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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 2068 Page: 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Mar 21, 2018 12:00 AM The devil took me to Laredo... :)

The devil took me to Laredo...  :) Do you remember this popular Baccara Duo song? This morning I took the metro linea 2 (yes, there is subway in Monterrey) to get to the final station Sendero, where Greyhound bus terminal is located. The ride cost me 4,50 pesos. They in the cloudy morning we were driving to Nuevo Laredo with some views of the mountains and pastures. In Mexican border town I changed the bus - it took me through the bridge on Rio Grande river to the US immigration post. Everything was OK - they screened my bag and collected 6 dollars entry fee! So I am back in the USA, in Texas. Waiting for the next bus I had a chance to take a walk around central, old quarter of Laredo. It is not a big town...

Mar 20, 2018 12:00 AM 500 km to Monterrey...

500 km to Monterrey... Today I travel with a different bus company - Grupo Senda. I hope that we will arrive to the destination on schedule. The bus is more comfortable, we have individual screens, and - from time to time - even internet connection! After 2 hours of driving the landscape around became more dry - with plenty of bush on the gentle hills.
Arrival to Monterrey is very spectacular as the road goes down - along the beautiful mountain range.
I found my hostel without any problem (Soyforaneo - not recommended, overpriced) The sun was still shining - it was last hour to go to the bright city center to take some pictures. There is a long square with high trees, fountains, and elegant buildings - see palacio de gobierno on the picture. They have also nice cathedral and theatre. But the visitor should appreciate also the unusual background - the mountains rising on the horizon. One of them - Cerro de la Silla could be most spectacular...
Do you know that it is my last evening in Mexico?

Mar 19, 2018 12:00 AM Fiesta & long way to Tampico

Fiesta & long way to Tampico Yesterday in the hot evening I returned to Plaza de Armas of Veracruz to enjoy the Mexican folklore. Three different groups were performing music and dancing on the stage under the palms. Colors, rythms and beauty of local senoritas. Unforgetable!
Today I travel again by ADO bus. The road to Tampico is not a highway. Narrow, bumpy but very picturesque with many hills, rivers and small settlements. We have two drivers, but they are not so nice. they do not hurry. They can stop the bus full of passengers and they go shopping. Mexico!
As a result we reached Tampico with a big delay - after 10,5 hours drive...
The entry to the city is very impressive - trough the high bridge, with a nice view of the city and the river. I left my pack in the friendy Vithez hotel - just 400 m from terminal and took colectivo taxi to Plaza de Armas. It costs only 9 pesos pp.
I was surprised, how nice is old Tampico in the evening. There are two plazas: Armas and Libertad nearby and both were nicely iluminated. On Liberdad I found many nice balconies (see picture). Looks like New Orleans - don't you think?

Mar 18, 2018 12:00 AM Santo Cristo de Buen Viaje

Santo Cristo de Buen Viaje Hot and hazy morning in Vera Cruz... From my Maria Isabel hotel I have only 4 cuadras (blocks) to the nice and green Parque Zamora. At the far end of the Parque I saw the little white church, not mentioned in my guidebook. Coming closer I recognized the big statue in front of the church - it is John Paul II - our pope and the saint! Sunday church service was conducted inside the church with many people staing outside. They told me that it is the oldest church in Veracruz - Santo Cristo de Buen Viaje. Chist of the Happy Travelling. So for the first time I - the traveller - had a chance to visit traveller's church...
But the solid bronze plaque from the pope's monument was stolen. Veracruz has opinion not to be the safest city. They have nice coastal promenade - the Malecon and little main square - Zocalo with the white cathedral and elagant Palacio Municipal. Around Zocalo you will see long portales - arcades housing cafes and restaurants... Lighthouse in the nice building is not open for visits but you can take a boat tour around the harbor for 100 pesos or city tour on junk doubledecker for 40. Nice city, but be careful!

Mar 17, 2018 12:00 AM By bus to Veracruz

By bus to Veracruz In the morning, when the traffic in Villahermosa is not heavy 10 minutes is enough to get by foot from my Balboa Hotel to the ADO bus terminal.
The bus to Veracruz was already waiting, but they always wait till the last minute to pack you up...
It was a long, 8,5 hours journey. I had a front seat to enjoy the landscapes: fields of sugar cane, pineapple plantations, meadows with cows escaping hot sun to the shade of the trees. With only 3 stops on the way we reached the city of Veracruz at 5 pm. Equpped with the map (print it at home, no tourist info in the huge terminal) I started a 2 kms walk to my Hotel Maria Isabel Plaza. Sounds like a place for the aristocrats... :) No, no, no... This old institution is located in the middle of the bazar area. But the staff - Jose and Paco were very nice to me. Jose speaks good English and responses e-mails! Clean a/c room (I do not use it) costs 11 USD per night... Before sunset I had enough time to make a shopping in the supermarket located just around the corner. Let's have the rest in Veracruz!

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!

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