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Wojciech's Travel log

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You can lose everything, but nobody will take away what you saw and what you experienced...

Log entries 81 - 90 of 2063 Page: 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Mar 16, 2018 12:00 AM The Olmec's heads

The Olmec's heads Enchanted by the Mayan piramids and temples few travellers remember, that long before the cililization of Maya the culture of Olmec was here.
Strange remains of this culture was discovered in the village of La Venta.
La Venta is far from the big cities so Mexicans decided to bring the main objects to Villahermosa and to settle them in the open-air museum.
Today in the morning I was walking around 3 kms to Parque La Venta.
It is lush tropical garden on the lakeside. They combined there little zoo with the exhibition of the Olmec Art. Entry fee for the foreigners is 44 pesos.
In the zoo you can go into the huge aviary to see colorful birds. But for me the ancient stone palisades, altars and statues were most interesting. Well marked path leads you to the labelled objects. The well-known from the pictures "Head of the warrior" is the best preserved and everybody wants to have here and everybody wants to have here the souvenir picture - me too! As you can see - the head is more then 2 m high... Hard to believe that it was carved 700-400 years before Christ.
In the park I met the students of English faculty and they were interviewing me (this was their homework). It was pleasant and nice with the first and second group, but later due to the same questions became boring...
It was heavy 35 deg at 1pm when I was returning back to the hotel.
Great day, but it is time for loundry now!

Mar 15, 2018 12:00 AM From Chiapas to Tabasco

From Chiapas to Tabasco San Miguel Hotel in Palenque where I stayed has big, clean fan rooms, but that's the end of the positives. Internet is only in the lobby, but very often it is broken for hours, or even days..
In the morning it was not working again. I said goodbye to San Miguel in Palenque... After 20 min walk I reached bus terminal. Long live ADO bus company! They provide free Internet at the stations! I was able to check my e-mail boxes before departure to Villahermosa - thank you for your messages, dear friends!
It took us more than two hours of driving to get to Villaharmosa in Tabasco state. The nightmares of such a journey are vibradores (humps) installed here in many places. The speed of the bus goes down to zero, then again and again. The other problem comes from countless control points. You will see army post, federal police posts, local police post, customs posts, drug control posts... Most of them just have a look into the bus or to the baggage compartments, but it takes a time and they have their own "vibradores"... :)
Villaharmosa is qiuet big city, some 400 thousands people live here. ADO bus terminal is in the bazar area. I was passinbg many shops to get to Balboa Hotel - it is nothing special, but it is located within a walking distance from the bus station and single room with bath costs here only 190 pesos per night (11 USD).
Welcome to Tabasco!

Mar 14, 2018 12:00 AM New waterfalls to my collection

New waterfalls to my collection Little travel agencies in Palenque offer many tours, for 550 pesos they will take you to Flores, Guatemala with some stops. The route of most standard and inexpensive tour (180 pesos just for transport) goes to Misol-ha Fall and to Agua Azul. We departed at - they collect tourist from their hostales. After an hour drive through green mountains we reached Misol-ha waterfall. They charge 30 pesos entry, but it is worth to pay. This 35-m fall has spectacular location surrounded by the lush jungle. The path will take you in the back of the water curtain to the little grotto. From the enfrance the view of the fall is even better.
Then another hour of drive on wind road took us to Agua Azul. Entry fee here is 40 pesos and it is very tourist place with many souvenir stalls and restaurants. I did not expect that it is a series of the picturesque cascades. At leaste two of them are 10-15 m high -so they can be qualified as a waterfalls. Good path with stone steps goes along to the highest cascade. Great views! So I pu into my collectction two new, beautiful waterfalls!

Mar 13, 2018 12:00 AM Palenque - the miracle in the jungle...

Palenque - the miracle in the jungle... It is 7 kms from the Palenque township, where I stay in San Miguel hostal. The van drivers are well organized - they offer shared service to the ruins of ancient Palenque for 20 pesos pp. The van is departing when full. On the way they will stop you to pay National Park entry fee of 34 pesos. Then at the upper gate you will pay again 70 pesos, no discounts for the foreigners! Local workers were staying at the gate protesting against... I do not know... Then you enter area, you climb some 30 stone steps through the jungle and...
And you see one of the most fascinating places in Mexico: Skull Temple like the high stone pyramid and just after The Piramid of Inscriptions built as a tomb for the powerful local Maya king. Opposite you have the palace and going onward you will come to the Cruz temple courtyard to climb it for the better view of the ancient buildings and the lush jungle which surrounds the ruins. Great place to be! And to listen to the thick jungle "talking" around.
The city of Palenque was developed between 4th and 10th century.
I spent there 3 hours climbing the buildings, taking pictures and enjoying the atmosphere. Departing the ruins it is worth to visit the museum on the acces road - you will see what was in the tomb of the king and how was the Maya people life...
Weather is hot, sticky, humid and it is difficult to survive on the sun more then few hours. But it was worth!

