All The Pretty Horses…


Jesus Rios y Valles*
January 9, 2007, 1:16 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

new year, new sense of determination. It’s pretty shocking that I’ve managed to get to my age without ever leaving Europe. It’s a combination of things, I guess – I’ve never been particularly well-paid, and it seems like any money I did have would get spunked all over a series of fields in the West Country every summer. I think I also felt bewildered by the amount of places I wanted to go – “option anxiety” in excelsis – and let that defeat me.

But there’s been a growing rumbling in the back of my mind – the rumble of a pack of burros heading my way? – about getting to Mexico. Probably based on all sorts of hackneyed and dodgy notions cobbled together from Peckinpah movies, Cormac McCarthy books and Calexico albums. But nonetheless, it strikes me as a fascinating, exciting and beautiful place with a lot to take in.

So I think this is the year I’m going to make it out of Europe and into the Americas. There’s the vaguest hint of a plan for myself and Ailsa (seasoned traveller that she is) to head out there at the end of this year. It came as a bit of a blow when I was forced to accept that I wasn’t going to be able to fit a Tijuana cantina and Chichin Itza into the same trip without wasting time and missing out, so although the border country fascinates me and feeds into the aforementioned Peckinpah / McCarthy / Tex-Mex fantasies, we’re heading South. Still don’t know enough about the practicalities to know exactly where, but I’m keen to describe some sort of triangle of the country between Oaxaca, Yucatan and Mexico City. Seems to strike a balance between pre-colonial Mexico, beautiful landscapes, intriguing cities where the colonial / indigina clash / assimilation is most pronounced, and some amazing looking beaches in Yucatan. I’m curious about the state of the political situation in Oaxaxa too, and want to see it for myself.

The thought of Christmas Day on the beach near the ruins at Tulum excites me more than anything I can remember. There’s a danger this could turn into a scary tequila filled shopping trip, but running out of money should put paid to that.

More details as there are any.

* Jesus Rios y Valles is the name of one of Frida Kahlo’s schoolfriends. It means – fairly obviously – Jesus Rivers & Valleys. Which is one helluva name.

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