire department in state of emergency.  It is my baptism in a world of the real man as tonight I will lose my spice-virginity with a pepper that makes tabasco blush and feel like mayonnaise.  ‘Vecchio’ knows his world and tells the waiter that the spicy sauce on the table is not very hot… and that’s all it takes… that’s exactly the right way to hurt the Mexican pride!  The waiter smiles suspiciously before he runs off to the kitchen coming back with a small orange pepper.  “Here you are”, he says politely while revenge is flaming in his eyes.  Vecchio has had habanero before so carefully, without touching the vegetable with his hands, he slices the pepper and gives me two slices, so thin that they are transparent, of pepper rings. I put them on my taco together with grilled flesh, cheese and tomato bits.  A quarter lime is squeezed on the full length of the taco and I eat the taco without thinking it over.  First nothing, just the taco with a light taste of sweet pepper, then a bit of tickle in the throat, then some heat starts to fill my mouth and finally the habanero does his thing and starts to set my mouth on fire. Pearls of sweat are appearing on my forehead. My cheeks start to feel cold and a strong tingle gets till deep in my sinuses.  I’m a man now, not a boy anymore so with all the strength I could gather together, I pushed my tears back behind my eyeballs.  My nose though dropping them out!  Habaneros… an experience on its own.  We laugh about it and enter a nice evening of sharing experiences ending in some sunbeds watching the stars and having a nice chat.

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We wake up quite late, have some breakfast and decide to go to a bathing place with the kids.  Just for 15 pesos entrance, we spend a relax day of bathing, buy some lunch (a delicious shrimp ceviche) and play in the water with the kids.  Later on the day we witness two grasshoppers falling in love while “vecchio” has finally managed to get the cheap china-made-wind kite air born.  For dinner we eat pizza in an Italian restaurant and go home late.  We end the day with funny stories from Tania and each one hilariously commented by “vecchio”.  With pain in the muscles from the laughter we go asleep.  It is our last night with them as tomorrow our paths separate.   We will miss them and the contagious happiness of their children.  Goran and Naima will be in our hearts forever.

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Categories: México | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Chichén Itzá and The Temple of Kukulcán

After a bit of comparing prices we reckoned that it is cheaper to buy an excursion than organizing everything ourselves.  The price: 50US$ each person, a painful payment for low rate backpackers as us but well worthed.  So in a luxury bus we start from Tulúm early in the morning.  The schedule is tide but for this we will see a lot in one day.  First to Valladolid, just for not making the trip boring, because it was a hop-off/hop-on stop of 10 minutes to stretch our legs and walk a bit on the square of the (we are shure of) beautiful town in colonial style.  Some pictures and back on the road.

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Before midday we stop at a cenote.  For the moment we had just seen open cenotes and this is one of the half open category.  We are curious and excited to see this one.  A big opening in the ground lies in front of us, a dark hole gaping at us exhausting its cold underground smelling breath in our faces.  Entering a magical underworld sound tracked by the dark rhythm of some bongo drums we undoubtedly can feel the temperature drop.  Darker and darker it gets as we penetrate further the narrow fissure that leads us deeper every step we take. Till suddenly we find ourselves in front of a big sphere shaped chamber, which is till the half filled with fresh water, with at the top a small opening about 3m diameter, barely lightening the big space. It is midday and the sun is standing high, just above us and just above the hole in the ceiling.  An eye blinding ray of light comes straight through and hits the water surface with such a brightness that the water lightens up and glows.  Glowing till unbelievable depts…  Our eyes try to search for a bottom but it is such a spectacular diffuse glowing clear water that our vision starts to fail. We don’t know if we are looking at just ten centimetres depth or infinity. Even in this modern-everything-is-explainable-times it’s easier to say that it’s made by some Mayan Gods.  I jump in the water for a refreshing but short swim because as heavenly it looks, this kind of cenotes has a very dark side.  Not only swimming away the lighted area but it feels a kind of scary the moment a cloud covers the sun and everything gets pitch dark.  It feels like a dark force might swallow you into the deep black and you would be never of heard again… just as all the other sacrifices made so many centuries ago.

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At the same place but above the earth face we have our ‘Mexican-for-tourists’ included lunch and go ahead for the main attraction: Chichén Itzá.  The most famous Mayan archaeological site in the world named as one of the ‘New 7 Wonders of the World’ since the 7th July 2007.  The guide tours us around the different buildings and informs us about the smallest details.  First of course “El Castillo” or “Temple of Kukulcán” that dominates the centre of the Chichén Itzá pre-Columbian city.  As we by now expect from the Mayas, a true piece of art and genuine master piece of architecture.  Just to give some examples of its rareness in every aspect:

  1. In front of every of the four sides of this pyramid there is a spot that is acoustically special, reflecting the echoes from handclapping, reproducing the sound of the quetzal (a tropical sacred bird) according to our guide.  Personally doubting this theory, I’m quite sure that it has to sound great by any ceremony where ancient tribes use chants, drums and handclapping…  I’m almost sure that it’s like the temple itself speaks and answers the demands of the Mayan civilization.
  2. At the base of the balustrade of the north-eastern staircase are carved heads of a snake/serpent.  On the spring and autumn equinoxes in the late afternoon, the north-west corner of the pyramid casts a series of triangular shadows against the balustrade that evokes the appearance of a serpent wriggling down the staircase in representation of the feathered serpent God Kukulcán.  It is almost inhuman, making a building this big and still having all the right angles to provoke this effect.  Exactly on the moment of equinoxes, at exactly two important moments for such a big civilization their God Kukulcan comes to visit them.  The arrival of the rains brings fertility and for this moment of preparing the soil and sowing and at the other side the time for harvest.   (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tq8OC2lGfJQ)

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From there we pass the impressive ‘Temple of Warriors’, a structure with almost 1000 columns, big part of them decorated with carvings of Gods or people as well animals and serpents. Then the ‘Temple of the Jaguar’ and as the tour goes on, we pass by and visit some other structures of all kind with the most varied carvings, from eagles (not existing in this part of Mexico, indicates influences and contacts with other big Mayan cities) over jaguars to skulls and bones.  The feathered serpent all over together with Mayan inscriptions.

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The most impressive though is ‘The Great Ball court’ (168m long, 70m wide and 8m high).  We have seen ball courts before but were never quite sure how it was played but here we find the solution in the largest and best preserved of all Mesoamerica.  In a flash I see an image in front of my eyes… and after a day of looking between, with dust covered and far away stored, memories… I find ‘The Road to El Dorado’! An entertaining animation movie where two young man looking for the secret city El Dorado end up in a Mayan city, very Chichén Itzá-like, playing a ball game.  In the movie there is even a hole with water in which is thrown a part of the treasure…, a cenote we do know now, just as there is in Chichén Itzá where they found thousands of objects made from gold, jade, copal,… as well as skeletons of children and men.

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 DSC03923 The-Road-to-El-Dorado-2000

After a long day of being a tourist we go back to our Tulum hostel, download the movie and watch exited as we recognize lots of features we just have seen with our own eyes.  A trip well worthed and after visiting lots of ruins of which the biggest pyramid base wise, the largest city… it was time to meet the most famous.

Categories: México | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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