Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Traveling the Michoacán Coast

It has been an interesting day or so. We started traveling down Mex 200 two days ago and it shortly became very winding. Literally we would travel 1 km down the coast as the bird flies, but we would put 3 km on the van. And, we would be a good minutes behind a vehicle but get to see him ever so often as we entered and they exited the inland cut along the sides of mountains. It was definitely an interesting experience as it seemed the closer we got to our destination, the more our arrival time was delayed because we had to go even slower. Michoacán is supposed to be a state with some security issues, etc.  It is hard to picture anything of the sort in this pristine, remote, and mostly undeveloped coast.  The Lack of shoulders and steep drop offs give trucks a hard time.  When we met heavy trucks, they were going at the whopping speeds of 5-9 kph (3-6 mph). That was fun too as it could be miles before there was a straight-enough section of road to see to pass.

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12598 Case and point: check out the scale here: ~1 cm = 500 m (you can see the scale in the left corner).

These winding roads at least are relatively smooth, as in no potholes. However, they do cause a lot of vibration in the van so that everything rattles. Most annoyingly lately has been the pop-top. Normally it doesn’t make any noise, but the latch all of a sudden started clanging. So today I had to remove it and put tape along the contact surfaces. Hopefully that will fix the noise.

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Currently the waves along the coast here are pretty large. We saw several instances of 20-ft waves coming in as we were driving. There was even green sea foam in places, which Jonathan tells me is a result of algae blooms. Unfortunately I am too slow with my camera to have any good pictures of these.

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Yesterday, we started the Insanity workout—60 days to give you insane results. I don’t know about that, but after doing the fit test yesterday I do know that we are definitely out of shape. Time to fix that. I will tell you what: doing those exercises outside with the bugs, dirt, grass, and heat is something else. That is dedication and determination, I tell you.

I also started going through my Spanish lesson books again. I had been reading fairy tales and Spanish stories, but I thought it wouldn’t hurt to refresh on my grammar and vocab as well. By the end of this trip, I hope to be able to carry out a decent conversation without a native speaker thinking I am stupid and slow. When we were in El Fuerte, we took a cab to the train station. I was able to have a decent conversation with the driver; it did help that he talked clearly and slowly. Boy, it is hard to understand everything clearly when the natives rattle off their words like a machine gun, as if a race to see if they finish their clip first. Well, at least that it what it seems to one as slow in speech as I.

Today we ate out for lunch and had some tasty beef fajitas. The best part about lunch? The iguanas! Apparently the staff feeds them.

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DSC02846  These guys were nearly 4 feet long!

On another unrelated note, as I sit here typing a population of dozens of various hummingbirds are feeding outside of our van. They are rather entertaining creatures, flitting around, snipping at each other, making clicking and chitting sounds (instead of chirps). We have seen several varieties. If I lived in a location with hummingbirds, I would definitely have a feeder for them as they are hilarious and amazing creatures.

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Spanish words of the day:
Res = beef
Montaña = mountain
Ola = wave

2 comments:

  1. Wow, you guys are keeping a really nice pace through Mexico!

    Let us know when you cross into Guatemala, we should meet. We will probably be in Antigua until May 15th or so.

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    1. Most definitely! We will endeavor to catch up. I will send you a message with some details later today. Surprisingly we have not met anyone else headed south yet.

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