Saturday, March 16, 2019

Skimboarding Still a Mistery

We had a chance to watch Melaque's big skimboard contest today. This is the big one of the year and is held the last few days during the celebration in San Patricio. We were not in Melaque last year for the competition, but the two years prior we gathered with the crowd and watched.

With three years as a spectator under our belt, I can say with utmost confidence that I still have no clue to what is going on at this competition.

Yes, I see the borders run down the sand and toss their board out in front of themselves. With great agility, they land on the board and skim across the sand and climb onto the incoming wave. Then they either swoop up and down the wave, flip the board under their feet, or shoot high into the air while grabbing the board in one hand.

When this is completed, the crowd applauds, fellow boarders pound on their boards and there is general ruckus acknowledging the trick. Somewhere under a RedBull Tent, the judges tally a score and the event continues.

This takes place over and over throughout the three days and we know nothing about the sport. It is fun to watch, I get some great photos, but if you were to ask me anything about what I witnessed I would probably look at you blankly and shake my head.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Mex ECO Adventure - Taxco

Previously, I mentioned the taxis in Taxco. Taxis in Taxco, sounds funny, doesn’t it?

Mexican volcano Popocatepetl viewed
out our bus window.
We left Puebla early on Wednesday morning of the tour. The cuota followed the base of the big volcano, Popocatépetl as we left the city. We had been seeing far off and hazy views of this volcano as we traveled around Puebla. Folks on the right side of the bus had a wonderful view of Popo’s peak most of the time during the hours we traveled.

Unfortunately, Linda and I were sitting on the driver’s side of the bus and had to dash across the aisle to get a look as it drifted past. Linda did a great job of chasing down photos when the opportunity arose.

Popo puffing!
We pulled into Taxco and off-loaded the bus. All the suitcases were loaded into a truck and we were packed into combis, the local minibus system. After some steep and winding turns we were deposited in the zocalo, the land of VW bug taxis!

By this time we were a close-knit group!
Our hotel, the Hotel Agua Escondida, was located on the northeast side of this plaza. The very first thing we learned as we checked out the hotel was that if you are going to exit a door or attempt to cross the street, you needed to look both ways and look carefully!  There were very few sidewalks, no stop signs or crosswalks, and no one stopped for anyone in this town! It was a system where walkers were observed, but it was their responsibility to move out of the way of traffic.

Entering the Hotel we climbed up to the reception area, got our keys and then climbed up to our room. We climbed and climbed up to our room. Over 80 steps from the street to our bed, this vacation is really one big hill climb!

Arriving at our next hotel.

The room was very nice! Looking out our window we had a panorama of the hillside of Taxco. It was breathtaking! Linda called my attention to the bed stand in our room. There, on a little note, were two sets of earplugs. The note explained that due to the nature of the Mexican people’s love of music and parting; and the layout of the hotel acting as a sound funnel, the rooms could be quite loud at night. This was the first room we have ever had that gave us a warning and a solution to the sounds of Mexico. We both smiles and shook our heads.

Our next two and a half days were spent exploring, shopping, and eating. All of these things we’ve become very good at. Silver was the big ticket item in this area, Taxco was famous throughout Mexico for its silver items.  I watched as Linda’s eyes lit up, knowing that we may not be able to afford to go home after this shopping adventure.

Dan doing another headcount.
The second day of our stay we loaded into six VW Taxis and found our way to the bus. Once loaded back into our seats, we drove to Grutas de Cacahuamilpa National Park and Caverns. There we walked down into the caverns and made our way 2.5 miles round trip through one of the largest cave systems in the world.

The rock structures in this system were phenomenal! Pictures do not do them justice and I cannot begin to tell about the immensity of these caverns.
This is a tour, well worth the small entry fee that is charged.

Watch out for those cars!
Our bus dropped us back along the main highway in Taxco. The bus could not go into the city of Taxco due to the narrow streets and sharp curves. Our driver Daniel had to stay down where he could maneuver the bus. Again we loaded into taxis and climbed up to the zocolo.
A group of us gathered and found VW taxis to take us to a gondola that services Monte Taxco and is the easiest way to visit this resort. The taxi ride was fast and furious through the narrow streets. I previously posted a blog post about this ride so check it out if you can.
Santuario Santa Veracruz.
We rode the gondola up to the top and then walked through the hotel to view the vistas of the town of Taxco. It was a great way to see the town and how it clings to the mountainsides.

For some reason, the ride back to the hotel was much shorter and more direct. A group of us met up at the pool bar and celebrated our final night of this wonderful adventure. Every night we were at our hotel there was music and dancing in the zocolo. We walked and had dinner and then enjoyed the music of Mexico before retiring for the night.

Looking out and up from our hotel window.
The next morning we did some final shopping, met our bus, drove to the airport in Mexico City, said our good-byes to our new friends and returned home. Our whirlwind adventure had come to an end.

Looking out and down from our room.
A very nice representative view of Taxco.
Looking up from the hotel, again.
Each night they had entertainment in the Zocolo.
Night from the hotel roof.
Hat vendor. Jacquie bought a beauty.
Caribs from the church.
Vendors everywhere!
A strange display with no explanation.
Grutas de Cacahuamilpa National Park.
Entering the caverns.

Linda after the 2.6 mile round trip into the caves.
Me, relaxing while others shop.
From our table at lunch.
The gondola up to Monte Taxco.
Views from the top.
Dean and Linda at the top.
Back at the pool bar at our hotel.

The hear of our group having drinks the final evening.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Taxis in Taxco

Our troop moved on and the bus delivered us to Tasco where we would spend the next two nights. The first thing that everyone noticed was the number of VW bug taxis scurring throughout the neighborhoods. It was so interesting! The streets were very narrow and every vehicle had to be much smaller than a normal city.  We watched the vehicles dance and swerve around corner after corner. At one point in our stay, we took a bug taxi over to the gondola when we explored one of the resorts at the top of the hill.  Of course, I made a video of the drive. Then there was the corner just outside the restaurant at our hotel where the traffic had to make three-point turns to get on up the street. Someone captured the dance of these vehicles and posted it on YouTube. I placed it below also.

Here is that little video from YouTube that shows the corner just outside the restaurant in our hotel. Yes, it was just like this!