Thursday, November 30, 2023

 Coatzacoalcos to Villahermosa, Mexico     November 30, 2023

It took a long time for me to fall asleep; I think the vigorous 2 km walk at 11 pm revved me up.  However, the 5 or so hours of sleep I got was good.  I could see the pool this morning-

After a free breakfast of a bit of fruit, yogurt and granola - all 100% sugar, I walked back to the bus depot-

 to catch a bus to Villahermosa-

It’s definitely Christmas time-

I bought a ticket in a 16 passenger van because it was leaving first and is faster, however it arrived 40 minutes late and I was squished in the back with 3 others.  That helped with the cold because once again the fricking air conditioning was blaring.  People were wearing winter coats and even toques but I guess that’s just the way it is-

Traffic was nuts which is why the van was late-

Along the way-

It’s pretty flat country with a lot of vegetation but nothing useful - no crops just trees and grass-

Once in Villahermosa,  I bought my ticket to Campeche for tomorrow.  There are lots of buses to chose from but because it is a 9 hour trip, I am going ADO GL which is a bit more money but I think I will have the recliner chair and my own tv which I won’t watch anyway!

After, I walked to my hotel- 

The Maja Suites are nice, clean, cool and the wifi is very fast so that’s all that matters.

I spoke with the young man at the hotel about taking a combi- (transportation van) to the outdoor museum I wanted to visit.  He said it was best I take a taxi.  It’s always disappointing when the locals don’t know what to tell you about getting to and seeing the sites in their home town.  I like to think I could give someone a pretty clear and detailed itinerary of the Battlefords.  He told me I would have to switch combis so rather than listen, I walked to a busy street two blocks away to find out for myself.  Along the way I came across a shop where they were making piñatas-

There were numerous piñata shops all in a row.  It took a lot of coaxing to get the one boy to pose for me.

Once on the busy street and after asking a couple people and stopping two vans, I was on my way!  

I read someone’s blog about Villahermosa and she suggested doing 3 things.  My first stop was at La Cevicheria Tabasco for lupper.  I no sooner sat down and my table was practically covered with different salsas and chips.  The sauces were chipotle, tamarind, habanera, chili, green sauce and garlic.  They were all so good.  I sampled jicama juice and Chaya/passion fruit juice and a spicy soup.  All for free!-

I ordered ceviche which was octopus, sea bass, corn, avocado, plantain and herbs in a ginger dressing.  It was very good but not like the ceviche I like.  It was presented very nicely-

After, I walked to -

which is an open air zoo and museum of altars, sculptures and other stone relics from La Venta which is an ancient Olmec city here in Tabasco state.  It predated Chichen Itza by more than 1000 years.  The Olmec were the first major Mesoamerican civilization.  They founded La Venta which is 2 hours straight west of here around 1200 BC and it was the most important  settlement in Mesoamerica between 800 to 400 BC.  The sculptures I saw today date from 700 to 400 BC.  

The park is a lovely setting-

found in the middle of the city.  This is the first sculpture I came across and I asked it why it was so grumpy.  Then I read that it’s  called Grandma!  I laughed-

The Young Warrior-

Columns Tomb with a slab to lay the body on-

The Old Warrior-

Unfinished Monument-

Coatis run wild, spilling garbage and giving me the creeps-

The Children’s Altar involves humans and imaginary figures.  It’s carved on 3 sides-

The Governor-

Human Head-

The King’s Stella-

Colossal Head-

I got my museum fix for a while.  I took another combi back to near my hotel which is a busy commercial area.  Bars are very private, as if one should be ashamed to be in one.  Behind the wall are tables and chairs and usually blasting music-

There are Christmas displays in the Plaza de Armas-

The Parroquia de La Immaculada is not too impressive-

and there aren’t many colonial buildings-

Construction started on the Government Palace of Tabasco in 1883 and it opened in 1894.  It’s neoclassical style.  The clock dates from the 19th century and is the only monumental mechanical clock with a weighted system in the state of Tabasco-


The Casa de Los Azuelos is a pretty blue tiled museum.  It was built in the 19th century and is the nicest building in the city-

I came across a jeweler, who for 100 pesos fixed the post on my silver earring that I brought with me especially for this. When he went to reattach the post that Lynn Williams put on it, it disintegrated! I hope this repair lasts – he was working in a small little shop and the torch he used had a foot pump. His shop was very primitive-

The Grijalva River-

flows by my hotel and for the past year or so the city has been building a Malecon which is to open December 15. It is beautiful-

The Puente Solidaridad links to Gaviotas- 

and there’s an astronomy tower that provides nice views of the city-

So many shops of crap and so many people! How nice it is though not to have to fight traffic-

I came back to my room to relax and enjoy the quiet.  The last two days have been long and tiring but really good so 
I’m hoping for a great sleep and looking forward to tomorrow. Today is the first time in more than 3 weeks that sweat hasn’t dripped off my nose and chin!

  Cancun, Mexico to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan,     December 31, 2023 I was up at 4:30 and walking to the bus depot by 5:30.  I wore my headlam...