Mar 12, 2018 12:00 AM 9 hours on the bus to Chiapas

9 hours on the bus to Chiapas ADO bus company has also a luxury class, but you understand that it is not for me - the old backpacker :) In Hostal Ermita in Merida where I stay the substancial breakfast is included: coffee, tea, juice, flakes, milk, bread, butter, jam and fruits - you eat as much as you want. Elmita is also the great place to meet other travellers. They have even mini-pool -see picture. Highly recommend!
It took me 15 min walk to reach ADO bus station and... then it was 9 hours on the a/c bus, passing Campeche, Emiliano Zapata. Enjoying the views of the coast, huge river and Aduana (customs) when close to the Guatemala border. It was cloudy, hot and sticky air when I disembarked in Palenque, Chiapas. Buenas noches!

Mar 11, 2018 12:00 AM Uxmal - great Mayan ruins

Uxmal - great Mayan ruins In 1989 I did not have enough time and money to make a side trip to Uxmal... The 2nd class bus from Merida goes there at 9 am and costs 65 pesos each way 90 minutes ride. After few stops in the crowded little towns we disembarked in front of the ruins just near restairant and Cocoa Museum.
Then you have to walk 400 m to the gate and you are surprised: To enter you have to stay in the two lines to two ticket offices. You buy one ticket for 70 and then second for 164. And you go through two consecutive gates checking ticket and ticket 2... Seems they have high unemployment rate. But it is tourist who suffer in the heat. No diccounts for foreign seniors, for locals only!
You walk uphill to see the first stone piramid of the Magician, 39 m high. No climbing but still very impresive. Then big Nunnery courtyard. Ornate Palace of the Governor - much bigger then I expected! Near the
palace is GRAND Piramide to climb to the top - 32 m up but it is uncovered only from the front. The best view of the ruins is in my opinion from the terrace of Governor' Palace. Wow! Uxmall is worth to be on the World Heritage list... It took me 2 hours in extreme heat to see all places...

Mar 10, 2018 12:00 AM By bus to Merida

By bus to Merida ADO is the main 1st class bus company in this part of Mexico. They are fully computerised but I think that it is better to buy tkt at their station than online. Why? You want to go A to B on day X. The cashier will show you the list of departures with prices. Suprisely the prices are not the same. Deciding to go two hours sooner or later you can save even 20 USD! They have dynamic price policy trying to fill empty buses...
It took me today 4,5 hours on comfy a/c bus to get from Canncun to inland Merida - nice colonial city. Can you imagine - I have been here in 1989!
Merida is now even nicer but still with the same lazy atmosphere of narrow, cobbled streets whith horse carts.
I went again to Parque San Juan, Santa Lucia an Zocalo - main square wherein the evening the Mariachis were giving great concert. 38 deg Celsius during the day. But what a place! A big 1l bottle of Mexican Rum costs here only 90 pesos. But not easy to find! Go to the 59th street between 60 and 62 - near Reforma Hotel. Cuba es libre again!

Mar 09, 2018 12:00 AM Walking along Cancun Island

Walking along Cancun Island I have been years ago to Yucatan, but I never been here... 40 years ago more than 20-kms long Cancun Island was known only to the local fishermen. Now it is world-renowned resort visited by more then a million tourists each year. Cancun town, where I live in the cheap room is located on the continent. That's where Mexicans working in the island resorts live. Bus station is here and nothing else to see.
To get to the island you have to take bus R1 or R2 (12 pesos) -both go from the township to kilometro 18 on the island, where picturesque public Dolphin Beach is located - just by the road. That's what I did today in the morning and then I started a walk back - partly on the beach, partly by road. Despite the cloudy weather and strong wind generating high waves it was enjoyable walk. I passed by many fancy hotels with elegant beaches... Great day! I returned at 5 pm - just before the rain . Lucky me! :)

Mar 08, 2018 12:00 AM Last day in Havana

Last day in Havana Every narrow street in Havana Vieja (Old Havana) us different and if you wonder alone in the maze of alleys you feel like in the theater... The life is around and nobody bothers you..
That's what I did in the morning. In the Salud street near the church black ladies sells fresh flowers. In Nettuno in fron of the bakery the bakery the people form the line waiting for the fresh bread...
In the midday I said goodbye to my hosts and walked to catch the city bus P12 headinnd to the airport area. The ride cost me 1 peso cubano - like 5 cents + 2 kms walk. Foreigners usually go by taxi paying equivalent of 20-30 dollars. My flight to Mexico was delayed so I landed in Cancun after sunset. ADO bus took me from tbe airport to the city center for 78 MEX. Then I was walking again to my B&B. Welcome to Mexico!

Mar 07, 2018 12:00 AM To the Cuban Mogotes

To the Cuban Mogotes In Vinales, Pinar del Rio province you will find famous Cuban Mogotes from the UNESCO World Heritage list. I never been there so it was good opportunity to organize the day excursion from Havana. Tour offices offer such a tour for 67 CUC (convertibles pesos) - too much for the backpacker. You have a choice of Viazul bus (12 COC each way but difficult to book) or collectivo taxi, which will pick you up from your room - for 20 each way. I took collectivo. Already on approach to Vinales after 2,5 h drive you can see from the view point near Jasmine hotel the great panorama if the nice mountain range. Then you go down to the little town Vinales and can walk or rent a bike/horse to valleys.I went to Dos Hermanos. It was already 5.30 pm wgen I returned. Nice day - The Mogotes are worth a visit!

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